Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid Review
The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid ranks 25 out of 41 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, as well as reliability and safety data.
Other hybrids may be cheaper, but the VW Jetta Hybrid’s peppy turbocharged engine and sporty handling make it worth consideration for spirited drivers, reviewers say.
The 2014 VW Jetta Hybrid has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that reviewers say provide ample power, which is unusual praise for a hybrid car. A seven-speed automated manual transmission is standard, and test drivers add that it offers seamless shifts. The Jetta Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 42/48 mpg city/highway, which is good compared with other hybrids’ fuel economy, though rivals like the Toyota Prius c still use less fuel. Test drivers agree that the Jetta Hybrid has nimble handling, precise steering and drives much like a conventional gas-only car. While some think the regenerative brakes are too grabby, others say the pedal feel is surprisingly good for a hybrid. Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System is standard on the 2014 Jetta Hybrid, which automatically unlocks doors, turns on hazard lights and cuts the fuel line in the event of a collision.
Test drivers say that padded materials give the Jetta Hybrid's cabin an upscale feel. However, a few critics say the cabin is too plain and that the use of some plastic surfaces make it feel cheap. Reviewers say there's plenty of room, especially in the rear seats, where legroom is ample. The base Jetta Hybrid comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker audio system with touch-screen display, satellite radio, an iPod interface, Bluetooth audio streaming, an auxiliary input and VW's Car-Net system, which links car security, maintenance and navigation features to a compatible smartphone app. Available features include an eight-speaker Fender audio system, a rearview camera and a touch-screen navigation system. Test drivers say the controls are intuitive and well-placed and they like that the audio system is easy to use.
- "The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is a solid choice if you want a hybrid that looks and drives like a normal sedan. Elevated price aside, we're fans." -- Edmunds
- "The Jetta Hybrid doesn't quite inject sportiness into the hybrid field, but neither is it a fuel-sipping, soul-sucking penalty box. It won't knock its diesel-powered sibling off the pedestal when it comes to efficient driving fun, it won't top the Toyota Prius in fuel economy, and it won't be as cheap as a Honda Insight. But with an expected price around $25,000, the Jetta Hybrid is a worthwhile alternative to less inspired gas-electric cars like the Prius, the Civic Hybrid, and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
- "With only a short drive under our belt, that's not a definitive call by any means, but it's an impressive proof of concept that, with the proper pricing (figure around $25k), delivers everything we want in a hybrid, plus something that's been missing: driver engagement." -- Autoblog (2013)
- “Compared to other hybrids, such as the top selling Toyota Prius, the 2013 Jetta Hybrid will appeal to those who enjoy driving. Primarily for two reasons - the Jetta Hybrid uses a DSG transmission instead of a CVT that's found in most other hybrids and it has a spunky turbocharged gasoline engine." -- Road and Track (2013)
- "The 2013 Jetta Hybrid, however, offers a blend of sportiness, refinement and fuel economy in a compact sedan package that helps distinguish it in the hybrid world." -- Cars.com (2013)
Other Cars to Consider
If you’d rather avoid the gas pump altogether, try the all-electric 2014 Nissan Leaf, which reviewers say drives much like a gas-only car. The Leaf also has a lot more cargo space than the Jetta Hybrid thanks to its hatchback body style.
The Toyota Prius c gets excellent gas mileage, especially in the city, and it offers significantly more cargo space than the Jetta Hybrid. Additionally, test drivers praise the Prius c for its intuitive tech features.
Details: 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is a sedan that seats five. It comes in SE, SEL and SEL Premium trims. All models have a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard. The Jetta Hybrid was an all-new model for 2013 and has seen few changes since last year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 and 2014 model years.
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