Update: Filling in the final piece of the 2009 Jetta TDI sedan and SportWagen puzzle, Volkswagen today announced the pricing for the car's return to the U.S. At base prices of $21,990 for the sedan and $23,590 for the SportWagen, VW is likely to get a good response from U.S. buyers ready to make a change to a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Even with the higher relative price of diesel, and gasoline already over $4.00 per gallon in many areas, the EPA-certified fuel economy rating of 29mpg city and 40mpg highway is persuasive. Independent testing by AMCI found real-world results of 38mpg in the city and 44mpg on the highway were possible.

What, exactly, was done differently to the EPA tests, and over what sort of course the AMCI tests were conducted, was not revealed. Regardless, however, the EPA's figures are very good for a sedan with the size, performance and equipment specification of the Jetta.

Original: In a non-standard turn of events, Volkswagen has posted full details and several photos of the upcoming U.S.-spec 2009 Jetta SportWagen on its retail site without first holding a proper release. Nevertheless, both petrol and diesel versions of the car will be coming to the delight of enthusiasts and diesel-heads, and the three options packages available should suit a wide range of tastes.

Three engines are available in the new wagon: an inline five-cylinder 2.5L petrol engine rated at 170hp and 177lb-ft of torque, a 2.0L four-cylinder petrol unit good for 200hp and 207lb-ft of torque and a 2.0L turbodiesel turning out 140hp and 236lb-ft of torque. The five-cylinder engine lies at the heart of the S and SE models, while the SEL gets the sporty four-cylinder and the TDI gets the diesel.

Performance for the two petrol engines is peppy but not amazing, the SEL completing the dash to 60mph in 6.9 seconds and the slower S and SE taking at least 8.4 seconds. Both petrol engines are rated at 21mpg city and 29mpg highway, and as with the performance ratings, information on the TDI engine isn't yet available.

Interior and exterior features are at their most basic on the S, though it still includes standard roof railings, tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and air conditioning. The SE adds satellite radio, chrome accents and standard 16-inch alloy wheels among other options. The SEL finishes the transition to near-luxury with dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloys and leather seats. The TDI trim is a mix of the SEL and SE, with leatherette or plastic replacing all of the leather, a downgraded sound system, 16-inch alloy wheels, standard air conditioning and the removal of power seats being the primary differences.

A new option for all models is a huge panoramic sunroof. No standard sunroof/moonroof is available, so it's all or nothing. SE and higher models have the option of a DVD-based satellite navigation system, while all models can add rear side airbags, iPod adapters and upgraded wheels. All models can optionally be fitted with a six-speed Tiptronic transmission for an additional $1,100 fee.

Pricing hasn't been announced for the TDI model yet, but the petrol S starts at $18,999, the SE at $21,349 and the SEL at $25,990.

2009 Jetta SportWagen