A roomy, stylish, and tech-laden compact sedan.

Volkswagen Jetta Review | CarMax

If you're shopping for a compact sedan, chances are that you're looking to find a roomy, stylish car with lots of technology features. The Jetta has been squarely focused on the task of daily driving since 1979. With the start of its seventh generation (2019 to present), the Jetta has been redesigned for those who value versatility, a roomy cabin, and a nice ride. The 2019 Jetta also includes a full array of convenience and driver assistance features. All of that is coupled with a timeless design that promises to stay fresh as the years — and the miles — roll by.

Here's what you'll find in this 2019 Volkswagen Jetta review:

Key Specs & Features

  • The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta features one powertrain: A turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine with a standard six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic transmission. The Jetta (manual or automatic transmission) gets 147 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque as well as an EPA-estimated 40 highway, 30 city, and 34 combined mpg.1
    Volkswagen Jetta Review: Engine | CarMax
  • As the first of the seventh generation, the 2019 Jetta is built on VW's Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform architecture. That gives it a longer wheelbase, wider track, and a shorter front overhang, all with a coupe-like profile. Since 2015, the MQB platform has been used to build the VW Golf.
  • The 2019 Jetta's interior has been upgraded, with new fabrics, colors, and 10 adjustable ambient lighting colors.
  • The 2019 Jetta interior also has more head and shoulder room — 38.5 inches and 55.9 inches respectively — than the previous model (2011–2018, which sported 38.2 inches of headroom and 55.2 inches of shoulder room).
  • Volkswagen Jetta Review: Frontseat | CarMax
  • Trunk space is also ample, at 14.1 cubic feet with 60/40 split-folding rear seats across all trims.
  • All 2019 Jettas feature Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ smartphone integration through the Volkswagen Car-Net® connectivity system. Features available through Car-Net are divided into three areas: App-Connect (standard on all Jettas), Security & Service, and Guide & Inform (available on SEL and SEL Premium trims).

5 Reasons to Buy

1. The 2019 Jetta is all-new, on an all-new platform

The Jetta has been selling in the U.S. for seven generations — around 40 years — and has been VW's top seller for many of those years. But change is good and this year's version is all-new— built on automaker's MQB platform architecture. This gives the Jetta a longer wheelbase, which makes for a more enjoyable driving experience.

2. Technology is plentiful, and available on all Jetta trims

The base model VW Jetta S comes with a standard six-speed manual transmission. The Jetta S and SE trims get driver assistance technology features like Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), and Engine Brake Assist (EBA). Inside, there's Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Also standard on lower trims is a 6.5-inch touchscreen for the infotainment center. Higher-level trims get even more cool tech, like a digital display cluster and a larger touchscreen.

3. Lots of interior room for people and things

Volkswagen Jetta Review: Backseat | CarMax

The sixth-generation VW Jetta (2011–2018) already offered a large interior for a compact sedan and the 2019 model is even bigger. The 2019 VW Jetta boasts 38.5 inches of headroom, and 55.9 inches of shoulder room, compared to 38.2 inches and 55.2 inches in the 2017 model. Cargo room in the 2019 VW Jetta measures 14.1 cubic feet.

Volkswagen Jetta Review: Trunk | CarMax

4. Optional Car-Net expands connected capability

Volkswagen Jetta Review:Dash | CarMax

Car-Net is VW's connected-car technology, designed to provide owners varying levels of integration with personal devices, services, and access. For example, all 2019 Jettas get App-Connect – which controls services such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2019 Jetta SEL and SEL Premium models are equipped with Car-Net Security & Service. For an additional monthly fee, this includes features such as Automatic Crash Notification, Manual Emergency Call, and Roadside Assistance.

5. Great for a road trip

The 2019 VW Jetta is not a hybrid, but it's far from a gas-guzzler. The turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine gets an EPA-estimated 40 highway, 30 city, and 34 combined mpg.1 With a 13.2-gallon gas tank, that makes the Jetta a great road trip companion.

