The 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta classifies as a compact car that has been manufactured and sold by the German automaker since 1979. The car is positioned as a sedan just above the Volkswagen Golf hatchback, and its production spans three generations.
The fourth generation of the car debuts with the 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta, although the third generation Jetta also sells alongside the new one.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 1.9-liter I-4, 2.0-liter I-4, 2.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Volkswagen Jetta GL, Volkswagen Jetta GL (1999.5), Volkswagen Jetta GLS (1999.5), Volkswagen Jetta GLS VR6 (1999.5), Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6, Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6 (1999.5), Volkswagen Jetta Wolfsburg
The 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta begins a new generation of the sedan, but the older generation remains available. The third-generation Jetta debuted in 1993, and it carries over to 1999. The GT, K2, and GLS models have been removed from the lineup for the 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta, leaving only the GL, GLX, TDI, and Wolfsburg models.
The New Jetta features a redesigned exterior with a smooth European body. The engines show improvement too, including the base inline-four engine and the V-6. The lineup simplifies to the GL, GLX, and GLS models.
The 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta debuted a short while after the larger Passat, so they include some common styling cues. The arched roofline and the rounded shape of the New Jetta highlight the new styling trademarks for the entire Volkswagen line, and curved corners replace the traditional sharp creases.
One of the distinguishing features of the 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta’s exterior applies to the antenna position on the rear end of the roof. The new position of the antenna reduces drag because of its short length and leeward stance. Moreover, the rear passenger doors of the 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta differ from those of the Golf, marking a first for the sedan.
The 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta has a well-designed interior. The materials and workmanship are amazing, and models offer ample headroom and legroom up front. However, the rear seats only offer adequate space for two people to sit. The legroom at the back decreases even further with the seats moved back. The lack of space inside results from the curved roof. The Golf seems to offer more space inside because of its straight-back roofline.
None of the body styles for the 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta accommodate three adults at the rear with ease, but the seats themselves feel comfortable and firm. The front bucket seats offer height adjustment, and the seats feel supportive enough to keep occupants comfortable on long trips.
The controls and gauges look simple and nicely arranged. Many of them have a backlight to recognize the buttons in the night. However, the climate controls and audio controls sit too low for access while driving. Entry and exit for the rear seats seems a little difficult because of the narrow doors. The Jetta has a spacious trunk, and folding down the rear seatback boosts the available space even further.
Performance & Handling
All models of the 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta offer a refined ride, sporty and fun performance, and an amazing interior. The ride quality of all models feels firm but comfortable, and the New Jetta takes even sharp turns stably. The steering is linear, and handling reaches its best with the GTI and VR6 models. However, the improved handling comes at the cost of a little ride comfort and body lean. The two-liter, straight-four engine delivers only modest acceleration and not much of a passing response when paired with the automatic transmission. The combination with a manual gearbox makes the engine a little livelier, however.
The 1999 Volkswagen New Jetta earns five out of five starts for driver and passenger safety in frontal-impact collision tests conducted by the NHTSA. It receives four out of five stars for driver and passenger safety in side-impact collision tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volkswagen New Jetta manual: 21/28 mpg city/highway
- Comfortable ride
- Fun to drive
- Well-made interior
- Solid construction
You Won't Like
- Some controls difficult to reach
- Expensive for a compact sedan
Priced high for a reason.
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