Volkswagen’s new Americanized Jetta will be improved quietly over the coming year, executives from the company have told us. Some of the things we criticized when the car launched, such as the standard rear drum brakes, have already been addressed—all Jettas, regardless of trim level, now have four-wheel discs—and others are going to be dealt with soon. Interior materials should be upgraded somewhat; higher-trim-level models will switch to a soft-touch dashboard from the current hard. In the U.S., the European-grade squishy dash has been found exclusively in the Jetta GLI.
The more interesting news, though, is a probable change in the powertrain department. At present, the engine in a plurality of Jettas sold—if not the majority—is a 2.5-liter inline-five. We’ve already reported that in some VW models this engine could be replaced with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four, but it now appears that engine will only sub in for the 2.5 in larger models like the Passat. The Jetta would instead ditch its 2.5 for a new 1.4-liter turbo four.