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What You Need To Know

2019 Volkswagen Jetta Trims

  • S: The base model features include a six-speed manual transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, a six-way manually adjustable driver seat, 6.5-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect, a USB port, Bluetooth®, and a four-speaker sound system.
  • SE: The Jetta SE adds an eight-speed automatic transmission, panoramic sunroof, leather-like upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium color multifunction display, and keyless access with push-button start.
  • R-Line: Additional standard features include VW's XDS® Cross Differential System, 17-inch alloy wheels, R-Line badging, black grille accents, and side mirrors.
  • SEL: 16-inch black alloy wheels are standard on the Jetta SEL, along with rain-sensing windshield wipers, driving mode selector, and adaptive cruise control. Inside, standard equipment includes 10-color-adjustable ambient lighting, an eight-speaker BeatsAudio® sound system, eight-inch infotainment display, and a digital gauge cluster called Digital Cockpit. There's also a second USB port.
  • SEL Premium: Jetta SEL Premium buyers get 17-inch metallic alloy wheels, a rear sport valance, leather interior, six-way power-adjustable driver seat with memory, adjustable lumbar support, and heated/ventilated front seats

2019 VW Jetta Available Colors

The 2019 VW Jetta exterior paint colors include:

  • Black
  • Deep Black Pearl Metallic
  • Habanero Orange Metallic
  • Platinum Gray Metallic
  • Pure White
  • Sage Green Metallic
  • Silk Blue Metallic
  • Tornado Red
  • White Silver Metallic

2019 VW Jetta Available Interiors

The 2019 VW Jetta interiors include:

  • Storm Gray Cloth
  • Titan Black Cloth
  • Black V-Tex Leatherette
  • Dark Beige V-Tex Leatherette
  • Storm Gray V-Tex Leatherette
  • Titan Black and Storm Gray V-Tex Leatherette
  • Storm Gray Leather
  • Titan Black Leather
  • Titan Black and Dark Beige Leather

Similar Vehicles

Honda Civic: Sporty and Practical Fun

Most years, the Honda Civic is at or near the top of the best-seller list for compact cars. The reason? For around 50 years, the Civic has been a sporty and practical option for just about anyone in the compact sedan market. Recently redesigned for the 2016 and 2017 model years, it's also more stylish than ever. The Civic comes in a plethora of choices. For example, the 2019 model has four vehicle types, six trim configurations and two engines: A 2.0L four-cylinder engine that makes 158 hp, or a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 174 hp. Regardless of the model year, just about any Civic offers fun and style - from the coupe to the sedan, or the Civic Si.

Toyota Corolla: Compact and Stylish

Say the words “compact car" and you will probably picture a Toyota Corolla. That's how long this practical econobox has been motoring around the streets of America. And while it may not provide a racecar-like experience, it carries with it a reputation that our customers have enjoyed for years. The base 2019 Corolla L trim gets an EPA-estimated 28 city, 36 highway, and 32 combined mpg with an 1.8L engine.1 Over the years, the Corolla has offered pretty much this same recipe for compact car lovers with plenty of style and practicality.

Volkswagen Golf: Fun and Versatility

If you're looking for something practical and fun, try a hatchback. The VW Golf may be the perfect choice. Built on the same MQB platform as the 2019 Jetta, the Golf was most recently redesigned in 2015. Just know that if you test drive a 2019 Golf you might be smitten by its 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder engine — a powerplant that puts out 170 hp and 199 lb.-ft. of torque. No matter which model year you choose,though, you can count on a fun driving experience, combined with the versatility of a hatchback design.

Volkswagen Passat: Roomy with a Timeless Style

If a compact car is a bit to, well, compact, consider the VW Passat. It may just offer the right combination of midsize sedan room with a clean and simple design. There's also plenty of interior room for its class. The 2019 Passat is fairly heavy at 3,300 lbs., so consider opting for the Passat's 3.6L V6 engine over the base four-cylinder. The larger engine produces 280 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque to power this midsize sedan that lives large on the inside.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 VW Jetta offers something unique: a classic design, comfortable cabin, and an effective powertrain. Add to that a long list of useful technology features, the Jetta is clearly designed to help make the drive a pleasant experience.

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1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
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