The automatic Jetta sees the biggest gains, since the previous model with the 1.4-liter turbo four-cylinder achieved 28 mpg in the city, 38 on the highway, and 32 combined. The manual only improves on city and combined fuel economy, which was 28 and 33 mpg respectively. Both of these models are more efficient than the old 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter models, but last year's 1.4-liter cars were, too, and the larger-displacement models are no longer offered. Volkswagen credits a number of changes to these gains including the new eight-speed automatic that replaces the six-speed. And, while not mentioned, the manual model probably saw improvements from the six-speed that replaced the five-speed. VW also cites tires with lower rolling resistance and a body with less drag.
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta goes on sale this summer. It starts at $18,545, which is actually slightly cheaper than the old one. Considering the lower price, better fuel economy and larger feature set, the Jetta looks good on paper, though our experience so far indicates it's not as great a drive as it once was.