2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
While hybrid drive and turbochargers don’t normally find their way under the same hood, Volkswagen said “why not?” And given the success of their clean turbo-diesel technology, we had lofty expectations for the turbocharged gasoline/electric 2013 Jetta Hybrid, as we climbed our way through the foothills of New Mexico.
Styling is barely altered from the standard Jetta, and that’s not such a bad thing. Much like the Passat, its clean cut approach is easy on the eyes, if not head turning. Hybrid specifics include badging, a unique front grille, rear spoiler and diffuser, and aero accents on skirts and under-body.
Excellent interior comfort remains, while a hybrid oriented gauge replaces the tachometer. Upgrades are standard fare, including audio, navigation, and premium materials throughout the cabin. Trunk space of 11.3 cubic feet rates well, as does rear seat legroom.
But the major selling point, and indeed what we found most impressive, is the overall driving experience. With a 170 horsepower combined output turbocharged engine, and an impressive 7 speed DSG with manual shift mode, the Jetta Hybrid is downright German-car fun.
BEN DAVIS: It’s easy to forget your driving a hybrid for sure… this Jetta is on the same suspension as the GLI… just drop the 7 speed DSG trans into Sport mode, and you’ll forget you’re driving a hybrid in no time.
JOHN DAVIS: Where you won’t forget it’s a hybrid is at the pump. This Jetta claims 45 mpg Combined, and through an afternoon of liberal driving, we weren’t far off.
Utilizing its 27 hp electric motor and 1.1 kWh battery pack, full electric mode can be maintained up to 37 miles per hour over a distance of a few miles. Between regenerative braking, split gas/electric modes, and turbocharged full gasoline modes, the system provides a conservative yet spirited response.
Up against mainstays like Prius and Civic Hybrid, and even Ford’s newcomer C-MAX Hybrid, we think the VW Jetta Hybrid will be able to hold its own in the gas thifty market and then some.
The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is available now with prices beginning at about $25,000.
Price: Beginning at about $25,000