Fuel-Saver Flashback: Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
The Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid came at a time when everyone still trusted the Volkswagen brand name. It arrived before the “dieselgate scandal” and slotted right into the Jetta lineup between the regular gasoline version and the diesel iteration to provide some competition to the reigning Prius. While it was a great concept, it didn’t quite make it. Let’s take a look back at one of Volkswagen’s only hybrid models.
The Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid was released for the 2013 model year and was based on the sixth-generation Jetta body style that debuted in 2011. The initial reviews for it were positive. Car and Driver noted that it was a refreshing note among otherwise tepid performing hybrids with languid handling as its responses compared with the Jetta GLI.
Performance aside, another refreshing point about the Jetta Hybrid was its sedan body style. Other hybrids at the time, including the Prius and Honda Insight, looked more like spaceships, so having a hybrid sedan that was based on a platform that had already been out for two years made all the sense in the world.
The Jetta Hybrid was around until the 2016 model year when Volkswagen decided to drop it from its lineup due to dwindling sales figures. It’s a shame since it was a great concept for a hybrid car to be based on a great-selling platform, however, it just didn’t appeal to enough buyers at the time and was overshadowed by other hybrids and its diesel stablemate.
The Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid was powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that was mated to an electric motor and connected to a seven-speed DSG transmission. The combined output of this setup was 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. It was and still is, rare to see a hybrid powertrain matched up to an actual gear transmission, especially one with seven gears.
This powertrain was able to get the Jetta Hybrid up to 60 mph from a standstill in 8.6 seconds, which is quick for a hybrid. For reference, the 2013 Toyota Prius could get to 60 mph in about 10.1 seconds. Hybrids aren’t made for drag racing, but having quicker acceleration is always a good thing.
As for fuel economy, the Jetta Hybrid achieved 41 in the city and 48 mpg on the highway, 44 mpg combined. It was still lower than the mileage champion Prius (48 mpg combined), but it did get much better mileage than the gas Jetta (27 combined) and the diesel Jetta (32 mpg combined).
Ahead of its time, but not really
In the end, the Jetta Hybrid was a great execution when it came to creating a hybrid that would appeal to just about everyone. And while it didn’t end up working out, it could have been a taste of things to come for the electric car line that Volkswagen is intending to release by the year 2025.
How much are they now?
When it was new, the Jetta Hybrid retailed for around $25,000 and up to about $32,000 when it was fully optioned out. In today’s used market, we have seen them listed anywhere from $5,000 to $13,000 depending on the year, trim, and location. Is it worth it? We definitely think so, if you’re looking for an affordable used hybrid that’s comfortable and doesn’t look like a space ship, then a Jetta Hybrid could work for you.