Volkswagen, the automotive titan that has been producing vehicles since the birth of the Pyramids of Giza. Or so it would seem. The brand has created quite a number of vehicles ranging from the classic Type 2’s, to the staple Hot Hatch, even transit vans and pick up trucks. But out of all of the many cars produced, one has become somewhat of a standard entry vehicle. Not looking for a big body such as a Passat or CC? But do you also need more room than a Golf, while having the same power as a GTI? The answer is getting a Jetta, the family sized saloon thats been produced since 1979. The Jetta’s have come in both 2 and 4 door platforms, with older base models propelled by 1.6’s and the newer top of the line GLI’s with a 2.0T. It’s no wonder then that Jetta’s are VW’s best selling model with over 14 million units sold. And those numbers are from 4 years ago.
The Jetta wasn’t always a 16 year old girls first car in high school. Especially if we look at the older 94’-98’ GLX models that came from factory with a VR6. Or the GLI models, which is basically the Jetta version of what the Golf/GTI is, a much sportier version of the standard car. From MKI’s to MKVI’s the Jetta has grown leaps and bounds in terms of size and power/performance. And now we’ve officially gotten our first glimpse at the 2018 MKVII model.
The new Jetta’s will finally make the jump onto the new MQB platform that the Golf’s have been on since early 2015. Current information suggest that all variations of the 2019 model will come with a 1.4T paired with either a 6 speed manual or 8 speed auto. No information has been shared thus far in regards to the GLI models, but one can only assume (or hope) that they’ll receive the same engine/transmission treatment that MKVII GTI’s have received. The newer cars are also longer and slightly wider than the previous models, almost resembling that of a Passat.
Now then, what do we think. Honestly, I’m not that impressed. To be quite honest I’m somewhat disappointed, especially with the overall design of the vehicle. We couldn’t help but notice that the front end oddly resembles a Ford Fusion where the ass end just doesn’t seem to fit the rest. I also cannot fathom a reason as to why VW has decided to can the 1.8T and instead opt for a 1.4T. Sure I bet the emissions are way lower and the engine itself is much more efficient, but I can only imagine the sensation of driving it to be similar to a horse and buggy.
The interior however, is absolutely perfect when compared to previous models. Digital cluster, soft touch dash, and a newer/larger RNS system are just some of the new accouterments in the interior. More leg room is standard considering the new MQB platform is noticeably longer when compared to the 2018 MKVI facelift. All in all, I don’t think we are totally sold on the new MKVII Jetta. But we are also basing our opinions from spy shots and reveal photos from the North American International Car Show. Stay tuned for our review of Euro Tripper 6, happening this coming weekend in Fort Myers, FL, where VW is having its first public reveal of the R-Line Jetta. At that point I’m sure we’ll have a better idea of how we feel about the car instead of basing opinions solely off photographs.
Words by Sean O'Connor