Volkswagen doesn’t need diesel rack up those MPGs.
When Volkswagen recently revealed its new 2019 Jetta, we predicted it would be a solid competitor in the compact sedan segment. Now the Jetta has revealed another improvement: fuel efficiency. The 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque is mostly a carryover, but it's now paired with a six-speed manual (replaces five speed) and an eight-speed automatic (replaces previous old six speed). The result is a 40-mpg highway rating regardless of your chosen transmission.
The previous-generation Jetta could hit 40 mpg with its five-speed manual transmission, but the available six speed automatic could only manage 38 mpg highway. Now, official ratings for 2019 Jetta are 30/40/34 mpg city/highway/combined—for the manual and automatic. Those combined ratings are a 1-mpg improvement for the manual car and a 2-mpg improvement for the automatic. Also giving the Jetta an economical leg up is a stop/start system on automatic models. The new Jetta will match the Chevy Cruze and Hyundai Elantra with 40 mpg, but it won't be the segment leader. The Honda Civic's 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and continuously variable transmission are able to achieve 42 mpg on the highway.
We're interested to see how the new Jetta compares to the Civic in real world driving when it goes on sale this spring. The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will start at $19,395 for the base S model. Pricing for other trims—SE, SEL, SEL Premium, and R-Line—will be announced closer to launch.