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#42

in Used Small Cars $14K and up

Avg. Price Paid: $11,730 - $18,918
Original MSRP: $15,545 - $26,990
MPG: 24 City / 29 Hwy
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Used Car: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Review

Review Last Updated: 8/14/14

While the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta pleased reviewers with a roomy back seat and large trunk, some were disappointed with the base Jetta’s plain cabin and sluggish engine.

The base 2013 VW Jetta has a four-cylinder engine. Higher trims feature a five-cylinder engine, as well as turbodiesel and turbocharged four-cylinder engines, which are found in the Jetta TDI and Jetta GLI, respectively. Test drivers were disappointed with the base Jetta’s lack of power, and many preferred the available five-cylinder engine for its smoothness and added oomph. They noted that the Jetta GLI offers plenty of power, and most appreciated the Jetta TDI’s responsive powertrain and impressive fuel economy. A manual transmission is standard on all models, while a six-speed automatic or an automated manual transmission is available, depending on the trim. The base 2013 Jetta gets an EPA-estimated 24/34 mpg city/highway, which is typical for the class. The diesel-powered Jetta TDI gets 30/42 mpg, which is excellent for the class. Reviewers said the 2013 Jetta has controlled handling, strong brakes and responsive steering. Test drivers said that regardless of the trim level, the Volkswagen Jetta has a compliant ride.

As with most affordable small cars, test drivers said the base 2013 Volkswagen Jetta’s interior has a bland design and is made with hard plastics. They wrote that the cabin feels more upscale in higher trims like the Jetta SEL and GLI, which benefit from higher-quality materials. According to reviewers, the 2013 VW Jetta has a very spacious cabin with ample head- and legroom in both the front and back seats. The Jetta sedan has one of the roomiest trunks in the class with 15.5 cubic feet of space. The 2013 Jetta comes standard with a CD audio system, an auxiliary input and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. Available features include a power sunroof, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, an iPod interface, a Fender audio system, push-button start, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, navigation and a rearview camera. Test drivers said the Jetta’s climate controls and navigation system are easy to use, but some critics thought the touch-screen display is too small.

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Other Cars to Consider

The 2013 Kia Forte gets better fuel economy than the base Jetta, and it’s available as a sedan, hatchback or coupe. The Forte offers more standard features, and test drivers said it has a comfortable ride.

The 2013 Subaru Impreza comes standard with all-wheel drive that critics said makes it feel planted on slick roads. The Impreza also gets better fuel economy than the base Jetta, and reviewers were impressed with the Impreza’s spacious cabin and roomy back seat.

Compare the Jetta, Forte and Impreza »

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