Volkswagen Jetta becomes more sensible and boring for 2019
Golf was doing well in the markets, and VW thought that there is a need to cater to the people who want that three-box design sedan, so they launched the Jetta in 1979. It quickly became popular due to its tank-like build quality and fuel-efficient engines and is still doing well in the US markets, giving the competition a run for their money. Now, Volkswagen has launched the Jetta Mk7 (that’s the 7th generation), in order to renew the interest of the people in the ‘People’s car’.
Driving and Performance
Under the hood is a lively 1.4-liter inline 4-cylinder turbocharged engine which produces 147-hp and 184 lb.-ft. torque. This helps the Jetta in achieving an EPA rated 40 mpg on highways. This car now features all-new underpinnings and a new platform (MQB) as well, which is excellent for improving the handling and lending the car stability under cornering, braking, and at speed. 1.4-liter engine of Volkswagen Jetta is mated to 8-speed automatic which is quick to shift, helping this car achieve a time of 7.6 secs to reach 60 mph. Despite being a small displacement engine, it surprisingly quick off the line with minimal turbo lag.
Ride quality is very comfortable, thanks to its compliant suspension that absorbs most of the road imperfections. However, a few bigger bumps can be felt in the cabin, but it isn’t a major problem. Seems like suspension doesn’t have enough resilience to keep impacts at minimal which also impacts the refinement of the car. It’s a very quiet car, with well-isolated road and tire noise. Still, at high speeds, wind noise becomes very noticeable.
You might see the Jetta as a bland car from outside, but look closely and you will see fit and finish levels that aren’t available on other cars in this price range. The slanting chrome grille and LED DRL’s look elegant. The body panels are simple and clean, and straight lines follow through the car which is why this is a timeless design. There are 16-inch or 17-inch alloys available, depending on the variants you choose.
At the rear, the design seems fine to look at and is a straight uplift from older generations Audis. The dual exhaust at the rear is surrounded by bits of chrome, which looks very premium. LED Headlights are standard across variants which gives Jetta a unique look but what’s makes Jetta a sophisticated one are the LED projectors headlamps on the higher trims with halo-effect DRL’s.
The latest model of the Jetta now gains significantly more features and all the latest driver techs. Jetta now gets Audi’s high-tech digital cockpit once you choose to go for SEL. It replaces the conventional analog meters and puts up a 10-inch screen. The trim which is a bit low on features, if compared to Audi’s virtual cockpit, but it doesn’t matter.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard across the range, and the base infotainment system doesn’t sound good too good. Upgrade to higher trims and you get the beats audio system which is actually best in the business.
There is enough legroom and headroom at the back and passengers will not be exhausted on those long weekend trips. Two adults and a child are best suited for the rear but one can manage a third occupant if the body build is not much heavy. The cargo space is nice at 14.1 cubic feet which can easily accommodate those suitcases for your weekend trips.
Safety is not an option when it comes to VW. All trims of Jetta are equipped with 6-airbags, ESC, a backup camera, a post-collision braking system, which essentially holds the break if it senses a vehicle is hit. Move to higher trims and you will also get adaptive cruise control with a stop-start assist, auto high beam headlights, and active lane control.
The NHTSA is yet to review the 2019 Jetta but IIHS said that the Jetta earns "Good" marks in all of its instrumented crash tests, but its headlights aren't up to the mark. As a result, it's not Top Safety Pick-rated.
In an era when Toyota is making an effort to make its cars more engaging to drive, Volkswagen is moving from it, which is ironic since VW was known for building driver’s cars, and Toyota sensible but boring ones. For 2019, Volkswagen Jetta price starts at $18,745 which clearly states that the new Jetta is no longer a “budget” sedan. Instead, it’s an easy-going car that piles on the room, comfort, ease of use, modern connectivity, and upscale features. Whatever the case may be, the 2019 Jetta is definitely worth consideration.