If you are like many, you never want to spend too much money. Alternatively, if you don’t have much dough to spend in the first place, keeping the purchase price to a minimum is a major factor in the buying process. With car purchases being a big chunk of change. What do you do, when you want a nice car but don’t want to spend a fortune?
You think “Previously Owned Automobile,” a nice way of saying “Used Car.” Even then it is going to set you back around twenty G’s. With the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta at under $19K, you can think new as an alternative. With Jetta’s starting price of an S model at $18, 545 (add on the $450 driver assistance package, because it could save your life.)
However, is an under $19K car worth buying?
With the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta, you get more car for the money than if you bought the same 2018 model. VW has re-engineered the seventh generation Jetta under the MQB Platform making this sedan even better value than ever before.
The VW Jetta was born 40 years ago as the next step up from the Golf (Rabbit as it was known in the USA.) That Golf/Rabbit replaced the much-beloved Beatle in the mid-1970’s. In that time Jetta has become one of the most successful sedans with worldwide sales of more than 17.5 million, 3.2 million sold in the USA alone.
Base Model Jetta
How good is the lowest priced 2019 Jetta S? We loved the fact that you could get it in a 6-speed manual. Maybe it was because of the oddity of a manual transmission, but more as we drove it and its more upscale brothers. VW interpreted their lowest trim level of the Jetta in much the same way they started out as a car company, which is how it came to the US in the 1950’s. VW provided a basic, well-engineered car, that was a bit out of the ordinary. While today the Jetta may no longer be out of the ordinary, as VW now conforms to the pack with design and fluid-cooled engines.
The S gives you much of what the more expensive Jetta trim levels have to offer, without the cost. While it does skimp on a few things, they are not all that impossible. Cloth Seats, a single USB and the 6.5-inch center screen are noticeable but not a hard stop. For example, there is a real key, while it is a modern switchblade key, not some radio-wave thing that you never know what to do with once inside the car. The other models have remote keys with push-button start. Eco-driving mode, because when you are cheap from the get-go, you want to run with it. Other features that score one in the wallet like 16” alloy wheels and tires. Real 16” alloy wheels, not steel wheels with plastic hubcaps, so it does not look less expensive.
You Get A Lot In The S
You get what the other trim levels have on the Jetta: More headroom, knee room, and shoulder room than the previous generation. Trunk space is 14.1 cubic feet, and split-folding rear seats (60/40) are standard. Jetta for 2019 has a 1.4 Turbo-charged 4-cylinder engine with 147hp, 184 ft-lbs of torque, which runs on regular 87 octane gasoline, this is the same engine for all trim levels. Standard LED lights all around multi-function wheel, car-Net-App-Connect (that connects to Apple Carplay and Android Auto). Moreover, safety features like automatic post-collision braking. Add to that VW’s People First Warranty, a best-in-class 6-year/72,000-mile with bumper-to-bumper coverage (See VW for limited warranty details), that can be transferred to subsequent owners. Not much is optional on the base S Trim Level: Start/Stop which is a fuel saver and an 8-speed automatic with Tiptronic and sport mode.
Take an S trim level 2019 Volkswagen Jetta for a drive, if, for nothing more than the manual transmission, you will be surprised with what $18,995 (plus a low $850 delivery fee, then local taxes and tags) buys.
The Volkswagen Jetta has been the class-leading four-door sedan and it just got better, and be ready for this, cheaper than the model it replaces.
VW is well known for long-lasting models with designs that improve over time. Almost every model in VW’s line up has a long history of dependability and roadworthiness. The 2019 Jetta is no different, while the exterior design of the new may not grab your attention, we saw it displayed at the Washington Auto Show in January and barely took notice of it. It is worth taking a look at it if you are looking for a four-door sedan in the mid-level model market segment.
The Jetta is an icon that began back when it morphed from what was the staple of the 1970’s modern Volkswagen, the Rabbit, also known as the Golf. The Jetta became the version with four doors and an actual trunk, though there were two-door and wagon versions. The Rabbit/Golf was a two or four-door hatchback. Since that time, the Jetta has been considered a solid choice for an economical while not extravagant sedan. Very much in the Volkswagen mantra of “The Peoples Car,” a dependable and economical vehicle for every person.
Turn the clock ahead forty years to 2019 and the seventh-generation model comes to market with all of that plus safety and technology that was unheard of at the beginning of the model run.
