Spy Shots

Is this the next VW Jetta?

Spy shots seem to show an extended wheelbase and possible fastback design.

  • Image Credit: KGP Photography
One of our spy photographers caught Volkswagen testing out a mystery sedan in the desert. There are a number of reasons this is likely the next Jetta compact sedan, the most convincing of which is that the Jetta is way overdue for a redesign. But there are some parts of this car that seem out of place for a compact sedan. Before we start arguing one way or another, let's look at the car in detail.

Overall, it's a much more rounded, sleeker shape than current, square-shouldered, slab-sided VW sedans. The nose is fairly raked, and the roof has a bit of a fastback look, which is enhanced by the short rear deck. Both of these styling cues are shared with the new Arteon sedan. The grille looks larger and more prominent than most current VW cars. The greenhouse looks fairly spacious, with the glass area extending beyond the back door into the D-pillar. The wheelbase looks reasonably long, as well. These details seem to indicate that this car is significantly larger than the current Jetta.

So the question is, is this a Jetta, or is it something else? The Jetta is definitely the sedan in the VW line-up that's in most need of a redesign. The current model has been on sale with very few changes since about 2011. It also would make sense for the Jetta to expand in size, since the competition continues to scale up, particularly the Honda Civic. At the same time, this car really looks big compared to the modern Jetta. This almost looks Passat size. But the Passat just got a significant redesign for 2016, and with the launch of the Arteon, VW doesn't have any other midsize sedans waiting for an update. Here's hoping we get more photos of this vehicle soon, specifically with something in the frame to help judge scale.

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