Used 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Review


Reviews from owners of the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta

Average Consumer Rating (See all 32 reviews) Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Torque monster and extremely fuel efficient!

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Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 4dr Sedan w/Premium, Prod. End 4/13 (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)

I will start with the only thing that could be improved and that is the transmission. I have the DSG transmission and it is great and refined at normal driving speed (15 mph plus) However it is a bit rough when coasting to a stop, driving through a parking lot and other slow situations. It seems there is more low end torque than the transmission knows how to handle and when it downshifts from 3rd to 2nd to 1st gear it is not as smooth as other non-diesel non DSG cars, the dealer checked the transmission and all was good no defects were found. Everything else this car aces, fuel economy is off the charts, build quality is what you expect from VW which is excellent, no squeaks or rattles, the interior materials are solid and not cheap, ergonomics are great and I love the no nonsense designs of the controls. The car handles great and the 2.0 turbo diesel has loads of torque which makes passing and merging into a freeway a breeze (no drama it just builds speed) Road noise is better than other cars I've tested on this segment and great for long journeys, front seats are very comfortable and there is great leg room for the back occupants (I'm 6' tall). Trunk space is actually surprisingly good and mine came with a first aid kit. When it comes to fuel economy this car is a star especially on the highway, I never get less than 550 miles per tank and have gotten as much as 610 in a trip from Florida to Michigan. In conclusion I highly recommend this car to anyone. I've owned this car for almost 3 years and I bought it used with only 5k miles on the odometer.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

75k needs new timing belt

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Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE 4dr Sedan w/Convenience, Sunroof, Prod. End 4/13 (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

Be careful when looking at this car or you will end up like me. I bought this car new for the very reason I was looking for a car that can hold up to high mileage. Well what a mistake I made. The car has 75K miles on it now and the dealer says the timing chain is stretched and needs to be replaced. The dealer could not give me a reason why this happened. They did say that some screen came loose and jammed into the tension pulley of the timing chain and deprived it of oil. They told me that they have had others in with the same problem. The extended warranty people are fighting paying for the repair. The dealer could not give me a reason why this happened The repair is $2900. Not at all what I expected from a VW. It is sad that they do not back their cars. No reason for this to have happen

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

I love my jetta!

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Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE 4dr Sedan w/Convenience (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

This is my first VW. I have owned an X5 and two mini coopers. I have had my jetta 2.5 manual for 2 years. I am at 46k and i haven't had too many issues other than constantly battling the tire pressure light and regular maintainance. Ive noticed my breaks starting to squeak, the paint on the front bumper began to chip at 10k. I have white with tan interior and i constantly get compliments from co-workers and bosses that ride in it. They are also impressed when i whip it around a corner. I have achieved 43 mpg in my 2.5 SE. Overall i am impressed but small things like the front bumper paint shouldn't chip so easily.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Jetta tdi is the best car i have ever owned.

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Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)

I bought my jetta tdi on July 30 2013 and have loved it ever since. i have 27904 miles on it and have not had a single problem with it. i consistently get over 50mpg driving to work in the morning. the return trip home is stop and go about half the way and I average obtain the best mpg try to keep rpm at 2000 rpm or less. when i have the car loaded with hundreds of lbs of gear and an additional person and driving 75-80 mph i still get between 45-47mpg. with the extra cost of diesel over gas i still saved $1500.00 over what it cost to run my old 2 liter gas trade in for 20,000 miles.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Love my 2013 jetta turbo diesel 6 speed manual

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Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 4dr Sedan w/Premium (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)

I bought a 2011 new Jetta Turbo Diesel 6 speed standard and loved it so much, I sold it to my best friend and bought a 2013 with the exact same set up. They're both identical cars except for their birth year. Both are a blast to drive. I can drive it like I stole it and still get over 45 mpg. Love the electric steering. Buy the manual model if you want to have fun driving this little car. I have and will continue to recommend this car to my friends.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Loved the car...big problem

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Vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)

Bought the car new..loved the stick,turbo,diesel combination...handled like a proper German didn't settle in till 90mph+. At 35K the high-pressure (32000psi) fuel pump failed and sprayed metal fragments through out the fuel system resulting in $5000 repair bill ! Covered under warranty for 1 time but the dealer claimed it was contaminated fuel. Had only used diesel fuel from a high volume station that has city and school district contracts. Come to find out these Bosch pumps are on their 3rd redesign and one of the failure suspects is the low sulfur fuel that has no/reduced lubricants. Owner's manual says not to use additives but if you have one be sure use an additive.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta

  • The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta is roomy and quite efficient, especially when equipped with the diesel engine. But other small sedans will likely be more enjoyable to own overall.

  • Pros

    Spacious interior and trunk; smooth ride quality; fuel-efficient diesel TDI model.

  • Cons

    Lackluster interior materials; high price of TDI; sluggish throttle with automatic; weak base engine.

  • What's New for 2013

    For 2013, upper-level trims get a few new features and all but the base model get four-wheel disc brakes. An all-new hybrid model also joins the lineup later in the model year.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta

What's New for 2013

For 2013, upper-level trims get a few new features and all but the base model get four-wheel disc brakes. An all-new hybrid model also joins the lineup later in the model year.


We're over it. We've accepted it. We knew Volkswagen set its sights on massive North American sales success, and that the sixth-generation Jetta, released two years ago, would form the centerpiece of the automaker's strategy. At the time, we lamented that the new, bigger, more affordable Jetta also felt cheaper, and its cost-cutting measures were obvious inside, outside and underneath. The 2013 VW Jetta continues in this direction, and while it hasn't grown any more luxurious or premium, it does remain a solid choice in its class.