For 2019, the Volkswagen Jetta comes in S, SE, R-Line®, SEL and SEL Premium trim levels. Jetta continues to be powered by VW’s 1.4-Litre turbocharged direct-injection TSI® engine, making 147 Horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque with front-wheel drive. Jetta has either a new standard six-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic, all Jetta’s (as do so many other models,) come with Start/Stop system designed to improve fuel efficiency by turning off the engine at idle when the brake is held, staring up again upon pedal release.
All Jetta models offer standard Driver Personalization for up to four drivers. Depending on the trim, the features will include: driver seat, drive mode, driver assistance preferences as well as climate control, Volkswagens Digital Cockpit arrangement, ambient lighting color, radio presets, navigation view and more. Safety is key with the combination of passive and active safety systems that meet or exceed crash regulations, including class exclusive automatic Post-Collision Braking system.
Jetta S – Basic and everything a VW is known to be.
The Jetta S is the entry level at $18.545 with standard features including a six-speed transmission, 16-inch silver “Rama” aluminum-alloy wheels; standard LED headlights, daytime driving lights (DRL) and taillights; chrome grille; multi-function steering wheel; rearview camera; automatic headlights; electric parking brake; cloth seats; Eco driving mode selection; and 6.5-inch Composition Color touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth® connectivity for compatible devices, one USB port, four speakers, and Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect for compatible devices, enabling integration with the three major smartphone platforms—Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and MirrorLink®. For an additional $800 you can upgrade to the Automatic Transmission.
Jetta SE – Stepping up the model to the next level
Jetta SE starts at $22,155 with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch two-tone “Rama Black” aluminum-alloy wheels; panoramic sunroof; dual-zone Climatronic® automatic climate control; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; KESSY keyless access and push-button start; leatherette seating surfaces; and heated front seats. Standard driver assist features to include Front Assist; and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert.
Jetta R-Line® – Putting some sportiness into a sedan
Jetta R-Line® starts at $22,995 and is the sportier version. Adding to the SE trim with standard 17-inch dark gray “Trenton” aluminum-alloy wheels; a gloss-black front grille; R-Line rear bumper with dual exhaust; foglights; black mirror caps; R-Line badging inside and out; black roof liner; R-Line multi-function steering wheel with contrast stitching; two-tone black and grey seating surfaces with contrast stitching; and the XDS® electronic differential.
Jetta SEL – Luxury in a great package
Jetta SEL starts at $24,415 and brings luxury into the model line up. With all the features of the SE trim it include LED Projector headlights with signature LED DRLs; rain-sensing wipers; Auto-dimming rearview mirror; Drive Mode Selection; 10-color customizable wrap-around ambient lighting; 10.25-inch Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display, allowing drivers to reconfigure how they view vehicle information; Volkswagen Car-Net® connected vehicle services; 400 Watt BeatsAudio® system with eight speakers plus a subwoofer; and 8.0-inch Composition Media touchscreen infotainment system with SiriusXM® Satellite Radio with three-month trial subscription, voice control, and two USB ports. Standard driver assist features to include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); High Beam Control (Light Assist); and Active Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist).
Jetta SEL Premium – Top Of The Line Luxury
The top-of-the-line Jetta SEL Premium has a starting price of $26,945. With all that comes with the SEL trim, add on 17-inch two-tone “Tornado Metallic” aluminum-alloy wheels; R-Line rear bumper; fog lights; side mirrors with integrated turn signals; sport comfort seats; leather seating surfaces; ventilated front seats; power driver’s seat with memory functionality and power lumbar; 8-inch Discover Media infotainment system with navigation and alarm system. The Cold Weather Package, including a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, heated windshield wiper park and washer nozzles, and remote start, will be added as standard equipment during the upcoming year.
2019 Jetta Options – Simple and to the point.
Driver Assistance Package. Available on S trims. Includes Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert and heated side mirrors for $450.
Cold Weather Package. Available mid-model year on SE, R-Line and SEL trims. Includes heated steering wheel; heated rear seats; heated windshield wiper park and washer nozzles; and remote start for $495.
Destination Fee for all models is $850.
People First Warranty, America’s Best Bumper-To-Bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty.
2018 will be the 14th year for the annual awards and the for the fifth consecutive year based on Prime Research’s 2017 media report. The World Car Awards were inaugurated in 2003 and launched in 2004.
2018 marks the 12th year of World Car’s partnership with NYIAS, and the fifth consecutive year that the World Car Awards have retained their ranking as the No.1 automotive awards program in the world in terms of media reach. While the awards and ceremony are a recognition of automotive excellence is on an international scale and intended to complement and not compete with other national and regional Car of the Year celebrations.
