First Drive: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Jetta 2019

Since it began production in 1979, the Volkswagen Jetta has been a staple among the Volkswagen lineup, and since 2014 has been their top selling model. Since the first Jetta came out in 1980, it has gone through 6 generations of designs and upgrades. The new 2019 Jetta is the seventh generation of Jetta and has received a major facelift. The Mk7 is larger and has much more interior room than its predecessor and has the latest version of Volkswagen’s infotainment system.

Despite working in the automotive industry, I really don’t know a whole lot about how cars actually work. I can work my way through the basics, but I really couldn’t tell you off the top of my head what the difference is between a regular engine or a turbocharged engine. When it comes to cars, I look at them from a customer’s point of view. Does it look good? How smooth is the drive? How easy is it to customize the vehicle to suit my needs? These are the things that someone who is looking at a Jetta wants to know. So I thought I would take a spin in it and see, from a customer’s perspective, what it is like to drive the new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta.

Getting To Know You

Before I took the vehicle out, I did some research on the car. Based on the pictures of the car I saw, the Jetta looked good. Really good. The sculpted hood, the LED headlights, all the fancy screens and ambient lighting inside the vehicle…it looked like a nice car. Reading up on the features, it was starting to sound better and better. A fully customizable digital cockpit, ambient interior lighting, vented seats. It sounded like it would be a really nice drive. But of course, you’re never going to know how good something is until you try it yourself.

First Impressions

Looking at the car for the first time, it looked exactly like the pictures I had seen of it. I know that’s kind of an odd thing to be worried about, but in an age of Photoshop and image manipulation, it’s very possible that what you see in a picture isn’t always what you’re going to get. It was nice to see that the car that was sitting in front of me was exactly what I had seen in Volkswagen’s marketing images.

Sitting in the driver’s seat of the Jetta was the same idea. What I had seen in pictures online was what I was looking at in front of me. The digital cockpit was very cool looking. I felt like I was piloting the USS Enterprise when it booted up. You could even customize the colour of the dashboard so if I wanted red, or blue, or even yellow as my dashboard, I could have it.

I probably spent about 20 minutes trying out all the different features inside the car before I even drove out of the lot. There are things in the car that impressed me that I would never have thought of. For example, the Jetta comes with a Rail 2 Rail moonroof, but it has more options than just a traditional open and close. Most, if not all moonroofs/sunroofs, have a cover to block the light from coming in. What the Jetta has is a mesh-like cover over it, meaning that while most of the light is blocked from coming into the cabin, it creates a really nice ambience in the cabin while not bringing in too much heat or light.

The Drive

Once I stopped fiddling around with all the gadgets inside the car, I took the vehicle out for a test drive around the town of Oakville. After all, all the toys in the world won’t make up for a bad driving experience. So I decided to drive the Jetta around Oakville to get a feel for it and see why the Jetta has been so popular over the years.

My first thoughts when I started driving is that the Jetta is extremely smooth. There is no rumbling, no jittering, nothing but smooth cornering and tight braking. Even travelling at highway speeds, I never felt like I was shaking or that anything was loose. It was just a smooth overall drive.

The Jetta comes with 3 pre-programmed driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. They all have different benefits, but the ideas are that Eco is more fuel-friendly, Sport is more powerful and Normal is a balance between them. I’ve driven several vehicles before with Eco and Sport modes, but this vehicle has the smoothest transitions between modes I have ever felt.

Often times when I’ve switched between Normal and Sport, I’ll feel a slight jolt, almost like I just activated the afterburners on the car. With the Jetta, I felt almost nothing until I actually accelerated. That’s when you really feel the extra power coming into play. Same with when I switched to Eco. Normally I can feel the power draining out of the vehicle. With the Jetta, I didn’t feel a sudden power drop. It just gradually lowered to the point where it was more eco-friendly.

There’s also a nice little feature on the gear shifter where when you have the shifter in Drive, all you have to do is pull down on it and it’ll switch right over to sport mode. This would come in handy those times when you just need a little extra ‘oomph’ in your acceleration.

Listening to my music was great. The Jetta has a BeatsAudio system, and the music in the car sounded amazing. Even listening to oldies on the radio sounded fantastic as I drove. Would definitely recommend jamming to a great playlist while driving this.

The Negatives

While driving the Jetta is a great and smooth experience, like anything in life it isn’t without its flaws. My biggest issue with the Jetta is the space inside. Mind you, I am a bigger guy, but while driving the Jetta, I did feel a bit cramped inside it. It’s definitely a car meant more for smaller people. The rear-view mirror was basically eye-level for me blocking my vision, and with a passenger beside me I didn’t feel like I could move that much. I’ve been in other similar vehicles such as the Volkswagen Golf and didn’t feel as cramped inside it. I’m sure an average sized person would feel completely fine inside it, but for me, it was just a bit tight.

Final Thoughts

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is a very smooth drive, smoother than I was actually expecting. It has a great audio system and enough customization to make it a unique experience for every driver. I like the ambient lighting and the idea of changing the colours of the dashboard. I could even go through and customize what data was showing on my cockpit. The Jetta made me feel like I could make the vehicle uniquely mine.

If you’re looking for a cheap and reliable car, the Jetta is about as reliable as you can get. It has become Volkswagen’s top-selling car over the last several years because people know that it is going to last. The 2019 Jetta is a great choice for you as your first car or just upgrading to a new car. If you’re interested in the new Jetta, you can check out our inventory over at¬†Oakville Volkswagen.