2013 Volkswagen Jetta: What's Changed

2013 Jetta GLI

  • Most significant changes: Interior updates, backup camera and launch control on GLI models 
  • Price change: TBA 
  • On sale: TBA 
  • Which should you buy, 2012 or 2013? Buy a 2012 unless you're considering a top-level trim
  • For the 2013 model year, the Volkswagen Jetta sedan receives an extensive revision, including updated interior appointments and new features on some trims such as a backup camera and LED daytime running lights.

    A hybrid joins the Jetta's lineup for 2013; VW says it will get close to 45 mpg on the highway. More details on the hybrid will be announced closer to the model's on-sale date later this fall.

    Like last year's model, the 2013 Jetta sedan will be available in S, SE, SEL, TDI and GLI trims. Models from the S trim with a sunroof and up get an adjustable front center armrest standard. SE and TDI trims get power-reclining driver and front-passenger seats, new metallic trim on the dash and door panels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, all standard. Both trims also get more exterior chrome on the grille and window seal trim.

    All SEL trims will have a "soft-touch dash," VW says. It should clear up our complaints about the Jetta's hard, hollow-sounding dashboard. The soft-touch dash is probably the same one added to the SEL Premium trim in the previous model and the one found on the GLI trim. SEL models with navigation now come with a Fender Premium stereo; so far, we've liked the stereo on other models.

    The TDI Premium with Navigation trim gets a six-way power driver's seat and new 17-inch alloy wheels (last year's had 16s) standard. The performance-oriented GLI trim now comes standard with launch control, which helps tame wheelspin on models equipped with an automatic transmission. GLI models with navigation also get a backup camera and LED daytime running lights, something that can't be had on any other model.

    The 2013 Jetta sedan isn't on sale yet, though the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen (still based off a fifth-generation Jetta) is available now starting at $21,170, including destination. The Jetta Hybrid will be introduced later this year.

    While all the updates are an added benefit to the Jetta sedan, we won't know anything about the value you will get until Volkswagen announces pricing for the updated trims. No doubt the bare-bones S trim, which receives no real updates, will retain an attractive price.

    2011 Volkswagen Jetta Video
    Cars.com Reviews the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta
    Research the Volkswagen Jetta



    Wish they would add AWD (4-Motion) to the GLI. I'd be trading in my 2011 STI in a heart beat.


    Besides these improvements for the Jetta VW should concentrate on making its vehicles more reliable/dependable and making its dealers more consumer friendly. What good is a three year free maintenance program if some of their vehicles must constantly be in the shop for repairs of some sort or waiting for a part which may take forever to install?


    VW is doing all the right things to increase sales including non offensive bland styling. We don't need another Toyota and VW will have trouble matching the big dog's reliability records. Even the front of this jetta looks exactly like a '93 Camry. IT would be great to have a company building reliable cars with cutting edge styling, like GM did in the 50s and 60s.


    As a current 2011 Jetta S owner, I can say without question that one option ALL models need is HIDs. The S model also needs an option for a slightly better stereo. Otherwise, not many gripes here. Only time mine has seen the dealership is for interval service.


    Whenever you purchase a vehicle, make sure to subscribe to consumer reports. It's $6 and change for a month and you can look up reliability on any model. Yes, VW has had problems in the past, but have excellent reliability as of late. Also you can extend the basic warranty. I bought a 2013 GLI with an extended 80k mile warrenty for an extra 2k. Not bad at all.

    Maurice Goldstein

    I just purchased my 2013 Jetta Sportwagen TDI two weeks ago. So far my only complaint (and it's a small one) is there is no compartment in the headliner console for storing sunglasses like the 2012 model??????


    I just bought a 2013 VW Jetta S and couldn't be happier. It has punch (not as much as the 2.5 SE I tested) but it delivers pretty solid. The design is a bit more mainstream and less VW funky but it works. I loved the attractive pricing and my sales team at Mattie imports (#4 VW dealer in the country) was awesome. They took my trade and have me what I was looking for. Got me into the Jetta for cheap money and left me with nothing but admiration for how they conduct buisness. I will upgrade my headlights to HIDs and add the "Detroit" rims i picked up from a 10' GTI (5X112 42' offset) I think they will look amazing.


    And I actually like the hard plastic interior surfaces. Mine has a carbon fiber look to it and is easier to keep clean. I've never been a fan on plush/leather/wood grain interiors. I like black sport cloth seats without all the whistles and bells. My 2006 5.4L F-150 has crank windows !! So I'm pretty easy to please

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