2013 Volkswagen Jetta vs. Its Competition

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan 4-door Auto S Front Exterior View
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The latest Jetta outsizes most of its competition and earns better fuel economy in some models, while it misses out on some key new features when compared with other compacts like the Ford Focus, our 2012 Best Car To Buy.

The Focus is entertaining to drive, a bit small inside, but laden with all sorts of features that advance its safety and entertainment without cutting into its zest for the road.

The Hyundai Elantra is another award-winning compact with great value and space, with less a reputation for handling than for great fuel economy in all versions--and now, with coupe and five-door GT models.

The Chevy Cruze also has a high-economy model, clean and elegant looks, and a refined drivetrain, while the new Dodge Dart plays up more racy looks and big interior room over ultimate refinement.

The Kia Forte soldiers on with value and body styles while it awaits a 2014 makeover, but it's still a well-priced offering that's unfortunately a cut below even the Elantra in handling.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan 4-door Auto S Front Exterior View2013 Volkswagen Jetta
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2013 Chevrolet Cruze2013 Chevrolet Cruze
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2013 Dodge Dart Rallye  -  Driven2013 Dodge Dart
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2013 Ford Focus2013 Ford Focus
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2013 Hyundai Elantra 4-door Sedan Auto GLS (Alabama Plant) Angular Front Exterior View2013 Hyundai Elantra
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2013 Kia Forte sedan2013 Kia Forte
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Quick Specs
7.6
The Jetta draws drivers looking for a taut driving feel and delivers superior interior space; we'd pass on the low-cost base models, and aim for the standout TDI and GLI editions.
7.8
The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze is one of the smartest picks for anyone wanting practicality, comfort, and safety in a compact sedan—although it's missing the fun-to-drive edge of some other models.
8.2
Remember the Neon? The 2013 Dodge Dart brings some of the same passion back to Chrysler's compact-car lineup.
8.8
Whether or not you consider the exciting new ST performance model, the 2013 Ford Focus lineup is evidence that small cars don't have to feel so appliance-like.
8.4
Civic who? Corolla what? The Hyundai Elantra's one of the new standard bearers in the compact class, with 38-mpg fuel economy, better safety, and class-leading standard features.
7.4
It's a family affair: the Kia Forte lineup is more comfortable, more eager, and better finished than ever, and a step up from what its sticker price might suggest.
MSRP From     
$15,545$17,130$15,995$16,200$16,695$15,400
Gas Mileage     
23 MPG City / 48 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
Compact CarsMidsize CarsCompactCompactMidsize carsCompact Cars
Style Name     
4-Door Manual Base4-Door Sedan Manual LS4-Door Sedan Aero *Ltd Avail*4-Door Sedan S4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Alabama Plant) *Ltd Avail*4-Door Sedan Manual LX
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
444N/A4N/A
Body Style     
4 Door SedanSedanSedanSedanSedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission     
ManualManualManualManualManualManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2013 Chevrolet Cruze2013 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2013 Dodge Dart2013 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2013 Ford Focus2013 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2013 Hyundai Elantra2013 Volkswagen Jetta vs. 2013 Kia Forte