Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $30,000
  • The 40 MPG Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
Go

2013 Volkswagen Jetta

Overview
Share this page
Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more. See what you should pay

Buy used | Trade-in/Sell

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Review

By

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.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.2
  • 8.1
  • 7.2
  • 6.7
  • 6.7
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#14

out of 16

Fuel Economy

#14

out of 16

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.5 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Volkswagen Jetta Low/wide front photo 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
2013 Volkswagen Jetta Front angle view photo

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.
Favorite Features

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 Details
2013 Volkswagen Jetta Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo 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
2013 Volkswagen Jetta photo

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
2013 Volkswagen Jetta Engine photo

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

Pricing Notes

As you'd expect from a model with such a wide range of trims, the Jetta's price varies from a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $16,000 for a base model with no options to over $32,000 for a top-line GLI Autobahn edition with the works. The 2013 Jetta SportWagen begins around $21,000 and the 2013 Jetta Hybrid begins in the mid-$20,000 range. In lower trims, the Jetta's price is similar to rivals in this competitive segment, such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra. The 2013 Jetta's price begins higher than that of the Dodge Dart, Kia Forte and Mazda3, and lower than the all-wheel-drive Subaru Impreza. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers in your area are paying for the 2013 Jetta. Long-term, the Volkswagen Jetta is expected to have average-to-good resale value, with high-mileage diesel versions of the sedan and wagon faring better, but below segment leaders such as the Subaru Impreza, Mazda3 and Honda Civic Si.

To find out what consumers are really paying for this vehicle, first select a style to see the Fair Purchase Price| Calculate payments for this vehicle

Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 195 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

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

Best Car Ever!

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Sporty, Comfortable, Great MPG"

Cons: "None"

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

"This car is Wonderfully Amazing... I got 41 MPG coming home. Seats are amazing and extremely comfortable and the handling of the car is stunning and provides inspiration. Have you closed the door? Well it sounds just like all other high quality cars. Close the doors on a Benz 350 ( My family has one) and the doors sound the same. No problems so far yet engine wise, though it is extremely powerful considering the class of car (Compact. I will buy another Volkswagen!"

Best Car Ever!

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Sporty, Comfortable, Great MPG"

Cons: "None"

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

"This car is Wonderfully Amazing... I got 41 MPG coming home. Seats are amazing and extremely comfortable and the handling of the car is stunning and provides inspiration. Have you closed the door? Well it sounds just like all other high quality cars. Close the doors on a Benz 350 ( My family has one) and the doors sound the same. No problems so far yet engine wise, though it is extremely powerful considering the class of car (Compact. I will buy another Volkswagen!"

A beautiful car!/ very good mileage/Warm & cozy!!

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Beautiful car! ...see review"

Cons: "no back seat warmers"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I'm thrilled with it! I do have to say it has not met the quoted gas mileage, at least not for us, however we are in remote area, mountainess,& so we cannot follow all the perfect conditions to get the maximum mileage. We are averaging 39 mpg. Despite the real mpg for us, this is overall a great vehicle. We've had no problems. We've received many compliments on this vehicle. It sure kept us warm this extra cold winter! (too bad back seat passengers don't get the warmed seats) Pickup is fantastic Fendall stereo is really nice. The regenerating hybrid is a marvel...we don't have to plug this one in to any electrical charger! Everyone loves the premium tire rims w/ fan-like design. We currently lease this vehicle, however we currently believe we will buy this one out & keep this one!"

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Great car -poor build quality

By on Thursday, April 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Beautiful, fast, great mileage"

Cons: "Poor build quality, lame sound system"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Love my SportWagen. Disappointed in the build quality - rattles, vibrations, loose components (heat shield, defective sunroof, the list goes on. Have owned the vehicle seven months and have been to the dealer ten times to fix stupid and annoying problems. My last VW, a 1996 Jetta GL was perfect right out of the box, was mine for eight years, never a rattle, squeak - just regular maintenance. I have spoken with other SportWagen owners, and they echo my disappointment in the quality. On the plus side, the SportWagen is a real head turner (Toffee Brown), comfortable, great diesel mileage. Only wish the Fender sound system had been available. Hoping Volkswagen addresses their quality issues. Love this car, but it will be my last VW product."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Perfect car, with a few minor caveats

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fuel economy, handling, comfort, fun to drive"

Cons: "HWY road noise, Nav system, needs better lumbar"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Love this car's design, economy, torque, and comfort. We have TDI model with all possible options. Only downsides to this car, in my opinion: Navigation system is non-user friendly, and HORRIBLE. Less intuitive than my 7 year old Garmin portable GPS. I would rate Nav system a 3 out of 10. I will replace the Nav with an aftermarket double DIN GPS in the future. Pano sunroof is awesome, but contributes to road noise. 17 inch VW premium wheels/OEM Continental tires contribute to road noise too. Even with our new aftermarket thicker side walled tires, still pretty noisy on most highways. Less highway road noise would be appreciated. Wish front seats had adjustable lumbar support."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Love my new 2014 GLI

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 750

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "geat price, fun to drive, geat gas milege, a blast"

Cons: "hard plastic doors, poor Nav"

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

"I traded in a 2012 Jetta SE manual last week for the 2014 GLI manual with Autobahn/Nav. Love the car. Took a drive from DC to NJ and back in a single day this past weekend. Rained the entire way and had total confidence in the vehicle. Drove very well, great acceleratioon, great braking and overall fun to drive. Near the end of the trip, it started sleeting and snowing and I still had great control. No slippering of the tires and brakes were still dead on. My 2012 Jetta would have been all over the road, but the new GLI still had plenty of control. Still hate the plastic on the doors and the limited options for interior colors. Wish I could get the golf ball shaped shift know like you can in the GTI. Wish the Nav had more pizzaz to it (my wife has the sync system in the ford and it is pretty good, but love the Acura Nav system the best). Overall, a great car for the money. I was also looking at a 3 series and an A4, but decided on the GLI as it was just as good for much less $$. I am a father of two and having the saloon works great."

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more.