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New VW has lower cost than previous year


The all-new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers a handsome, bold design with more interior space and the impressive high-tech offerings that make it a joy to drive. Besides the newly implemented extension of the warranty from last year, the new seventh-gen Jetta’s best news is that it costs less than last year’s model.

The German automaker has been steadily winning back customer confidence after the diesel scandal created a road bump a few years ago and the huge success the new warranty brought has been a windfall for the brand. The 2019 Jetta comes with a transferable, 6-year/72,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty.

Trim Lines

Offered in S, SE, R-Line, SEL, and a new SEL Premium trim for 2019, the starting price of the 2019 Jetta’s base S trim with an automatic transmission is $19,345 ($18,545 manual), which is $300 less than the 2018 Jetta’s starting price.

Look for an SE starting at $22,155 ($90 less than 2018). Step up to the SEL trim, and you’ll spend $24,415, or $1,830 less than the 2018. The R-Line is for more adventurous drivers and starts at $22,995, and the SEL Premium starts at $26,945, or $700 more than the top trim level in 2018.

American Design

According the Volkswagen, the new model is designed with the American market in mind. The new-generation Jetta is longer, wider, and taller than the outgoing model. Officially, it’s a compact sedan, but it looks and feels much larger, which bodes well for consumers looking for more interior space on a compact price.

Aesthetically speaking, the Jetta has always been a handsome, though modestly styled, compact sedan. The VW style is conservative, though they may do more-with-less better than anyone els when it comes to distinct style. My tester featured 17-inch rims that gave it more of that “American” bold appeal (standard is 16-inch rims).

Cabin Comfort

Headroom in the front seats is 38.5 inches, while in the rear seat it’s 37.2 inches. Legroom in the rear seat is 37.4 inches. This falls into the better than average category and like I mentioned, it feels even larger than the actual dimensions.

Inside the cabin, you will get the expected quality levels of Volkswagen materials. Look for soft-touch materials and no hard plastics, something that really can change the level of comfort immediately. The S trim gets cloth seats, the SE gets leatherette seating surfaces, and the SEL Premium gets leather. My tester had outstanding leather seating surfaces with front seat heaters and power adjustments for the driver.

The Jetta’s available safety technologies include forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, rear traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and automatic high beam headlight control.


The Jetta is available with one engine, a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder delivering a respectable 147 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. There is a bit of turbo lag noted, but it is not an issue at any point, just noticeable when trying to jump out into traffic from a dead stop. Four driving modes are available: Normal, Sport, Eco, and Custom.

A 6-speed manual and 8-speed automatic are available. I tested the automatic and found it to be a pleasure to operate with seamless and quick shifts. With either transmission, the engine is rated at 30 miles per gallon city, 40 mpg highway, and 34 mpg combined.


The 2019 Jettas get rearview cameras, and SE and above trims get dual-zone air, heated seats, keyless entry with pushbutton start, and a blind-spot monitor. VW’s Car-Net system runs smartphone apps on the vehicle’s 8-inch display.

Car-Net, which starts with a six-month trial and then requires a subscription, offers remote vehicle access that can lock/unlock the doors, find your parked car, or check the fuel level. Also included are automatic crash notifications and emergency calls, roadside assistance, and stolen vehicle location assistance. Speed and boundary alerts can also be set for younger drivers. The Jetta delivers at every level in 2019.