Facebook Logo Facebook Logo 2 Twitter Logo i_gplus i_copyurl i_plus i_minus i_reddit i_envelope search youtube-play feed2 user-tie arrow-right-thick location icon-wagons icon-diesel icon-hatchback icon-hybrid enlarge shrink camera certificate check Arrow Down Icon Cross Know more about it.

New technology elevates the iconic sedan Photo by Volkswagen

Mom On A Budget: Why I Chose the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL as My New Family Car


In case you missed it, after a long 4-year lease, it was time for me to replace my FIAT 500L and find a new family car. After months of researching and testing my top contenders — the Volkswagen Tiguan and Mini Cooper Countryman —  I realized it wouldn't be as easy to get one equipped the way I wanted it for a lease price of $300/month, including taxes. As I was comparing lease prices, a wild card came into play: the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta. The advertised lease deals were shockingly low, and once I started pricing one out the way I’d want it, I realized it fell precisely within my budget — without having to make any sacrifices.

However, after having my heart set on a crossover, I wasn’t sure that I wanted a sedan. Fortunately, I was able to test a 2019 Jetta SEL for a week to see how my family and I would fare. I fell so hard for the car and everything it offered for the money, that I decided that this was the one. The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta SEL is our new family car, and I love it.

Here are just a few reasons why:

It’s huge inside
When the Jetta first arrived, I couldn’t believe how much room there was inside. The backseat is very spacious, especially considering that this is supposed to be a compact car. The same goes for the trunk — I was even able to fit a dining room chair that I bought on a spontaneous trip to Home Goods! My husband can put his seat all the way back, and my 8-year old daughter still has plenty of room in the backseat. Our car seat days are over (our daughter uses a booster seat), but I’m confident that even a rear-facing infant seat wouldn’t pose any challenges for this super roomy interior.

I’m also very picky about keeping my trunk organized — I’m always carrying items like reusable shopping bags, a first aid kit, a park blanket, and an umbrella, and I don’t like it spread out all over when I open the cargo area. I had very convenient under-floor storage in my Fiat that I could stash it all in, but the VW comes with nifty “CarGo” blocks that velcro to the floor of the trunk. The blocks keep all my items stashed off to the side, and I still have a wide open space for things in the trunk.

It’s fuel-efficient
Previously, I wasn’t too concerned with fuel economy because I was working from home. However, now I’m finding myself with an almost 40-mile commute (round trip) a few times a week, and the Jetta is returning better numbers than I’ve ever had before. I’ll admit it, I like to put the pedal down, but on some of my commutes, I’m averaging almost 40 mpg!

It also helps that I now have adaptive cruise control, which is essential for my stop-and-go commute. Adaptive cruise control means that not only is the speed being regulated, but sensors in front also help the car to adjust braking and acceleration on its own. The car does not drive itself, but it will apply the brakes if I’m getting too close to the car in front of me, and it keeps my feet off the pedals almost the entire time that I’m on the highway.

You get so much for the money
The Jetta was completely re-imagined for 2019, and some of the features you can get on the SEL model are surprising – and even unavailable on many other cars, especially in this segment. I am thrilled that the Jetta SEL had all the advanced safety features covered – blind spot detectors on my side view mirrors, lane keep assist, and rear traffic alerts when I’m backing up (in addition to the backup camera). I also have a huge 8-inch color display, digital cockpit (a large high resolution screen that replaces the traditional instruments and dials) and a premium Beats audio system.

It’s the nicest car I’ve ever owned.
Believe it or not, the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta is more parts luxury than any other car I’ve ever had. It’s practically loaded — the only things I’m really missing are leather seats and built-in navigation that come on the top SEL Premium model, but I actually prefer VW’s V-Tex “leatherette” and I don’t need navi because the car has Apple CarPlay that works with Google Maps and Waze. My husband and I are even able to customize our own profiles in the car so that our phone connection, radio presets and ambient lighting color preferences are all saved and it’s set up just the way we like it, no matter who’s driving.


With my must-haves — adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay, and push-button start with keyless entry, both the Countryman and Tiguan were coming in over budget. And even though I sacrificed the occasional 3rd-row seating I was attracted to in the Tiguan, my Jetta gave me much more than I was looking for.

To get more in-depth details on the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta, check out our expert review here.

Latest Articles

About the Volkswagen Jetta

With rivals like the Honda Civic, Mazda3, and Subaru Impreza the Jetta stands out by being a jack of all trades, offering a little bit of everything to buyers. A more modern take to a classic looking exterior, spacious interior, an excellent driving experience, on top of great standard equipment and gas mileage, make the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta a contender to take down the near dozen contenders occupying the segment.

More About this Car

KBB Used Car Values

Arrow Down Please select a type
What these Types mean

Kelley Blue Book® Trade-in Value

The Kelley Blue Book® Trade-in Value is Kelley Blue Book's estimate of what a consumer can expect to receive from a dealer for a trade-in vehicle assuming an accurate appraisal of condition. This value will likely be less than the Kelley Blue Book® Private Party Value because the reselling dealer incurs the cost of safety inspections, reconditioning and other costs of doing business.

Kelley Blue Book® Private Party Value

This is the starting point for negotiation of a used-car sale between a private buyer and seller. This is an “as is” value that does not include any warranties. The final price depends on the car’s actual condition and local market factors.

Kelley Blue Book® Typical Listing Price

Formerly known as Suggested Retail Price, the Kelley Blue Book® Typical Listing Price is representative of dealers’ asking prices for a used car. It assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. This price also takes into account the dealers’ profit, costs for advertising, sales commissions and other costs of doing business. The final sale price will likely be less, depending on the car’s actual condition, popularity, type of warranty offered and local market factors. In other words, it's the price you should expect a dealer to ask - not always the price you should pay.

Please select a year
Please select a make
Please select a model

About Kelley Blue Book If you're searching for used car pricing information, then you'll want to use the most trusted source in the car business: Kelley Blue Book. The Blue Book® is the vehicle information resource used by consumers and the automobile industry to establish price guidelines. Since 1926, new and used car buyers and sellers have relied upon Kelley Blue Book for authoritative and unbiased information to make well-informed car, truck and SUV buying decisions. Kelley Blue Book reports used car values for a variety of buying and selling transactions: trading in your automobile to a dealer, buying a used car from a dealer, buying a used car from a private party and selling your used car to a private party. Blue Book used car values are determined by taking into consideration the equipment and options on the automobile, the vehicle's mileage, the condition of the automobile and the geographic area where the car has been driven.

Kelley Blue Book® and Blue Book® are registered trademarks of Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc.