2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI Test Drive

?2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen?

A Sporty Utility Vehicle

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Who says that wagons are a thing of the past? Okay, perhaps the term ?station wagons? reflect a bygone era ? you know, the vehicles that were employed as transportation for family vacations, errand running and ferrying kids to and from school and extracurricular activities. Station wagons went away, well not really away, but were relegated to classic or collectible status.?Wagons continued as a transportational source, but diminished in overall size, dropping the ?station? prefix. Smaller was more economical, not to mention more agile and as a result, they actually became more enjoyable to drive ? almost sporty in nature. Their sporty persona spawned actual sport wagons ? sport sedan-like vehicles with added room. Volkswagen terms this as ?Vroom to spare?. In fact, German automakers tend to be the ones who actually developed the Sport Wagon genre. Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz offer shining, stellar examples of Sport oriented wagons.?Volkswagen?s modern entry into this category is represented by the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI clean diesel.

The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen is a fitting example of the sport wagon, combining utility with European sportiness. The Jetta SportWagen is sensible, attractive and practical, while also delivering a fun-to-drive quality.

In terms of its visual appeal, the Jetta SportWagen blends sleek sport sedan styling with a versatile and functional small Euro-style five-door wagon format in a German-tuned package.

Up front, the narrow grille is made up of horizontal chrome strips in keeping with VW?s signature DNA and featuring twin gloss-black horizontal blades between the headlamps, with vanes in the lower bumper valance that match. The horizontal theme serves to visually lower and widen the SportWagon?s aggressive stance. The profile displays a gently arcing roofline, its sweep accented by long roof-rack rails, giving the Jetta SportWagen an aerodynamic image. Black trim surrounds S model side windows, but appear in chrome on both SE and TDI Clean Diesel versions?visually stretching the car, aided by the body-colored tailgate spoiler.

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Out back, the smooth, stretched look continues with the fastback-like tailgate that opens nearly full-width for ease of loading. The contoured rear bumper with its tailgate cut-out adds to the SportWagen?s sporty image.

Moving to the inside, the 2013 Jetta SportWagen serves up impressive load-carrying abilities. Even with the 60/40-split folding rear seats in place, there?s a spacious 32.8 cubic feet of usable cargo space in the fully carpeted load area. A roll-out cargo cover provides visual security. A lift-up panel in the luggage compartment floor covers a full-width tray that provides storage for a laptop or briefcase. Folding the rear seats forward increases the load area to 66.9 cu ft. Loading is easy with the low rear bumper height, and wide-opening tailgate.

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The Jetta SportWagen can carry five adults in comfort in the cabin featuring high quality, soft touch plastics integrated with brushed metallic trim and chrome highlights. The 2.5 S model features Titan Black cloth for its seating surfaces, while the SE and TDI Clean Diesel models offer Volkswagen?s trademark perforated V-Tex leatherette.

An XXL-sized panoramic glass tilt/slide sunroof Is optionally available on SE and TDI Clean Diesel models, with one opening glass segment, and one fixed glass panel over the rear seat. It features pinch protection and an electrically operated sunshade that covers the inside of the entire glass area. Musical entertainment is taken care of by Volkswagen?s RCD 310 radio/sound system. The 2.5 S model features a single CD player with eight speakers, aux-in, MP3 readability and Bluetooth? connectivity. A step-up to SE trim expands the system to 10 speakers with a six-disc changer, Media Device Interface with an iPod? cable, and SiriusXM? Satellite Radio.

The Jetta SportWagen is offered in six models: a 2.5 S; the 2.5 SE; a 2.5 SE with a sunroof; a 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel; 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel with sunroof; and lastly, a 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel with Sunroof and Navigation.

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The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen offers a choice of two engines: a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque; or a 50-state compliant 2.0-liter TDI? Clean Diesel turbocharged in-line four-cylinder that makes 140 horsepower while generating 236 lb-ft of torque between 1750 and 2500 rpm for exceptional low-speed response.

A six-speed manual transmission comes standard on the SportWagen 2.5 with the option of a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic? and Sport mode.

Standard with the Jetta SportWagen TDI Clean Diesel is Volkswagen?s six-speed DSG? dual-clutch automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport mode. A six-speed may be substituted.

Suspension componentry for the Volkswagen TDI SportWagen consists of a strut-type front suspension with coil springs, a lower control arm, and an anti-roll bar. Aft is a fully independent multilink arrangement with coil springs, telescopic dampers, and an anti-roll bar. Bringing the SportWagen to a halt is a power-assisted four-wheel disc brake set-up, vented in front with ABS, ASR, EDL EBA and ESC.

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My test 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel SportWagen came equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox and sunroof. It was finished outside in Tempest Blue metallic and inside in Titan Black leatherette. The base price was set at $27,595 with a final sticker of $28,390 after adding the Destination charge.

SUMMARY: I?m a personal advocate of diesel-powered vehicles, and the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Clean Diesel SportWagen happens to be an outstanding example. The manual gearbox, which delivers positive gear changes, is sure to provide maximum fun for the avid enthusiast, but the DSG automatic has proven to be quicker and more efficient. Besides, the DSG allows for manual shifting.

The 2.0 TDI engine serves up whopping doses of torque, providing rapid acceleration with little or no turbo lag and virtually no torque steer issues. The manual transmission offers ?shift up? cues in the Driver information display, which I didn?t always agree with, but it?s there to aid in optimum fuel economy. With the fuel-sipping turbo diesel, the SportWagen gets an EPA rating of 42 mpg on the highway anyway, so who cares.

The Jetta SportWagen?s handling characteristics are indeed sporty, with the ride quality quite stable and planted, but also quite comfortable.

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Add coverage under the VW?s no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program, with all scheduled maintenance is covered for the length of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty?three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first, and the VW Jetta SportWagen TDI is a clear winner.

 
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $27,595.
Price as Tested: $28,390.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel 4-cylinder.
Horsepower (bhp): 140 @ 4,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 236 @ 1,750 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Strut-type with lower control arms, coil springs, telescopic dampers and 22-mm diameter anti-roll bar.
Rear – Multilink, coil springs, telescopic dampers, 18-mm diameter anti-roll bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, ESC,ASR and EDL.
Tires: Continental ContoiProContact 225/45 R17 91H mounted on 5”V”-spoke alloy wheels
Wheelbase: 101.5 inches
Length Overall: 179.4 inches
Width: 70.1 inches
Height: 59.2 inches
Curb Weight: 3,283 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 14.5 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 30-mpg city / 42-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: Not listed.
0 – 60 mph: Not Tested

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