The awards are administered by a not-for-profit association, under the guidance of a Steering Committee of pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America. Peter Lyon (chair – Japan), Jens Meiners (vice-chair – Germany), Mike Rutherford (vice-chair – UK), Tim Stevens (director – USA), Siddarth Patankar (director – India) and Gerry Malloy (director – Canada and president, WCOTY Association).
Automobiles Nominated for the
World Car Awards
2018 World Car of the Year:
– Mazda CX-5
– Range Rover Velar
– Volvo XC60
2018 World Urban Car:
– Ford Fiesta
– Suzuki Swift
– Volkswagen Polo
2018 World Luxury Car:
– Audi A8
– Porsche Cayenne
– Porsche Panamera
2018 World Performance Car:
– Honda Civic Type R
– Lexus LC 500
2018 World Green Car:
– BMW 530e iPerformance
– Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
– Nissan LEAF
2018 World Car Design of the Year:
– Lexus LC 500
– Range Rover Velar
– Volvo XC60
The Road to the World Car began in Frankfurt on September 19, 2017, and was followed by the first-ever Tokyo Test Drive conducted at the BMW Tokyo Bay facility in October giving jurors yet another opportunity to evaluate contenders that might not be available in their home markets. Then, the fourth annual “L.A. Test Drives” took place across a six-day period in November with a record number of 35 jurors participating. At the Geneva show in March, they close in on the end of the Road to World Car journey which will end on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, when World Car opens the New York International Auto Show and also declares all winners in all categories.
New York International Auto Show
Owned and operated by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, the New York Auto Show is an awesome combination of new ideas, technological innovation, exceptional concept cars and nearly 1,000 of the latest new cars and trucks. Over one million visitors are expected to visit the show this year to see what is truly possible from the automotive industry.
Information for this post is from the World Car Awards Press Release. Photos are from the various automotive media sites. Collated and edited by William West Hopper.
American family favorites, Crossovers and SUV’s dominate the market due to their versatility. So understandably there are plenty of them at all price points, a mix of high and middle-end models. I have taken these out over the past few months for quick around the block drives as well as extended time periods. Here are my thoughts on them. Some, not all we have done full reviews on which are featured elsewhere on the site.
Fiat 500X – Cuteness seems to be a staple with the Fiat brand. Though with the whinny engine and a transmission hunting for the right gear provide a less than enjoyable drive experience. I took this funky Italian breadbox up the mountain roads of New York State in May. Pluses are plenty of space and a very attractive interior design. Lots of trim levels and features are available. Discounts are plentiful at year end. Minus are: A clunky exterior, a noisy drivetrain, and a transmission always hunting for the right gear. Prices start at $19,995 and with generous year-end allowances you can put a lot of cute Italian into a small payment for a Fiat.
Nissan Rogue– An overall everyday crossover, easy to get in and out of, with plenty of cargo space. I kept expecting more from the Rogue considering the amount of hype this vehicle has gotten from Nissan’s PR department to the auto media. Including being heavily featured in recent Star Wars movie promotions and #RogueTrip events. Pluses are a well-made dependable vehicle. Minus are that the Rogue is not so memorable in the overall scheme of things. Starting at $24,680 and going up depending on trim levels and options. My heart does not go pitter-patter over this model as it does with Nissan’s other products. Though I may need a #RogueTrip to experience this vehicle in more depth.
When did this crossover become so large and in charge? What once was a mid-sized big SUV replacement seems to be growing. While right in the middle of Toyota’s extensive lineup of SUV’s and Crossovers it is a good option for those looking for a dependable, and long-lasting vehicle with plenty of options. Pricing starts at $31,030, incentives are not aggressive due to this being a top-selling model. I was not expecting a WOW, and the Highlander followed suit by not making me squeal for joy while behind the wheel. Though in the long run, the Highlander will be there, dependable and safe as any of Toyota’s vehicles.
GMC is an upmarket luxury truck maker showing that GM is paying a bit more attention to the details. Bringing luxury and utility together in an elegant package. While not as finely outfitted as the Terrain (which was not available to drive, though I attended a presentation on it earlier this year, see another post.) The Acadia is available starting at $42,255 and the Denali (upscale) trim starts at $45,415. While this is not a sports car, nor is it a luxury boulevard cruiser, the Acadia provided a very comfortable drive experience, one that I would find enjoyable on a long road trip. It was a nice both inside and out with a lot of attention to detail, especially for the front seat passengers.
