Volkswagen has come a long way from its earliest beginnings when the company was formed to build the first people’s car over 80 years ago.
When you think back at most of the cars that VW is known for making, it has always been small vehicles that fit between entry level Fords and the upscale Audi’s. From the beginning they have been perfecting this form factor so much so that many of the cars they introduced over 40 years ago have only needed periodic refinements rather than entirely new model replacements every six years or so.
For 2019, one of the tentpoles of the Volkswagen lineup, the Jetta, has been updated and redesigned — and I think it’s a hit.
One of the first things I noticed was the exterior design changes from previous generations. The Jetta has gone from a design that looked like a cheaper foreign car to something more regal and upscale.
I actually like this design more than the Jetta’s big brother, the Audi A3. The front grille of the new Jetta seems to be proudly wearing its VW badge accentuated by its luxury car lines and design. And if the chrome grille isn’t for you, there even is an option to have it blacked out. Nothing about the new design feels like it is too much or too little — everything is just right, as it should be.
Inside, one of the most impressive features of the interior is that the Digital Cockpit that has impressed me before in Audi, is the same system in the Jetta. The gauge cluster is just one large, high quality display that can be anything you want it to be. It also comes standard with Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto.
The design on the interior also is very high quality with soft materials and very comfortable seats. Space in the front is improved and feels like there is more room to breathe in the front. Rear legroom still is more than necessary for the occasional passenger. The trunk has 14.1 cubic feet of space and is very similar to that of competitors.
The sole engine of the redesigned Jetta is the 1.4-liter turbocharged four cylinder that produces 147 horsepower and 184 foot pounds of torque — and is able to go from 0 to 60 in just 7.6 seconds. The engine may not be blisteringly fast, but the fuel economy more than makes up for it. With an EPA rated 30 mpg city and 40 mpg on the highway, the new Jetta is suited for those long distance hauls just as much as it is at home in the city.
If you need any more reinforcement that Volkswagen is a “brand for the people,” then you need look no farther than its price. Starting at just $18,745 for the base S trim, you really would be hard pressed to find a better sorted out car with just as nice as an interior.
The other trim levels range from $22,395 to $27,695 before options and each are even nicer than the last, with the top-of-the-line SEL Premium capping it off. I was given an SEL trim, one below the SEL premium, and was very impressed for a car with a final price of $25,265. The new Jetta really has all you could ever need in a new car with all the creature comforts of a car that costs at least $10,000 more.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.