Just a year after introducing a vibrant new turbocharged gasoline engine to its lineup, Volkswagen has given a new face to its top-selling Jetta sedan.  The upgrades to the 2015 VW Jetta include design tweaks inside and out, new technology to make the car safer, and aerodynamic optimizations that enable the 5-passenger compact sedan to be even more fuel efficient.  Diesel models have a new engine predicted to achieve up to 45 mpg.

More Aerodynamic Looks

Starting with the exterior, the 2015 Jetta features a restyled front and rear. The changes are not night-and-day compared to the outgoing model, but meaningful enough to add more flair. Thanks to a redesigned 3-line grille and new bumper, the 2015 Jetta actually looks even more like a baby Passat. In back the trunklid, taillights, logos and bumper are also updated. The changes are meant not only to keep VW's compact sedan looking fresh, but to increase fuel efficiency thanks to more aerodynamic shapes. The new VW Jetta joins the crowd of vehicles using radiator shutters to increase fuel efficiency by automatically opening and closing to maintain optimum operating temperature and reduce drag. Stay tuned for official mileage estimates at a later date.

Also: Your Choices Among 2014 Compact Cars 

Inside, changes are less obvious, with updates mainly involving chrome trim pieces and an available color multifunction display between the speedometer and tachometer. More relevant is the available safety technology under this new VW's skin. For the first time, the 2015 Jetta will be available with blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and a frontal collision warning system. Not many years ago such preventative-safety systems were the domain of luxury cars. They have since made their way onto mainstream midsize sedans, and now are trickling into compacts, with the Jetta being among the first. 

Diesel Returns with More Power, Higher Mileage

There's also good news on the diesel front, an area where Volkswagen has long excelled. The 2015 VW Jetta TDI receives the new 2.0-liter EA288 4-cylinder turbodiesel that boosts horsepower from 140 to 150. More importantly, its stout torque figure of 236 lb-ft remains the same while fuel economy is increased. The new diesel model is estimated to return up to 32 mpg city/45 mpg highway. That compares with current figures of 30/42. Going forward, though, the Jetta's new diesel engine will require AdBlue, a urea fluid that reduces NOx and must be added at regular service intervals. Until now, VW's smaller clean-diesel engines have not required the additive, but that is changing with stricter emissions standards. In addition, the fluid is expected to help improve fuel economy as it works in conjunction with the Jetta TDI's new catalytic converter.  

Gasoline, Hybrid, and a Sharp New VW Wagon 

As for the gasoline engines, the current trio will remain for 2015: the aging 2.0-liter 4-cylinder used in base models, the fresh 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, and the range-topping 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder reserved for the performance-oriented 2015 Jetta GLI. Also returning for 2015 is the Jetta Hybrid, which in current form is rated at up to 48 mpg. 

Meanwhile, the Jetta SportWagen has been supplanted by the all-new 2015 VW Golf SportWagen, also making its debut at the New York International Auto Show. The updated 2015 Volkswagen Jetta sedan is set to go on sale in the third quarter of 2014, with pricing to be announced closer to its date with dealerships.

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