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Aaron Gold

Test drive: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

By November 12, 2012

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2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

It's impossible to discuss the new Jetta Hybrid without talkng about Volkswagen's TDI diesels. A sort of diesel vs. hybrid menality has sprung up among car buffs -- but now that Volkswagen is offering both, that bears a little re-thinking. I've obviously got a lot of experience with diesel-powered VWs -- Robin and I drove our long-term Passat TDI to the Jetta Hybrid preview -- and I'm sold on diesel as a fuel-efficient solution. But test driving the Jetta Hybrid made me see that there really is a place for both types of car. That said, the Jetta Hybrid really is unlike any hybrid car I've driven before -- I've done my best to explain why in my 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid review. -- Aaron Gold

Related: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid photo gallery

Other Jetta reviews:

Photo © Volkswagen

November 12, 2012 at 1:39 pm
(1) Gary from Toronto says:

Your comments and comparison are extremely relevant right now Aaron. Someone to do this has been long awaited by those of us who are regular gas guys but are thinking about diesels, turbos, and hybrids for our next vehicle.

I have been biased towards diesels because itís the long road trips that put on the most miles. Your review has not changed my mind. The hybrid vehicle price premium remains too high, using premium gas takes away some of the advantage of a high mpg vehicle, and the smaller trunk is a problem (hatchback anyone?).

Other points to note:
-Only the Koreans seem to be able to make a turbo that uses regular gas. (Why? And does a turbo hold up in the long run?)
-Having the electric motor help for the short spurts when power is needed seems to make sense. It seems a more costly way of doing this than a turbo.

November 14, 2012 at 10:50 am
(2) hunter1968 says:

Just a dumb comment… why doesn EVERY Hybrid have to have those stupid looking futuristic wheels? it was ok back 5-7 years ago but i think the public gets it by now.


November 14, 2012 at 11:40 am
(3) lwatcdr says:

@Gary Actually Ford, GM, and Mazda all make turbos that use regular.
To me which you get pretty well works out to where do you live? My wife used to commute to Dallas every day. She drove about 30 miles and it took about an hour. Lots of stop and go traffic. There she would have done best with a hybrid or even an extended range ev like the Volt. When she got to South Florida she was shocked that she could actually drive the speed limit on the Interstates. Here a TDI would be a good choice but having the option of running the AC without running the engine sure does sound good at times here.

November 24, 2012 at 1:52 am
(4) Hawaiian Don says:

I will always pick a diesel over a “gadget” car. I strictlt see these as interim tech. Diesel is not.

December 17, 2012 at 12:25 pm
(5) Glenn in SC says:

I am STILL trying to figure out why there are so many diesel fans, when the price of diesel makes the price of even premium gas look like a bargain?? I’d have to drive a LOT of miles/day to reap any benefit from paying that much per gallon of fuel. Then there’s the hit or miss availability of conveniently-located places to buy the stuff.

As I see it, the hybrid does cost more up-front, yes, but required less costly fuel and will use less of that fuel. For those reasons, I lean toward the hybrid.

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