One of the major benefits of owning a VW vehicle is that the company doesn’t make major changes every couple of years. As a result, a new VW stays “current” for many years and since VW takes a conservative approach to styling, even models from two generations ago still look fresh as far as appearances go.
Even so, major changes must come along from time to time and 2019 is the year the Jetta model gets the all-new treatment. The Jetta is a huge seller for VW in North America, even in a world where SUVs and crossovers tend to dominate many markets. The car has always been perceived as a nicely sized, well-built, fun-to-drive product with modernistic, but not outlandish, design cues.
As most VW fans know, the Jetta is a sedan version of the Golf hatchback with similar running gear, but they seem to look quite different these days. It’s great that buyers can choose sedan and hatchback versions of this model and each bodystyle has its supporters.
As VW points out, the new Jetta offers bolder design, more interior space and plenty of new technology. The styling of the car includes some departures from VW’s usual approach but remains tasteful and appealing. The front-end treatment, in particular, represents some interesting design cues we haven’t seen in a VW sedan before.
The grille and front lighting are especially well done and integrate cleverly with the car’s bold bodyside sculpturing. This is a more sporty looking Jetta than we’ve seen in the past. Interestingly, the attractive cast alloy wheels are standard on this car, as is full LED lighting.
Jetta power is provided by a 1.4-litre TSI four-cylinder engine developing 147-horsepower, more than adequate for a car in this class. Buyers can choose 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmissions. With the automatic, there’s a stop-start system that turns the engine off at stoplights, traffic jams and the like. This seems a little worrying at first, but it’s totally reliable and the car will always start again when it’s time to go.
There are several trim options for this new Volkswagen but even the most basic is packed with features with the entry level model boasting a backup camera, heated front seats and a touch screen infotainment system in addition to many other items. In ascending order of equipment roster, these trim levels are Comfortline, Highline and Execline. Buyers can also opt for a $1,700 R-Line package which includes upgraded wheels, sport suspension, a blacked out grille, multi-function steering wheel and various other trim enhancements.
SPECS AT A GLANCE:
BODY STYLE: Four-door sedan
ENGINE: 1.4-litre, 4-cylinder
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic
PERFORMANCE: Zero to 100 km/h in approx. 8.5 secs
FUEL ECONOMY: 7-litres/100 km combined
PRICE: Starting at $20,995