Volkswagen New Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta endured many changes since its introduction in 1980, but none have come close to the model’s extensive redesign for the 2011 model year. The new 2011 Jetta was Volkswagen’s attempt to aggressively enter the North American midsize sedan market.

More on the Volkswagen New Jetta
Volkswagen New Jetta Origins

The Volkswagen Jetta entered the market in 1980. Designed as a union between German entry-level luxury sedans and run-of-the-mill compact cars, the Jetta appealed to both the luxury car enthusiast and the practical compact midsize sedan buyer.

Throughout its history, Volkswagen marketed several models in an attempt to appeal to all car buyers. The automaker emphasized German engineering and upscale design with its Jetta, and affordability with its Golf and Rabbit models.

With preparations underway for the new midsize Passat, Volkswagen launched an all new Jetta for the 2011 model year. The new Jetta cost $1700 less than its predecessor and symbolized a break from its German engineering roots.

Volkswagen completely re-designed the new Jetta with improvements made to the body, exterior, interior, engine, and price. With the new 2011 Jetta, Volkswagen shifted its focus from a sedan version of the VW Golf to a car of its own class. Volkswagen purposely desired to prepare the market for the Passat, which according to "Motor Trend" magazine, VW was settling on "marketing itself as a Honda alternative in North America."

About the Volkswagen New Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta was VW’s top-selling model in the United States. The vehicle entered the market as an affordable option for its class. The new Jetta offered more standard features, more room, and a fuel-efficient clean-diesel engine.

Volkswagen removed the upscale luxury details from the original Jetta and solidified its standing in the small- to midsize-sedan market in North America. The carmaker lowered the price to $15,995 minus destination charges, which appealed to more car buyers with stricter budgets.

The Jetta was adored by young car buyers, but with the re-design of the more affordable, roomier 2011 model, the vehicle began to attract a more mature, serious buyer. The Jetta was also a solid choice for the budget-conscious buyer who wanted the low price of a roomier sedan without the bells and whistles that accompanied more luxurious models.

Volkswagen New Jetta Features

The 2012 Jetta remained relatively unchanged after its major re-design for the 2011 model year. The car boasted a longer wheelbase and a roomy back seat. The 2011 Sports package for the SEL trim level was discontinued for the 2012 model year, yet standard features remained plentiful. The top trims levels, the SEL and TDI, were updated with a premium Fender audio system and touch screen capabilities.

The 2012 Jetta offers five trim levels: Base, S, SE, SEL, and TDI. The Base model comes with 15-inch steel wheels, power locks and windows, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The S model includes air-conditioning, power mirrors, an upgraded sound system, and an auxiliary audio jack. The Base and S models both contain a 115-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with five speed manual transmission, a standard feature.

The 2012 Jetta SE and SEL models feature a 2.5-liter inline-5 capable of 170 horsepower, yet with a similar fuel economy to the 2.0-liter inline-4. With the SE model, car buyers can also expect premium vinyl upholstery, 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, and a rear-seat center armrest. The SEL model offers heated windshield washer nozzles, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, alloy wheels, and an upgraded sound system among other standard features.

The 2012 Jetta TDI is comparable to the SE Jetta with the Convenience and Sunroof packages added. It houses a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel inline-4 capable of producing 140 horsepower. The navigation system adds options such as foglamps, keyless ignition/entry, touch-screen interface and chrome trim.

Volkswagen New Jetta Evolution

The Volkswagen Jetta dates back to 1980, but it wasn’t until 2011 that Volkswagen decided to re-design the vehicle and introduce the car at a lower price point. This new Jetta was priced lower than previous model years and was no longer based on the VW Golf. The new platform appealed to budget-conscious car buyers since it was stripped of its luxury to meet the new price point.

The new 2011 Jetta is longer, roomier, and lighter than before. Volkswagen replaced the engine with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 115 horsepower. Car buyers will need to explore the Jetta SE to enjoy the 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine.

Every Jetta comes with dual front airbags, dual side impact airbags and dual side curtain airbags. Standard safety features include stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, an electronic brake-force distribution, and the Intelligent Crash Response System. This system automatically responds to airbag deployment by unlocking the doors, activating the flashers, and ceasing the flow of fuel to the engine.

The reduced price prompted several downgrades like a less expensive suspension, reduced comfort, and interior hard plastic panels. Overall, the Volkswagen Jetta still remains one of the top choices in the midsize sedan market.

The 2012 Jetta remained virtually the same with some changes to its options packages.

Select a Volkswagen New Jetta Year

1999 Volkswagen New Jetta

Compact, Sedan

The 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta classifies as a compact car that has been manufactured and sold by the German automaker since 1979.