I always say yes to any party which involves snacks, Donkey Kong, and test-driving a sporty sedan. So of course I RSVP’d in the affirmative to Volkswagen’s Jetta Haus pop-up in Culver City.

The star of this party was the 2019 Jetta, the 7th generation of a venerable marquee that has sold 17 million units worldwide since its debut. VW has some rebuilding to do thanks to the emissions scandal. Big picture: how do you start to shake off the bad mojo when the time comes to launch one of your most important vehicles?

Jetta Haus Los Angeles – Photo by Bobby Holland

Well, if you’re targeting young buyers and you’ve got a solid product like the 2019 Jetta – throwing a awesome party isn’t a bad idea. That’s the strategy behind “Jetta Haus,” VW’s multi-city haus-party (no, I am not going to stop writing “haus”) with stops in Miami, New York, Miami, and L.A.

Inside the Jetta Haus

As far as activations go, I have to hand it to VW for really knowing their audience. According to J.D. Power Jetta owners skew younger than the industry average and are style-conscious performance enthusiasts. This demographic doesn’t want to be sold to, they want to experience. Hence the Jetta Haus pop-ups featuring snacks, Red Bulls, art and music. It’s like a college lounge but with Jettas in it. And I have to say even though my #DadBack doesn’t qualify me for “younger” status anymore, the combination worked on me.

Mood lighting: the 2019 Jetta is like a club on wheels.

Jetta Haus invites the target audience to Netflix and chill for a while, then discover the 2019 Jetta at their own pace. After talking with the artist drawing on a Jetta (art cars never get old to me), decorating the Giant Lite Bright Board  and partaking in a VW-blue donut, I checked out the “Mood Booth” where I experienced the full gamut of interior colors available. It reminded me of Willy Wonka, and I’m sure was a huge hit with LA’s Instagram celebrity population.

Cameo by LA Car on the Giant Light Bright

I hopped into the R-line trim because anything with “R” just feels faster, right? The R-line features 17″ R-line alloy wheels, two-tone leatherette, and foglights. Styling-wise the new Jetta won’t disappoint VW fans with its clean appearance.

2019 Jetta 1.4T R-Line

My navigator on the short route through Culver City was our very own video editor Bobby Holland. Interior was quiet enough for us to plot our takeover of the local automotive media landscape. The 1.4T engine was good enough for getting us off the line and passing on city streets. I would have liked some paddle shifters at certain points, but I love that a manual is available (in the base S trim). The Jetta shines like its predecessors in the handling department – even just driving around town at 6/10ths it offers plenty of fun.

The more luxurious SEL trim

I am looking forward to doing an in-depth review of the 2019 Jetta. If my too-short time with the Jetta proved anything its that VW has plenty to offer its enthusiasts and more importantly, isn’t giving up on making new VW enthusiasts in the future.

by Glenn Oyoung

photos by Bobby Holland