Sorry to say, this is one that I took out of the parking lot and quickly brought back. A cheap fit and finish made it memorable, and not in a good way. Even in the next to the top of the line Night Edition drag, there were some basics that could be improved. I have been very impressed with what Hyundai and Kia have brought to market recently and comparing the Tuscon to other Hyundai models driven in the past year, this one was a disappointment. While the Tucson starts at $20,200, it could be so better from a company that offers America’s best automotive warranty and well-known customer service. Hyundai is pronounced like Sunday for those who wrestle with the pronunciation of the brand name.
Well now we are talking, no longer the boxy wannabe of its forebears, the odd exterior design is not unpleasing to the eye, just reminded me of a bathtub, a luxury spa tub. The Disco, as it is known, would not take long to get used to. The interior was quite comfortable, though not as impressive as I would expect from this legendary British Empire Automotive brand. This is one we would like to spend more time with to get the full Rover experience. Starting at $52,090 it is right at a price point with some strong competitors offering top-notch larger size SUV’s. The Discovery and it’s twin the Discovery Sport are positioned just under the famed Range Rover. The brand is owned by Tata, a large multi-national, multi-product-service company based in India. Which may be why this vehicle and the Jaguar F-Pace seemed to be so closely related, almost cousins. (Jaguar is also owned by Tata.)
Jaguar F-Pace – Here is a sleek and sumptuous SUV that I was very excited to get to drive for a few days this Fall. While it was an enjoyable ride, it was not everything I had hoped it would be. The 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel-powered version provided excellent fuel economy power and responsiveness. Comfort was nice with heated and cooled seats and all that one would expect in a proper English road car. Some of the technology was substandard compared to the competition, such as a limited vision camera, the center console display and the tinting on the windows rendered my two separate electronic toll pass devices inoperable, which was a tad embarrassing, as I was driving a Tata executive from China to an automotive media event. With prices starting at $42,065 for the basic model, topping out at over $62K for The pinnacle of F-Pace luxury, the Portfolio Edition. With a great ride and wonderful styling and fuel economy in the upper 20’s on diesel fuel, it is not one we would ask to leave the stable. But maybe send back for some more training.
Stepping into a Kia, the last thing you would expect is to fall in love with an economy car, a hybrid at that. That is what I did, within a few moments of driving this odd little crossover, I said to myself, I would buy this car. It was nimble, spacious and had plenty of technology aboard. A bit quirky and awkward at first, but it grows on you like a loveable, nerdy, best friend. I could easily see loading stuff in this car and be heading out on adventures. Prices start at $23,240 for the base model going up to $31,900 for the top-of-the-line Touring model. All feature a 1.6 L 4-cylinder and Full Parallel Hybrid System and provide anywhere from 40 to 52 miles per gallon. Even more of a reason to love this little Korean Crossover. Yet another vehicle from Korea that will give the Prius some challenges in the marketplace.
Cadillac XT5 – For me, it is hard to see Cadillac as a crossover, or even as an SUV. In my mind, Cadillac is a luxury car that says you have made it in the game of life. I have fond memories of the powder blue Eldorado Convertable (with a white top) that I drove to my Junior and Senior Prom in High School (it matched my Tux, hey it was the mid-1970’s and I still have the clip-on bow tie and button on ruffles for the shirt! And even the tux jacket somewhere.) The XT5’s interior rear-view mirror (the same on all Cadillac models) is a bit unnerving as it is a live video feed out the back, which for some reason played havoc with my sense of equilibrium, and eventually, I did find a way to switch it off. As a Crossover, it was a nice, but not as roomy or easy to get in an out of as I would like. And as a Cadillac, it was quite plain. I just would like it to be more elegant, more luxurious, more everything that a Cadillac is. Which also means different from the other GM products on the market, which the XT5 really is not. Prices start at $39,395 and with a number of add-ons it could be a contender. I especially like all of the safety features that Cadillac is offering on its current line of vehicles.
When you think America, the original SUV is just one name JEEP. While it may not be what we see on today’s roads, it was the World War II Jeep that the soliders brought home with them. Realizing that this rugged little four-wheel drive workhorse that took them all across the world’s battlefields. Now it has now become a staple in US driveways. No longer simple or even little, the Jeep has many iterations and is as capable as ever. The 2018 Jeep Compas is as close to the original as you might want to get, just now with a battalion of safety and technology features, not to mention and comfort that was unknown when it became a civilian product. The Compass may not have much more room, but four guys in this Jeep can be an interesting experience. We all found the engine noise annoying, especially on long drives. The Compass is a great size for urban runs. Prices start at $20,995 and discounts can be had depending on the dealer or buying service you are using.
