The all-new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta makes its debut with a notably bolder design, increased interior cabin space and the newest technology offered in the premium class. The Jetta is one of the German manufacturer’s best sellers and the new model is designed with the American market in mind.
One of the most impressive offerings is not even on the car, it’s the transferable, six-year/72,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty. A lot of carmakers say they stand behind their vehicles, VW puts its money where its mouth is.
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. The all-new Jetta platform offers a comfortable ride, in addition to the extra interior room. The exterior is signature VW, featuring conservative sheet metal and lamp treatments.
The Jetta is available with only one engine, a 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder engine generating 147 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. Two transmissions are offered, a 6-speed manual and an 8-speed automatic. My automatic was impressive, with virtually no noticeable hitches during a week-long review.
With either transmission, the engine is rated at 30 miles per gallon in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg combined. Four driving modes are available: Normal, Sport, Eco, and Custom.
This is a quiet cab that offers big spaces for a compact. 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.
Volkswagen uses quality soft-touch materials and the craftsmanship is excellent. The S trim gets cloth seats, the SE gets leatherette seating surfaces, and the SEL Premium gets leather.
All Jettas get rearview cameras, and SE and above get dual-zone air, heated seats, keyless entry with pushbutton start, and a blind spot monitor.
Every Jetta also gets distinct ambient lighting in 10 colors.
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.
When it comes to connectivity, Volkswagen’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 is 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 outgoing car’s starting price. The SE starts 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.
Maybe the best news about the Gen-7 Jetta is that nearly every trim level costs less than the 2018 model.
This auto review was researched and written bySteinProContent Servicesand provided to the Sun-Times for publication