2013 Volkswagen Jetta Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jun 30, 2013
  • Gas, diesel and hybrid powertrains available
  • EPA-estimated to achieve up to 48 mpg on the highway
  • Front-wheel drive (FWD)
  • Sedan and wagon body styles
  • Up to 66.9 cubic feet of cargo space with wagon's rear seats folded
  • 5-passenger seating
  • 3-year/36,000-mile free factory-scheduled maintenance


For 2013, the Jetta SportWagen has been carried over with only minor equipment changes, but Volkswagen's popular Jetta Sedan lineup grows with the addition of an SEL with Navigation trim level, as well as an all-new hybrid model. Most Jetta Sedans have been upgraded with leather and chrome interior accents, adjustable front center armrest, power-reclining front seats, and a padded dash (SEL and TDI models). The performance-oriented Volkswagen Jetta GLI, when equipped with an optional dual-clutch automated manual transmission, now features a launch control system.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta S Sedan, powered by a 5-cylinder gas engine, is rather basic with black manual outside mirrors and 15-inch steel wheels, while the S with Sunroof trim level is dressed up a bit with a power tilt/slide moonroof. Volkswagen equips the Jetta SE Sedan with larger 16-inch steel wheels and body-color turn signal mirrors, but buyers will need to move up to the SE with Convenience trim level if they want standard 16-inch Sedona alloy wheels. The SE with Sunroof and Convenience Sedan also features those upgraded rims and the power tilt/slide moonroof, whereas SEL and new SEL with Navigation variants are fitted with 17-inch Joda alloy wheels and fog lights.

Volkswagen also offers the 2013 Jetta Sedan in TDI (turbocharged direct injection) form powered by a 4-cylinder diesel engine. The base TDI Sedan features 16-inch Mambo alloy wheels, the TDI Sedan with Premium adds the power tilt/slide moonroof, and the TDI Sedan with Premium and Navigation trim level includes 17-inch Joda alloy wheels and fog lights.

The sportiest of 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Sedans carry the GLI badge, which is backed by a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and a sport-tuned suspension. Designers differentiated the exterior with a honeycomb grille insert and 17-inch Bathhurst alloy wheels. GLI Autobahn and GLI Autobahn with Navigation models are upgraded with 18-inch alloy wheels and the power moonroof.

New for 2013, the VW Jetta Hybrid Sedan is available in no-frills base guise featuring 15-inch steel wheels, or SE with LED taillights. A Hybrid SEL variant is made distinct with its 16-inch alloy wheels, power moonroof, and heated windshield washer nozzles, while the top-of-the-line Hybrid SEL Premium is home to 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, and adaptive HID headlights.

Complementing the many Jetta Sedan versions is a lineup of Jetta SportWagen models, including a base 2.5L S trim level equipped with heated power-adjustable turn signal mirrors, roof rails, 16-inch steel wheels, heated windshield washer nozzles, and a rear window wiper. A SportWagen 2.5L SE variant is upgraded with 16-inch Sedona alloy wheels, and a 2.5L SE with Sunroof is fitted with a power tilt/slide moonroof and 17-inch Porto alloy wheels. For buyers who want better fuel economy, Volkswagen offers an entry-level TDI model fitted with 16-inch Bioline alloy wheels, as well as TDI with Sunroof and TDI with Sunroof and Navigation trims including 17-inch Porto alloy wheels and the power moonroof.

Interior Features

Contrasting with its exterior, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta S Sedan's interior is more fully equipped, offering an adjustable front armrest, height-adjustable driver's seat, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, cloth upholstery, and an auxiliary audio input jack. The S with Sunroof trim level adds cruise control, while the Jetta SE Sedan features power front seats and leatherette upholstery, and the SE with Convenience goes a couple steps further with Bluetooth connectivity and streaming audio, heated front seats, satellite radio service, and a 6-speaker touch-screen sound system. An upgraded version of that system--including HD Radio--is standard on the 2013 Jetta SE with Sunroof and Convenience Sedan.

Volkswagen delivers a more premium feel in the Jetta SEL Sedan, which serves as host to newly designed power front seats with 6-way adjustment for the driver, and push-button start. The SEL with Navigation includes these amenities plus a touch-screen 400-watt sound system and navigation system.

The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Sedan is a diesel-powered duplicate of the Jetta SE with Convenience Sedan; the Jetta TDI Sedan with Premium adds the touch-screen 400-watt audio system, and the TDI Sedan with Premium and Navigation features push-button start.

