6 things to know about the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

April 13, 2018

As buyers put their money on crossover SUVs rather than sedans in the game of new-car roulette, the 2019 VW Jetta hopes to be more than just a dapper, quiet observer on the sidelines.

The latest Jetta is a mild-mannered four-door that does many things well, which may make it highly appealing to those not sold on high-riding crossovers. We can’t blame you if you fall into that camp.

MORE: Read our 2019 Volkswagen Jetta review

After driving the 2019 Jetta, we found many things worth knowing. Six are presented here.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Enlarge Photo

1. Fully equipped, it gives some Audis a run for the money.

At around $19,400, the base Jetta S is a decent value. Another $8,000 is hardly chump change, but it buys a lot more car. The range-topping Jetta SEL Premium counts among its feature set a slew of safety gear such as automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control; heated and cooled front seats wrapped in leather, Beats-branded audio; a panoramic moonroof; adjustable ambient lighting; an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; and, most impressively, a 10.25-inch TFT screen with configurable software that takes the place of conventional gauges.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Enlarge Photo

2. It’s not quite a Volkswagen Golf with a trunk.

Even if you can’t see it, the Jetta’s switch to VW’s modular architecture means it’s far more rigid than the outgoing model. That big step forward is offset slightly by its downgraded rear suspension, a low-tech torsion-bar setup that means the Jetta lacks the handling poise of the delightful Golf.

Moreover, the American-market Golf’s 1.8-liter turbo-4 has been shelved in favor of a frugal, tame 1.4-liter turbo-4 that puts out a modest 147 horsepower.

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