THE PROS & CONS
- What’s Best: The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Execline offers great style and handling.
- What’s Worst: Like the Passat I had recently, be careful of the trunk falling on your head.
- What’s Interesting: The Jetta continues to look like it shouldn’t have as much room in the interior, but it does.
At the end of 2017 those of us who write car reviews for Metroland Media were asked to list our favourite cars we had driven the previous year.
My pick for favourite car last year was the Volkswagen Jetta.
I noted the Jetta is a compact car that has more room on the inside than it should. There is plenty of room for five adults and the car offers a lot of technology and style for the money.
I recently tested the 2019 Jetta and my opinion of the car hasn’t changed. It is still one of the best sedans on the market.
The Jetta received a redesign this year with a new grille and LED lights.
Volkswagen makes it easy to pick the Jetta you want. It comes in three trims: Comfortline, Highline and top of the heap Execline.
My tester for the week was the Execline which gets a few upgrades from the other two including 17-inch alloy wheels (the other two models have 16-inch wheels, though 17-inch wheels are an option of the Highline), and a Beats premium audio system with eight speakers that provided amazing sound.
If any sedan is fun to drive it is the Jetta.
All three trims are powered by a 1.4-litre TSI turbocharged engine with either a six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic transmission. My tester had the automatic transmission and it worked well with the turbo engine.
You can set the engine for normal, comfort, sport or eco mode giving you four different feelings when you are behind the wheel. I had a few long drives to make the week I had the Jetta so it remained in eco mode.
A trip to Ottawa to see our oldest son was a comfortable drive and we didn’t stop for gas until we hit Cobourg on the way home to Bowmanville and that was only because gas always seems about 10 cents a litre cheaper in Cobourg. The Jetta would have made it home on a single tank of gas.
The adaptive cruise control was a great feature on the highway, giving my right foot a break on the long drive.
Even in Eco mode, the Jetta’s turbo engine kept up with traffic and not once did I feel like I wasn’t in control of the car.
I have a habit of reading what other reviewers feel about a car I am driving and more than one made a note about the uncomfortable front seats. That wasn’t my observation as the seats kept my wife and I more than comfortable during the long drive.
All the controls are within easy reach meaning I didn’t have to take my eyes of the road to adjust the air conditioning or change the station.
Unlike some car companies, VW has maintained using large knobs to control the air conditioning and radio. I recently drove a few Hondas where you have to find a sliding scale on the infotainment system to control the radio volume. It forces you to take your eyes of the road for a second or two if you are not use to using the system.
The Jetta’s eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with proximity sensor remains my favourite among car manufacturers. It is easy to use, my phone connected immediately and it still features a CD player.
Other features with the Highline include: a remote start (automatic transmission only); ventilated front seats which adds to the comfort of making long drives; ambient interior lighting; and six-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support. The driver optional assistance package features the adaptive cruise control, front assist autonomous braking, lane assist and automatic high beams.
The Jetta remains a solid car and performer for Volkswagen.
And why not?
It has a great interior, a nice smooth ride and impressive styling making it a sedan worth your time if you are in the market for a new car.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta Execline
BODY STYLE: Four-door compact sedan
DRIVE METHOD: Front-wheel-drive, eight-speed transmission.
ENGINE: 1.4litre turbocharged (147 hp, 184 lb./ft. torque)
FUEL ECONOMY: 7.8/5.9/L100 km city/highway
CARGO: 399 litres
PRICE: $30,090 including $995 Driver Assistance Package.
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