2019 Volkswagen Jetta Review


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2019 Volkswagen Jetta Overview

For 2019, Volkswagen is introducing a brand-new seventh-generation Jetta that promises to be the best yet.

It starts with an all-new body. Riding on the same modern platform as the Golf family, Tiguan, and Atlas, the Jetta’s dimensions have grown. It is wider and taller than the old model, and the wheelbase has increased from 104.4 inches to 105.7 inches. The front end, unlike previous small Volkswagens, has a giant hexagonal grille framed by a chrome brow and large flush-fitting headlights. The sides trade a straightforward three-box profile for a sleeker, coupe-like shape. The window profile is more windswept, and the rear echoes the front. Immediately, the car stands out as more substantial than much of its competition.

The interior is much like that of Volkswagen’s other recent products—full of irregular geometric shapes that add up to an orderly, cohesive design. The center stack is now drastically canted toward the driver, and there is clearly more space than before. Even the cupholders are octagonal instead of the usual circular. Volkswagen has also fixed one of its perennial weaknesses by growing the size of the new storage console to five liters. Some components, like the steering wheel and climate controls, remain unchanged.

Another carryover from the previous model is the turbocharged 1.4-liter inline 4-cylinder, now with 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels courtesy of a standard 6-speed manual transmission. An 8-speed automatic transmission and stop-start system is optional on the base model and standard for higher-level trims. Fuel economy has not yet been released, but Volkswagen expects it to increase over the 2018 Jetta.

As before, the 2019 Jetta comes in S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trims. There’s also a new R-Line trim that features sportier exterior styling and an electronic torque-vectoring program. Across the trim lineup, the Jetta presents plenty of competitive options: a panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled seats, a power driver’s seat with memory, a dual-zone climate control system, a 400-watt BeatsAudio system, two infotainment systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and navigation.

Then, there are features that truly set the Jetta apart. There’s a10-color ambient lighting feature that changes hues according to the driving mode, white for Normal, red for Sport, and blue for Eco. Drivers can select any one of the ten colors in Individual mode. The SEL and SEL Premium models are treated to the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, the same seen on the Golf R and upper levels of the Atlas and Tiguan. It replaces the entire instrument cluster with a large, high-resolution LCD that’s reconfigurable to keep important data front and center, including the navigation map, speed and driving readouts, and audio data. The Digital Cockpit also allows profiles to be stored for up to four drivers.

The Jetta is now among the safest cars on the road. A reversing camera and Volkswagen’s Automatic Post-Collision Braking System are standard; the latter applies the brakes after a crash to prevent the vehicle from causing additional accidents due to a loss of control. Optional features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and lane-keep assist.

With its attractive blend of handsome styling, increased accommodations, improved safety, and must-have features, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is poised to be a leader in the compact segment. Volkswagen will continue to offer its best-in-class 6-year, 72,000-mile full warranty in 2019, making the new Jetta a standout.


Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about them for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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