Two of the oldest sedans competing out on the market are appearing in totally revised and updated incarnations at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. One of them is the venerable Volkswagen Jetta, now built on the excellent MQB platform for the 2019 model-year.
“With its combination of great technology, fuel-efficient drivetrains, sporty styling, upscale interior and amenities, and fun-to-drive nature, we expect that the Jetta will make a huge splash in the compact sedan market when it goes on sale.”
- Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen
Longer, larger and higher on the road than its predecessor – all of which translates into increased room inside – the 2019 Jetta has evolved not in any drastic way, but definitely with class. Its lines are sharper, the grille more imposing. The addition of chrome and of standard LED lights adds an extra dose of style, while the slanted roof line gives the Jetta a coupe-like profile – a trend we can now safely say is firmly entrenched in the industry.
The materials used inside the cabin have been upgraded over the last Jetta; most notable among them, new trapezoidal design elements, updated seat and door coverings and ambient lighting with a choice of 10 colours. Comfort levels can be boosted with addition of available items like automatic dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, driver seat memory and leather seating. The redesigned centre console has a storage compartment that can accommodate an iPad.
Information is displayed on a screen at the top of the centre stack, and in some versions on a fully digital display behind the steering wheel (dubbed the Digital Cockpit). Fun fact, four different driver profiles can be configured and saved, so you won’t need to reprogram whenever another family member uses your Jetta.
Thanks to Volkswagen’s App-Connect system, you can use your multimedia interface of choice: Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or MirrorLink. Music lovers, meanwhile, will be glad to know that the new Jetta comes with an available 400-watt BeatsAudio system.
In regards to safety and drive assist systems, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers a backup camera, forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitor, rear traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, high beam control and lane departure warning, as well as a class-exclusive automatic post-collision braking system that helps prevent a second impact right after an collision.
Lastly, the 1.4L direct-injection turbo engine delivers 147 hp; this is a modest output in itself but the key figure to remember is the 184 lb-ft of torque it provides, unmatched in its category. The base 6-speed manual transmission can be replaced by an 8-speed automatic version with stop-start functionality that improves fuel economy.
Expect to see the new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta at dealerships starting this spring, including the sportier-looking R-Line version. Though Canadian prices have not yet been announced, we do know that in the United States it will come with a lower sticker price than the previous Jetta.