Volkswagen's Jetta was the subject of a major redesign for the 2011 model year and since then its sales have taken off. A cut in price at that time probably helped as well.
Now there's another reason for buyers to consider Volkswagen's compact sedan: the Jetta Hybrid.
In typical VW fashion, the Jetta Hybrid takes a different approach from other hybrids. It's 1.4-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine is turbocharged, making the car the world's first turbocharged hybrid to be put in production.
Its 150-horsepower direct-injected engine combines with a 27-horsepower electric motor to provide what VW describes as an elegant balance of power, efficiency and cleanliness.
The company says the Jetta Hybrid will accelerate from 0-to-97 km/h (0-to-60 mph) in 8.6 seconds, which is quicker than the hybrid norm.
Power from both the engine and the elecric motor is routed through a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG).
As a means of demonstrating its performance potential, a Jetta Hybrid set two world speed records on the Bonneville salt flats, in Utah, eatlier this year.
From initial start, the Hybrid can be driven in pure electric mode at speeds up to 70 km/h. When either battery charging or additional power is needed, the gasoline engine is engaged via the vehicle's automatic start-stop system, which is a major factor in reducing fuel consumption in stop-and-go driving.
Aerodynamic improvements also play a role in the Hybrid's efficiency. They include a Hybrid-specific air intake and a rear decklid spoiler, resulting in a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.28.
Inside, a "Power Meter" replaces the traditional tachometer and shows the driver's present-state level of driving efficiency. Additional information is provided by an "ePower meter" in the instrument cluster and on the radio/navigation screen, which can also display the drive condition.
When it arrives in Canadian dealerships this winter, the Jetta Hybrid will be available in Trendline, Comfortline and Highline trim levels, each reflecting a different level of equipment. Canadian pricing will start at $27,875.
We'll have a First Drive report on the Jetta Hybrid in the next few days.