- Propulsion: Gas 1.4L I4
- Power: 150hp
- Torque: 184ft⋅lb
- Mileage: 33 MPG (28 city, 40 hwy)
- Transmission: 5-speed Manual
- Seating: 5 seats
- Passenger Volume: 94.1cu ft
- Length: 183.3in
- Wheelbase: 104.4in
- Height: 57.2in
- Weight: 2939lbs
- Cargo Volume: 15.7cu ft
- Front Leg Room: 41.2in
- Front Head Room: 38.2in
- Front Hip Room: TBDin
- Rear Leg Room: 38.1in
- Rear Head Room: 37.1in
- Rear Hip Room: TBDin
- Drag Coefficient: TBD
- Drag Coefficient: 0.30
All-new for the latest model year, the Volkswagen Jetta is aimed at the heart of the compact sedan market. It stands out with a sharp design that's almost Audi-esque depending on how you look at it and a well-built interior with useful tech features.
The Jetta rides on Volkswagen's modular MQB platform, an architecture it shares with a wide variety of models including the Golf, the Atlas, and the Audi TT. Its wheelbase grew by over an inch and it's longer, wider, and taller and its predecessor. Volkswagen nonetheless notes it reduced the size of the overhangs on both ends.
Visually, the Jetta adopts the corporate design language without blatantly copying any of its siblings. The front end gets a wide hexagonal grille flanked by sharp-looking headlights, while the rear end receives taillights not unlike those on the Audi A4. Sharp creases chiseled into the hood and the sides reduce visual mass, while a faster roof line gives the Jetta a sportier and less understated appearance than any of its predecessors.
The Teutonic design continues inside with a clean, uncluttered dashboard that will undoubtedly look familiar to anyone who has recently sat in a Volkswagen. The center console is noticeably tilted towards the driver for easy reach and all of the controls are positioned where you expect to find them.
The base Jetta comes with a 6.5-inch touch screen for the infotainment system. Buyers who explore the middle and upper ranges of the trim hierarchy are rewarded with an eight-inch touch screen. It's also available with a digital, driver-configurable instrument cluster in lieu of traditional analog gauges.
The Jetta offers space for five passengers, though the rear bench gets a little tight if you try fitting three adults on it. Trunk space checks in at 14.1 cubic feet, a figure which is about average for the segment.
Under the hood
Volkswagen only offers the Jetta with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It delivers 147 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque at 1,400 rpm. The four-cylinder shifts through a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional eight-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is the only configuration offered.
Fuel economy is one of the Jetta's strongest points. It returns 30 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg in a combined cycle.
Standard and optional features
Volkswagen offers the Jetta in five trim levels named S, SE, R-Line, SEL, and SEL Premium, respectively.
The list of standard equipment includes power-operated side mirrors, automatic headlights, LED lights on both ends, 16-inch alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, cruise control, an electric parking brake, cloth upholstery, a six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and the aforementioned 6.5-inch touch screen.
There are no standalone options for the Jetta. Buyers who want more content (like a bigger touch screen, keyless entry, a panoramic sunroof, or leather upholstery) need to move up in the trim hierarchy.
Every Jetta regardless of trim level comes with dual front, side, and curtain airbags in addition to electronic traction and stability control systems. Electronic driving aids like forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and a blind spot monitoring system are available, too. They're optional on lower-end models and standard on more expensive variants.
Volkswagen designed the Jetta to take on the top sellers in the compact sedan segment. Its major rivals include the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. Buyers can also look at the Mazda3 and the Chevrolet Cruze.