Changes for the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta/Jetta TDI/Jetta Hybrid:
For the 2013 model year, VW has further distinguished the most popular member in the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta lineup, the Jetta SE, with premium cabin upgrades like chrome-trimmed switchgear, an adjustable center armrest, and a power-reclining function for front-row seats, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake lever. The exterior of the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE (and all higher trims) also receive subtle new exterior highlights in the form of a chrome-accented grille and window framing. At the top of the range, the 2013 VW Jetta SEL welcomes sport seating for the driver and front passenger, with the former also benefiting from manual lumbar support and new six-way power-adjusting functionality. Further upgrades to the SEL model’s interior include a soft-touch dash, a black-and-beige interior color scheme, and a new Navigation package with Fender premium audio.
The most athletic player on the team—the 2013 VW Jetta GLI—then gets some notable performance enhancements of its own: Launch control and a new, more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.
Note: As a reminder, the 2013 VW Jetta SportWagen continues to offer its unique combination of efficiency and versatility while riding on the previous-generation Jetta platform.
VW shows an astonishing 17 different trims for the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta at its retail website, so it’s helpful to group them by powertrain.
The 2013 VW Jetta S is the entry model, with its 2.0-liter naturally aspirated gas engine, and it also comes standard with a/c, power windows/locks/heated outside mirrors, and five-speed manual transmission; top options include a six-speed Tiptronic automatic (with Sport mode) and a sunroof package that brings cruise control with it. The SE and SEL trim levels welcome a larger 2.5-liter naturally aspirated gas engine, along with a wealth of premium content like V-Tex leatherette seating with a heated-front row, navigation, VW’s MDI Media Device Interface (with iPod cable), Bluetooth technology, and multiple audio upgrades, including one from Fender. The 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid uses the same trim designations, but starting at the SE level.
For those drivers who prefer the efficiency benefits of the brand’s clean-diesel technology, the entry point is the 2013 VW Jetta TDI—with the same features as the Jetta SE with the convenience package—while the TDI Premium ups the ante with a power tilt/slide sunroof, premium touchscreen audio and an available navigation system.
With a turbocharged 4-cylinder gas engine, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI sits on a sport suspension, while the driver and front-seat passenger sit on sport-bolstered comfort seats. Bluetooth and premium audio are standard as well, and so is a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel. A Fender sound system, 18-inch wheels and power sunroof help the GLI Autobahn model provide a more upscale alternative that can be further refined with navigation, a backup camera and LED daytime running lamps.
The 2013 VW Jetta SportWagen is available in S, SE and TDI trims.
Engines and Transmissions:
VW presents a panoply of powertrains for the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta, starting with a 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated gasoline engine that displace 2.0 liters and makes 115 hp and 125 lb.-ft. of torque; it can be mated to either a five-speed DIY transmission or a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic shifting and a Sport mode. More gasoline-sourced power is found in the car’s available 5-cylinder engine, offering 170 hp, 177 lb.-ft. of torque, and a similar choice of transmissions.
The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI holsters a clean-diesel 4-cylinder engine that develops 140 hp, and 236 lb.-ft. of torque, hooked to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission. For more enthusiastic drivers, turbocharging helps the 2013 Volkswagen GLI squeeze 210 hp and 207 lb.-ft. of torque from its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gas engine, which can route power through either the 5-MT or the DSG.
Unsurprisingly, the 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid has the most high-tech powertrain setup, with a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, seven-speed DSG transmission and water-cooled electric motor that combine to serve up 170 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque.
Fuel Economy Ratings:
With a lot of models to look at, let’s just cut to the chase here and follow the EPA’s standard city/highway/combined approach to the ratings for the 2013 VW Jetta:
- 2.0-liter, non-turbo, five-speed manual: 24/34/28
- 2.0-liter, non-turbo, six-speed auto: 23/29/25
- 2.0-liter, turbo, five-speed manual: 22/33/26
- 2.0-liter, turbo, six-speed auto: 24/32/27
- 2.0-liter diesel, six-speed manual: 30/42/34
- 2.0-liter diesel, six-speed auto: 30/42/34
- 2.5-liter, five-speed manual: 23/33/26
- 2.5-liter, six-speed auto: 24/31/26
- Hybrid, seven-speed auto: 42/48/45
By earning top scores for occupant protection in front, side, rear and rollover impact scenarios, the 2013 VW Jetta qualified as a Top Safety Pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In the other most-watched measure of safety testing, both the 2013 VW Jetta and the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid earned 4-star overall scores in the three phases of the New Car Assessment Program of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Per the latter group, the Jetta duo was awarded five stars in side-crash protection and 4 stars for both front and rollover protection. (Note that the IIHS does not test hybrid models separately from their traditionally engined siblings.)
The 2013 VW Jetta SportWagen also is a Top Safety Pick, but has not been evaluated by NHTSA as of this writing.
The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta offers all the usual suspects, including a rearview camera system, touchscreen audio and navigation, heated front seats, keyless access, pushbutton start, Bluetooth tech and LED lighting, but also provides a key differentiator in its Fender audio system. The setup relies on the same proven expertise inside the company’s legendary electric guitars and amps, and delivers 400 watts of power, nine speakers (including a subwoofer mounted in the trunk), and acoustics designed specifically for the 2013 VW Jetta’s cabin.