REVIEW: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SE

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Hybrids. Usually not the favored vehicles of gearheads, but favored by those who want to do good for the environment. Recently, we had the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SE — a car you should be seeing a lot more of. Combining German engineering and a hybrid engine, the Jetta Hybrid wowed us. Standalone hybrid vehicles are obvious on the roads — but the Jetta blends in and with the exception of some LED taillights (and optional LED headlights), some Hybrid badging and a different grille, it’s not an obvious hybrid. With an estimated annual fuel cost of only $1,250 and fuel economy of 42/48mpg city/hwy, you’re driving a stylish car that doubles as a great addition to the already environmentally-friendly Jetta model line.

The vehicle we tested had a stylish Frost Silver exterior and Titan Black V-Tex leatherette interior. With a Premium VIII touchscreen radio with CD player, MDI with iPod cable in the glove compartment and SiriusXM radio, the Jetta Hybrid is perfect for long car rides, with ample music opportunities. It also had Climatronic climate control, heated exterior mirrors with turn signal indicators, rear spoiler and keyless access with push button remote start.

With a 1.4L, 150hp, gas powered engine and a 20kW electirc motor, the Jetta Hybrid produces a combined 170 horsepower and 184 lb/ft of torque. Getting from 0-60 was respectable, with an 8.6 second time. It took a little while to get used to the regenerative brakes, as when you stepped on the brake pedal, it felt like something was clamping down on the wheels, but over time, we were able to get used to it and admired the feature. It had a very comfortable ride and for a hybrid, it was pretty awesome. Definitely a recommendation on our end from the hybrid-vehicle standpoint.

Pros: For the price you pay, it was optioned out very well; would never know it was a hybrid just by the looks of it; very comfortable

Cons: Regenerative brakes were a little touchy and took some time getting used to; could use a little more low-end torque

QUICK FACTS:

Base Price: $26,990 || Price as Tested: $28,055

Vehicle Layout: Front-engine, FWD, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Engine: 1.4L I4 & 20kW motor; 170 hp; 184 lb/ft torque || Transmission: 7-speed DSG automatic

Curb Weight:  3,311 lbs || Length/Width/Height: 182.8/70/57.2 inches

0-60:  8.6 seconds || EPA City/Highway Fuel Economy: 42/48mpg

RATING: 7.9/10

Exterior: 8

Interior: 8

Acceleration: 7 

Braking: 6

Ride: 8

Handling: 8

Gearbox: 8

Audio: 8

Tech: 9

Value: 9

We’d like to thank Maritza Acosta at East Coast Volkswagen for getting us into a the new Jetta Hybrid — we thought the car was a great example of a hybrid! For all your VW needs, go check out East Coast Volkswagen in Englewood Cliffs, NJ and online at www.eastcoastvw.com. Make sure you tell them Greg and Dave sent you!

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