What Is It?
2015 Volkswagen Jetta
What's New About This Model?
The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta gets a mild redesign, along with several new optional driver-assistance systems. A new version of Volkswagen's 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel engine may deliver as much as 45 mpg on the highway, according to Volkswagen of America.
When Does It Go on Sale?
The 2015 Volkswagen Jetta is expected to arrive at U.S. dealerships in the third quarter of 2014.
How Much Does It Cost?
No official pricing has been released yet, but we expect the 2015 Jetta will have a similar starting price to the current 2014 Jetta. The base 2014 Volkswagen Jetta starts at $17,540, including an $820 destination charge.
What Kinds of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
• Base 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine: 115 horsepower, 125 pound-feet of torque
• Turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine: 170 hp, 184 lb-ft of torque
• Turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder gasoline engine: 210 hp, 207 lb-ft of torque
• Turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine (hybrid): 170 hp, 184 lb-ft of torque
• Turbocharged 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel engine: 150 horsepower, 236 lb-ft of torque
• Five transmissions depending on trim level: five-speed manual, six-speed manual, six-speed automatic, six-speed DSG, seven-speed DSG (hybrid only)
EPA has not released official fuel economy numbers. The 2015 Jetta TDI clean diesel with a manual transmission is expected to return 32 mpg in city driving and 45 mpg on the highway, according to Volkswagen.
What Does the Redesign Look Like?
This is not a major redo of the Jetta, but a subtle styling tweak, along with an emphasis on high-tech features. Changes include more upscale bi-xenon exterior lighting, new LED daytime running lights and an adaptive front lighting system that turns the lights according to the steering inputs. Those new features are available on some higher-end models. The trunk, taillights, rear logos and bumper of the Jetta have also been updated for 2015.
In the cabin, the changes are subtle as well. On mid- and high-level trims, the gauges are now framed in chrome-edged tubes. New optional features include a new multifunction steering wheel, redesigned air vent controls, piano black accents on the center console and around the gearshift lever, ambient lighting and new fabric colors and designs for the seats. The availability of the new interior touches is based on the trim level.
What Are the New Driver-Assistance Systems?
Optional technologies include a blind-spot detection system plus rear cross-traffic alert and frontal collision warning. Blind-spot detection makes the driver aware of vehicles in the blind spot next to the Jetta or approaching from the rear. Customers who choose the blind-spot detection system option automatically get the rear cross-traffic alert assistance system. This system helps to alert the driver to stationary and moving vehicles directly behind the vehicle.
The frontal collision warning system warns the driver of an impending front-end crash.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Chevrolet Cruze: This is perhaps the most serious competitor to the 2015 Jetta and will also draw much attention at the 2014 New York Auto Show, thanks to a mild redesign of its own. The 2015 Chevrolet Cruze, which arrives at dealerships in the fall, gets styling and connectivity upgrades. The Cruze is a high-quality small car and offers consumers the choice of a diesel engine, something of a rarity in the segment. The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine. It is at the top of the Cruze lineup and is in showrooms now.
Ford Focus: The Focus remains a top choice in this increasingly competitive segment. The 2015 Focus gets a new exterior design, a fuel-efficient 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine and lots of driver-assistance technologies, including a standard rearview camera.
Honda Civic: The Honda Civic is one of the best compact cars on the market and was updated for 2014. While you can't get a Civic diesel model, a Civic Natural Gas model, with a starting price of $27,430 is a fuel-efficient alternative. The EPA says the Civic Natural Gas returns 27 mpg in city driving and 38 mpg on the highway.
Should You Wait for It?
The Jetta has an excellent reputation, and the changes — especially the new diesel engine — are sure to win a loyal following. There's a real dogfight in this small-car segment at this point, especially with the recent introduction of the Cruze Diesel and the changes to the 2015 Focus. Our best advice is for you to sit tight until fall, test-drive the major competitors and then make your decision.