Yesterday it was the 2011 Kia Sportage--and tomorrow, High Gear Media will be driving the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta in and around chilly San Francisco.
The Jetta's being prepared for a fall launch, and VW promises it's a significantly better deal than before. The German engineering's still intact, but Volkswagen says it's found a way to drop the base price of the four-door compact sedan from the $18,000 range to under $16,000. That makes the Jetta, once more, a direct competitor for the likes of the Honda Civic, Mazda3 and the Toyota Corolla--and makes room for the debut of a new American-made mid-size sedan next year.
The new Jetta grows by almost three inches, correcting one of the major issues that's hurt the current model: poor back-seat room. It brings back the powertrains from the previous generation, including a 170-horsepower five-cylinder, a 140-hp turbodiesel TDI, and soon, there will be a turbocharged 200-hp GLI model, too. A manual transmission will be standard, and VW's excellent dual-clutch gearbox will be offered on some models.
We're driving the Jetta first thing tomorrow morning, Pacific time. Tune in to TCC for a Jetta Live Drive, or follow it on Twitter @CarConnection.
Until then, take in this video clip of the Jetta in motion outside San Francisco: