Review: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Gets a Boost From CarPlay Even on Lower-Level Trims Evaluate: 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Will get a Enhance From CarPlay Even on Decrease-Degree Trims Volkswagen’s Jetta compact sedan, a mainstay of the German automaker’s lineup for 40 years, obtained a big redesign for the 2019 mannequin yr, bringing a brand new platform, contemporary new design, know-how upgrades, and extra.

The Jetta is fashionable with automobile consumers searching for a cost-efficient every day commute automobile, and the brand new Jetta begins at a bit of beneath $19,000 however can rise to round $30,000 should you go for the high-end SEL Premium trim and improve the wheels.

I spent a while testing out a comparatively modestly specced 2019 Jetta SE, which is the second lowest of the 5 out there trims and begins at simply over $22,000 earlier than any extra choices.

VW gives three completely different infotainment programs throughout the Jetta trims, beginning with the 6.5-inch Composition Shade system on the S, SE, and R-Line trims and shifting as much as an 8-inch Composition Media system on the SEL trim that provides options like voice management, CD participant, and premium Beats Audio along with the bigger display screen. On the top-level SEL Premium trim, you may discover that very same 8-inch display screen however with what VW calls its Uncover Media system that features built-in navigation however lacks the CD participant.

As an SE trim, my check automobile got here with the 6.5-inch Composition Shade system, which gave me a possibility to see what a purchaser with a comparatively modest funds can anticipate to expertise in a Jetta.

Composition Shade

By itself, the Composition Shade system is fairly primary. It contains AM/FM radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity for media sources, Bluetooth cellphone assist, and a few automobile effectivity knowledge.

Important FM radio display screen on Composition Shade infotainment system

There isn’t any SiriusXM and no embedded navigation, however what it does have is VW’s Automobile-Web App-Join that is normal throughout the lineup, and meaning assist for CarPlay and Android Auto, which I am going to get to shortly.

Connection display screen for CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink

The Composition Shade system is easy and straightforward to make use of, with massive icons for altering radio presets and making different changes. The consumer interface design is not very thrilling, because it’s principally white on black with a little bit of accent coloration right here and there, however that is partly as a result of easy features it gives.

FM radio station record for looking

On higher-level trims with the Composition or Uncover Media system, the overall look is similar however you may see a bit extra coloration in acceptable locations like channel logos on the preset buttons in SiriusXM.

Enjoying audio from a cellphone by way of Bluetooth

The display screen has a matte end that does a good job of minimizing glare and fingerprints, though the {hardware} buttons surrounding the display screen have a tendency to choose up a little bit of seen oils out of your fingers.

Talking of these {hardware} buttons, they symbolize a simple set of choices that eliminates the necessity for any type of house display screen on the system. Radio and Media buttons on the high left allow you to soar straight to the radio controls or change audio sources, whereas a Automobile button on the backside left exhibits you some automobile knowledge like gasoline and energy effectivity.

Bluetooth cellphone favorites

On the high proper, you may discover a Cellphone button for accessing a Bluetooth-paired cellphone and an App button to take you into CarPlay or Android Auto. Lastly, a Setup button on the backside proper will get you into numerous settings. An influence/quantity knob on the left and a tune/scroll knob on the suitable full the lineup of {hardware} controls.

The Jetta gives practically a full set of {hardware} local weather management knobs and buttons, which is nice for making changes by really feel somewhat than having to hunt round on a touchscreen. There are additionally touchscreen controls should you favor to make use of them, though it took me a short while to even uncover them.

{Hardware} local weather controls

The local weather management display screen on the infotainment system is activated by hitting a Menu button on the middle fan management knob. Finding it so removed from the display screen is a bit of odd, however I suppose it is smart to have it with the bodily controls and when you be taught it is there, you are unlikely to overlook it.

On-screen local weather controls

The touchscreen just about duplicates what the {hardware} controls can do, though the digital display screen helps you to see extra info reminiscent of precisely the place air flows from on completely different fan settings and rapidly change between them.

