2019 Volkswagen Jetta 1.4T R-Line new car reviews

The big news with the all-new 2019 Jetta deals with its move the Volkswagen's MQB platform. This platform underpins nearly all vehicles the Volkswagen Auto Group makes currently, including the Volkswagen Atlas we just reviewed. A fresh redesign complements the new platform, and gives the new Jetta a drag coefficient of only 0.27. The new Jetta is still classified as a compact car, but its overall length of 185.1 inches puts it within less than a foot of the Nissan Altima and 5 inches shy of the Passat.

Also of interest? The Jetta comes with one engine option: A 1.4-liter, turbocharged four that puts out around 147 horsepower. If you're pining for more power, you'll have to go with the Jetta GLI, which gets the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four cylinder with 228 horsepower.

Pricing is the big story here, with a base Jetta S going for $18,745 when equipped with a manual transmission. Our R-Line tester starts at $22,995, and came as-tested at $24,140. 

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

This is the right car for a lot of people but, sadly, it’s probably one that they’ll overlook.

It's the right size. It’s the right shape. It’s plenty quick enough. It offers way better-than-average steering feel.

The price for a sedan this size is right, too, with the Jetta line starting at $18,745.

So, the big question: Will it attract non-VW owners? Do the masses know that the Jetta still exists?

Maybe a bigger question: What does VW mean to you? Do they offer a value buy or are they a company trying to sell luxury vehicles? Are they about commuter cars or performance cars? Did you know that they just added a third sedan to their lineup? (Hello, Arteon, billed as a premium sport sedan.)

Anyway, the car at hand. The more that I drove the R-Line Jetta, the more I liked it. As mentioned, it gets high marks for steering feel, especially when compared against many of today’s new cars.

It really is the right size. It’s roomy yet not a boat. Healthy trunk space. Great outward visibility. Really good highway manners.

Cockpit feels good. Seat bottoms are maybe a tad flat.

It’s quick but it’s not a Civic Si fighter or a GTI substitute. Dropping the shifter into S does change the transmission dynamics: It will shift later, but it will also hold a gear for a while–either you’ll like that or not.

The Jetta still has one thing that attracted me to my first VW 25-plus years ago: a simple, businesslike interior. It’s not the fanciest or most modern, but it looks and feels like a VW: strong horizonal lines, legible gauges and easy-to-use controls.

The biggest surprise: That you can still get a Jetta for less than $20k, with our top-of-the-line R-Line starting at $23,245.

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Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
9/6/19 6:07 p.m.

That's almost the same hp spread as the 1.0t Fiesta had to the 1.6T Fiesta ST.  If they had put some of the ST styling pieces (but not suspension!!) on a 1.0 and called it the ST-Line  would we have have been happy or offended? SURPRISE ENDING: EDGE AND EXPLORER ST bwahahahahaha. Can't wait for the Atlas R-Line!! If you're sitting in the 3rd row you'd be about one Golf Actual-R away from the steering wheel, although maybe not missing much. 

On the next episode: Luxury cars ride like sports cars! Hooooooray.

wearymicrobe
wearymicrobe UberDork
9/6/19 7:42 p.m.

If VW does what they always do which is pump out lease specials like they have on the current Jetta then this would make a really nice commuter on a cheap lease.

nutherjrfan
nutherjrfan UberDork
9/6/19 11:21 p.m.
Jordan Rimpela said:

 

Also of interest? The Jetta comes with one engine option: A 1.4-liter, turbocharged four that puts out around 147 horsepower. If you're pining for more power, you'll have to go with the Jetta GLI, which gets the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four cylinder with 228 horsepower.

 

I don't get this sentence.  So it has two engines or the GLi is a different body style?

Other than that the prices are very similar to Sentra money are they not?  I know which one would impress the ladies more.

Also leasing is always better with Ze Germans and Volvo ( SAAB when they lived ) historically unless you're doing big miles of course. 

However those entry points price wise don't seem too high so maybe buy?  smiley

Dootz
Dootz Reader
9/9/19 12:32 p.m.

The GLI gets IRS instead of the torsion beam rear end that the regular Jetta models have

Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela Digital Editor
9/9/19 1:33 p.m.
nutherjrfan said:
Jordan Rimpela said:

 

Also of interest? The Jetta comes with one engine option: A 1.4-liter, turbocharged four that puts out around 147 horsepower. If you're pining for more power, you'll have to go with the Jetta GLI, which gets the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four cylinder with 228 horsepower.

 

I don't get this sentence.  So it has two engines or the GLi is a different body style?

Yeah, sorry. Volkswagen lists the Jetta GLI as a separate model. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
9/9/19 1:44 p.m.

In reply to Jordan Rimpela :

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/9/19 2:31 p.m.
Jordan Rimpela said:
 

The big news with the all-new 2019 Jetta deals with its move the Volkswagen's MQB platform. This platform underpins nearly all vehicles the Volkswagen Auto Group makes currently, including the Volkswagen Atlas we just reviewed. ...

Also of interest? The Jetta comes with one engine option: A 1.4-liter, turbocharged four that puts out around 147 horsepower. If you're pining for more power, you'll have to go with the Jetta GLI, which gets the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four cylinder with 228 horsepower.

So... what's involved in putting the Atlas's 3.6 V6 in one of these?

Vigo
Vigo MegaDork
9/10/19 10:19 a.m.

From a badging standpoint I guess you would just remove the "-Line". 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
9/10/19 10:29 a.m.

That's stupid cheap for that much car. A mazda3 is more expensive. 

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