2019 Volkswagen Jetta

 

Overview

The tried-and-true Jetta, now in its seventh generation, is all new for the 2019 model year with a more luxurious feel, lower pricing, improved components throughout, and more standard features. The car's length has been increased slightly to 185 inches (the longest in its class) and the interior has been completely redesigned with details that are both elegant and fun. On the SEL and SEL Premium trims, for example, Volkswagen introduces a first-time feature: interior ambient lighting with ten customizable colors.

Thanks in large part to its new sculpted hood design and redesigned taillights, the new Jetta looks sleeker than ever. Both the six-speed manual (available only on the base model) and the eight-speed automatic are new to the model and deliver the same mpg of 30 city/40 highway/34 combined. There are five trim levels: S, SE, R-Line, SEL, and SEL Premium; each comes with a transferable 6-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty.

 

Safety

The 2019 VW Jetta keeps its occupants safe with a full range of active and passive safety features, including a standard rearview camera and six air bags. A full steel safety cage, electronic stability control, anti-slip regulation, engine brake assist, electronic differential lock and the Intelligent Crash Response System all make the car exceptionally safe. Lane Assist and a blind-spot monitor with rear traffic alert are also available on lower-priced trims and standard on the higher ones.

 

Passenger Comfort/Cargo Space

While the base-level Jetta S comes with cloth upholstery, the higher trims receive upgrades, from leatherette in the SE, R-Line and SEL to leather in the Premium. All but the S feature a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and heated as well as ventilated front seats are available for the utmost in traveling comfort. Cargo space is plentiful, especially relative to other compacts; one highlight is the handy bin inside the padded armrest. The infotainment screen is angled slightly toward the driver for best ergonomics, and many cabin features can be adjusted via steering wheel-mounted controls.

 

Technology

All trims of the redesigned Jetta are equipped with VW Car-Net App-Connect, which can help you get help in an emergency, find nearby parking, and generate a "health" report on your vehicle's condition. When you're away from the car, you can use the app to check if you've forgotten to lock the doors; it will also send a text if you've left the sunroof open and rain is forecast.

Other standard technology features include Bluetooth capability with audio streaming, a USB port, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen sound system, which can be upgraded to an 8-inch system with voice control on the higher trims. Those higher trims also feature a sophisticated, high-resolution full-color instrument panel that you can customize to show the usual gauges, audio or phone tasks, trip information, or navigation.

 

Performance

The 1.4-liter turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine delivers 148 hp for a satisfyingly zippy ride. This generation's new and more efficiently designed automatic transmission has improved fuel economy slightly. The new six-speed manual transmission replaces a five-speed, but it is only available on the base model S, limiting the available options for those who prefer hands-on shifting.


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