Product Reviews

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The Volkswagen Jetta appeals to the buyer who wants plenty of space, solid feel and a European driving experience. The broad line spans a frugal hybrid and diesel versions and tops out with a sporty, upscale GLI. While the current-generation Jetta started out as a coarse and decontented car, continual updates have significantly improved how the Jetta drives and how it scores in our testing.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
NA
2006
2007
NA
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
NA
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard, available in rear from 2006. Head protection air bags standard from 2001. ESC available in 2003, standard from 2009.
Road Test

The Volkswagen Jetta appeals to the buyer who wants plenty of space, solid feel and a European driving experience. The broad line spans a frugal hybrid and diesel versions and tops out with a sporty, upscale GLI. While the current-generation Jetta started out as a coarse and decontented car, continual updates have significantly improved how the Jetta drives and how it scores in our testing. Now it's a solid, competent and well-rounded sedan with good driving dynamics, a roomy interior and easy controls. It's also competitivein terms of performance and fuel economy -- all of which make it very competitive in its compact sedan class.

The uplevel gasoline-powered Jettas have a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which feels effortless and gets 30 mpg overall.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 7-speed Sequential
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Sequential
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.4-liter 4 hybrid (170 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 (115 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbodiesel (140 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (200 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 5 (170 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2013 Volkswagen Jetta owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

“The headlights including running lights blow out every month to two months”

Kevin C., ON (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Cruise control

“@30 mph clicks off”

John F., CA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

“dealer said they dont know how to fix it”

Anonymous, FL (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Gauges

“fuel gauge not going all the way full and we lost all gauges but the odometer once”

Anonymous, IN (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

“When the car was brand new could not read the gauges”

Gordon W., NY (2013 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

“Some kind of onboard module wouldn't allow the car to start. I took VW a month to figure it out”

Martin S., TX (2013 Volkswagen Jetta S 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Driving 55 mph, driver door swung open and for 20 miles would not stay shut, even when lock engaged. Also, one time driving 50 mph engine simply cut out, then restarted 5 seconds later”

Anonymous, NY (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Tire pressure monitor

“It has not been accurate from the moment we drove the car out of the lot”

Gordon W., NY (2013 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Warning lights

“False warning lights on washer fluid low”

Anonymous, MA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wiper motor or washer

“windshield motor went bad...dealer fixed it, but it failed again after picking it up...dealer did something that made the radio and cruise control fail....they denied and said it was coincidence”

Anonymous, FL (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Wiper motor broke and was replaced by dealership”

Don M., WA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta S 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

“Problem caused idiot light to come on”

Anonymous, NY (2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Subject to VW scandal. Waiting for settlement from VW”

Anonymous, ON (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

“Diesel fuel filtration system --under warranty Engine light came on couldn't tell there was an issue with the engine”

Anonymous, NE (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Unsure)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

“THEY FAILED”

Anonymous, NY (2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“Needed replacement”

Anonymous, NY (2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

“a $200 temperature sensor in the worst possible position to get to failed”

Anonymous, PA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen freezes up

“DISPLAY SCREEN WILL FREEZE ON "STATIONARY" WHEN CAR IS MOVING. IT WILL NOT SHUT-OFF UNTIL CAR IS STOPPED AND RESTARTED. I CAN NOT GET ANY INFO FROM THE DEALERSHIP OR THE FACTORY”

Paul C., NM (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Has had bugs that required visits to the dealer to fix. Is now working well”

Thomas G., CA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“Phone pairing cut out for no reason. Menu to re-pair phone grayed-out the necessary selections to re-pair the phone. After shutting car off and restarting, phone pairing was back with no need to re-pair it”

Anonymous, NY (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Speakers

“Bluetooth speakers had lots of static and were unclear”

Anonymous, NC (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

“Premium audio (Fender) speakers buzz and rattle. One replaced under warranty. Second has started to rattle. Audio quality disappointing”

James M., GA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Steering wheel controls

“controls on steering are such that every time you turn the wheel you start the the system questioning you”

John V., OH (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Unsure)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“After they replaced the window seals in the drivers door twice, water is no longer sealed out of the door at the bottom of the window”

Ira S., CO (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Squeaks or rattles

“interior console and dash parts were loose from the beginning and create small irritating rattles”

Anonymous, CA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“The windows squeak. Drivers window motor had to be replaced. At first they tried lubricating it and got silicone all over everything and had to replace all the window seals, TWICE. The windows still squeak and I'm afraid to have them look at it”

Ira S., CO (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Intermittent, loud rattle in cabin rear or roof”

Brandon G., CA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Wind noise

“fit and finish of windows and doors is inferior and creates a lot of noise”

Anonymous, CA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“At speeds above 40 mph with the sunroof raised there was a loud, annoying wind whistle. The dealer traced it to a defective seal and it was replaced under original warranty. Problem fixed completely”

Marcia K., CA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“Check engine light turned out to be a problem with the electric A/C compressor. In the Jetta Hybrid the A/C compressor is electrically driven by the battery high-voltage. The A/C compressor was replaced under the OEM warranty”

Erik V., MA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Takes too long to cool the interior. Boast VW, Bradenton, Fl. said that it was OK. Not happy”

Anonymous, KY (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

“Had freon leak. VW Dealer tested and found the AC Compressor leaking and replaced it under warranty”

Anonymous, TX (2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

“Auto sync on A/C module stopped working; replaced under warranty by dealer”

Anonymous, FL (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Entire system failed”

Horst B., AZ (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

“Manual transmission clutch assembly failed due to design defects and had to be replaced with an upgraded clutch assembly Part Number with revised design. Issue was not due to clutch wear as corroborated by the dealership. Car was under powertrain warranty at the time, but Volkswagen refused to honor the warranty and forced out of pocket payment. Had to file a complaint and threat of legal action with the Michigan Attorney General and the Secretary of State, which prompted VW to reconsider and”

Nehal R., MI (2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Car lurched or hesitated. The dealer diagnosed it was the transmission and fixed under warranty”

Anonymous, MN (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“at 50000 km trans got noisy - replaced by warantee”

Anonymous, ON (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

“Drivers door leaking”

Anonymous, GA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Door handle broke”

Anonymous, NJ (2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Mirrors

“Power mirrors never worked properly”

John V., OH (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Unsure)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

“Transmission lugging”

Anonymous, MT (2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Rough shifting

“The clutch-pack in the Jetta Hybrid automatic transmission started to shift roughly at about 65,000 miles. It was replaced at about 70,000 miles under the extended warranty we had purchased with the car. Now, around 90,000 miles the replacement clutch-pack is showing early signs of rough shifting as well”

Erik V., MA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Transmission leaks

“The o-ring seal on the filter housing was not replaced with the gear oil and was damaged when reinstalled. This caused the transmission to pump oil out the filter housing and 30,000 miles later the dealership noted removing 4 liters of oil and adding 5 liters new. No metal scraps were found in the old oil so gear damage is unlikely. (the shop that did the 40k transmission service was not a dealership but claimed factory trained technicians and is now bankrupt) use a trusted shop”

Dustin C., WA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Rotors

“Feel they are getting replaced too often”

Martin J., NY (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Master cylinder

“Same thing that I answered before. BUT this one came from Boast VW , Bradenting, Fl. They said that breaks were OK”

Anonymous, KY (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Regular brake failure

“Hybrid system failure which caused power breaking to downgrade to manual. I had to depress the brake pedal all the way to the floor. This happens intermittently. Dealer reprogrammed then horn was disabled, then fixed. Brakes not consistent or safe”

SUSn D., MD (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Power steering pumps and hoses

“Pump needed replacement. Would have been 1500 if we hadn't purchased the extended warantee”

Steven S., MA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 2.5-L 5 Cyl)
Alignment

“Car out of alignment and wearing the original tires unevenly. Do not remember hitting anything. Dealer had rotated tires but did not inform me of the uneven tire wear”

Sandy F., WA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

“Rear bumper panel started coming loose due to damaged body clips; repaired under warranty by dealer”

Anonymous, FL (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Paint is chipping”

Anonymous, NE (2013 Volkswagen Jetta SEL 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

“These Direct inject engines are well known for having carbon buildup on intake valves. 71000 miles into owning, I get an ECM light and nearly completely loose power on I-5. Compute puts me into limp mode and I wait 2 hours on a Sunday night for a tow. The entire intake needs to be removed and the carbon needs to be scraped off. Car was in the shop for 3 days (during which they found a transmission oil leak) and ended up being pricey”

Dustin C., WA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

“Metal piece inside top part of engine (where you pour oil in) broke loose, damaged valvetrain, VW replaced valves and a lot of other parts in the top part of the engine. Happened at 35k mi”

Jameson S., CA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Hybrid/electric system and battery (excluding replacement)

“Warranty replacement of Mechatronic unit (Volkswagen's term). Symptoms affected engine (ran rough) and hybrid system (at times woulld only use gas engine or only use electric motor)”

Andrew M., MN (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Oil leaks

“The oil filter housing is made of plastic. The design is solid but the filter housing needs to be made more durable, probably of metal”

Anonymous, NY (2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.5-L 5 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

“Shortly after purchasing the vehicle exhaust smells were detected in the passenger compartment. The dealer was unable to locate the source of the smells. Two years later the dealer finally located the source of the smell--a failed gasket between the exhaust manifold and catalytic converter. Since the smell had been documented during the warranty period of the vehicle it was fully covered”

Marcia K., CA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Radiator

“The radiator leaked so all the fluid came out of the car. This required a $1200 repair. The radiator had to be placed on another visit and that was an $1100 repair”

Thomas G., CA (2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid 1.4-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

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