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2013 Volkswagen Jetta Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: First two weeks with a TDI by bdemarzo

A member in New York, United States


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Reviewed: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta

4dr Sedan turbocharged 140hp 2.0L I4 Diesel 6-speed automated manual FWD

Why the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta?

Fuel economy

With the TDI, I'm easily getting 45+ on the highway. The in-car MPG is a few MPG over actuals. Drove 600 miles in my first tank of gas. Even with a bike rack with three bikes on the back of my car (lots of extra drag), I was getting 40 MPG on a 180-mile highway trip. Fuel economy is better than excellent for a non-hybrid.

Audio & nav systems

Premium Fender audio system with touch-screen and satellite radio, plus all the Bluetooth features to hook into your phone, are excellent. Granted, I'm coming from a car that had none of these, but the VW stuff is easy to use and very intuitive. I would have liked a few more steering-wheel controls, but the big buttons on the radio itself makes you not miss having more.

Materials & workmanship

I read some other reviews about the "cheap" interior and "hard plastic" but there is nothing to complain about here considering the price point of the car. Sure, a few buttons are not exactly high-end (the climate control dials and remote mirror controls come to mind), but overall it's a solid, well laid out interior with comfrotable seats that can adjust to different driver sizes for comfort (I'm 5'10, my girlfriend is 5'1, and both of us enjoy driving the car).

Cargo capacity

Trunk is enormous given the size of the car, and there is plenty of interior space. I am amazed how much I packed in this car for a week-long trip with my kids.

Why Not the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta?


Road noise gets noticeable while on the highway, though not unlike most cars in its segment. Some reviewers complain about the diesel engine noise, but to me it is nothing to complain about.

Powertrain performance

More a complaint with the DSG automatic, which downshifts too quickly when decelerating. I often find myself popping the car into neutral and rolling to a stop with the brake to avoid the jerking from the downshift. Not a big deal once you get used to it -- just be prepared for some engine/transmission braking when you are slowing down.

Reliability & durability

Sunroof decided to not close after two weeks, I had to give it a little help with my hand, then after three days it fixed itself. If it happens again it'll have to go back to the dealer for repair. Otherwise no problems.

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