Autoblog has posted spy shots of the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta sedan on its Web site. The new Jetta was caught hot-weather testing in Arizona by KGP Photography wearing camouflage over its front and rear portions. The Jetta has been wearing the same sheetmetal since 2004, so by 2011, it will be time for new clothes.
The new Jetta will likely have a large drop in its base price when it goes on sale, and while VW is calling it the "New Compact Sedan", the Jetta name is likely to stick around for a while.
The 2011 Jetta will have updated taillights, sharper lines, and a more -angled rear window. The roofline also appears to be lower.
The current Jetta is an excellent sedan--your author recently spent eight days and nearly 1,000 miles behind the wheel of a 2009 Jetta TDI and came away impressed--but all designs get old, and new blood will be needed in the Jetta line by 2011. No word yet on engine and transmission choices, but we'd expect a 4-cylinder gasoline engine as one choice, and it would be surprising if the diesel option didn't return. We'd expect slight increases in power and fuel economy for both engines.
We'd also expect the DSG automatic transmission to return, and we'd expect similar content offerings to the current car. The decrease in the price may make the next Jetta a more attractive alternative to its Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla rivals. The class isn't getting any less crowded, thanks to Kia's new Forte, so the Jetta will have its hands full. A lower price and improved looks certainly can't hurt.