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2011 VW Jetta Will Start at $16,000

Jun 15, 2010

VW will officially unveil the 2011 Jetta later today, but a British magazine has already leaked images and details of the redesigned midsize sedan onto the web. The new Jetta is cheaper and roomier – especially in the rear seat -- than ever before.

“Unlike all previous versions of the compact sedan, Volkswagen didn't just graft a trunk to the Golf hatchback to create the Jetta; instead the platform was stretched between the wheels to create a roomier package and more real estate for distinctive styling,” explains Autoblog.

But the most exciting news is that VW says the Jetta will start at $16,000, which is less than the previous model.

“The company is going after consumers who previously dismissed the model as too expensive,” explains the New York Times. “The list price of the lowest-priced 2010 Jetta is $17,735.”

The new price compares favorably to the competition. USA Today says it puts the Jetta “more in line with compact category sales leaders -- such as Toyota's Corolla ($15,540 to start for 2010) or Honda's Civic ($15,665 for 2010) -- and Chevrolet's all-new 2011 Cruze ($16,995 to start). And the base Jetta will have features such as air conditioning that you don't get till you move up to, for example, the $16,405 Civic.”

The New York Times also notes that buyers will get a lot for their money, adding, “The $16,000 Jetta is not a bare-bones model, but will come equipped with features like power windows and locks, keyless entry, air-conditioning and a CD player.

On top of all that, Jetta buyers may enjoy another feature that wasn’t previously offered.

Left Lane News writes, “Although cost-cutting measures may be obvious compared to the current Jetta, there is speculation that an all-wheel drive option may be offered in order to give the car some additional niche appeal.”

VW hasn’t released details on the Jetta’s powertrain options, though they have confirmed that two of the current engines – a 2.0-liter TSI and 2.0-liter TDI diesel -- will continue in 2011. Also expected are the performance-oriented 2.0-liter TSI turbo engine, currently in the GLI model, and the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine in the R5 model.

However, the New York Times notes, “Only the base engine and the 2.5-liter will be available in October. The 2011 TDI will appear in February or March of next year, and the GLI turbo in May.”

A manual transmission will be standard and a six-speed automatic optional. VW hasn’t yet released gas mileage figures.

The Jetta also gets more athletic styling for 2011. The look receives good initial reviews, with Motor Trend commenting that it “drops the cute, bubbly styling and Golf-with-a-trunk proportions for a cleaner, more sophisticated look. Styling all around better resembles Volkswagen's latest products, such as the new Touareg and Golf.”

Though auto reviewers are excited about the Jetta’s roomier interior, new look and lower base price, not all of them think the changes are good enough.

Edmunds Inside Line comments, “Another conservative redesign for the Jetta that may continue to stifle its popularity in the U.S.”

The 2011 Jetta will go on sale in October 2010. Stay tuned for more details once it makes its official debut in New York City today.

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