Volkswagen of America held a party yesterday for its bigger and cheaper Jetta in New York City.
By all accounts, everybody had a swell time at the unveiling of the 2011 version of a sedan that dates back to 1979 when a trunk was grafted onto a hatchback Golf model. An all-new Golf was introduced last year in Europe.
The “all-new” Jetta starts at $16,000, about $2,000 less expensive than the smaller Jetta it replaces. However, executives admit that the actual starting price will be $17,000, if you include the optional automatic transmission that most Americans prefer.
The Jetta pricing and increase in size reflect the less than swell time that VW has been having trying to compete against far larger and more successful Japanese and Korean brands in the United States. Year-to-date, the Jetta has sold about 46,000 models while, for example, competing Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic models are each selling at well over 100,000 units during the same time period.
At 182.7-inches long, the five-passenger Jetta compact is more than 3.5 inches longer than its predecessors. In addition, an extended wheelbase is said to provide the “best in class” rear leg room of 38.1 inches, a 2.6-inch gain. (more…)