Volkswagen Jetta named finalist for the 2019 Green Car of the Year award 

The all-new 2019 Jetta has been named a finalist for the 2019 Green Car of the Year award by Green Car Journal. The prestigious award honors the vehicle that Green Car Journal deems to “raise the bar in environmental performance while remaining within reach of most consumers.”

It’s worth noting that the Jetta is by far the most affordable option among the contenders list, which is completed by the Honda Insight, the Lexus ES 300h, the Nissan Altima and the Toyota Avalon Hybrid. It is also the only model made in Mexico. The winner will be unveiled at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. 

“Finalists for the 2019 Green Car of the Year illustrate that ‘green’ comes in many forms,” said Ron Cogan, Editor and Publisher of Green Car Journal and GreenCarJournal.com. “Built on VW’s MQB platform, the seventh-generation Jetta offers a bolder design, greater interior space, lots of tech, and an EPA-estimated 40 highway mpg fuel efficiency rating, a milestone often achieved by hybrid powertrains, but in this case delivered by the Jetta’s 1.4-liter TSI gasoline engine,” Cogan added.

The new Jetta is powered by Volkswagen’s 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI engine, making 147 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The 16-valve engine is able to generate peak torque at just 1,400 rpm, while at the same time returning EPA-estimated fuel economy of 30/40/34 mpg (city/highway/combined) regardless of transmission choice.

The engine, internally coded EA211, features an air-to-water heat exchanger built directly into the intake module in place of an intercooler. The exhaust manifold is integrated into the head, reducing the distance that exhaust gases must travel to reach the turbocharger, thus allowing for faster response and catalytic converter light off. 

Valves work to regulate coolant flow into the head, which allows for rapid engine (and thus cabin) heating, as well as efficient cooling when the engine reaches normal operating temperature. 

Both the intake and the exhaust valves feature variable valve timing, which results in improved low-rpm performance, as well as increased torque throughout the rev range. A relatively high 10:1 compression ratio further helps the engine’s efficiency, yet it still takes regular (87 octane) gasoline.

The 2019 Jetta features a six-speed manual transmission standard, with an eight-speed automatic available optionally. The all-new eight speed automatic transmission offers the benefit of two additional gears over the Jetta’s predecessor, while remaining exactly the same weight. Primary goals in its creation were driving comfort and, of course, fuel economy. 

A shorter first gear is designed to provide faster acceleration than the previous model as well. Shift-by-wire hydraulics pair with optimized gear teeth and ultra-low friction mating surfaces to create a seamless, efficient, and comfortable drive experience.

A Start/Stop System is standard on automatic-transmission models. This technology stops the engine during idle when the brake pedal is held (such as when waiting at a red light). When the brake pedal is released, the engine restarts seamlessly.

Since its inception in 2006, the Green Car of the Year has been selected by Green Car Journal editors and invited jurors from highly-respected efficiency and environmental organizations. This year’s invited Green Car of the Year jurors include celebrity auto enthusiast Jay Leno; Jean-Michel Cousteau, President of Ocean Futures Society; Matt Petersen, President and CEO of Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator and Board Member of Global Green USA; Dr. Alan Lloyd, President Emeritus of the International Council on Clean Transportation and Senior Research Fellow at the Energy Institute, University of Texas at Austin; Mindy Lubber, President of CERES; and Jason Hartke, President of the Alliance to Save Energy.

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