For the 2019 model year, VW revamped the popular Jetta, which is now in its seventh-generation. Not only does it have an extra dose of styling thrown in, but the 2019 Jetta also rides on VW’s excellent MQB platform. Does the 2019 VW Jetta have what it takes to compete against other popular compact sedans, like the Honda Civic, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla?
For starters the 2019 VW Jetta has grown in size, since it’s longer, wider and taller the previous Jetta. The bigger footprint translates to more interior volume. On the outside, VW describes the 2019 Jetta with terms like “bolder” and “sculpted” to describe the Jetta’s new look. While its exterior is definitely bolder than the last generation Jetta, the 2019 Jetta still doesn’t stand out as much as the Honda Civic. The 2019 Jetta’s look is a bit more restrained.
Inside the 2019 Jetta’s more spacious interior is more stylish with higher quality materials. From the driver’s seat you’ll appreciate the fact that its dashboard is slightly angled towards the driver. The dashboard also comes standard with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, but an 8-inch touchscreen is available on higher trim levels. The Digital Cockpit with its 10-inch digital screen can also replace the traditional gauges, which not only looks cool, but is customizable.
Audiophiles will also be excited about 400-watt BeatsAudio system. Plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility has also been added to the 2019 Jetta.
As of right now the VW Jetta is only available with one engine, a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder with 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque. The four-cylinder engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. As you can expect, the 2019 Jetta’s driving performance comes up a bit short compared to the more powerful versions of the Honda Civic and Mazda3. If you want a sportier Jetta, the next-generation Jetta GLI is reportedly going to debut in a few months at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Around town the Jetta’s 1.4L engine has more than enough power for most situations, but try to push it hard and you’ll realize quickly that the engine is geared more towards comfort and efficiency than sport. The good news is that the four-cylinder is rated at 30/40 mpg with the manual and 30/39 mpg with the automatic transmission.
While the Jetta’s engine is clearly tuned more for comfort than sport, the same can be said about its suspension and steering. Its suspension is softly tuned, which helps it float over bumps and annoying potholes, but once the road gets fun, the Jetta’s suspension responds with too much body roll. Part of this can be blamed on the torsion beam rear suspension. It’s too bad the 2019 Jetta doesn’t get the same rear multi-link suspension as the Golf, but there’s a big reason – cost. The Jetta’s steering is also a bit light, but it is quick.
A larger interior and more stylish exterior aren’t the only big selling points with the 2019 Jetta. VW has managed to pack more features in the 2019 Jetta and at the same it also lowered the starting price. The 2019 Jetta comes standard with LED headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an electric parking brake and automatic headlights. The 2019 Jetta is offered in S, SE, R-Line, SEL and SEL Premium trim levels. The base Jetta S starts at $19,440 including the destination fees.
The 2019 VW Jetta is a significant improvement over its predecessor with its more stylish exterior and larger interior with higher quality materials. VW also made the 2019 Jetta a better value than before, “Betta Getta Jetta”.