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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.

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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 320 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

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

Best in class by far

By on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,500

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Everything"

Cons: "Few and mentioned in my review."

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

"I own a 2014 Jetta SE 1.8 w/convenience now with almost 19K miles. So many positives: Awesome seats/comfort Responsive transmissions (6spd auto) Good power-never feels slow....feels quick and great on the hwy Handles great with good ride quality Roomy Heated seats Leather steering wheel Good MPGs Great A/C Love the monster mats. Paid around $21K for it OTD including taxes. Unreal to get a car this fun and polished for that. Love this car. Negatives: Dashboard isn't flashy but it's functional, styling is somewhat conservative for some."

Garbage and a complete waste of money.

By on Monday, January 04, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Decent mileage"

Cons: "Shotty emissions quality all around!"

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

"Diesel Particulate filter gave out at 80,000 miles, which is suppose to last atleast until 120,000 and costs $2,000 to replace. Now with the VW emissions scandal, the resale of the car has already dropped $2,000. So now I'm stuck with this gutless wonder of a car. Please do yourself a favor and look elsewhere for an economical car."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Excellent car! Fun to drive and easy to maintain.

By on Sunday, December 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive and reliable."

Cons: "Small car road noise."

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

"I bought the car used from a dealership with 34,800 miles on it. I had it for 2 years and pot 30,000 miles on it. It always has run great and handles fantastic in the snow or other inclement weather. Upgrading to a CC and hoping the reliability on that is just as high!"

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Love this car!

By on Friday, December 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,900

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: "Great overall."

Cons: "None"

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

"First time buying a VW. This car is sporty, quiet, corners well, and is fun to drive. The ride is very smooth and solid. Excellent gas mileage if you drive it conservatively. Can get up and go when you want to. You have to remind yourself to drive conservatively. Love the way it handles...give you confidence. Couldn't be happier. Bought new 3/31/15."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Very comfortBle car with many unique features!

By on Friday, December 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great little care with many useful and unique feat"

Cons: "Only the bad reviews received by VW recently!"

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

"Too bad VW has caused such a bad name for the cars. I have enjoyed this little wagon and have gotten very good gas mileage. I really intend to keep the car for awhile longer since it is paid for!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

TDI Great Power Great Economy

By on Friday, November 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great power and mileage."

Cons: "Expensive to get the TDI"

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

"Volkswagen is in trouble for not making this car meet the emission standards. It is marketed at 42mpg hwy and 32 city, mine gets 52mpg Hwy and 42mpg all around. The TDI has outstanding power and is very quiet, more so than the gas powered Jetta's. I went from a Cadillac STS V-8 to this car, performance wise they are very comparable. I will not be sending my car in to be de-tuned and choked down to get worse mileage and less power."

20 people out of 38 found this review helpful

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