Volkswagen has officially unveiled its new, seventh-generation Jetta at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Of course, as CARmag.co.za reported late in 2017, this all-new Jetta – which moves over to the Wolfsburg-based brand’s MQB platform in its latest generation – will not be offered in South Africa. The reason? Well, VW will not be producing the fresh version of the sedan in right-hand drive.

Indeed, the German automaker has now confirmed that there “are no plans for a European version”, although a “sibling model” of the new Jetta will be offered in China under the "Sagitar" badge at a later date.

So, what will we be missing out on? Well, VW says that the use of the MQB platform has allowed “more dynamic” proportions, improved interior space, efficiency gains, fresh driver assistance systems and a largely digitalised interior.

The new Jetta measures 4 702 mm in length (which makes it 43 mm longer than before), and its wheelbase has been stretched by 35 mm to 2 686 mm. It’s 1 799 mm wide (an increase of 21 mm) and 1 459 mm tall (six millimetres up), while the front overhang is 10 mm shorter and the rear overhang 18 mm longer.

The seventh-generation Jetta boasts improved aerodynamics, with a Cd figure of 0,27 (about 10 percent better than the outgoing model), which Volkswagen says has made a marked impact on fuel efficiency. In the US, the Jetta will be offered with the brand’s familiar 1,4 TSI petrol engine, producing 110 kW and 250 N.m, and mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The new Jetta for the North American market gains the option of the brand’s digital Active Info Display along with a new generation of infotainment systems. LED headlamps will be standard, with a tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof offered on certain derivatives.

Volkswagen Jetta