No longer simply a Golf with a traditional trunk, the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta offers a longer wheelbase and more rear-seat room than VW's compact hatchback. In fact, the Jetta's rear seat is one of the most spacious in the class, with 2 inches more legroom than the Chevrolet Cruze or Honda Civic, and 5 inches more than the Ford Focus. The Jetta's space makes it that rare compact sedan that no longer causes embarrassment when you unexpectedly need to shuttle upper-level career-makers to an important lunch.

Granted, the hard-touch plastic surfaces inside won't impress much (unless you spring for the cushier SEL trim level). In the price-point frenzy, the Jetta has lost some of the details that used to give it an edge, like adjustable armrests, rear-seat air vents and a sophisticated rear suspension. That said, most trim levels offer a pretty generous complement of standard features, while the top trims and diesel variants benefit from the premium Fender sound system with a touchscreen interface. We still like the diesel-fueled Jetta, too, and its impressive highway fuel economy.

How much all of the cost-cutting matters to you depends on your perspective. Volkswagen might have forsaken its traditional enthusiasts, yet the 2013 VW Jetta is still a solid choice as small sedans go. Its spacious interior, standard features, comfortable ride and optional fuel-efficient diesel fit well with the needs of most buyers. At the same time, though, the Ford Focus and Mazda 3 are more enjoyable to drive, the Dodge Dart is much more customizable and the Hyundai Elantra and Nissan Sentra are nearly as fuel-efficient with their base engines as the Jetta TDI, while costing thousands less.

If you're looking for something "extra" from your small sedan, the Volkswagen Jetta is a solid choice but no longer your best choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta is available in Base, S, SE, SEL and TDI trim levels. The Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen is reviewed separately, as are the performance-oriented GLI and the new Jetta Hybrid.

The base Jetta comes with 15-inch steel wheels, power windows, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, height-adjustable front seats, cloth upholstery, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker stereo system with CD player and auxiliary jack. The Jetta S adds air-conditioning, power/heated side mirrors, power door locks and keyless entry, while opting for an S model with a sunroof also nets cruise control and a front center console.

The Jetta SE gets a more powerful engine, 16-inch steel wheels, two-way power front seats (both with manual lumbar adjustment), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and brake handle, a rear-seat center armrest, a trunk pass-through and premium vinyl upholstery.

The SE Convenience package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio and an iPod interface. A sunroof can be added to the Convenience package and with it comes an upgraded sound system with a touchscreen interface and SD memory-card reader.

The SEL includes all the SE's optional equipment, plus 17-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, keyless ignition/entry, a six-way power driver seat and a trip computer. The SEL also is available with touchscreen navigation that bundles an eight-speaker Fender premium sound system with a subwoofer.

The Jetta TDI with its turbodiesel engine is equipped similarly to an SE with the Convenience package. Adding the Premium package gets a sunroof and Fender sound system with touchscreen interface. When equipped with the optional navigation system, the TDI also gets 17-inch alloy wheels, a six-way power driver seat and keyless ignition/entry.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta S comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 115 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 25 combined with the automatic and 24/34/28 with the manual. These numbers increase slightly if you use premium gasoline.

The Jetta SE and SEL get a 2.5-liter inline-5 that produces 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. The bigger engine's EPA-estimated fuel economy is actually quite similar to the 2.0-liter, rated at 24/31/27 for the automatic and 23/33/26 for the manual. Jetta SE and SEL models sold in California-emissions states can also earn super-clean PZEV emissions certification. In Edmunds performance testing, a manual-equipped Jetta SEL went from zero to 60 mph in a reasonably quick 8.4 seconds.

The Jetta TDI features a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel inline-4 that produces 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard and a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox is optional. In Edmunds performance testing, a Jetta TDI hustled from zero to 60 mph in 8.6 seconds. With either transmission, estimated fuel economy stands at an excellent 30/42/34.


The 2013 VW Jetta comes standard with traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. All Jettas have front and rear antilock disc brakes with brake assist except for the Base model, which has rear drums. In Edmunds brake testing of an SEL with summer tires, the Jetta came to a stop from 60 mph in a better-than-average 117 feet. The TDI with all-season tires closed the same distance in a more disappointing 135 feet.

In government crash tests, the Jetta earned an overall score of four stars (out of a possible five). Within that rating, it earned four stars for overall front crash protection and five stars for overall side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Jetta its best possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2013 Jetta has one of the more ho-hum interiors in the small sedan class. Build quality is still tight, but the hard plastic surfaces and overall design do little to inspire. But what the Jetta loses in finer details, it makes up for in the expanse of its cabin and a rear-seat area large enough for full-size adults to sit comfortably. The 15.5-cubic-foot trunk also is one of the roomiest you'll find in this class.

We also like the available touchscreen stereo interface and its redundant dial knob, which is ideal for controlling a portable music player. The associated navigation system, however, is a bit of a letdown due to the small screen and limited amount of display information.

Driving Impressions

Although now built for mainstream success in America, the Volkswagen Jetta still remains decidedly German with its solid and substantial feel. The ride quality is quite good, as the suspension easily soaks up most road irregularities. The Jetta's handling is hardly memorable, though, and many other small sedans feel lighter and more maneuverable at the helm.

The base 2.0-liter engine should be avoided; it's underpowered and offers no better fuel economy than the 2.5. The bigger engine isn't the smoothest nor richest-sounding in its class, but it's still the better choice. One caveat: We've noticed an annoying, delayed throttle response when this engine is paired with the six-speed automatic.

Though notably more expensive than the 2.5-equipped SE and SEL, the TDI diesel is the commuter's choice thanks to meaty low-end torque and frugal fuel economy. We'd choose the manual transmission, as the DSG automated manual also suffers from delayed throttle response when in its normal mode.


Talk About The 2013 Jetta

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta in VA is:

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  • 29
  • highway
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