The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid combines something VW is well-known for, turbocharged engines, and something they are not necessarily known for, hybrid drivetrains. Together, this makes for a highly efficient, but still relatively sporty and fun car. The Jetta Hybrid may not be the most efficient hybrid on the market, but it's more fun on the road than its nearest competition, the best-selling Toyota Prius.
Most of our driving here in Wyoming is on the highway. Until recently, this has meant that most hybrids were not much good to us in terms of fuel savings. Newer models, however, are becoming highly efficient at highway speeds, with the market leader, the Prius, achieving better than 50 mpg. The Prius is not exactly known as a sporty or fun ride, though.
The Jetta from Volkswagen is. While basically sitting in the market as a compact sedan or hatchback (depending on model choice), the Jetta has so far made its name for efficiency thanks to the TDI diesel option. With the 2013 Jetta Hybrid, this changed and a new, 45 mpg highway option is being offered.
Those of us living in Wyoming can appreciate a practical car that gets good mileage, but many would prefer that vehicle to also have some fun factor included. The Jetta Hybrid is one car that is a hybrid in name only in that regard. It is fun to drive, though not a sports car by any stretch, with a responsive steering touch and moderately good acceleration feel. Compared to many other compact hybrids on the market, outside of the newly-emerging "sport hybrid" class, the Jetta Hybrid has a much more powerful feel. The 2013 Jetta Hybrid outputs about 170 horsepower altogether, which may not win it any checkered flags, but will definitely keep it ahead of the average hybrid in the pack.
Inside, the 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid is a roomy little compact with plenty of headroom and shoulder room for the driver and front passenger. The rear seat is a well-designed bench that offers more legroom than the Honda Civic and a decent-sized trunk, though it is somewhat smaller due to the battery pack for the hybrid system.
The interior trim is good, but not great, even in the highest-trim model (which is what I drove). It's not cheap, but it is not premium either. It gives the impression that VW was struggling to get a premium feel from not-so-premium materials. It is well laid out, though, with typical Volkswagen German efficiency throughout. Seating is far more comfortable than one might expect in a compact.
The base price for the 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid is about $25,000 and it comes well-outfitted at just under thirty. As tested, our Jetta Hybrid weighed in at $31,180 plus destination.
All in all, the 2013 Jetta Hybrid gave a great first impression and appears to make for a great choice for Wyoming families looking for a suitable commuter cum small family car.
The 2013 Jetta Hybrid was driven on Colorado roads for about an hour under various traffic and roadway conditions as part of a press event in the Colorado Springs area.