With all new sheet metal, an eight-speed automatic transmission and an EPA rated 40 mpg on the highway*, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL takes the idea of owning a compact sedan up a notch. This, the seventh-generation Jetta, seeks to lure buyers in by offering great value and technology along with a fun driving experience that reminds you it’s okay to feel young. But with only 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque on tap, will the new Jetta accomplish its mission? That’s what we’re here to find out.
For the full 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL review, specs, pricing, and data read on…
2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Exterior
When it comes to styling, the designers at Volkswagen have injected some much-appreciated maturity into the new Jetta. Whereby it used to feel that the Jetta was the perfect vehicle for those starting out, it has now grown into a car that appeals to those of any age. The new bodywork contains lines that are sharp and crisp, which we feel infuses more sportiness into the platform. For 2019 ,we also see a 1.3-inch increase in overall length along with minor increases in height and width.
Our SEL Premium tester came in at $27,795, and was about as maxed out with options as you can get. That meant the inclusion of 17-inch Tornado Metallic alloy wheels, fog lights with low-speed corner illuminating, body-colored side mirrors, a blacked-out lower rear valence with chrome exhaust ports, and a power tilting/sliding panoramic sunroof. Those options, when combined with the Jetta’s already impressive list of standard exterior features — including LED tail lamps, LED headlights, and a roof-mounted shark fin antenna — only enhance what is already a great looking five-passenger sedan.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Interior
The cabin of the 2019 Jetta is truly driver centric. The dash, for instance, is angled in a fashion that allows one easy and intuitive access to the slew of technical upgrades. That includes Volkswagen’s new eight-inch Discover Media touchscreen system that houses the media functions, phone pairing, apps, in-car settings and the navigation system. Positioned directly below that are new stylized vents, as well as manual knobs and buttons for the dual-zone automatic climate controls. On SEL models, the VW digital cockpit replaces traditional analog gauges, and can be configured in a variety of ways to showcase the information the driver deems most important.
And while the interior of the Jetta is still filled with a sea of soft-touch materials and hard plastics in different shades of gray, Volkswagen has managed to incorporate some high-end touches that many folks will enjoy. There are black leather seating surfaces with contrasting white stitching throughout the cabin, and the driver’s chair features six-way power adjustment, heat, and ventilation. There’s also now ten-color ambient lighting, a wonderful panoramic sunroof, a flat-bottomed leather-covered steering wheel, and a trunk that will house 14.1 cubic-feet of your stuff.
In short, VW has paid attention to what consumers were asking for.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Performance
On the surface, you might think the 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque produced from the Jetta’s turbocharged 1.4L inline-four is a bit low. However, when you consider the scant curb weight of just 2,959 pounds, you’ll soon realize the engineers did their homework, and that the Jetta will scoot to 60 mph in under eight seconds. Power is transferred through an eight-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels, and provides smooth and seamless shifts. The power delivery is linear, and the engine pulls aggressively all the way to its 6,000-rpm redline.
With an EPA fuel economy rating of 30 mpg city, 40 highway and 34 mpg in combined driving**, along with four selectable driving modes (Eco, Normal, Sport, Custom), the Jetta does its best to fit your particular driving style. Ride quality is compliant on both the highway and back roads, and all in all, it’s a pleasure to pilot. Emergency braking and handling maneuvers provide little in the way of drama and the Jetta proved to be nothing but confidence inspiring in a variety of driving conditions.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Safety
Just because the 2019 Jetta is classified as a compact doesn’t mean its light on safety. With airbags throughout the cabin, a tire pressure monitoring system, traction and stability control, electronic brake pressure distribution, along with a host of other safety features, the Jetta ensures you’ll arrive to your destination safe and sound.
To further explore the safety features of the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL head on over to VW.com.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Overall
With a base price of $18,545.00 and an “as tested” price of $27,795.00,** the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL offers a compact sedan experience that’s anything but small. It’s large enough for growing families, small enough to park if space is in short supply, but more importantly, the 2019 Jetta is still fun to drive. And thanks to amazing fuel economy, it’s more appealing than ever!
Drop by your local AutoNation Volkswagen dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $27,795.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.