Since 1979, Volkswagen has sold more than 16 million examples of the Jetta worldwide. A healthy 3.2 million of those cars were sold in the U.S. alone. But as the German marque moves towards a lineup more focused on tech, the outgoing Jetta was well overdue for an update. Thankfully, Detroit will see the sleek seventh-generation make its debut.
Riding on VW’s award-winning MQB platform – the same structure that underpins cars like the Golf and Audi A3, among others – the new Jetta is completely rebuilt from the ground up. We were among the first to sample the new sedan with that updated platform, and the first impressions were, well, impressive.
New bones stretch the wheelbase of the Jetta to 105.7 inches (268.5 centimeters) long, compared to the 104.4 inches (265.2 centimeters) found on the previous model. Its overhangs are now shorter, its body is now taller and wider, and the increased exterior proportions gave way to a more spacious cabin. Specific volume figures will be released at a later date.
That new elongated exterior is highlighted by styling inspired largely by the Arteon and I.D. concepts. Overall it gives the Jetta a more modern, more upscale-looking fascia. A larger grille pairs with sharper body lines and a sloping roofline. LED headlights come standard – but the new look isn’t just limited to the exterior.
The Jetta’s cabin is fully redesigned, and gains more than few added comforts. High-quality soft-touch materials are littered throughout, and come accented by new trapezoidal design elements. Fabric seat color and design options are now more plentiful, and paired with 10-color ambient lighting, it makes the whole cabin customizable.
The upscale interior gives way to plenty of tech, too. Opt for the SEL and SEL Premium models, and the Jetta comes standard with a Digital Cockpit display. The new interface can be reconfigured largely to the driver’s preferences, giving them a view things like navigation, or vehicle settings, directly in the speedometer display.
Pay a bit extra, and VW will add on an entire suite of safety systems. The Jetta gains premium features like forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink come standard, and pair directly with VW’s Car-Net infotainment system.
Under the hood, the new Jetta is powered by the same 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-inject TSI engine found in the outgoing model. For 2019, though, it's slightly down on power – producing 147 horsepower (109 kilowatts) and 184 pound-feet (249 Newton-meters) of torque, compared to 2018's 150 hp (111 kW) and 184 lb-ft. But don't worry, a more powerful GLI version is coming.
Power is sent to the front wheels exclusively via a new standard six-speed manual transmission, but buyers can opt for the new eight-speed automatic with standard stop/start technology if they so choose. The eight-speed gearbox will come standard on higher trim levels, with no manual option.
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will be available in four different trim levels at launch: S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium. An R-Line trim will eventually join the lineup, adding on sporty elements like minor exterior restyling, exclusive interior and exterior design elements, appropriate badging, and an XDS electronic differential.
The 2019 VW Jetta starts at $18,545, and will go on sale later in the year.
Live Photos: Patrick Hoey / Motor1.com
Gallery: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta
Today, Volkswagen of America, Inc., unveiled the all-new 2019 Jetta at the North American International Auto Show. The Jetta is one of the world’s most successful sedans, with more than 16 million models sold worldwide since it was introduced in 1979: more than 3.2 million of those vehicles have been sold in the United States. Now based off the award-winning MQB platform, the 2019 Jetta offers bolder design, more interior space than the outgoing model and new technology.
"The Jetta has long been Volkswagen’s best-selling vehicle in the United States,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen, “and we expect that this all-new car will continue to resonate with buyers in the compact sedan class. With its combination of greattechnology, fuel-efficient drivetrains, sporty styling, upscale interior and amenities, and fun-to-drive nature, we expect that the Jetta will make a huge splash in the compact sedan market when it goes on sale.”
The Jetta is based on Volkswagen’s Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture. Compared with the current car,the new Jetta grows outside in every direction. It offers a longer wheelbase—105.7 inches compared to 104.4 inches—with shorter overhangs, and is longer, wider and tallerthan the outgoing model. The increased exterior proportions add up to more interior space than the previous car as well. Outside, the all-new Jetta marks an evolution in Volkswagen’s clean and timeless design DNA, with modern lines and a refined appearance. The combination of large front grille and sharper lines exudes a bold character, while the addition of more chrome and standard LED lighting lend a premium feel. A fast sloping roof line creates a sportier, coupe-like profile without compromising the usability of the rear seat.
Inside, the Jetta’s fully redesigned interior combines high-tech features with everyday usability and refined fit and finish. High quality soft-touch materials throughout and new trapezoidal design elements give the vehicle an upscale, yet modern feel. The 2019 Jetta sports new fabric colors and designs for the seats and door trim as well as optional 10-color customizable wrap-around ambient lighting. To keep occupants comfortable, Jetta will offer available heated and ventilated front seats, power driver’s seat with memory functionality, leather seating surfaces, and dual-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control. A new center storage console is 5-liters—large enough to fit a standard iPad.
The driver-oriented cockpit features an infotainment screen placed high in the dashboard, to make all vehicle information easily accessible to the driver. Every Jetta offers standard Driver Personalization with up to four driver settings. Dependent on trim, customizable features include: driver seat memory, driver assistance system preferences, temperature, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit arrangement(if equipped), ambient lighting color,radio presets, navigation view, and more. Jetta SEL and SEL Premium models feature a standard Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display, offering drivers a reconfigurable display of key data and the ability to position navigation data front and center for easy viewing. The available Volkswagen Car-Net® system provides a suite of connected vehicle services, including standard App-Connect technology that offers compatible smartphone integration with the three major platforms—Apple CarPlayTM, Android AutoTM and MirrorLink®. The new Jetta is the first Volkswagen in the U.S.to offer an available 400-watt BeatsAudio® system.
The Jetta’s technology upgrades extend beyond the cabin to include a comprehensive suite of available driver assistance technology. A rearview camera comes standard and available features include: Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert; Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), upgraded for use in stop and go traffic; High Beam Control (Light Assist); and Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist), which actively helps the driver steer the car back into its lane should the vehicle start drifting into another lane without using the turn signal.
In addition, the 2019 Jetta offers a combination of both passive and active safety systems that are engineered to meet or exceed current crash regulations. These systems include the class exclusive Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. The new Jetta will continue to be powered by Volkswagen’s 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine, making 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the highest in the compact sedan class. The power is taken to the front wheels via a new standard six-speed manual transmission, with an eight-speed automatic transmission optional on the base model and standard on higher trims. Automatic transmission models come standard with a Start/Stop system designed to improve fuel efficiency. This technology stops the engine during idle when the brake pedal is held (such as when waiting at a stop light). When the brake pedal is released, the engine restarts.
Every Jetta model will come with the People First Warranty, America’s best bumper-to-bumper new vehicle limited warranty. The warranty provides coverage for six-years or 72,000-miles (whichever occurs first), and the warranty can be transferred to subsequent owners throughout the remainder of its duration. The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will be available in S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trim levels and is expected to arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the second quarter of 2018.An R-Line trim will join the lineup at launch and features sportier styling, exclusive interior and exterior design elements, R-Line badging, and the XDS® electronic differential.