The all-new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta just hit the floor at the North American International Auto Show and, like all VW’s, there’s a lot here for your hard-earned dollars. How many dollars, you ask? Well pricing starts at $18,545, which is less than the outgoing model and that includes a 6-year/72,000-mile warranty. And that’s just the start of what’s new for 2019.
As Volkswagen unveiled the 2019 Jetta in Detroit, it’s worth noting the car is one of the world’s most successful sedans. VW has sold more than 17 million of these little guys worldwide since 1979, 3.2 million of those in the United States alone. The new for 2019 Jetta gets a bolder design, more interior space, and new technology. The wheelbase is longer at 105.7 inches and the sedan is, overall, wider and taller than the outgoing model. There is more interior space over the previous design as well, a benefit of the size increase.
Styling & Design
The exterior design marks an evolution in the Jetta’s design DNA, with modern lines and a refined appearance. The front grille is large and sharper body lines exude a bolder character. There’s more chrome along with standard LED lighting for a premium feel. A sloping roof line creates a sportier, coupe-like profile without compromising the usability of the rear seat.
On the inside, the fully redesigned interior combines the requisite high-tech features with everyday usability and a more refined fit and finish, according to VW. There are high quality soft-touch materials throughout and the new trapezoidal design elements aim to give the vehicle an upscale, yet modern feel. The 2019 Jetta wears new fabric colors and features new designs for the seats and door trim; there is even 10-color, customizable wrap-around ambient lighting as an option. Fancy!
The cockpit is, of course, driver-oriented and features an infotainment screen located high in the dashboard, so all vehicle information is easily accessible to the driver. Every Jetta presents standard Driver Personalization with up to four driver settings. Dependent on the trim level you choose, customizable features include driver seat memory, driver assistance system preferences, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit arrangement, ambient lighting color, radio presets, navigation view, and more.
There are available heated and ventilated front seats, power driver’s seat with memory functionality, leather seating surfaces, and dual-zone Climatronic automatic climate control. A new center storage console is large enough to fit a standard iPad. That’s a nice touch.
Jetta SEL and SEL Premium models feature the standard, aforementioned Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display, offering a reconfigurable area of key data and the ability to place navigation data, front and center, for easy viewing. Volkswagen’s Car-Net system provides a complement of connected vehicle services, including compatible smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, AndroidAuto, and MirrorLink. The new Jetta is the first VW in the U.S. to offer an available Pete-Townshend-deafening 400-watt BeatsAudio system.
And since this is 2019 we’re talking about, there’s tech and safety stuff all over the new Jetta. A rearview camera comes standard. Other available features include Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, High Beam Control, and Lane Departure Warning.
Power & Performance
Motive power is provided by Volkswagen’s 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-injected TSI engine. Said plant puts out 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque. The power is put to the front wheels via a new standard six-speed manual transmission, with an eight-speed automatic transmission as an option on the base model but standard on higher trims. Automatic transmission models come standard with a Start/Stop system for better fuel efficiency.
Availability & In Person
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta comes in four trim levels: S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium. It should arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers by the second quarter of this year. And gearheads rejoice, because an R-Line trim will join the lineup with sportier styling, exclusive interior and exterior design elements, R-Line badging, and the XDS electronic differential. The 2019 Jetta is on display at the North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center, downtown Detroit. The show officially opens to the public on Saturday, January 20th.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format.