Contrary to popular belief, sometimes life does present you with some simple decisions. For example, if you hand me the keys to a brand new car for the week, I’ll take you up on that offer regardless of the make or model every time. So when I got the chance to spend some time with the all-new 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Comfortline, I gladly grabbed the keys and took off in the people’s car.
Most people will agree, that after some negative publicity, sometimes its best to change up your look, a “fresh start” of sorts. That’s just what has happened here, with the Jetta getting a completely new look in 2019. The redesign brings us a longer vehicle this time around with most of the attention being devoted to the front end.
The end result is a smart look and its evident that VW is returning to much more modern and angular lines as is evident on the new Atlas and Tiguan as well. Brand fluidity strikes again and you will see that this slots in nicely with the rest of their line up. That massive front grill reminded me of a hockey player chewing on his mouth guard in the Winter weather but when you add some clean looking LED headlights I’ll admit I was a fan.
The side profile is well and truly dominated by the over pronounced body line that runs the length of the vehicle, it does well to pull your attention to the rear and it drives home the fact that this Jetta is larger in every dimension. Once you reach the back it is difficult not to draw comparisons to the Audi A4 thanks to the very pronounced inner notch in the taillights. The rear has LED lights as well which seemed dark to me but it may have just been the lack of sunlight in Canada mid winter. Pardon me while I turn on my SAD light and pop a vitamin D pill.
The Comfortline is the entry-level model and has performance figures to match. The 1.4-litre turbo four-cylinder engine produces a modest 147hp, which does well for daily driving when combined with the 8-speed automatic transmission. The steering was light without being sloppy and overall it was very comfortable to drive during my 100+ km of country driving each day. I would say the real VW enthusiasts are far better off buying opting for the GLI 35th Anniversary edition, which offers 228hp and an optional 6-speed transmission.
Moving inside, the interior was a nice place to be. The Comfortline lacks the digital gauges and leather seating of the upper trims but the heated seats were a welcome feature on the bitter cold mornings. By far, my favourite part was the Apple Carplay and Android Auto as it was my first experience with either platforms and I really liked the seamless phone integration. If I had to name one downside of the interior it would be the rear window view. The rear shelf is up high to begin with but then it rises up at the end making it seem like the rear window is very small. Nothing that you wouldn’t get used to but it is definitely worth noting.
Admittedly, I’ve never been a Volkswagen guy. I didn’t grow up with them and friends that had them were basically obsessed with them which was always just annoying. Having had the chance to drive one for a few days, I’m starting to understand the appeal. Overall, while the Comfortline may lack some interior features we’ve come to expect in new vehicles, it will still get you to your destination in relative style and comfort. Most importantly you will arrive with a warm behind. How long until Spring?