The 2019 Jetta grows in every exterior dimension, giving more interior space for compact buyers. (Matt Borst)

2019 Jetta gains space and tech with move to MQB

As some automakers are ditching the U.S. sedan market in favor of more profitable crossovers and trucks amid moderate retail fuel prices, Volkswagen is continuing to see the compact market as a valuable entry-level point for consumers. As such, the 'People’s Car Brand' is releasing an all-new Jetta for 2019 at the North American International Auto Show. With a chassis and transmission upgrade, VW hopes to light a new fire underneath the nameplate which has sold over 3.2 million units in the U.S. since its 1980 introduction.

“The Jetta has long been Volkswagen’s best-selling vehicle in the United States,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, “and we expect that this all-new car will continue to resonate with buyers in the compact sedan class.”

For the 2019 model year, Jetta moves to VW’s global Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform – the same chassis used on the Golf through the Atlas. With this transition, the compact sedan grows in every exterior dimension, with the wheelbase extending to 105.7 in (2685 mm). The front and rear overhangs have also been reduced, giving passengers more interior space.

Underneath, a MacPherson strut suspension resides in front, with the rear served by a trailing torsion-beam axle fitted with hydraulic bushings. Compared with the multi-link rear suspensions of some Japanese competitors in the Jetta's class, the torsion beam denotes a surprising focus on cost savings within VW's product planning group for this critical element of ride and handling.

To match the platform upgrade, the Jetta receives an 8-speed automatic transmission to replace the 6-speed DSG. A 6-speed manual is standard on the base S model with the optional automatic being standard on higher trims. The 1.4-L TSI engine, turbocharged and direct injected, carries over. While rated torque remains the same, power has dropped slightly to 147 hp (110 kW). Automatic transmission models come standard with an engine stop/start system designed to improve fuel economy.

Drivetrain updates are coupled with new advanced driver assistance (ADAS) technologies – advancements MQB was specifically engineered to incorporate. Available features include Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency braking, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), High Beam Control and Lane Departure Warning.

The ACC system has been upgraded for use in stop and go traffic. A class-exclusive Automatic Post-Collision Braking System is also offered on the 2019 Jetta.

Assembled at VW's Puebla, Mexico, complex, the new Jetta goes on sale in 2Q18 as a 2019 model

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