30 Apr 2018

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Highlights:

  • Powerful 1.4 liter turbocharged 147HP engine
  • 6-year/72,000 mile warranty – transferable to subsequent owners
  • All new styling that fits on VW MQB platform
  • Base price starts at $18,545 – less than previous model
  • Aluminum- alloy wheels, App connected with full LED lighting standard
  • Driver Assistance Package (available on S trims) includes Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert and heated side mirrors for $450.

The all-new Jetta is a major step forward in the evolution of VW’s highly popular platform – the ninth generation for the high quality, great driving compact. With smooth styling, longer wheelbase and standard LED lighting, the car takes a step forward in elegance and efficiency. The new body knocks off 0.03 Cd of drag from the previous model for better looks, mileage, and styling. Available in five different levels from S to SEL Premium (and including an R Model) there’s a trim level for everyone.

Of particular note to VW owners, and other shopping for vehicles of this type, a new bumper-to-bumper 72,000 mile/6-year warranty, with transferability to subsequent owners will remove one of the challenges that have deterred some buyers. Knowing that German cars are often expensive to repair, this all-new warranty should be a major plus to Jetta sales. With a base price of only $18,545 and a Driver assistance package that adds many high-end safety features, that means the new Jetta can be purchased for under $20K (which is less expensive than 2018 models).

The 1.4-liter turbocharged engine (147hp/184 lb./ft. torque) is smooth with an impressive power band that will be more than acceptable to owners who have wished for a bit more power and torque. The 8-speed automatic that we tested exhibited butter smooth shifts and put the torque where we wanted it at all times. Mileage is quite good at 30-city/40 highway/34 combined as stated by VW.

Interior convenience is very impressive with state-of-the-art connectivity including Apple Car Play and optional BeatsAudio system (with 12-channel, a 400-watt amplifier with digital signal processing and nine speakers) that is truly excellent. The seating is very comfortable even after several hours behind the wheel and the Dual-Zone Climatronic auto climate control was one of the best we have experienced. All Jetta appointment levels include the MIB-II touchscreen infotainment system that uses a very reactive “capacitive touch” sensor making it very easy to operate. The SEL models feature an 8-inch touchscreen, 6.5-inch screen is found in other levels with the same new touch technology.

As for the stuff you can’t see, the Jetta now used the MQB platform – the same one used in the Atlas SUV – which means the ride is extremely smooth regardless of the terrain. Both the body and the chassis are made from “hot-formed” steel that delivers high strength and lightweight. The Jetta’ front strut-style suspension used lower control arms and long travel coil springs while a torsion beam rear suspension with telescopic dampers balance the ride. The key spec here is that the rear suspension that sheds 44 lbs of unsprung weight.

As for the fun suspension stuff, the Jetta R sports 17-inch Trenton aluminum alloy wheels with 225/45-17 all season tires. SE and SEL model use the “Rama Black” two-tone wheels and the SEL Premium uses Tornado Metallic wheels with 203/55-R17 all-season tires. No matter how you spell it, the wheel and tire packages are excellent. Electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering actually provides acceptable feedback to the driver and the 11.5-inch diameter front and 10.8-inch diameter rear disc brakes are more than excellent.

Packed with technology and wrapped in an advanced exterior design, the car is much more than just a youth-oriented vehicle – a stigma that has been its legacy over the years. While younger buyers will be attracted by the low price, the Jetta is all grown up an offers more than acceptable mileage, good looks and solid handling that anyone just looking for fun, reliable transportation (now backed with an amazing warranty) needs to consider.

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