Volkswagen has revealed its all-new 2019 Jetta at a special event at the Detroit Auto Show This is our first time seeing the affordable family sedan completely undisguised, but it's not the first time we've been up close with it. In fact, I actually at VW's top-secret Arizona test facility in December. The prototype was covered in camouflage inside and out -- this was very early, after all -- so I wasn't able to get a good look at the sedan's new design, or fully appreciate its new tech.
Now that we've clapped eyes on its undisguised new look, we can see that it definitely has more character, with an enlarged grille that visually to envelope the new headlamps. The Jetta's new peepers feature C-shaped LED daytime running lights and its hood gains a few new creases that add to the sedan's more windswept appearance.
Up at the front fender is a new bit of chrome trim that leads the way for a sharply creased character line that runs all the way to the back of the vehicle, tying in the new, more angular tail lights and the trunk lid. Dual trapezoidal tailpipes finish a geometric redesign that draws, I think, more than a little inspiration from the latest generation. Overall, the look is clean, distinctive, and more than a little Audi.
Inside, we can see that VW is offering new options to class up the Jetta's cabin. Along with ambient lighting, Volkswagen's Digital Cockpit makes an appearance this generation as an optional feature. It's a large LCD that replaces the instrument cluster, not unlike Audi's Virtual Cockpit. Base model Jettas should still be equipped with a conventional analog gauge cluster and multi-information display.
Peer into the center of the redesigned dashboard, and you'll spy what looks like the big 8-inch Volkswagen MIB II infotainment system from the new Atlas. All the better to fill with the standardinterfaces, as well as VW's standard App-Connect integrations. And, hopefully, we'll also soon be able to hear the new 400-watt Beats Audio option.
We've already dug into the rest of the details, but here's a quick TL;DR: The seventh-generation Jetta now rides on the new MQB platform, like the rest of Volkswagen's modern stable, and features a longer wheelbase (up 1.3 inches) and wider stance than before.
Under the hood is the same 1.4-liter TSI engine as before, making 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. For 2019, it's paired with a new standard six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission option.
The move to the more modern MQB platform brings the Jetta's driver aid and assistance tech into parity with the rest of VW's lineup, bringing forward precollision and postcollision brake assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and more to the party.
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will be available in the familiar S, SE, SEL and SEL Premium trim levels, as well as an R-Line trim with a sportier design and the XDS electronic differential. The new Jetta rolls up to US VW dealers' lots in just a few months (the second quarter of 2018) starting at $18,545, which the company points out is about $100 less than the outgoing model.