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2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

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2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta continues to hit on all the proverbial cylinders in both sales and the sheer variety of forms in which it is offered. After a major redesign of the sedan in 2011 and the return of the sporty GLI version in 2012, the Jetta's stable grows again in 2013 with a hybrid version that is estimated to deliver up to 45 mpg. With its range of engine choices and available creature comforts, the Jetta can be a rival to budget compact sedans, such as the Toyota Corolla, or nearly keep pace with entry-level luxury cars such as its Audi A4 cousin. For those who need the extra room, there is the SportWagen, a 5-door wagon based on the previous-generation Jetta.

You'll Like This Car If...

Despite prices that compete head-on with rivals from the U.S., Japan and Korea, the 2013 Jetta exudes the build quality and dynamic handling associated with a European car. Those seeking to save money on fuel will be drawn to diesel or hybrid versions.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Jetta's historic mix of practicality and personality became a thing of the past with this latest generation, which maximized the former and minimized the latter. Base models have an appealing price but lack the character and content of their predecessors, while well-equipped models quickly lose their pricing competitiveness.

What's New for 2013

This year marks the debut of the Jetta Hybrid, Volkswagen's second hybrid (after the Touareg) and its first in the compact sedan segment. Other changes to the Jetta lineup include new leather trim in SE and higher versions, and launch control in the GLI models with automatic transmission.

Driving the Jetta SportWagen
Driving Impressions

The 2013 Jetta's plethora of powertrains translates to a correspondingly wide range of driving experiences, from underwhelming for base models equipped with the entry-level 115-horsepower 4-cylinder engine to invigorating for...

... GLI versions with VW's turbocharged 4-cylinder powerhouse. Splitting the difference are Jettas equipped with a 170-horsepower 5-cylinder engine, which has a good balance of power and fuel economy. Diesel models, meanwhile, will please drivers not only with their 40-plus mpg but the torque from their powerful yet quiet engines. Though not swift, even base Jettas are comfortable and reasonably composed, while 2.5-liter and diesel models offer more competence and driving pleasure. In addition to better acceleration, the GLI has upgraded suspension, brakes and tires that transform this sedan into something truly sporty. Hybrid models have a claimed zero-to-60-mph time of less than nine seconds, swift for such a car. The Jetta Hybrid can operate in pure electric mode at speeds up to 44 mph or travel up to 1.2 miles on battery power alone.

DIESEL ENGINE
Volkswagen is among the German automakers continuing to prove that today's diesel engines are nothing like the sooty, sputtering versions of the past. The 2.0-liter turbodiesel available in the Jetta sedan and SportWagen - mated to an automatic or manual transmission - has power to spare and fuel economy of up to 42 mpg.

GLI VERSION
Think of the GLI as the GTI of Jettas. If that alphabet soup is confusing, here's what you need to know: The GLI is one invigorating sedan. With its turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and sport-tuned suspension, this is the Jetta you'll want for twisty roads.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Details
Interior

The 2013 Jetta may be classified as a compact car, but these sedans feature a roomy, 5-passenger interior. In real-world situations, four adults will be plenty comfortable. Rear-seat legroom is commendable, as is headroom. Trunk space is a generous 15.5 cubic feet and SportWagen variants gain more than twice that room. With the 60/40-split rear seats folded, the Jetta SportWagen boasts an SUV-like 66.9 cubic feet of space, but less rear legroom than the sedan. Up front, the Jetta's cabin ranges from drab to posh, depending on trim level. Even base models have a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and height-adjustable driver's seat for a comfortable fit.

Exterior

Compared with the previous generation, some might think the latest Jetta sedan to be decidedly bland. While it might not incite passion, there also isn't much to dislike. The 4-door sedan's profile is clean and well-proportioned, except for the 15-inch wheels on base models that appear small in relation to the rest of the vehicle. Premium, eye-catching alloy wheels help give higher-end models some visual pop. The sporty Jetta GLI model has a fancier honeycomb grille with chrome accents, darkened tail lights and red brake calipers. The 2013 Jetta SportWagen carries on with its larger, rounded look from the previous generation.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 Jetta is available in a wide range of trim levels, which also means a lengthy list of standard features. At the lowest end, a Jetta S has keyless entry, power windows, AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary input, cloth seats, manual air conditioning system with pollen filter and folding rear seats. SE versions add a more powerful 5-cylinder engine, leatherette seats and cruise control. SEL trims add a sunroof, 17-inch wheels and push-button start. GLI models have a turbo engine, premium sound system and sport suspension. Base SportWagens are better equipped than their sedan counterparts, with a larger engine, cruise control, 8-speaker sound system, heated front seats and Bluetooth. The 2013 Jetta also comes with a 3-year/36,000-mile no-charge scheduled maintenance program.

Optional Equipment

Aside from a 6-speed automatic transmission with sport mode, the majority of extra features in the Jetta come as trim levels rise. Among them are sunroof, navigation system, heated front seats, Fender premium audio system with touch-screen controls, push-button start, rear-view camera and bi-xenon headlights. SportWagen versions can be had with a panoramic sunroof.

Under the Hood

Three gasoline engines, a turbodiesel and a hybrid electric powertrain are your options in the 2013 Jetta. Transmissions vary, too, from 5- and 6-speed manuals to a 6-speed automatic with a sport mode for quicker response. The Jetta Hybrid uses a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which VW says is a first among hybrid vehicles. All 2013 VW Jetta models are front-wheel-drive. Fuel economy is a strong point in VW Jettas, with the diesel and hybrid versions both attaining over 40 mpg on the highway.

