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The seventh-gen Volkswagen Jetta uses aero bodywork, different oil and more efficient AC to boost mileage.

The Jetta is a compact, or small family car produced by Germany's VW since 1979. Positioned to fill a sedan niche above the firm's Golf hatchback offering, it has been marketed over seven generations variously as the Atlantic, Fox, Vento, Bora, City Jetta, Jetta City, GLI, Jetta, Clasico, Voyage, and Sagitar.

The Jetta was originally adapted by adding a conventional trunk to the Golf hatchback, and some distinctive styling (usually the front end, and sometimes slight interior changes). It has been offered in two-door and four-door saloon/sedan, and five-door wagon/estate versions – all as four- or five-seaters. Since the original version in 1980, the car has grown in size and power with each successive generation. By mid-2011, almost 10 million Jettas have been produced and sold all over the world. As of April 2014, over 14 million had been sold with the car becoming Volkswagen's top-selling model at the time.

The new seventh-generation 2019 Volkswagen Jetta will hit the streets this summer with a few more mpg, a refreshed interior and a new eight-speed dual clutch transmission. The base model power continues from the 1.4-litre turbo-four making 111kw and 250Nm, but efficiency gains come from a clutch-driven air conditioner, a more efficient alternator and a less viscous grade of oil. It will be rated 17 km/l on the highway and 12.7 km/l in the city. The Jetta is also losing the 1.8-litre four-cylinder, but we still expect to see the company's turbo 2.0-litre for the hotter GLi versions.

The 2019 Jetta gets shutters in the grille that close when possible, an air curtain design in the front bumper that lowers turbulence, sculpted underbody panels and smoother rear styling. Those changes lead to a class-leading coefficient of drag of 0.27.

It also moves to VW’s MQB platform, which underpins everything from the Audi A3, TT, new Passat, new Tiguan and now this. That platform allowed the designers to reshape the body and gain extra wheelbase, a wider track and install bigger wheels. It also allows for more interior space, though we don’t have exact head and legroom numbers yet.

Last year the Jetta fell about midpack in compact sales. It sold just a fraction of what competitors like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla did, but was still above the Mazda 3 that and the Subaru Impreza.

The 2019 Jetta will be offered in S, SE, R-Line, SEL and SEL Premium levels and will land at dealers in the second quarter of this year with VW's new six-year/100,000km bumper-to-bumper limited warranty.

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