So you have to ask yourselves why Volkswagen would even bother making a Jetta Hybrid? It’s not like the original Jetta isn’t a good car, because it is an exceptional car with a diesel engine. So what’s up with the Hybrid?
Simply stated, VW is on a mission to become the largest car manufacturer in the world, and if they are going to catch Toyota then they have to have an answer for the Toyota Prius. The Jetta Hybrid is their answer.
Is it the equal of the Prius? No, certainly not in gas mileage, but it is close. Whereas the Prius gets 50 mpg, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid gets 47 mpg, the Jetta comes in third at 45 and that is still quite good. The Jetta is much larger than the Prius or Fusion; in fact, it is comparable in size to the Honda Civic Hybrid or the Toyota Camry Hybrid, both midsized hybrid sedans. The biggest drawback to the Jetta Hybrid is cost. For whatever reason, the VW is several thousand dollars more than its competitors, so that is something you really need to think about when looking at hybrids.
The Jetta has a turbocharged 1.4-lier four-cylinder engine with a 20 kW electric motor; it is capable of 170 horsepower with front-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. The electric motor by itself can drive the Jetta at 37 mph for a mile, which is an impressive electric motor, and it can go from 0-60 in 8.6 seconds, which is pretty darn quick for a hybrid. EPA is rated at 42/48 with 45 combined.
Safety comes by way of antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.
Standard features are many, and quite frankly this hybrid is pretty much a regular Jetta except for that electric motor. You get 15-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, heated mirrors, cruise control, full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, a trip computer and a six-speaker stereo system. Options include keyless entry, LED taillights, bi-xenon headlamps, foglamps and a rearview camera.
Replacement parts are few and far between at local salvage yards, so if you see a Jetta Hybrid at your local junkyard, you would be well-advised to pick up some used parts immediately.
So what do we say? The 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid is not the best of the class but it is darn good and worth a look.