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2019 Volkswagen Jetta is better in every way

Even though the sixth-generation Jetta was built with the US in mind, the result was less than impressive. This time around, things are different.

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Andrew Krok
2019 Volkswagen Jetta
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The 2019 Jetta rectifies the anonymous design of its predecessor by adding better-defined character lines along the side.

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There's also a little more creasing in the hood, a sloping rear roofline and LED taillights that appear more Audi than Volkswagen.

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In fact, LED headlights are standard across the lineup -- a nice touch, considering halogens are generally still par for the course at this price point.

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This new Jetta lacks the outright wackiness of the Honda Civic both inside and out, but it looks better than the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and Subaru Impreza.

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Now built on Volkswagen's do-it-all MQB platform -- which underpins the Arteon, Atlas, Golf, Passat, Tiguan and about 20 models we don't get in the US -- the Jetta doesn't take much driving to make a positive impression. 

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It's not as Euro-grade stiff as the Golf, which is designed with a bunch of markets in mind. The Jetta's suspension tuning errs on soft, and additional plushness arrives by way of thick all-season tires.

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Under the hood is a 1.4-liter turbocharged I4 that puts out 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. 

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The Jetta isn't going to win any races, but this engine provides more than enough torque for driving and passing in the city or on the highway.

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A six-speed manual is available, but only on the base S trim -- every other trim gets an eight-speed automatic.

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Keep on scrolling to check out even more shots of the latest entrant in the compact sedan segment.

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