How Powerful is our 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI Before a Diesel Scandal Fix?

img1006239774 1461169185589 jpg 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI | photo by Joe Bruzek

CARS.COM — We bought a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine — a vehicle at the heart of VW’s diesel controversy — to test it before and after an emissions system recall fix. We’re measuring its performance, power and fuel economy and will repeat the tests after the fix to see if the Jetta SportWagen TDI keeps its impressive combination of fuel economy and performance.

Related: VW Diesel Crisis: Timeline of Events

A Volkswagen official said early on that a fix might have a “slight impact on performance,” so knowing how much power and torque the TDI makes to the decimal point will give us a baseline to judge what’s changed after a remedy is implemented. Currently, there aren’t many details on what the fix will be. The TDI’s torquey, pulling sensation at low speeds is part of what makes VW’s diesel so entertaining to drive, and is a characteristic we hope doesn’t disappear.

With fuel economy and acceleration numbers in the books, we took the 2013 Volkswagen TDI to Komet Motorsports in St. Charles, Ill. to measure output on its chassis dynamometer. The SportWagen’s 2.0-liter diesel engine is rated at 140 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet of torque. We measured output at the front wheels and not at the engine, like the advertised ratings, so parasitic losses through the transmission and driveline resulted in lower numbers.

Our TDI made a peak to the front wheels of 120 horsepower at 3,480 rpm and 202.1 pounds-feet of torque at 2,649 rpm. Komet uses a Mustang-style dynamometer — no relation to the Ford Mustang — and a Mustang Dynamometer representative had Komet perform a series of pre-run dyno calibrations with our car on the machine to ensure maximum accuracy and repeatability for when the car returns equipped with VW’s remedy.

As for when that will happen, Volkswagen has announced the framework of a remedy that would let  owners choose between selling back the car or having it fixed, plus receiving cash compensation regardless of the choice. A detailed proposal should be announced by June 21, and on July 26 there’s a federal hearing scheduled for final approval. 

img1007163295 1461169185969 jpg 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI | photo by Joe Bruzek


Photo of Joe Bruzek
Managing Editor Joe Bruzek’s 22 years of automotive experience doesn’t count the lifelong obsession that started as a kid admiring his dad’s 1964 Chevrolet Corvette — and continues to this day. Joe’s been an automotive journalist with for 16 years, writing shopper-focused car reviews, news and research content. As Managing Editor, one of his favorite areas of focus is helping shoppers understand electric cars and how to determine whether going electric is right for them. In his free time, Joe maintains a love-hate relationship with his 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that he wishes would fix itself. LinkedIn: Email Joe Bruzek

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