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As we take the wheel of the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, we're wondering why VW bothered to build this car at all. This is the brand that touts the fuel efficiency and performance of diesel cars, and its diesel-powered Jetta TDI already matches the highway mpg of many hybrids.
But it's easy to forget that diesel is still just a cult hit in the United States. And it isn't even on the radar of your typical hybrid buyer.
"Toyota Prius buyers don't look at the Jetta TDI at all," Rainer Michel, vice president of product marketing and strategy for Volkswagen of America, tells us. "For somebody who likes the Jetta already, why wouldn't you want to give him a hybrid?"
Later this month, VW will reach out to Jetta fans who'd rather have a hybrid than a TDI with the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid sedan.
Top of the Line
With a base price of $25,790, the 2013 Jetta Hybrid definitely isn't a budget hybrid car. It starts $2,000 higher than the Jetta TDI and a grand more than even the 200-horsepower Jetta GLI sedan.
The real difference is even larger, because the base-model hybrid is special-order only. The cheapest version you'll encounter on a dealer lot is the $27,785 Jetta Hybrid SE. The loaded SEL Premium model we're driving costs $31,975. These are all sedans, by the way, and no, VW won't offer a hybrid Jetta wagon.
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