We Drive: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SE and SEL Premium First Drive

By Trevor Dorchies | November 14, 2012
There's less elbow room in the hybrid segment nowadays and it's about to get a little more crowded. Meet the all-new 2013 Volkswagen Jetta hybrid. We recently had a chance to get behind the wheel of Volkswagen's latest hybrid vehicle, and, to be blunt, we were impressed. In a segment notorious for lacking anything resembling a soul, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta hybrid provides a much-needed shot in the arm. Next to the Golf and original Beetle, the Jetta is one of Volkswagen's most popular vehicles to ever roll out of Wolfsburg. That's why it only makes sense to add a hybrid drivetrain for such a venerated model in Volkswagen's stable. However, as good as the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta hybrid is, it also is up against steadfast models like the Toyota Prius. To make matters worse for the Jetta hybrid, the Prius clan recently saw its family grow to five separate variations. Both Jetta models we drove are also priced close enough to each other, but here's where we found the Jetta hybrid to create some space for itself. Unlike many entrants into the hybrid segment, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta hybrid has an interior identical to its gasoline powered sibling. Perhaps the best part of the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta hybrid is that it drives and handles just like the gas variant. Our drive route took us through altitude changes that went as high as 4,000 feet, but the Jetta hybrid's 1.4-liter turbocharged engine felt right at home. Rated at 170 horsepower, when we stepped into the accelerator pedal every pony came running and we took off quickly soon after. Even with all of its positives though, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta hybrid has a steep hill to climb if it wishes to infiltrate a niche' market like the hybrid segment. Volkswagen knows that the Jetta hybrid can compete with the best of them, but it also knows that the masses aren't fully committed to hybrid technology just yet. That's fine, too, because the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta hybrid will be ready. Once the masses are too, the Jetta hybrid, which is quite possibly the best option in the segment when looked at as a whole package currently, will be waiting. Check out our full first drive review of the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta hybrid to get the whole story and our opinions of Wolfsburg's latest take on its popular compact sedan. Be sure to check back for more first drives, road tests, and other quick drives, too. Have a vehicle you want to see reviewed? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
  • 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hyrbid Drivers Side Front Three Quarters
  • 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hyrbid Drivers Side Rear Three Quarters
  • 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hyrbid Front
  • 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hyrbid Glovebox And Connector
  • 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hyrbid Interior
  • 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hyrbid Trunk Lid Badge
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