Which is the better choice – the old-style wagon or the redesigned sedan?
Volkswagen redesigned the 2019 Jetta to be a fresh-faced, physically larger car than the outgoing model. On top of the new styling, the company switched the new model over to its latest MQB architecture. The 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is already built on Volkswagen’s most modern platform, but carries on the old styling from the Mk7 Golf, which has been around for a few years.
While the 2019 Jetta and 2018 Golf Alltrack don’t directly compete, since the latter is a wagon, they do represent two notably different design philosophies. And technically, since the 2019 Jetta carries an all-new design, we have ourselves an old versus new showdown. Which is the better buy – the “old” wagon or the updated sedan? Nathan and Mike square off on the track and compare the two cars to find out.
Crunching the numbers
Let’s start with the new. Volkswagen overhauled the 2019 Jetta with a new body, updated interior and a lower price. However, one carryover from the 2018 model is the engine. At launch, the only powertrain option available is the 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. While it puts out a reasonable 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, it won’t set your hair on fire. Since it’s mounted to an eight-speed automatic transmission, though, it will return better fuel economy. The 2019 Jetta manages 30 City / 40 Highway / 34 Combined mpg – 2 mpg more than the outgoing model.
The SEL model we tested also packs a fair amount of technology for the money. For $24,415 and up – excluding destination charges – you get Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit, for a start. Not only that, but Volkswagen also includes 10-color ambient lighting, an 8.0-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Beats Audio stereo system. All in, our car came out to just over $25,000.
The 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack doesn’t manage quite as well on fuel economy. The Alltrack houses a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine making 170 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. Hooked up to a six-speed manual, the EPA rates the Alltrack at 21 City / 30 Highway / 24 mpg combined. However, you do get Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive system, and much more space than the 2019 Jetta. Our SE model still packs an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, but does without the Digital Cockpit.
Check out the full comparison in the video above! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow on YouTube for more news, views and real-world reviews. Find out more about the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta below: