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January 24, 2012

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Updates

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Written by: Pete
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The current generation of the Volkswagen Jetta , MKVI, went on sale in late 2010 as a 2011 model.  At that time Volkswagen received a lot of criticism for ‘decontenting’ or ‘dumbing down’ it’s most popular car to make it more appealing to American consumers.  As a result, the car has become very popular and is now one of the 10 best selling cars in the United States, something no VW has even been able to do.

Part of this decontenting required VW to come up with some cost effective ways to make it less expensive to consumers in this very price sensitive segment ruled by the cheapest cars on the road.  That meant separating it from the Golf platform for the first time in the cars 25 year history.  That meant a fixed rear suspension for all trims and even the reversion back to drum brakes on all but the highest SEL and TDI trim levels.  That also meant a for US only interior and design bits and even a ‘for-US-only’ 2.0L I4 motor and the 2.5L I5 we have only seen on our shores too.  All of these changes effectively took the slightly upscale MKV Jetta back to a level of the MKIII or MKIV Jetta not seen since 2003.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta VIDEO:

And while critics faulted VW for this move, consumers have flocked to the car and its far more attractive base price as it has seen sales double in the last 12 to 18 months.  All this is about to change for the 2013 model year of the Jetta.  In addition to the addition of a Hybrid variant we saw at the Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen is said to be replacing the 2.5L I5 motor seen in the majority of the Jettas sales, with a much better 1.4l TSI Turbocharged I4 seen in the European Jetta.

What this means is that the outgoing 170hp and 177 lb-ft 2.5L I5 will now be replaced with a 160hp and 177 lb-ft 1.4L I4 motor, a decrease of only 5% in power from an engine 56% the size.  Smaller motor equals less weight but also yields greater fuel efficiency.  The current 2.5L I5 saw worst-in-class mileage ratings of 24mpg city and 33mpg highway for the manual and 23mpg city and 31mpg highway for the 5-speed automatic.  Both of those are worse than even the GTI and CC from Volkswagen.  Now, expect to see 30-32mpg city and 38-40mpg highway ratings for the new motor, a 20%+ improvement.

In addition to a newer and vastly better motor, the 2013 Jetta will also receive some quality upgrades.  Included in this are new interior materials and finishes and even the return of a soft touch dash that people have come to expect from the German brand.  Also part of the equation will be standard 4-wheel disc brakes on all trim levels, not just the top-spec SEL and TDI models.  Seemingly the only thing to remain that critics have criticized is the fixed-rear suspension utilizing a torsion beam setup.  The GLI and Hybrid will still have the IRS, however.

Look for the newly revised, mechanically that is, 2013 Volkswagen Jett a, to hit showrooms early this summer.

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