Driver’s show in instrument cluster

The Jetta SE does embody a digital driver’s show with a number of completely different views that will help you see some knowledge like audio observe info, however it’s monochrome and fairly low decision, so it may stand to see some enchancment. It is not till you rise up to the SEL and SEL Premium trims that you just get a full digital cockpit, together with the power to show full-screen navigation on the SEL Premium’s Uncover Media system.


To reinforce the Composition Shade, VW helps CarPlay and Android Auto normal on all trims, and right here you may get the same old CarPlay expertise with full, vivid coloration on the display screen. At solely 6.5 inches, issues can get a bit of cramped, notably in Apple Maps or Google Maps the place you’ve got informational overlays obscuring parts of the map view.

CarPlay house display screen

There is a VW app icon on the CarPlay house display screen that takes you again to the Composition Shade system, however it’s simpler to simply use the {hardware} buttons to leap straight to your required operate from wherever you might be in CarPlay.

Apple Maps in CarPlay

The mix of CarPlay and the Composition Shade system on the lower-level Jetta trims actually helps you to see how one can get away with a barebones infotainment system. The built-in infotainment system actually does not have to assist rather more than terrestrial radio, as even primary cellphone connectivity like Bluetooth name and media assist are pointless when you activate CarPlay.

CarPlay’s “Now Enjoying” display screen

With practically all the things you want being delivered out of your cellphone by means of CarPlay, it makes even a primary built-in system rather more highly effective, so long as you’ve got a good display screen and a few good {hardware} controls across the periphery.

Google Maps in CarPlay

The Composition Shade system discovered on the lower-level Jetta trims does not embody its personal voice assistant performance, so the voice management button on the steering wheel serves solely a single operate, and that is for interacting along with your cellphone. Which means Siri Eyes Free should you’re related by way of Bluetooth, and should you’re bought CarPlay operating over USB it’s going to convey up the Siri interface for that.

Voice assistant button is at high left of proper cluster

Ports and Connectivity

The S, SE, and R-Line trims of the 2019 Jetta embody solely a single USB-A port positioned close to the underside of the middle stack, adjoining to a roomy tray the place you’ll be able to retailer your cellphone. The SEL and SEL Premium trims add a rear charge-only USB-A port.

Cellphone storage tray with USB-A port

I at all times prefer to see as many ports as potential together with one within the heart console compartment for individuals who wish to tuck their telephones away, however the compartment within the Jetta is fairly small (although deep), which might make it troublesome to incorporate a USB port inside.


Most individuals contemplating a Jetta are most likely, searching for a comparatively low cost, dependable every day commuter automobile, and the Jetta delivers on that entrance, full with probably the greatest warranties within the enterprise. All Jettas include CarPlay and Android Auto assist normal, which is nice as even an entry-level purchaser can find yourself with a reasonably highly effective infotainment system primarily based round their cellphone.

I do want that an 8-inch show, or perhaps a 7-inch one, was normal, as it will give a bit larger palette for CarPlay. Many apps look advantageous on the smaller 6.5-inch display screen discovered on decrease Jetta trims, however navigation specifically suffers from the restricted display screen area.

It is at all times good to have some type of additional show area to indicate greater than CarPlay, whether or not or not it’s a cut up widescreen fundamental show, a secondary one on the sprint, or a multifunction one within the driver’s cluster. It is nice that these lower-level Jetta trims embody one, however it may stand to some enchancment in each appears and performance.

The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta begins round $19,000, and with CarPlay being a regular characteristic it is one of many most cost-effective methods to get right into a CarPlay-equipped automobile. Producers are quickly bringing CarPlay assist downmarket in each fashions and trims, however it’s good to see VW being one of many leaders right here. If something, CarPlay is extra essential on a low-end trim than it’s on a maxed-out automobile with its personal navigation system and the entire different bells and whistles.

Should you do wish to improve your Jetta, you’ll be able to definitely do this, and the higher-end Composition Media and Uncover Media infotainment programs provide some good upgrades on that entrance, topped out by the Digital Cockpit that may fill practically your complete driver’s cluster with a navigation view on the top-end Uncover Media.

Associated Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Volkswagen

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