After seeing its redesigned compact sedan achieve record-breaking sales in its first year on the market, Volkswagen will soon add the 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid to the family, with a starting price of $24,995. The debut of the Jetta Hybrid will double the number of compact hybrid sedans available to U.S. customers, while also becoming the first hybrid in any segment to roll with a seven-speed automatic transmission. In this case, it’s an enhanced version of Volkswagen’s proven DSG dual-clutch setup, and when used in the Jetta Hybrid, it’s expected to deliver 45 mpg in combined driving. What’s more important—at least for those who prefer a dynamic driving experience—is that the car also will be able to run from 0-60 in as little as 9 seconds flat. (A Honda Civic Hybrid, for comparison, takes a tick over 10 seconds. The Jetta Hybrid also provides 60 more system horsepower, an additional 53 lb.-ft. of torque and a 1-mpg advantage in combined driving—and is $795 more expensive, too.)
Providing that kind of motivation is an advanced hybrid powertrain with a brand-new 1.4-liter turbocharged I4 engine, featuring VW’s TSI direct fuel injection, as well as a lightweight lithium-ion battery pack and 20-kW electric motor. Those components work together to deliver 170 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque and a “genuinely sporty vehicle” according to VW. On the efficiency front, the Jetta Hybrid also can travel up to 1.2 miles on electricity alone, at speeds up to 44 mph.