Volkswagen last redesigned the popular Jetta for 2011, and with some well-timed updates and upgrades, the sedan enters 2013 better than ever. The sixth-generation sedan features larger dimensions inside and out and there's plenty more to like.
The Jetta is offered in five trim levels, with four different powerplants. The base model is the S, which offers a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine that makes 115 hp. SE and SEL models are powered by a 170-hp 2.5L 5-cylinder. TDI Jettas come with Volkswagen's proven 2.0L direct-injection turbodiesel, which is good for 140 hp and 236 ft-lb of torque and 42 mpg on the highway. Finally, GLI models are powered by a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder making 200 hp. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard on S, SE and SEL models, while a 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic and Sport mode is optional. A 6-speed manual is standard on the TDI and GLI, with the 6-speed auto optional.
S models come equipped with standard goodies such as heated power side mirrors, one-touch up/down power on all four windows, an AM/FM/CD stereo with MP3 playback, 6-way manual adjustment, air conditioning and a 60/40 split folding rear seat. Jetta SE and TDI models add power reclining front seats, metallic trim on the dash and door panels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, V-Tex leatherette seating, an armrest and pass-through for the rear seat and cruise control. SEL trims bring a 6-way power-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar support, a new "soft-touch dash," 17-inch alloy wheels, bumper-integrated halogen fog lights, chrome accents, touch-screen navigation, Bluetooth, heated front seats, interior leather accents and a multi-function trip computer.
Packaged convenience options for the SE add many of the premium features of the SEL, including heated seats, a premium audio system, and Bluetooth, while a sunroof package includes an even more robust touch-screen stereo system with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer and SD memory card reader, plus a tinted power sunroof. The sunroof is available on the SEL as well, as is a sport package that adds a specially tuned suspension, sport seats, and aluminum trim on the pedals and door trim.
Standard safety equipment on all Jettas includes 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, driver and front passenger front and side thorax airbags, side curtain airbags, traction and stability control and engine braking assist.
Following a redesign in 2011, the Jetta sedan sees several changes for 2013. For starters, a hybrid model joins the lineup, due out later in the model year. Volkswagen claims it will return close to 45 mpg on the highway. Across the rest of the Jetta lineup, many interior appointments and options get reshuffled and updated.
Jetta S, SE, SEL, TDI and GLI models carry over with various changes. Models from the Jetta S trim with a sunroof and up get a standard adjustable front center armrest. SE and TDI trims get power reclining front seats, metallic trim on the dash and door panels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, all standard. Both trims also get more exterior chrome on the grille and window seal trim. The SEL receives a 6-way power-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar support, as well as a new "soft-touch dash." Launch control is new in GLI models with the optional DSG transmission for 2013, which allows for a perfect launch with controlled wheelspin.