Recall Alert: 2013-2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid


Vehicles Affected: About 3,837 model-year 2013-2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid sedans manufactured between October 2012 and October 2013 equipped with a dual-clutch automated manual transmission.

The Problem: Due to gearbox fluid additives, internal components of the gearbox may corrode and the resulting deposits may cause an electrical short and result in a stall-like condition. Sudden loss of power while driving increases the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Volkswagen began notifying owners Dec. 6; dealers will replace the gearbox oil with a non-corrosive version for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can contact Volkswagen at 800-893-5298, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to for more info.

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | December 13, 2013 | Comments (2)

Is there a Small, Fun-to-Drive Wagon?

My perfect car is a small wagon, 3,000 pounds tops, with a four-cylinder engine good for 180 to 200 horsepower and great road ability. I love spirited driving but want the wagon's capabilities. Any suggestions?

Lou, Pittsburgh


The wagon body style is fading away as more automakers offer sporty hatchbacks and continue to add to the seemingly endless list of car-based crossover SUVs. Some of the few choices in a smaller wagon that we find enjoyable to drive are the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, available with a 170-horsepower 2.5-liter gasoline engine or a 140-hp 2.0-liter diesel engine, and the Acura TSX Sport Wagon, which uses a 201-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. If you can spend $40,000 or more, there are the BMW 328 and Cadillac CTS wagons.

If you're willing to include hatchbacks (which are almost wagons) on your shopping list, you will have several other options. Among them are the Audi A3 and Volkswagen GTI, both of which use a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 200 hp. The Kia Forte SX hatchback is another possibility, though like the Jetta SportWagen, its 173 hp falls short of your wish list. If you can wait until late this year, Kia will add a turbocharged 2.0-liter to the Forte's engine choices.

Want more giddy up? The Ford Focus ST has 252 hp, the VW Golf R has 256 hp, the Mazdaspeed3 has 263 hp and the Subaru Impreza WRX has 265 hp. All are sporty, fun-to-drive hatchbacks, and the Focus ST, MazdaSpeed3 and Impreza WRX start around $25,000.

The Vehicle Recommender can help with your search for the perfect car. It lets you choose candidates by body style, horsepower, price, fuel economy and other major criteria.

Have a car question you'd like us to answer? Send us an email at

Research the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Vehicle Recommender
Find the Right New Wagon/Hatchback 

By Rick Popely | August 3, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 Volkswagen Jetta: What's Changed

  • Most significant changes: New turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection; independent rear suspension; VW Car-Net connected services
  • Price change: TBA
  • On sale: Early August
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? With a more fuel-efficient powertrain and the automaker's new connected services joining last year's interior updates, we're leaning toward the 2014 model, though pricing has not yet been announced.

Following last year's interior enhancements, powertrain, suspension and technology updates top the list of news coming for the 2014 Volkswagen Jetta. Most notably among these is the automaker's new turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder with direct injection, which replaces the 2.5-liter five-cylinder.

When the 2014 Jetta hits dealerships in August, Volkswagen's best-selling model will be the first in the automaker's lineup to get the new engine, on the SE and SEL trims. The engine makes 170 horsepower — on par with the outgoing engine — and improves torque by 7 pound-feet to 184. The automaker estimates fuel economy will improve by 16%, achievable on regular gas, according to spokesman Mark Gillies; the 2013 base model is EPA rated at 24/34 mpg city/highway.

By Matt Schmitz | July 10, 2013 | Comments (8)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week


Perhaps using its imposing makeover for 2013 to scare off competitors, the Toyota RAV4 continued its reign of terror atop our list of most-read reviews of the week. The compact crossover's nearest opponent, the 2013 Ford Fusion, generated a little more than a third of RAV4's reader interest. Maybe newcomers to the list, including the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid (No. 6) and the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid (No. 10), will gain enough confidence in coming weeks to face down the RAV4.

Until then, check out what was popular this week:

1. 2013 Toyota RAV4
2. 2013 Ford Fusion
3. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
4. 2013 Ford Explorer
5. 2013 Ford Escape
6. 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
7. 2013 Toyota Avalon
8. 2013 Nissan Altima
9. 2013 Nissan Pathfinder
10. 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By Matt Schmitz | February 3, 2013 | Comments (1)

Your Family Car is a Volkswagen Jetta?!

