Despite the Crossover craze that has struck the American automotive market, there still remains a strong demand for sedans. In fact, although VW sells the Atlas and Tiguan crossovers in the U.S., the Jetta sedan remains the automaker’s best selling model even beating the more premium Passat as well as the Golf. Although the Jetta is among the best in its segment, rival automakers have been upping their game and it was time Volkswagen also did something to protect the Jetta’s share in the market. Although it has been a popular model in the U.S., many pundits dismissed the Jetta for its lack of true American appeal which the new 7th gen sedan seeks to get right. The new model is prettier, well equipped and offers more space for passengers and cargo, connectivity, and comfort. The new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is based on VW’s scalable architecture which has helped reduce costs.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta Exterior
The new VW Jetta exterior design is no longer anonymous courtesy of new revisions to a design that had become boring when compared to recent models from rivals and also from VW itself. However, although the new Jetta looks different from the outgoing model, the design is not revolutionary.
In terms of size, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is longer and wider.
The new model features a cleaner look and looks a lot like the Passat with angular lines on the front and rear fascias. The model also looks sportier and adding the R-Line package makes it much sportier than expected for a car in its class. The front fascia looks bolder and wears a huge grille which is flanked by angular LED headlights for an intimidating look. The bumper is sculpted and integrates large intake slightly atop the splitter and DRLs at the edges. LED headlights and taillights are standard across all trims which is great for a segment which favors halogen units to cut costs.
The flanks also look sporty with a design that blends short overhangs, a beltline that sticks out and a coupe-like roof.
The rear also looks sporty with a design that seems to have been lifted from the Audi A4. It features long, 2-piece taillights, a trunk-lid spoiler and a large license plate recess. The model also features huge exhaust pipes.
Base models ride on 16-inch alloy wheels but have an option for 17-inch rollers which are standard for higher trims. The wheels are wrapped in thick all-season tires.
The extended dimensions translate into a roomier cabin; the rear passengers will enjoy more legroom. The increased length also translates to better cargo space. The VW Jetta’s cabin is well trimmed; for upholstery, only the S trim features cloth seats, the SE features faux leather while the top-ranging SEL trim comes with real leather. The SEL seats are powered and provide lumbar support to offer more comfort. SE and higher trims feature front heated seats, automatic climate control as well as a sunroof. The models also feature soft materials on the upper dash for a more appealing look compared to many of its rivals.
The 2019 VW Jetta features numerous storage spaces such as a bin under the front armrest and pockets on the doors for water bottles. I, however, do not like the low dash vents that restrict the driver’s knee room. As for the infotainment, all grades except the SEL and SEL Premium feature a 6.5-inch touch-screen while the top trims feature an 8.0-inch unit. Models with the 8.0-inch screen also get the 10-inch display that supports the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit which puts all important information under the driver’s line of sight. It also has easy to use steering wheel shortcuts which help control the sound system.
All models feature Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay as standard; the top trims get a navigation system and the automakers Car-Net telematics system that enable emergency notifications, remote lock and unlock and keyless ignition.
As for driver-assist and safety systems, the Jetta features blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, as well as automatic emergency braking (low speed) as standard on SE and higher trims but optional on the S trim. The SEL and SEL Premium trims add a lane-keeping assist, a more dedicated emergency braking system and adaptive cruise control.
Engine and performance
All Volkswagen Jetta trims are powered by the same mill, a turbocharged 1.4 L, inline-4 that’s good for 147 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. The engine is good enough for daily commutes to and from the city. The engine is paired with the automaker’s new 8-speed automatic gearbox but those looking for more control can opt for a 6-speed manual gearbox which is offered on the S trim only. On all trims, the engine is EPA rated at 30 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg on combined drives. The sedan is also available in three driving modes Normal, Eco and Sport. The modes are accessed via the infotainment screen.
Price and release date
Sales of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta have already commenced; the base S trim with a manual transmission has a starting price of $19, 395 inclusive of destination charges while models with an automatic transmission start at $20,195. The range-topping SEL Premium fetches $27,795.
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta operates in a market with many rivals including the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Subaru Impreza, and Hyundai Elantra.