A much-anticipated SUV that feels direct from the Italian Alps is this upscale
ride from the legendary automaker, Alfa Romero. With prices starting at $41,995 the Stelvio will be one that will sell quickly, even adding lots of options. This is one great looking SUV, sales will happen due to the Stelvio’s exceptional style, if for no other reason. Size is not enormous, but the driving experience is all European. Fit and finish need some work, though as with an Italian lover, you get the good with a few rough edges. We have not spent enough time in this vehicle as we would like, and hope to do so in the coming year.
We reviewed this full-sized 3-row American style SUV from the company that built the People’s Car earlier this year. The Atlas will fit the needs of many Americans due to the amount of interior space it offers. The Atlas is not going to win beauty pageants, it is a rolling bread box with very square angles. Made in Tennesee, it looks like a Ford Explorer just with a little some German styling cues. This is not the SUV for you If you are looking to make a statement about what you drive. Starting at just over $30K, this one will be a dutiful and dependable workhorse, as VW’s are well known for.
I was able to drive these vehicles due to membership in several professional automotive media organizations or by invitation of the manufacturer. I received no compensation or incentives for driving and reviewing the vehicles mentioned, other than the loan of the vehicles for up to seven days.
Words and Photos by William West Hopper Photos of the Toyota Highlander, GMC Acadia, Hyundai Tuscon were from their respective automotive media sites.
American drivers like spacious SUV’s to carry passengers and cargo. And with Minivans losing ground to the SUV with 3-row seating, we think that VW has a hit here with the new 2018 Atlas.
The Atlas is larger than their previous offering, though not a humungous sized SUV. On the inside, you will think it is, space is everywhere, from the rear seating to the cargo area, even the center console storage is large. What makes this SUV different than others may not be the looks, we think it looks like then other boxy SUV’s on the market. The difference is that it is pure VW, clean and functional, with all the safety and tech, and none of the fluff.
Built in VW’s state of the art Chattanooga Tennessee production facility this is not a luxury cruiser. Instead, it is what VW is known for, solid practical, well-designed automobiles. When we say not a luxury vehicle, don’t worry, it still has all the touches that will not have you think you are riding in a simple tin can. Ride comfort and handling are very good. The VR6 model we drove had plenty of power for what most families will put this car through.
Exterior Design is clean and unadorned, while a traditional an almost dull rectangular box, the lines, and proportions are very visually pleasing. Rolling on 18” wheels, this is not a flashy “Look at ME” ride. But the wow factor is how well thought out it is to carry passengers and or cargo.
Interior Design is clean and modern, not frilly, but well finished and comfortable with good ergonomics for both the driver and all 3 rows of passengers. What will sell this vehicle is the passenger comfort in the second-row and the easily accessible cargo space. Rear seats easily fold forward for access to the 3rd row or fold down for cargo hauling. With both the 2nd and 3rd row folded down, there is more than enough hauling space for the trips to the warehouse store.
Slipping into the driver’s seat is easy, no stepping up contorting to get in, or slithering down. Everything is within reach and where you would expect it to be, and what you expect it to be. Switches and controls are within reach, easy to find, and use. A gear shift (eight-speed automatic only) in the center console, and stalk for the windshield wipers, no confusing what these controls do. Two screens, one for entertainment in the center that also provides in-depth vehicle information, and another one dead center between the speedometer and tachometer providing a variety of information as well as the GPS display. Seats have plenty of support and controls exactly where you would think they would be, at the side of the seat. The center console is a bit busy with the info screen, HVAC controls, and then gear shift and mode selectors as well as an electric parking brake and other switches, but that did not bother us. Visibility is good with the rear mirrors properly adjusted and using the assistance options.
The Atlas is either FWD or AWD powered by a 2-liter turbocharged or a direct injection 3.6 VR6 engine with five distinct trim levels. Base price starting at $30,500 for the turbo four, $31,900 for the FWD VR6, and $33,700 for the AWD VR6. Options can raise the sticker to around $50K. VW has included a 6 year, 72K mile bumper to bumper warranty on the 2018 Atlas, the best SUV warranty in America, and it is transferrable.
If you are looking for a modern family sized vehicle, this is one worth checking out.
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