Our 2019 Volkswagen Jetta review uncovered impressive and intuitive technology, increased and upscale interior space, performance and much more.
Additionally, the new design looks great. iDriveSoCal’s Professor, Clinton Quan, picked up an all-new 2019 VW Jetta to review from our friends at Ontario Volkswagen – hear his complete analysis in this iDSC Podcast.
Recorded June 6, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
The All-New 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Review
Clinton “Professor” Quan: it’s got a different engine now. Very smooth, brisk acceleration. It feels a lot more premium compared to the previous Jetta, especially with that virtual dash, everything is right there at your fingertips, so it makes it really, really easy to operate.
Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States; Southern California. Tom Smith here with the Professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.
Professor: Hi, Tom.
Tom: And today, we are talking about our good friends out at Ontario Volkswagen in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California. Specifically, a vehicle review. The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. Now, to clarify before we throw it over to the Professor; the 2018 Jetta GLI, we just reviewed about a month, two months ago.
Tom: So, that is the enthusiast’s version, right?
Tom: And as we discussed there, and I think in subsequent podcasts since, the Jetta was just completely redone. So this is an all-new Jetta.
Volkswagen Jetta Enters Its 7th Generation
Professor: This is in the 2019-
Tom: All-new Jetta. And-
Professor: The seventh generation.
Tom: Seventh Generation, and the enthusiasts’ seventh generation, the GLI. We’re under the impression that Volkswagen is going to be putting that out. They haven’t announced that yet, but they’re going to be putting that out, probably in the next year.
Professor: Probably next year-ish.
Tom: What have you. But so, this review is the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. Take it away, Professor.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta Trim Configurations & MSRPs
Professor: I drove the top-line trim, which is the SEL premium and for the 2019 Jetta, there are five trims.
You have the S, which is the base trim; which starts at about $19,000. Then you have what I call the “mid-level trim”, the SE. Around $22,000.
Then you have a special sport trim that’s called the “R-line”. That’s about $23,000.
Then you’ve got the… You could call it the top-line, the SEL. That’s about $24,000.
And then you have this new luxury, premium top-of-the-line SEL Premium, which is about $27,000.
Tom: And that’s what you drove. So you drove all the bells and whistles.
Professor: Yes. It’s got the virtual dash, so it’s very Audi-esque like.
Non-Professional Reviews of the 2019 VW Jetta
Tom: And so, just a quick plug also for some of… So, Clinton and I review a lot of vehicles, and Clinton’s an enthusiast.
But if you wanted to hear from an everyday driver, we were out at the Jetta Launch Party at Ontario Volkswagen. I guess this is about a month-ish ago. We did some reviews with various customers that were coming in just to drive for the Launch Party.
They came in to check out the new Jetta, and so I think there are about five different podcasts that we did. They’re little short ones, about five, six minutes each. They’re with these everyday drivers that we did these podcasts with, they’re enthusiasts in their own right, but Clinton and I do this all the time.
So, he’s a little bit of a professional. If you want to check out the other Jetta reviews, there are lots of great things that everybody is saying about the 2019 Jetta.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta Reviews from SoCal Drivers
- Bert Chancellor from Loma Linda
- Ian Duarte from Riverside
- Michelle Bentley from Riverside
- Melissa & Ryan Chaney from Corona
So, back to the Professor’s test drive of the SEL Premium. How did it go?
’19 VW Jetta Engine, Transmission & Driving Modes
Professor: Well, it’s got a different engine now. It’s a 1.4 Liter in-line turbo that produces 147 horsepower, 184-pound-feet of torque; so it’s got quite a bit of torque. It feels very, very smooth, brisk acceleration. It’s got a really smooth ride. Plus, it’s an eight-speed automatic transmission. And, it’s got four different driving modes from normal to eco, sport, and custom.
Tom: Custom. So the custom is going to adapt to your driving style.
