Our Rides: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Premium
2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Premium

2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Premium

One of our favorite cars is all new for 2019.

The popular Volkswagen Jetta is a fixture in our community. For the past 39 years, the sedan version of the Rabbit/Golf has served us well, giving us a sporty-looking and -feeling car to be proud in. Each Jetta offered an air of affordable prestige—something that is German with all the trappings of upward mobility in a compact-sized package.

It is no wonder why we in the GLBT community continue to own Jettas. This new one should be no exception.

To find out more about the 2019 Jetta, we talked to Travis Brockman at Luther Burnsville Volkswagen to see how it will fit our lifestyle. But first, Brockman pointed out what the new Jetta was really all about.

“I would say that if you are looking for some of the best of value you can get out there, as far as bang for your buck is concerned, the Jetta would definitely be the way to go,” said Brockman. “In the compact class, it has more standard features than either Civic or Corolla, and also starts at a lower price point than the both of those. The fuel economy is amazing, and there’s plenty of options for you to be able to, you know, customize it to your liking as well.”

Travis Brockman with a 2019 Volkswagen Jetta R-Line

But, who is buying the new 2019 Jetta? Brockman told us that “it’s a huge spectrum of customers.” He cited one instance where a customer traded a very powerful Golf R for one, another swapped a Golf GTI coming off a lease for another. “He wanted something that was a little bit better on gas,” Brockman explains. “This [Jetta] gets up to 40 miles per gallon on the highway, so he decided to go with the new Jetta this time instead.”

Brockman also mentioned that both loyal customers and “conquests” (a term used in the automotive retail business of customers trading in a vehicle from another brand) have been taking delivery of the new Jetta. Brockman explains the reason why one should #BettaGettaJetta: “They’re going to definitely want to know about passenger room and cargo room, which is very important, and it’s got one of the largest trunks in its class. Obviously, they’re going to want to know about the warranty. I think they’ll want to to know about the standard features that it has over the other vehicles in its class. And probably safety, which it’s always been a top pick for safety. So, we’re continuing on still in that same direction.”

Brockman is perhaps right about the new 2019 Jetta. We really like its new look. From its larger front grille to the sculptured lines flowing to the rear, the Jetta is very contemporary and quite handsome. Our readers have pointed that the Jetta compares in design to the current Honda Civic, which is edgier compared to the Volkswagen.

Inside, the materials have been upgraded compared to the previous model, including soft touch areas above the interior’s belt line. We love the Digital Cockpit that came in our SEL Premium tester. This is a fully customizable TFT screen that encompasses more than just the instrumentation. Similar to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, you can bring in the navigation screen to full resolution, while you get key readouts in digits instead of dials.

Seating for four is achieved in a cabin that was increased over the last generation. Four average adults will have no problem enjoying the ride inside the Jetta. Plus, trunk space is very generous, with 14.1 cubic feet to stuff everything inside of it. There is a bit of a higher lip for roller luggage to manage, but the space itself goes deep. The rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split for longer loads.

Under the hood is a 1.4-liter turbocharged TSI engine. This 147 horsepower four-cylinder feels as it has much more power than the ratings tell us. Our tester has an 8-speed automatic transmission which was smooth and efficient. We averaged an astonishing 37.5 MPG in our care.

If there is one thing that stood out in the Jetta, it’s the suspension. Not only does the Jetta rides smoothly—not too taut nor too soft—it takes on corners with confidence and authority. The brakes are superb with excellent pedal feedback and feel. The steering system offers a solid turning radius with great wheel feedback.

The 2019 Jetta is also a great value in its class. Starting price for the S model with manual transmission is $18,545—about the same price as the outgoing 2018 S model. Our SEL Premium tester came with a sticker price of $27,795.

If there is one major reason to consider the Jetta above all competitors, it is the new People First warranty. Volkswagen warranties their 2019 Jetta for six years or 72,000 miles from bumper to bumper.

“[The People First Warranty] is going to cover all of your major components if something goes wrong with it in that timeframe,” explains Brockman. “One thing that I think is very awesome about this is that should you choose to finance your car for an entire six years and pay for it that entire time, you actually have the opportunity to have it under warranty all of that time, whereas most other cars typically, by the time you get to four years at the most, your warranty’s ending, and then you still may have another year or two that you’re paying a note on it.”

In other words, Volkswagen offers the absolute best new vehicle warranty in the automotive business. They also built a superb sedan that goes along with this warranty. The 2019 Jetta is the finest expression of a journey that has spanned four decades in engaging American customers to its most charming product. It will continue be one of our favorite sedans, too!

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