The Volkswagen Jetta was redesigned for the 2011 model year. Two model years later, Volkswagen has given its compact sedan significant updates, and will start selling the new 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid in October.  

Higher trims have new features, so if you’re looking at base Jetta S models, you could save money by purchasing a 2012 Jetta. Updates begin with the SE trim, which receives power-reclining front seats and a leather-covered steering wheel, handbrake and shift knob. Volkswagen added a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with manual lumbar support and softer dashboard materials to the SEL trim. Kicking Tires says, “It should clear up our complaints about the Jetta's hard, hollow-sounding dashboard.”

Car and Driver agrees, but is disappointed that only the SEL trim receives the higher-quality materials. “Unfortunately, the rest of the Jetta lineup—S, SE, and diesel TDI trim levels—keep their hard-plastic dashes.”  

For 2013, Volkswagen introduces a new trim, called SEL with Navigation. In addition to a touch-screen navigation system, this trim has a premium Fender sound system.  

TDI models, which have a clean diesel engine, gain a chrome grille, chrome window trim, power-reclining front seats, as well as a leather-covered steering wheel, handbrake and shift knob. TDI Premium with Navigation models have 17-inch wheels and a six-way, power-adjustable driver’s seat.

Top-of-the-line Jetta GLI models with VW’s DSG automated manual transmission have a new feature called launch control for 2013. Volkswagen says in a statement that it “can be engaged by the driver when the vehicle is at a stop, allowing for a perfect launch with controlled wheelspin.” The highest trim, the GLI Autobahn with Navigation, gains two additional features: Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and a rearview camera.

The all-new 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid hits the market in October. It’s fitted with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower, an electric motor that produces 27 horsepower and a DSG seven-speed automated manual transmission. Together, the electric motor and gasoline engine make 170 horsepower. The EPA hasn’t released fuel economy figures yet, but Volkswagen predicts it will get 45 mpg combined. The 2013 Jetta Hybrid will be available in three trims, and the base model has standard satellite radio, Bluetooth and LED taillights. A Fender sound system, rearview camera, navigation, heated front seats and power driver’s seat are available with upgrades.

Pricing for the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta and Jetta Hybrid isn’t available yet, but the gas-only 2012 Jetta starts at $16,645.

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