Professor: Yeah, and what I really like about the new Jetta is the interior. It feels a lot more premium compared to the previous Jetta, especially with that virtual dash, which I think is really cool. But what I really like is the angled center stack, so it’s got excellent ergonomics, all the buttons, controls, the gauges. Everything is right there at your fingertips, so it makes it really, really easy to operate.
Tom: It was just a ton of functionality that was really simplified, right? Everything was very user-friendly.
Tom: The UX, right? The user interface was super intuitive. With very little instruction, I was able to take off and utilize all of the car’s functionality in pretty much a very short amount of time. So anyway, back to your drive. This is your review.
The Bigger 7th Generation Jetta
Professor: The other thing you’ll notice about the new Jetta is that it’s so much bigger. The overall length of the vehicle is 185 inches, just to put that in perspective; the very first car I bought was a 2000 Subaru Legacy. I remember that vehicle, it was about 184 inches.
Now, at that time, that car was considered a mid-sized car. So that was definitely on the smaller side of the mid-sized car. But this is… The Jetta is still considered a compact car, and this is longer than the Subaru Legacy I had back in 2000.
Tom: Well, so it follows suit. Everything is just getting a little bit bigger right now.
Tom: Which, I’m a fan of, personally. It’s getting bigger, but without gas-guzzling, right? I mean-
Professor: That’s true, yeah.
Tom: Everything is efficient.
Professor: Nowadays, cars are so much more fuel-efficient. This car combined MPG is about 34 miles to the gallon, 40 on the highway, 30 on the city. So that’s really good, and you’re getting 184-pound-feet of torque in this vehicle.
And there is plenty of space, it’s about 94 cubic feet of car foot space for passengers.
Outside and Inside the ’19 Jetta
Tom: Take us around the outside.
Professor: The outside, it has a really clean look to it. I really like the way the front of the vehicle looks and the side, really clean lines, very well proportioned. I think they did a really, really good job with the car.
Tom: And inside, anything else? You mentioned lots of space and the tech inside, and super user-friendly. Anything else about the inside?
Professor: Well, if you’re driving the SEL or the SEL Premium, you’ll definitely notice the virtual dash. That’s very prominent. What I really enjoyed most is that angled center stash … Center stack, with the navigation- The navigation screen and the audio and climate controls, so I really appreciate that. Every car I’ve ever driven has an angled center console, center stack.
Tom: Yeah. I know, that’s one of your things. It seems to be a hot button for the Professor.
Professor: It’s more driver-oriented, which is what I really like.
Tom: Yeah. The whole car, outside and in, it reminded me of Audi.
Tom: It was like, “Hey. This is a lot of car for the money.”
Professor: Yeah. It definitely is. It definitely has a premium feel to it.
Tom: Yeah. So, okay. We’ve got outside, we’ve got inside, we’ve got tech, we’ve got gas mileage. Anything else before we hit top three?
Professor: I think we’ve covered everything.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta Review Top-3
Tom: All right, top three!
Professor: For the Top-3, I would definitely have to say the interior space; it feels very roomy for the passengers in the back.
Professor: Then, number two. I would have to go with the interior design, especially with that virtual dash. It feels like an Audi with that, a new dashboard design. Then number three, I would have to go with the ride and handling of the vehicle.
Tom: All right. Fantastic. Anything else to add?
Professor: Well, I would say it looks like the R-line is going to be a really popular model with the 17-inch wheels and the sporty trim, but I’m not sure how many of those they’re going to be making. So, that’ll definitely be, I think, a hot seller along with the… Probably the SEL and the SE. Those are probably going to be the top, the three trims that are going to be the most popular.
Tom: Well, there you have it. Thank you to our friends at Ontario Volkswagen. Earl Reed, Scott Reed. Jim Straley, the service director. Of course, Randy Halcomb. Go on out to Ontario Volkswagen, say hello to our friends out there. Tell them, Tom and the Professor said to swing by. And thank you, Professor, as always.
Professor: Thank you.
Tom: For iDriveSoCal, I’m Tom Smith. Thank you for listening.