I have a baby. I carpool a lot with other moms who have babies. I have two rear-facing child-safety seats installed in my car the majority of the time, and I just got a new 2012 Volkswagen Jetta.

You may not have seen it atop any family-car lists lately, but the Jetta has a family-friendly secret that's about to get out: The backseat is big.

It's bigger than every other compact sedan on the market (in terms of rear legroom), and it's big enough that it doesn't feel like a small sedan at all. It even fits rear-facing child-safety seats comfortably, and my adult co-pilots don't feel cramped with their knees in the dash when riding shotgun, either.

By Carrie Kim | April 24, 2012 | Comments (19)

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show

Volkswagen jetta hybrid

  • Competes with: Honda Civic Hybrid, Toyota Prius
  • Looks like: This Jetta's headlights have been bedazzled
  • Drivetrain: 150-hp, turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine and a 27-hp electric motor with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; front-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2012

A longtime proponent of diesel engines as a way to save fuel, Volkswagen has also begun appealing to consumers' green sensibilities with hybrids, first the Touareg Hybrid SUV and now the Jetta Hybrid compact sedan. Available at dealerships toward the end of this year, the 2013 Jetta Hybrid will get an estimated combined gas-mileage rating of 45 mpg, Volkswagen says. That’s 1 mpg higher than the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid. With the base 2.0-liter four-cylinder and an automatic transmission, the regular gas Jetta gets combined gas mileage of 25 mpg.

More 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

In a break from other hybrid cars currently available in the U.S., the Jetta Hybrid has a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine that makes 150 horsepower. Most hybrids have a normally aspirated engine. The four-cylinder works with a 27-hp electric motor. With this powertrain, the Jetta Hybrid can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in less than 9 seconds, according to Volkswagen, and drive at speeds up to 44 mph on electric power alone. The electric motor is powered by a 1.1-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack behind the rear seat.

By Mike Hanley | January 9, 2012 | Comments (5)

Mileage Challenge 5.4: The Results

Our latest mileage challenge had editors logging more than 300 miles each in three hybrids and a diesel: the 2010 Honda Insight, 2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid, 2010 Toyota Prius and 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI. We tallied up all the numbers and corrected for a brief photography stint between Legs 2 and 3. (Angling cars around for the camera — complete with rapid stops, starts and idling — has a way of dinging your mileage, and it’s not representative of real-world driving.)

The results were striking.
By Kelsey Mays | October 22, 2009 | Comments (19)

Mileage Challenge 5.3: Dizzying Displays

Most people think all of the advanced technology in today’s hybrid cars is under the hood. While automakers continue to enhance new engines, batteries and drivetrains, they’re also working on ways to wrangle the one factor they can’t control — the driver.

To gain maximum efficiency in a hybrid, a driver must be taught to drive properly so fill-ups are few and far between. In the crop of cars we tested on our mileage drive, there were a dazzling array of displays to teach people to drive as green as possible.
By Matthew Raskin | October 21, 2009 | Comments (2)

Mileage Challenge 5.2: Avenues and Interstates

Our latest mileage challenge took three hybrids — the Honda Insight, Mercury Milan Hybrid and Toyota Prius — and one diesel, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, from Chicago to Fond du Lac, Wis., and back. The total distance came to just over 300 miles: The first 38 miles were in urban gridlock, the next 230 miles or so consisted of relatively open highway driving and the final 35 miles took place in afternoon interstate traffic.

As in our other mileage challenges, the ground rules remained largely the same: Four editors filled the tires to their recommended pressure, kept windows and sunroofs closed, drove as we normally would and switched cars at each leg to control for driving habits. But this being a challenge with hybrids there were some added things to look out for that could sway the results.
By Kelsey Mays | October 20, 2009 | Comments (7)

Mileage Challenge 5.1: Hybrid vs. Diesel

Despite gas prices averaging below $2.50 a gallon nationwide, hybrids and alternative-fuel vehicles are as popular as ever. The redesigned Toyota Prius is one of the country’s best-sellers, and Volkswagen’s TDI diesel was in short supply after it debuted at dealers earlier this year. With interest in these types of vehicles still high, we held another mileage challenge with the most popular of these cars and included both hybrids and VW’s most efficient diesel.
By Kelsey Mays | October 19, 2009 | Comments (21)

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