The next-generation Jetta , has plenty of newness on offer, having switched to the company’s MQB platform for the 2019 model year.

Along with a stretch in wheelbase, the new Jetta gains expanded passenger volume and updated features, though not an updated engine. The well-regarded 1.4-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder carries over to the seventh-generation model, making 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, but a brace of new transmissions arrive to bump the compact sedan’s fuel economy to new (gas-powered) heights.

Now that the EPA has posted figures for the 2019 model, we know the new Jetta is good for 30 miles per gallon in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and 34 mpg in the combined cycle, both with the new eight-speed automatic and the six-speed manual. Previously, the Jetta was good for 28 city/38 highway/32 combined when paired with a six-speed autobox, and 28 city/40 highway/33 with a five-speed stick.

Having a 40 mpg figure to boast about is a gold mine for the marketing department, as not many automakers field a non-diesel, non-hybrid car that offers such thrift. With VW’s “clean” diesels now a fading memory, squeezing out an extra MPG or two becomes all the more important. Volkswagen can’t be seen as an environmental laggard, future electric car plans be damned.

But how does the new Jetta’s fuel economy stack up against its rivals? Quite favorably, but it’s still not good enough to carry a “class-leading” banner.

As it turns out, the Jetta ties for third. Its MPGs match a number of solely ICE-powered 2018 model year vehicles, including the Toyota Corolla Eco and Ford Focus (when equipped with the optional 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder). While Chevrolet’s Cruze matches the VW’s highway figure, you’d have to fork over plenty of cash for an internal combustion Cruze that beats it in every way, because that car is a diesel. The Hyundai Elantra Eco, a little-talked-about 1.4-liter variant of the already efficient sedan, beats this crop of compacts in combined fuel economy (35 mpg) without resorting to electrification or compression ignition.

Still, mileage figures aren’t price, and the Jetta — marked for a window sticker reduction for 2019 — offers its top fuel economy to entry-level buyers. No need to upgrade to a higher trim, optional engine, or pricier transmission to see that extra range. The 2019 Jetta should mosey onto U.S. dealer lots in the second quarter of this year.

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