Has anyone seen, driven, or better yet owned a VW Jetta Hybrid? According to the websites it was offered in 2013, but when I try to find one by searching MSN Autos it isn't an option.
I'm considering a new vehicle and the Jetta Hybrid is definately an interesting possibility for me, as much as I'd like a TDI Passat, the Jetta Hybrid would be a better fit for my commute. I'm also considering the Prius C 2.
Even though the Jetta Hybrid lists a better HWY mpg than the TDI (48 vs 42) the Hybrid only has a 11.5 gallon tank versus the 14.5 gallon tank on the TDI. I am on my 3rd TDI now (2 Jetta's and now a Passat) and love the TDI power. My good friend has a Camry Hybrid and drives about the same as me (36k miles per year) and he is on his 3rd hybrid battery and needing a 4th. He loses about 5-7 mpg in the winter as the battery does not perform as well in the cold. He is getting a Passat TDI now after seeing mine.
That's odd, since all of the Toyota hybrids have extremely good battery reliability, going all the way back to the first Prius. Though Bates may care to know that the Jetta uses a lithium-ion battery, whereas all the Toyotas use old-technology NiMH, which may still be more reliable than Li-ion (and certainly cheaper) at this point in time.
I don't get the tank size argument -- who cares if the TDI can go for 50 more miles without refueling (552 vs 609), especially since it doesn't save you any money in the long run?
I have not driven a Jetta hybrid, but I will say that the Jetta TDI sportwagen that I have driven (DSG), while not being a fast car by any measure, was fun to putt around town with. Given their good (for VW) reliability and good highway mileage, and the new hybrid's unknown reliability, I would put it down to the test drive. From all reports, the hybrid is a good car but isn't as well developed as the Toyota hybrids. It's also faster and gets slightly better mileage on less expensive gas than the TDI, but may not be the car that Bates wants to drive every day, that is my guess. Plus no manual option with the hybrid.
1. Test drive
2. Research real-world fuel logs and see if the hybrid lives up to its EPA rating, and research reliability data.
If only the USA embraced the efficientcy of diesels more. I keep seeing cars advertised, 60 MPG, then 70 MPG, 80 MPG some get over 90 MPG now, but silly emision laws prevent them from doing so. Hybrids are just another marketing toy for people who think they might save some fuel...
Thank you for your thoughtful responses, I appreciate them.
Miata492, all things being equal and my personal admittedly biased preference having the final word, I'd be in a TDI Passat. My rational side however has looked at my current commute, 25 miles each way 7 on the freeway, 3 on a highway (without traffic lights or stop signs, 50 mph speed limit) the rest on surface streets, and deduced that the diesel probably isn't the best fit for me, not to mention the higher capital investment of the Passat TDI over the Jetta Hybrid, let alone the Prius C which is going to be basically 2/3 the cost of the Passat. Also, I live in Southern California, so I'm not nearly as affected by the extreme tempertures as some other parts of the state, country, and world are.
BDC, thank you for the information on the Li vs. Nimh batteries, I haven't done enough research yet to have uncovered that. I agree with your assessment on the proven Nimh technology. As you know I've never been a big fan of the Prius, but it is looking like the best new car option for me at this point. So I'll accept that it won't fit all of my family in it comfortably but 90% of the time it is just me driving anyway so if the kids are a little cramped for the occasional trip then so be it. I just need to go down to the dealership and measure one to make sure that my surfboards will fit inside. I don't want to put roof racks on and reduce the fuel economy that I'm looking at that makes the Prius C such an attractive option for me, if you know what I mean.
Draigflag, I'm a long time proponent of diesels, I owned a 1980 VW diesel Dasher wagon back in the mid to late 1980's. 50 mpg no matter how I drove it, used it to travel to Baja California in Mexico lots of times for surf trips to very remote beaches. My first career I deck handed, drove, and maintained boats for 15 years. Almost all of the yachts and sport fishers that I worked on were diesels and I have literally thousands of hours spent sitting on screaming diesel marine engines. That being said, I live in California, our Air Quality Management Districts, Environmental Protection Agency, Local, State, and Federal Government Officials and Agencies are highly corrupt and pay more attention and give creedence to the positions supported by their campaign and financial supporters than to any real science. Generally speaking and my personal preference a diesel would be first choice, but alas, my current situation and driving shows that the Hybrid is a better fit, use of capital, and will provide significantly better fuel economy for me at this time.
I have a 2010 Jetta TDI and a new 2013 Jetta Hybrid SEL. I got the Hybrid since they knocked $4K off the price, probably to clear out the 2013 models. TDIs are fantastic, but the hybrid has been exceeding my expectations by a long shot. I have roughly 20 mile commutes to work, a mix of city, secondary roads, and highway. There is often fair heavy traffic on the highways. Over the past 800 miles I have averaged 52 mpg. The car is very well equipped, has the GLI suspension, is very peppy, and a joy to drive. The displays help coach you along for efficient driving. If you take advantage of this car's cpabilities, it is excellent. It is a much more substantial car than the Prius c, but the Prius will probably get better mpg. With the 7 speed DSG, the Jetta is an terrific driving car. So far, I'm very impressed!
RebelHybrid, thank you for your response, this is exactly what I was looking for, real world ownership and driver's feed back. Better yet, a direct comparison to the TDI.
A good friend just replaced his 10 year old Prius with a 2013 Prius and has been impressed with the increased mileage and accessories now offered on basically the same vehicle and at a lower total price. I definately still need to do some test drives and a lot more research. Hopefully with the arrival of the 2014's there will be some serious deals offered that will help make my choices more clear.
@RebelHybrid, you are getting much better (52) MPG than I. I only got 44 MPG (measured) on my first tank, with a good deal smooth sailing freeway driving mixed in.
I wonder what is wrong? What kind of instantaneous MPG do you get at 60 and 65 mph flat freeway with no wind? I drive gently and in other cars I generally get better-than-EPA mileage, for example in a Prius I will get over 50mpg routinely. I have checked tire pressure (41 psi). Also the MFM display is in quite close agreement with MPG calculated by tank fill method.
One matter I have noticed is that my Jetta Hybrid starts operating the grill shutter right after I open the car door. You can hear the electric motor that operates the shutter. I cannot see yet what is going on under the hood, I'll try again soon. I'm concerned that the grille shutter is misoperating and causing unncessary drag.
For sure, quite a few fuelly member are getting even lower mpg than I do, but that can also easily be explained by driving style.
Related but tangential issue:
I have already discovered one software bug in the Jetta Hybrid:The energy display is sometimes saying "Stationary vehicle" when cleary imoving, e.g. driving 30mph and with the engine running. The dealer did not believe me, but I showed them video and after checking with VW tech hotline they told me it is in fact a known bug. A fix is coming, no ETA on that one.
Hence, I don't have a good feeling that the Jetta Hybrid is bug and error free, and I feel like the dealer should do something about my mileage. I have mentioned but it was dismissed since I did not have a full tank cycle yet.
Hmm, I could be wrong about the grille shutter thing. In fact I am not sure that the 2013 Jetta Hybrid even has a grille shutter. But the whirring siound is coming from the front of the car, near the grille.