2.0-liter inline-4
115 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
125 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/34 mpg (manual), 23/29 mpg (automatic)

2.5-liter inline-5
170 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/33 mpg (manual, sedan and wagon), 24/31 mpg (automatic, sedan and wagon)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, (GLI only)
200 horsepower @ 5,100 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/33 mpg (manual), 24/32 mpg (automatic)

2.0-liter turbodiesel inline-4
140 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/42 mpg (manual, sedan and wagon), 30/42 mpg (automatic, sedan), 29/39 (auto, wagon)

1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4 plus electric motor
170 horsepower (combined)
184 lb-ft of torque (gas engine)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: up to 45 mpg, estimated

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2013 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 336 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

2012 Jetta SEL Premium is Awesome!!

By on Saturday, July 9, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, beautiful interior, great value"

Cons: "Might be higher maintenance costs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought the car used from a dealer. Former car was a Camry. As someone who enjoys driving I would definitely recommend this. The 5-cyl engine provides great power and the vehicle handles quite well, better than any sedan you'll drive for the price. Design, interior and exterior, is simple and smart - no unnecessary gadgets, everything you need minus everything you don't. The SEL Premium package includes a sunroof, alloy wheels, the Fender audio system, is bluetooth-enabled, and has built-in navigation. The seats are comfortable and overall the cabin is a pleasant place to spend hours on the road if need be. The trunk is huge - and when I bought mine it came with the VW Cargo system which is essentially plastic dividers with Velcro that you can use to hold groceries, luggage, etc. in place. It looks huge compared to my old Camry's trunk. As for gas mileage, 24 city/31 highway is advertised, but so far I have averaged nearly 33 mpg combined, while never getting less than 27 for a full tank, which I consider impressive due to my driving style. Overall I have absolutely no regrets about purchasing this car. For someone who wants a more dynamic and engaging driving experience, a few essential tech features, and a really nice interior, VW is the choice for you. Despite the diesel emissions scandal, their products are generally of a higher quality than other manufacturers and their gasoline vehicles drive just fine."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Love my car!

By on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 82,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, solid, great price, low maintenance"

Cons: "It won't last forever :("

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"In light of all the stigma attached to VW Diesels these days, I still love my car. I tested it two years ago and was able to successfully drive at 70 mph 1,083 miles on one tank of diesel fuel traveling from NC to NH. I probably had another 80 miles I could have driven on the same tank but I didn't want to chance it at that point. My Jetta is a safe, reliable, comfortable six-speed manual with amazing turbo power, a great moonroof and I truly 'got what I paid for.' The car is solid, holds the road well (I got 67K miles on the original tires!), doesn't require much maintainence other than the standard warranty and that covers most everything. I'm at 82K miles on the same set of brake pads and my clutch is holding great. VW makes a great car and although the stigma is here, I still stand with my car as a reliable purchase in 2013, value for dollar. I average 47 mpg city and 55-60 mpg highway. I don't like that I might be polluting the air more than needed but it's still a great car and I know that VWGOA will do right by the people and their cars. I am certain other companies have the same issues but just haven't been caught yet but who am I to judge? I love my car and I think anyone who wants a diesel and a stick should look at the Jettas, a roomy sedan with a sporty feel."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best North American made Volkswagen ever!!

By on Sunday, July 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "The back seat is huge."

Cons: "NONE"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Test drove 4 cars. Hyundai Sonata, Chevy Cruze, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Jetta. The Jetta was not the best value in my book, but the lumbar support is what sold my wife on this VW. The ONLY problem we have had was a blown circuit for the trunk light. The dealer fixed it in 10 min. Only 1 recall in 3 years. In 35 years of buying cars, this is the best one. Plus, the dealer didn't bat an eye when we said we wanted certain options and a certain color. I do know that 125 mph going up Raton Pass is so quiet in this car you don't even realize how fast you're going w/ NO effort. If there was one thing I don't like about this Jetta, its the taillights. This is supposed to be a world-class car. But all Jetta's made in Mexico for the North American market have red turn signal lenses. They should be amber colored to be correct!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Jury still out - waiting for Dieselgate

By on Saturday, July 2, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,200

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This is our 8th VW, so yeah, I'm generally a fan of the way VW's drive, handle and go about daily chores. Long trips (44 mpg) or short ones (39 mpg), she's a great little outfit. Lacks some creature things, like backup camera, but generally a great rig. Waiting to see how "dieselgate" turns out before my final review and decision - do I keep it, or does she go?"

Great vehicle for the money!

By on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable, big trunk, quick car."

Cons: "Could have more features come standard."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my Jetta 1.8se. Bought it used with 26k miles and it has yet to disappoint me. Would be nice to have a touch screen come standard but I put one in myself. There are lots of little things VW could have done for a few more dollars such as standard fog lights and heated leather seats. Other than that it is a quality car that has handled extremely cold North Dakota winters beautifully. Has never not started for me!"

value is artificially low due to VP scandal

By on Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"This was a wonderful car. Great handling, unbelievable miles/gal diesel. When I both it the resale was extremely high. Cars with 100k miles were still going for $20k, especially when gas was $4+. Thanks to the VW scandal the value of this car has plummeted. Thanks VW I paid a premium price for a car that you destroyed. Would I recommend this car. How do you recommend a car that you can not buy anymore."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

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