Most significant changes: Interior updates, backup camera and launch control on GLI models
Price change: TBA
On sale: TBA
Which should you buy, 2012 or 2013? Buy a 2012 unless you're considering a top-level trim
For the 2013 model year, the Volkswagen Jetta sedan receives an extensive revision, including updated interior appointments and new features on some trims such as a backup camera and LED daytime running lights.
A hybrid joins the Jetta's lineup for 2013; VW says it will get close to 45 mpg on the highway. More details on the hybrid will be announced closer to the model's on-sale date later this fall.
Like last year's model, the 2013 Jetta sedan will be available in S, SE, SEL, TDI and GLI trims. Models from the S trim with a sunroof and up get an adjustable front center armrest standard. SE and TDI trims get power-reclining driver and front-passenger seats, new metallic trim on the dash and door panels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, all standard. Both trims also get more exterior chrome on the grille and window seal trim.
All SEL trims will have a "soft-touch dash," VW says. It should clear up our complaints about the Jetta's hard, hollow-sounding dashboard. The soft-touch dash is probably the same one added to the SEL Premium trim in the previous model and the one found on the GLI trim. SEL models with navigation now come with a Fender Premium stereo; so far, we've liked the stereo on other models .
The TDI Premium with Navigation trim gets a six-way power driver's seat and new 17-inch alloy wheels (last year's had 16s) standard. The performance-oriented GLI trim now comes standard with launch control, which helps tame wheelspin on models equipped with an automatic transmission. GLI models with navigation also get a backup camera and LED daytime running lights, something that can't be had on any other model.
The 2013 Jetta sedan isn't on sale yet, though the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen (still based off a fifth-generation Jetta) is available now starting at $21,170, including destination. The Jetta Hybrid will be introduced later this year.
While all the updates are an added benefit to the Jetta sedan, we won't know anything about the value you will get until Volkswagen announces pricing for the updated trims. No doubt the bare-bones S trim, which receives no real updates, will retain an attractive price.