We’ve been fans of the Jetta GLI since our first drive back in 2013. In 2015, we enjoyed the practicality of the Jetta SE. Unfortunately, we had a bad experience in a TDI SEL the very same year. This time though, we found ourselves with the all-new 2019 Jetta SEL. After a week, we have come to realize there are great things on the horizon for VW.
The 2019 Jetta rides on the same platform as the Golf for the first time since the redesign of the MkVII. We took the new Jetta on a ride out to Syracuse and were impressed by the over 40 mpg that it returned as well as how great of a road trip car it was. The biggest improvements come in the handling and comfort departments. Quiet and comfortable is the name of the game, and we couldn’t think of any other competitor in this class that accomplishes it as well as the Jetta.
That significant fuel economy gain has a lot to do with the introduction with a smooth shifting eight-speed automatic now paired to the 1.4L turbocharged four cylinder with 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. It isn’t interested in really hard acceleration and is definitely geared towards fuel economy. So if you’re looking for fun and only fun, the GTI is a better bet, or you can wait for the Jetta GLI variant.
Outside, VW’s styling has perked up as of late. The previous Jetta was starting to look dated, but this new model shakes off that feeling. It has a more pronounced style starting with a much larger and bolder grille. It is still easy to identify it as a VW, but the break from the bland is nice to see. The interior is a huge step up-market for the Jetta. Soft touch plastics and a large center touchscreen are the highlights. An available digital instrument cluster is also available, and we enjoyed it when we drove the Golf R earlier this year. The seats are soft and supportive and offer decent lateral support.
Our week with the Jetta was an eye opener. It has taken a large leap forward compared to the previous car in many ways. The new interior and revised exterior of the 2019 VW Jetta has now become the front-runner in its class. Now we wait for our chance with the GLI model.
|2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL
|As Tested MSRP||$25,310|