2019 VW Jetta SEL Premium

2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Premium

2019 VW Jetta SEL PremiumTest Vehicle: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Premium

MSRP: $26,945, Price as Tested: $27,795
Overall NHTSA Rating: New, Not Yet Tested
MPG: 30 City / 40 Hwy
Should I add it to my car shopping list? Yes!

2019 Volkswagen Jetta Review

Pros & Cons What’s New
Near Audi like driving experience All new model for 2019
Excellent fuel economy. I got 41MPG hwy.
Beautiful styling
Bland old school German interior styling
Not as many standard features as some of it’s competitors

Q. Should I put the new Jetta on my car shopping list?
A. The styling is excellent and the driving characteristics closely match it’s luxury european cousin Audi. Highway MPG was excellent and the smaller turbocharged engine still performed very well around town. Yes! Put the Jetta on your car shopping list.

Exterior Styling 4.5 out of 5 stars
Interior Styling 3.5 out of 5 stars
Performance 3.8 out of 5 stars
Features 3 out of 5 stars
Safety 3.5 out of 5 stars

The Jetta has always felt like it was holding itself back and that is why it never felt like the ultimate car it could have been in its segment. The 2019 version of the Volkswagen Jetta promises to change that. Whether it truly does or if it is just a cosmetic facelift, let us find out.

A handsome exterior:

There is a marked improvement over the way this car looks. It looks a lot more aggressive and poised. The 17″ wheels give it a more stately appearance and the car as a whole seems to have more road presence. There is definitely an improvement when viewing this car from the side. The styling is aggressive but not over the top and the entire design layout flows quite beautifully. The rear of the car looks pretty decent too. It is the front that is a bit more decisive. While in the past, VW went for a rather conservative look, the 2019 Jetta features a more prominent grille and aggressive looking headlamps. This gives the car a meaner appearance and helps it to stand out from cars such as the Audi A3 and A4. The fog lamps and the accents around it are also quite easy on the eye and overall, VW has done a great job with the exterior looks and styling of this car.

How is it on the inside?

If you have owned or driven a Jetta before then this is where you will find the biggest difference. The interior of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is an awesome place to be i. The seats are supple and comfortable and long rides in this car do not get tedious or straining. The lighting is something that has been given extra attention and overall, there is a sense of refinement in the way everything looks and feels on the inside. The 10.3 inch digital instrument cluster seems high-end and gives all the necessary information you might need in a clear and crisp manner without being distracting. We especially loved the 8″ touchscreen for the infotainment system and it is one of the most intuitive and responsive systems we have seen. Everything is easy to manage and it is set up just right making it easy to operate. The ride comfort is pretty good with plenty of head and legroom both in the front and in the back. The one area that could have been better was in the storage space. This is a slightly larger car than its predecessor but the trunk space has gone down. There are also fewer storage cubbies. Having said that, whatever is available is more than adequate for most practical applications. If you are looking for one of the best interiors in this segment then the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta wins hands down. You and your family can travel in great style.

What is it like to drive?

This is the avenue where we had the biggest complaints with the Jetta’s of the past. Thankfully, Volkswagen has paid attention to the needs of their customers and have fitted this car with a punchy engine. The 1.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine is turbocharged and feels a lot more refined than the previous generation Jetta’s. Some might feel that 1.4 liter is too little for a car this size but this engine is quite powerful and responsive thanks to some clever engineering on the part of Volkswagen. Put your foot down on the throttle and the engine responds with an immediacy that you would normally not associate with an engine of this size. It is also quite great at short bursts of acceleration as it can reach its maximum torque of 184 lb-ft at just 1400 RPM. This makes it a very lively car and easy to drive around in heavy traffic and for overtaking. The top-end performance does take a hit but you will barely notice it until you are pushing the car really hard.

The steering is another area that has improved a lot. Compared to previous Jetta models, this car responds to steering input more precisely and this inspires confidence in the driver to have some fun. The suspension is just set up right offering plenty of feedback without sacrificing comfort levels. The steering is very precise and we were able to throw this car around corners with it sorting out the grip just right giving us the incredible feeling that it could be pushed even harder.

The 8-speed automatic gearbox is one of the better automatic gearboxes around and it always seemed to be on point making driving quite effortless. To sum it up, the way this car drives and handles was quite impressive.

What about safety features and the cost of ownership?

Volkswagen has never compromised with safety and the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is no different. You get a wide plethora of incredible safety features standard. The disk brakes are quite responsive and the ABS system on this car is quite intelligent and kept the car in control under varied conditions. The different collision-warning and avoidance systems also worked like a charm. The rearview cameras, Electronic Stability and differential lock all come together to create a car that is both easy and safe to drive. It allows you to have the confidence to push it quite hard but without crossing the limits and putting yourself or anyone else in the car with you at peril. The Jetta was always a safe car and the 2019 iteration improves upon that.

As far as the cost of ownership goes, it offers excellent bang for the buck. The model we tested with metallic paint option, automatic transmission, and the Titan Black Leather interiors costs $27,795 which is a pretty sweet deal. What sweetens the pot further is the presence of the smaller engine making it economical to run. It gives a combined fuel economy of 34 MPG which is actually quite mind-blowing in this segment and can result in plenty of savings in the long run. With warranty on par with what is offered by the best in the industry, owning the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta should be a hassle-free and rewarding experience.

Final verdict:

This one is a no-brainer. For under $30,000 you get a handsome looking car loaded with features while also being quite fun to drive. Any flaws are minor and stuff you can easily live with. In our books, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is a winner.

To help with your car shopping here’s a copy of the window sticker for our VW Jetta test vehicle. Click the following link to download a PDF of the 2019 VW Jetta SEL Premium window sticker price.pdf.

New Car Reviews, Sedans, Volkswagen, , , , , , ,

Written by Roadfly Charlie

Charlie is Roadfly’s founder and publisher, and was taught to drive by his father in a 1974 Porsche 914. That made poor Charlie a Porsche fanboy for life, and after driving a 911SC at 16, he bought and campaigned a variety of 944s at racetracks up and down the East Coast, earning awards and track records in his twenties. Charlie never really got over the car bug, and after a career in real estate development he founded the Internet media firm that became Roadfly. Charlie lives in McLean, VA with his wife and two daughters, and between the demands of family and business doesn’t have much time to play with cars anymore, excluding the machinery we review.

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