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VW updates 2025 Jetta to boost sales of the brand's entry-level car

Volkswagen on Tuesday announced updates for its 2025 Jetta sedan to boost sales amid industry-wide affordability concerns.

The entry-level version of the Jetta with an automatic transmission will start at $21,995 when it goes on sale, expected by the end of the third quarter, the company said. That model will replace the current lower-priced model of the Jetta, which has a manual transmission and has seen limited sales since many drivers only know how to drive vehicles with an automatic transmission.

The changes come amid concerns around vehicle affordability and growing vehicle inventories following years of constraints due to the coronavirus pandemic and supply chain issues.

The Jetta's new starting price compares with the average transaction price of a new car sold in May of $47,455, according to Cox Automotive.  

Volkswagen Group of America CEO Pablo Di Si told CNBC earlier this year that he saw opportunities for the automaker to better leverage the Jetta in North America.

"Everybody has a history of VW, particularly on the Jetta," he said during an interview in February, citing a 60% increase in Jetta production in recent years.

In general, sales of cars such as the Jetta have fallen from historical levels amid the rise of crossovers and SUVs. But Jetta sales increased 24% last year to roughly 47,400 units in the U.S., making it VW's fourth best-selling vehicle in its American lineup.

The company also announced on Tuesday that the 2025 Jetta will feature tweaked exterior and interior styling as well as additional standard features.

The 2025 Jetta will come standard with a 1.5-liter, 158-horsepower turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, matched with a standard eight-speed transmission. A "GLI" performance model will