With the automotive industry going all-in on crossovers and SUVs, Volkswagen’s launch of the 2019 Jetta aims to prove that its compact passenger vehicle is a force to be reckoned with.
Jetta continues to be the company’s best-selling fleet vehicle in Canada, selling 3,375 units to fleets in 2017, considerably more than its relatives the Golf hatchback and Tiguan crossover. Looking at those numbers, VW is bucking the trend of relying on crossover and SUV sales at the expense of car sales.
VW is planning on continuing the growth of the Jetta by taking it back to its roots. No longer will the Jetta have a bare bones Trendline trim that is meant to have a low price and bring people in the door. Features, value, premium feel and lower cost of ownership are now priorities.
The new seventh generation Jetta (Mk7) is completely redesigned inside and out, with the exterior featuring a new front and rear fascia, grille, a more sloping roofline, hood, and side profile. LED lighting is the name of the game as Jetta gets standard LED headlights, taillights, and DRLs, with LED projector headlights also available.
Interior is now focused on the driver, providing a premium feel with soft touch materials and premium accents. The interior comes in five colour combinations (black, grey, beige, black/grey and black/beige), while the there are nine colour choices for the exterior (including blue, red, orange, grey, green, two blacks and two whites).
For 2019, the Jetta will be available a 1.4 litre turbocharged TSI engine, which was introduced on the Mk6 version. It offers 147 horsepower and 184 foot/pounds of torque while being mated to an eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission and a 50L fuel tank. Both transmission options have similar fuel economy, with combined numbers of 7.0 L/100 kilometres and highway of 5.9L/100km. In the city, the automatic performs slightly better at 7.8L/100km, than the manual at 7.9L/100km.
While the previous generation Jetta was one of the largest vehicles in the compact class, the 2019 version is even larger. Jetta is 4,702 millimetres long, 1,799mm wide, 1,458mm high, and has a wheelbase of 2,686mm. This translates into 399L of cargo volume, 978mm of front headroom (945mm in the rear), 1,044mm of front leg room (950mm in the rear), and 1,420mm of front shoulder room (1,372mm in the rear).
Features that are available on Jetta, showcase the move of the vehicle to a more premium experience. A digital cockpit 10.25” display in place of the traditional gauge cluster is available, as is an eight-inch touchscreen (a 6.5” display is standard). Also available is a panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated seats (heated seats are standard), remote start, ambient lights (10 colours available) and 400 watt eight-speaker with subwoofer BeatsAudio system (which takes the place of Fender audio in the Jetta). App-Connect is standard and offers Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink.
Jetta will be available with a driver assistance package which includes adaptive cruise control, front assist autonomous emergency braking, lane assist, and light assist featuring automatic high-beam control.
Jetta will come in Comfortline (which becomes the new entry-level trim), Highline, Highline with R-Line package, and Execline, each with an increasing level of features. Base level Trendline and Trendline+ trims have been discontinued and as a result base MSRP has increased.
Volkswagen Jetta has been VW’s best-selling fleet vehicle for a number of years, and the company hopes the redesigned Mk7 version will awaken that force going forward . With a move to more premium feeling vehicles, VW has a new hope that the features that customers associate with larger vehicles, but in compact form, will resonate with customers.
HISTORY OF THE JETTA
- Model year 1980 - First Jetta introduced
- MY 1983 - GLI version of Jetta introduced
- MY1985 - Mark II (second generation) Jetta introduced
- MY1993 - Mark III Jetta introduced, first version built in Mexico, VR6 model available
- MY1999 - Mark IV Jetta introduced, turbocharged engines available
- MY2006 - Mark V Jetta introduced, five-cylinder engine added, GLI offer with turbo engine
- MY2011 - Mark VI Jetta introduced, no longer based on Golf model, hybrid verison offered
- MY2019 - Mark VII Jetta introduced, available in North and South America and China