2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Elegant, if understated, design
  • Supportive front seats
  • Solid, planted feel in corners
  • Roomy backseat
  • Big trunk

The Bad

  • Less focus on interior quality than prior generation
  • Throttle lag from a standing start with automatic
  • Minimal steering feedback

Notable Features of the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen

  • Low starting price
  • Gas or diesel power
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • Sedan or wagon body style
  • Hybrid version offered

2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

The Volkswagen Jetta has long been a premium offering in the compact-sedan segment, but with its 2011-model-year redesign VW aimed to make it a more mainstream model by including a new low-priced version in the lineup. Available with a gas or diesel engine, the five-seat Jetta is offered in sedan and wagon body styles. Competitors include the Honda Civic, Mazda3 and Ford Focus.

The all-new Jetta Hybrid is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.

New for 2013
In an effort to improve the Jetta's cabin quality, the SE trim level gains power-reclining front seats, new decorative trim on the dashboard and door panels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a leather shift knob. The exterior gets chrome cues on the grille and window surrounds. There's also an adjustable front center armrest for S models with a sunroof.

The SEL model takes it a step further, adding a power-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar, a soft-touch dashboard and a black/beige two-tone interior.

(Skip to details on the: GLI)

Exterior
The Jetta's styling is conservative but handsome, and the car forgoes rounded design elements in favor of more angular, creased sheet metal. Rectangular headlights flank the grille. The sedan's profile is clean-looking but not particularly memorable, and Audi-esque taillights finish off the car's rear. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 15-inch steel wheels
  • Standard power-operated heated side mirrors
  • Available 16- or 1...
Vehicle Overview

The Volkswagen Jetta has long been a premium offering in the compact-sedan segment, but with its 2011-model-year redesign VW aimed to make it a more mainstream model by including a new low-priced version in the lineup. Available with a gas or diesel engine, the five-seat Jetta is offered in sedan and wagon body styles. Competitors include the Honda Civic, Mazda3 and Ford Focus.

The all-new Jetta Hybrid is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.

New for 2013
In an effort to improve the Jetta's cabin quality, the SE trim level gains power-reclining front seats, new decorative trim on the dashboard and door panels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a leather shift knob. The exterior gets chrome cues on the grille and window surrounds. There's also an adjustable front center armrest for S models with a sunroof.

The SEL model takes it a step further, adding a power-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar, a soft-touch dashboard and a black/beige two-tone interior.

(Skip to details on the: GLI)

Exterior
The Jetta's styling is conservative but handsome, and the car forgoes rounded design elements in favor of more angular, creased sheet metal. Rectangular headlights flank the grille. The sedan's profile is clean-looking but not particularly memorable, and Audi-esque taillights finish off the car's rear. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 15-inch steel wheels
  • Standard power-operated heated side mirrors
  • Available 16- or 17-inch wheels
  • Available body-colored side mirrors with turn-signal indicators
  • Available moonroof and fog lights

Interior
The Jetta has seating for five. The 60/40-split backseat folds if you need to carry large items that won't fit in the 15.5-cubic-foot trunk. Overall, the sedan's interior isn't as upscale as previous Volkswagens, and that may disappoint some current VW owners who are accustomed to the brand's use of premium materials and its attention to detail. Standard S trim level features include air conditioning, a four-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary jack and power windows that have a one-touch up/down feature. Interior features include:

  • SE models include simulated leather upholstery, cruise control, floormats, center console storage, a center armrest for backseat passengers, a trunk pass-through and illuminated visor mirrors
  • Available SE features include heated front seats, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity and satellite radio

Under the Hood
A 115-horsepower, 2.0-liter gas four-cylinder is the base engine. A 170-hp, 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder gas engine is available, as is a diesel four-cylinder. Mechanical feature include:

  • TDI diesel's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 140 hp and 236 pounds-feet of torque
  • Gas engines drive a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission
  • Diesel engine pairs with a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch transmission

Safety
Standard safety features include:

  • Antilock brakes
  • Electronic stability system
  • Side-impact airbags for the front seats 
  • Side curtain airbags for both rows
  • Active front head restraints
  • GLI

    True to the GLI moniker's heritage, the Jetta's uplevel trim packs higher performance and premium features. Under the hood is the automaker's turbocharged 2.0-liter gas four-cylinder, which makes 200 hp and 207 pounds-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic optional.

    Other enhancements include a sport-tuned four-wheel independent suspension; lesser Jettas employ a semi-independent rear suspension. A new launch control system is included on GLIs with the dual-clutch transmission, and GLI Autobahn models with navigation now have a backup camera and bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights with LED daytime running lights. Bolstered sport seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel and a touch-screen stereo are standard. Dual-zone automatic climate control, heated simulated leather upholstery and a Fender premium stereo are optional.

    Exterior styling changes include a honeycomb grille, vertical fog lamps that mimic those on VW's GTI hatchback, smoked taillights and dual exhaust tips. Seventeen-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 18-inch alloys optional. Back to top

     


2013 Jetta SportWagen Video

Our plan is to keep the SportWagen TDI in the cars.com long-term fleet for a few years, assuming VW doesn't buy back and scrap our car if a fix to make it emissions-legal doesn't pan out. That would present a whole new direction for this experiment.

Latest 2013 Jetta SportWagen Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.3)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(4.4)
Value For The Money
(4.3)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

Good for the small family vehicle.

by AHN from Blacksburg on August 6, 2018

I purchased a used 2013 VW Jetta Sportwagen(so-called JSW) with a lot of options and under 14k miles. I have one younger child that require car seats. I had checked almost every vehicle that has ... Read full review

(5.0)

Safe and Reliable

by Gottmolk070209 from Goodyear,AZ on June 14, 2018

We had an almost identical model and we we were in an accident and while the car was totaled we did not have a scratch on us; our dog who was a sleep in the back seat did not wake or even move off the ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen currently has 0 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen 2.5L S

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
marginal
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Volkswagen

Program Benefits

100+ point dealer inspection, 2 years of 24/7 roadside assistance, CARFAX Vehicle history report, and three-month SiriusXM All-Access trial subscription

  • Limited Warranty

    2018 model year or later: 1-year/12,000, 72,000 miles eligibility - 2017 model year or earlier: 2-year/24,000, 75,000 miles eligibility - 2016 model year or earlier TDI: 2-year/unlimited, 75,000 miles eligibility

    *See owner’s literature or dealer for your vehicle’s warranty coverage, exclusions, and limitations.
  • Eligibility

    2018 model year or later: 1-year/12,000, 72,000 miles eligibility - 2017 model year or earlier: 2-year/24,000, 75,000 miles eligibility - 2016 model year or earlier TDI: 2-year/unlimited, 75,000 miles eligibility

    Vehicles receive a 100+ point inspection and reconditioning.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Jetta SportWagen received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker