Great looks, right price make Jetta R-Line a real winner


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The 2019 VW Jetta R-Line is a real winner.

If I had to tell you about this car in 30 seconds flat, I’d say: The new Jetta looks great, understated but with some character. It is very quiet and comfortable on the road. The interior layout is excellent. Handling and stability is as good as it gets at this price point.

The engine is surprisingly punchy. It’s also got a great selection of tech & features for a car in this class.

In general, the 2019 Jetta is slightly longer, wider, and taller than the outgoing model, with a longer wheelbase and shorter overhangs. The exterior styling is more distinctive, with sharp character lines, a larger grille, and a much larger presence on the road. There’s more room and comfort for front passengers, though the trunk is slightly smaller this time around.

But if you got to pick among the five trim levels, the Jetta R-Line could be the way to go. I had a great time in my test vehicle, which fashioned an exciting habanero orange metallic exterior with a storm gray and black leatherette interior.

This year’s model adds a lot of desirable features to the base Jetta S such as simulated leather upholstery, heated seats, a sunroof and 17-inch wheels. But I really like that the R-Line has a blacked-out front grille that’s more visually appealing than the ungainly chrome piece.

The interior design is certainly more modern. The Jetta’s lower trim levels come with a 6.5-inch infotainment screen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The more expensive trim levels get a larger 8-inch screen plus VW’s Digital Cockpit, which is a fully digital and customizable gauge cluster.

Digital instrument cluster and infotainment unit are incredible and very easy to use. Ambient lighting is very nice and gives the interior a warm atmosphere.

For power, the Jetta continues to come with a turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-four (147 horsepower) that is connected to either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is reasonably quick for the class, and the EPA estimates you’ll get 30 mpg city and 40 mpg highway, which is slightly better than last year. A sportier GLI variant is also available.

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is a compact sedan that’s available in five trims. The base S aims to undercut its competition with a lower price point without sacrificing features. The SE model adds more convenience features, while the R-Line has similar features but with different styling elements. The SEL and SEL Premium trims add enough tech to turn the Jetta into a mini luxury sedan.

But if you want a slightly different look, again, opt for the Jetta R-Line. It has similar equipment to the SE, but it rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and replaces the chrome grille and mirror caps with gloss-black pieces. A unique rear bumper finishes the look. On the inside, contrasting stitching on the steering wheel and R-Line badges remind you of your purchase. To help improve the Jetta’s traction when powering out of turns aggressively, VW’s XDS, an electronic differential lock, is standard on the R-Line only.

Frankly, the Jetta provides the best bang-for-the-buck compared to the others I have tested. My vehicle came in at a respectable $24,140.

Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at

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