Volkswagen Jetta spy shots

Volkswagen’s Jetta is about to be redesigned, as evidenced by the recent sighting of a prototype for the next-generation model.

The current Jetta’s been on sale since 2011. We’re expecting the new, seventh-generation model to arrive late this year or early next, as a 2018 model.

It will finally ditch the aging PQ35 platform which has been in use since the fifth-generation Jetta. Underpinning the new model will be the Volkswagen Group’s flexible MQB platform common to the Golf and numerous other cars from the German automaker.

The design of the new Jetta was previewed in 2014 by the New Midsize Coupe concept. The basic shape should match the current model but finer elements such as the grille and headlight treatment should match up with what we see on VW’s latest models like the Polo and U.S.-bound Arteon.

Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe concept, 2014 Beijing Auto Show

Volkswagen New Midsize Coupe concept, 2014 Beijing Auto Show

Inside should be a dash layout very similar to what we see in the latest Golf range. Also borrowed from the Golf range should be powertrains. A 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 is expected in base trim, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 reserved for higher trim levels.

Production of the Jetta for North America will continue to take place at VW’s plant in Puebla, Mexico. It’s the same plant responsible for most Golfs and the latest Tiguan SUV.

It’s too early to talk pricing but the starting figure should hover close to the $18K starting price of the current model.

Potential rivals include the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla.

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