All GLI variants are equipped with upgraded touch-screen audio and front sport bucket seats. The GLI Autobahn adds leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, and dual-zone climate control; GLI Autobahn with Navigation models boast touch-screen navigation, push-button start, and a rearview camera.

Each of the 2013 Jetta Hybrid Sedan models feature a soft-touch dash and dual-zone climate control. Hybrid SE variants tack on push-button start and touch-screen audio with HD Radio, Hybrid SEL variants offer navigation and heated front seats, and the Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium includes the 400-watt sound system and rearview camera.

Inside, the Jetta SportWagen's trims are similar to those of the Sedan. The base 2.5L S features an 8-speaker stereo, heated power front seats with 6-way adjustment for the driver and passenger, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated controls, and a cargo cover. Leatherette upholstery and leather trim are standard on the SportWagen 2.5L SE, as is the touch-screen audio system. TDI SportWagens are equipped much like their Sedan counterparts.

Optional Features

All of the features available on the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta are packaged into the various trim levels, meaning there are no factory options. With that said, buyers can purchase splash guards, all-season floor mats, and other accessories from their dealer.

Under the Hood

A variety of powertrains are offered for the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta lineup, including a 2.0-liter 4-cyilnder engine that delivers 115 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine that generates 170 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque. Both are paired with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic with manual-shift and sport modes. All 2013 Jetta models are front-wheel drive.

Jetta TDI variants feature a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine with turbocharged direct injection and output measuring 140 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. Buyers can opt for a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

A gasoline-powered, 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is under the hood of the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Sedan, producing 210 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. Again, buyers have the choice of a 6-speed manual or the 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Jetta GLI Sedan's launch-control feature provides maximum off-the-line acceleration while eliminating bothersome and performance-eroding wheelspin, according to VW.

The new Jetta Hybrid is equipped with a 1.4-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine joined by a 7-speed dual-clutch automated-manual transmission, electric motor, and 220-volt battery, collectively generating 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta are:

  • Jetta Sedan with 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and manual transmission: 24/34/28 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Jetta Sedan with 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and automatic transmission: 23/29/25 mpg
  • Jetta Sedan with 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine and manual transmission: 23/33/26 mpg
  • Jetta Sedan with 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine and automatic transmission: 24/21/26 mpg
  • Jetta TDI Sedan with manual transmission: 30/42/34 mpg
  • Jetta TDI Sedan with automatic transmission: 30/42/34 mpg
  • Jetta GLI Sedan with manual transmission: 22/33/26 mpg
  • Jetta GLI Sedan with automatic transmission: 24/32/27 mpg
  • Jetta Hybrid Sedan with automatic transmission: 42/48/45 mpg
  • Jetta SportWagen with 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine and manual transmission: 23/33/26 mpg
  • Jetta SportWagen with 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine and automatic transmission: 24/31/26 mpg
  • Jetta TDI SportWagen with manual transmission: 30/42/34 mpg
  • Jetta TDI SportWagen with automatic transmission: 29/39/33 mpg


The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta's standard safety features include 6 air bags, traction control, daytime running lights, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan received an overall rating of 4 (out of 5) stars. As this preview is written, the NHTSA has not rated the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan and SportWagen received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for moderate overlap frontal-impact crash protection; the Jettas also received a "Top Safety Pick" designation from the
Explore car shopping guides
What Is A Smog Check?
What Is A Smog Check?
In this article, we will talk about smog checks, explaining what the process entails, pricing, and the frequency in which they should be performed. Let’s get started. 
Read the full review
Are Destination Charges Negotiable?
Are Destination Charges Negotiable?
When buying a car, specific fees always play a significant role and may unnecessarily inflate the sum. Let’s discuss destination fees and give some invaluable advice about purchasing vehicles.
Read the full review
What EVs are the Cheapest to Run?
What EVs are the Cheapest to Run?
Electric vehicles (EVs) provide many benefits, not the least of which is that they cost less to operate than a similar gas-powered vehicle. This article explains how to calculate an EV’s running costs and includes a list of the 10 most efficient EVs in terms of running costs.
Read the full review
Read all articles

Scroll to the top
New Car Preview
2023 Mercedes-AMG C 43 Preview
Most Dependable
2019 Vehicle Dependability: Most Dependable Family Cars
Most Popular
10 Most Popular Coupes and Convertibles
New Model Update
New for 2019: Ford Cars
New Car Preview
2024 Chevrolet Silverado HD Preview
More related