Volkswagen Gives 2015 Jetta Welcome Refreshes, Updates

After much anticipation and speculation, Volkswagen has pulled the wraps off its updated 2015 Jetta sedan at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. The refresh brings several welcome improvements, including revised styling, new driver assistance systems, an updated cabin, a new diesel engine, greater fuel efficiency, and new Bi-Xenon headllights.

The Styling

The 2015 Jetta can be recognized by its revised design, as VW restyled the front and rear of the Jetta, while improving its aerodynamic properties.

At the front, the Jetta features a redesigned radiator grille with three cross fins, optional Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), and a new bumper cover. The new visual band formed by the radiator grille and the headlights, as well as the now-larger lower air inlet, give the Jetta a wider and more substantial look. Re-sculpted foglights mounted in the outer areas of the bumper reinforce this effect.

Featuring an instantly-recognizable design, the Bi-Xenon headlights bring out VW’s design prowess. Each daytime running light consists of 15 LEDs arranged in an L-shaped string alongside and beneath the xenon modules. The LEDs create a distinct light signature, whether it’s during the day or night. A chrome element between the LED daytime running lights and the Xenons accentuates the headlights.

At the rear, the trunklid, taillights, rear logos and bumper have all been updated for 2015. The trunklid now has an aerodynamic trailing edge, with the lines (on each side) of this integrated spoiler extending into the rear fenders and then into the precise contour of the car’s silhouette near the so-called character line.

New available LED taillights (on the GLI and Hybrid only) feature a bright stripe, with a redesigned VW logo being placed between each light. One level lower, the side lines of the trunklid now run downward, with the new bumper cover complementing the new look.

Overall, the styling changes make the car look fresher, more luxurious, and more modern.

Optimized Aerodynamics

The 2015 Jetta features greater efficiency than before thanks to reduced air drag made possible by aero modifications in the design as well as the vehicle’s equipment.

In the front, air drag has been reduced by the new bumper cover, optimized air intakes, and aerodynamically refined rain gutters on the sides near the A-pillars. Furthermore, underbody panels at the rear axle and sill covers with wheel spoilers take the aerodynamics changes a step further. Jetta models equipped with the 1.8T engine also have modified brake ventilation channels, while Jetta GLI and Jetta Hybrid models have special aerodynamic elements such as new front/rear spoilers and sill extensions.

A new aerodynamic feature on the Jetta 1.8T and 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel models is a closable shutter at the radiator grille. Closing the radiator shutter helps shorten the warm-up phase of the engine thanks to reduced air cooling. If the engine coolant temperature drops below a predefined temperature threshold while driving, the radiator shutter remains shut. Once the engine moves beyond the warm-up phase, the shutter can open and close based on vehicle speed and cooling demands. When closed, frontal airflow is guided around the body, which helps to improve the car’s aerodynamics and thus reduces fuel consumption.

Rounding out the aero changes to the 2015 Jetta are new tires that help improve (reduce) rolling resistance.

New Driver Assistance Systems

The 2015 Jetta also makes available several new driver assistance systems, including:

  • Blind Spot Detection utilizes a flashing symbol in the outer area of the side mirrors to make the driver aware of vehicles in the blind spot next to the Jetta or approaching from the rear. This is intended to help improve driver awareness when changing lanes. The system uses radar sensors to “monitor” a space around the vehicle with a range of approximately 65 feet. Customers who choose the Blind Spot Detection option automatically get the rear cross-traffic alert assistance system as well.
  • Rear cross-traffic alert assistance system is offered in tandem with Blind Spot Detection. The system not only helps alert the driver to stationary and moving vehicles directly behind the vehicle; it also detects vehicles approaching from the side which may be difficult for the driver to see. The radar-based sensor module can even detect objects up to 65 feet away. In case of an impending collision, the system gives an acoustic warning.
  • Frontal collision warning system uses radar sensors to continually monitor the distance to traffic ahead of the vehicle. Within physical system limits, frontal collision warning warns the driver of critical front-end collision situations, both acoustically and visually by a clear warning symbol in the instrument cluster. The radar sensor acquires both the position of stationary cars and motorcycles and those moving in the same direction as the vehicle. The sensor is hidden behind the VW logo on the radiator grille.
  • Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights are now available. Also integrated in the new generation of headlights is what is referred to as the Advanced Front-lighting System (AFS). In this system, the headlights track the steering angle and can be turned up to 15 degrees, illuminating corners in turns.

Revised Interior

Inside, the Jetta sees an upgraded interior with new materials and an enriched assortment of available equipment.

On mid- and high-level trims, the dash gauges are now framed in chrome-edged tubes, with an available color multifunction display nestled in between. The 2015 Jetta also sports several optional new features based on trim, including:

  • A new multifunction steering wheel
  • Redesigned air vent controls
  • Piano black accents on the center console and around the gear shift lever
  • New chrome accents around the dual-zone Climatronic control
  • Ambient lighting
  • New fabric colors and designs for the seats

New 2.0L EA288 TDI Engine

The 2015 Jetta will continue to offer three four-cylinder gasoline engines, including a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated motor as well as the 1.8T and 2.0T TSI Gen 3 turbocharged EA888 engines; a 1.4-liter turbocharged unit will power the full hybrid version, while a new 2.0-liter turbocharged EA288 TDI Clean Diesel engine will be the new TDI motor.

The new 2.0-liter 150-horsepower EA288 TDI Clean Diesel engine is one of the most fuel-efficient engines in its class and already conforms to the upcoming LEV3 emissions standard in the USA. Compared to the previous engine, the efficiency of this new generation TDI was improved by another eight percent. In city driving, for instance, the Jetta TDI Clean Diesel with a manual transmission delivers a manufacturer-estimated 32 MPG city/45 MPG highway, with combined fuel economy projected to be around 37 MPG.

Look for the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta to arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the third quarter of 2014… which is when we expect to get some seat-time with it.

News editor focusing on business, financial, and sales coverage who loves anything on wheels, especially if it's fast.

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