The Jetta is Volkswagen’s best-selling model in the U.S. and for 2013 the sixth-generation German compact sedan gets several technology and interior updates that make it even better.
The Jetta was redesigned completely in 2011 and made bigger with a longer wheelbase and 2.9 inches added to the overall length. At the front the coupe-like incline of the windshield, horizontal lines and horizontal blades in the grille and lower intake make the Jetta look even wider and more dynamic.
A “tornado” line cuts through the large side surfaces as a sharp crease from the rear edge of the headlight, running beneath the windows then softening as it reaches the taillights. The base of the doors is pushed outward and the pronounced wheelarches add visual width and weight.
Starting with the popular 2.5-liter engine models, standard updates to the SE trim include chrome-trimmed interior switches, new decorative metallic trim on the dash and door panels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake lever. Additional interior enhancements for the front seat area include an adjustable center armrest and power-recline on both seats. Exterior enhancements include a chrome radiator grille and chrome window trim.
The SEL trim adds a six-way power driver seat with manual lumbar support, sport-comfort driver and front passenger seats, and a soft-touch dash. A two-tone black-and-beige interior complements the changes for 2013.
A new trim level, SEL with Navigation, adds the Fender premium audio system and the RNS-315 touchscreen navigation system.
Even the entry-level Jetta models come very well equipped. The 2.0-liter Jetta S, with a starting price of $16,675, has standard air conditioning, one-touch auto up/down power windows, power locks with keyless entry and power heated exterior mirrors, along with safety features such as Electronic Stability Control, six airbags, four-wheel disc brakes and Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System.
The 2013 Jetta lineup offers five engine options, including the gasoline 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder, 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder, 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder, and 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel. The 2.0-liter fourcylinder that powers the Jetta S and Jetta S with Sunroof models has two valves per cylinder and sequential multi-point fuel injection to deliver 115 hp and 125 pounds-feet of torque. It’s offered with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. With the manual five-speed, fuel economy is estimated at 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highwayVolkswagen’s proven 170 hp 2.5-liter engine (23/33 mpg) is offered in the 2013 Jetta SE, SE with Convenience, SE with Convenience and Sunroof, and SEL models. It has a chain-driven double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and maintenance-free hydraulic valves.
Jetta GLI models — GLI, GLI Autobahn and GLI Autobahn with Navigation — are powered by a double-overhead cam, 16- valve, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline fourcylinder engine that produces 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com