2012 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid

After years of arguing that clean diesel is a better efficiency strategy compared to hybrids, Volkswagen is switching gears. In a statement issued more than a year ago—on the eve of the 2010 Geneva Motor Show—Martin Winterkorn, VW chairman of the board, said, “We will take the hybrid out of its niche status with our high-volume models. In the future, the heart of the brand will also beat with electricity.”

A hybrid version of the Jetta will be offered in the U.S. in 2012—followed by Passat and Golf Hybrids in 2013. The Volkswagen press release states with no lack of confidence: “Starting in 2013, the high-volume Golf and Jetta models of the Volkswagen brand are expected to dominate the hybrid and electric vehicle market.” In fact, the company says that hybrid and electric vehicles will account for three percent of the German carmaker’s global sales by 2018.

What Do We Know About Jetta Hybrid?

Wrapped in the sheet metal of the newly introduced 2011 Jetta, the gas-electric model will be a full hybrid, using VW’s twincharger TSI in-line four-cylinder engine. It’s not confirmed if the 2012 Jetta Hybrid will use a 1.4-liter twincharger engine, or larger versions that Volkswagen is developing.

Volkswagen describes the Jetta Hybrid as having “best in class” fuel economy—most likely stacking up against (but probably not reaching) the Honda Civic Hybrid’s 41 mpg—while besting the Civic and other competition for horsepower.

Pricing has not been revealed, but expect a significant premium over the Jetta’s base price to push the price into the low- to mid-$20,000s. To achieve its lofty sales goals, VW will need to be competitive—something the company was willing to do when the 2011 Jetta was priced about $1,700 less than the previous version.

While the Civic Hybrid first appears to be the closest competition, the Jetta Hybrid more logically stacks up against the TDI version of the same Jetta. (The Jetta will represent the first time an automaker offers hybrid and clean diesel options on a cost-competitive model.)

The Jetta TDI clean diesel, rated at 30 in the city and 41 on the highway, carries a base MSRP of $22,995. Expect city and highway fuel efficiency numbers to be reversed in the Jetta Hybrid—with city driving in the 40s and highway mileage in the mid-to high-30 neighborhood. Consumers are likely to make the hybrid versus diesel decision based on driving cycle. Do you mostly drive on the highway? Go diesel. Mostly city driving? Take the hybrid. (Of course, we’ll have to wait and see how a VW hybrid handles the road.)

“VW as a brand takes the electrification of the automobile very seriously, and we have a longtime strategy for growing that business,” promised Toscan Bennett, a VW product strategist. “The Jetta hybrid is our first entry in that strategy.”

 


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2012 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
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  • Shines

    — “Starting in 2013, the high-volume Golf and Jetta models of the Volkswagen brand are expected to dominate the hybrid and electric vehicle market.” In fact, the company says that hybrid and electric vehicles will account for three percent of the German carmaker’s global sales by 2018.—

    What?!? 3% of their sales by 2018 is market domination?
    I wonder how they define high volume and market domination.. ;-)

  • JJJ

    A whole 3% of their sales in 5 years? These guys know how to set lofty goals. :(

  • Thomas – ElectricCar

    Do you know anything about the batteries they use? And the range it drives purely electric?

  • Anonymous

    “Volkswagen describes the Jetta Hybrid as having “best in class” fuel economy—most likely stacking up against (but probably not reaching) the Honda Civic Hybrid’s 41 mpg”

    Failed.
    German hybrids = joke.

  • thevgtech

    PLEASE let there be a hybrid wagon version of the Jetta (Golf wagon in Canada)!!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m not a big fan of VW, but FWIW, 3% of its global sales target in 2018 is probably about 300,000 unit.

  • xnap

    That’s a pretty neat car, and well made by Germans.

    I don’t see any reason not to drive one of those.

  • VW Portland

    No kidding… the TDI Wagon is pretty money but a Hybrid would be the ultimate.

  • Yorch

    Hmmm, Jettas are made in Mexico, all of them, although maybe the hybrid will be an exception.

    Please note I´m not saying they are not well made, they probably are excellent, but we truly live in a global economy.

  • John SFO

    Why not offer the hybrid with a diesel engine? Diesel engines are always more efficient than spark-ignition (gasoline) engines anyway.

  • Anonymous

    I own a 2011 jetta tdi now and get numbers of 35-43 while driving in and around DC metro traffic. Highway I have hit 45mpg while doing 75-80mph.

    the only cost savings would be if I get the same or better city miles at the lower cost of fuel.

  • aden A8

    2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is a sporty sedan variant that is very impressive, with an affordable price when viewed from the specification of this car that brings the luxury inside.

  • Dave D

    My 2000 Golf TDI is still averaging 48 mpg. I’m waiting for something – anything – from VW that will top that. It’s a big disappointment to hear them talking numbers like ’30′s, city; low 40′s, hwy.’ :o(

  • Brian C

    What you are looking for VW has in the 2010 Jetta TDI manual . I have one and am averaging 51 MPG. Stop looking and start driving.

  • standardhybrid

    finally VW admit defeat that their diesel will NEVER achieve the fuel economy of a hybrid

    i’ll be looking forward for their 1st diesel-hybrid to be produced

  • Anonymous

    You won’t as the turbo charged engine will require premium fuel.

  • lance

    I have a 2011 Jetta TDI. I’ve had it for 6 months. First week 45 combined miles about 640 miles on a full tank. 6 months later, I get get 50 plus highway and 40-45 city. It’s been as high as 58 for a brief period. I heard it only gets better after the break in period. I have 6600 miles on it. So that 41 mpg is a joke.

    Four large adults with AC running. 35-plus city. Highway 38 plus.

  • larry marra

    I would never buy a hybrid an from Germany never, There good with everything but electrical

    Jetta diesel have major problems in the 2009 thru 2012 common rail diesel. My hi press fuel pump went $9500 repair an in the shop for 41 days

    Buy mercedes the best german cars

  • Anonymous

    It would cost way too much money.

  • TJ

    I had a 2002 Volkswagen Passat. At 120K miles, it suffered an engine sludge failure. Volkswagen later recalled this model for the sludge issue, but only up 100K miles. The car was worthless unless I put down at least $10K for a new engine block. I chose to buy a new, more reliable brand. (Btw, that car was rated as a Consumer Reports Best Buy when I bought it.) I’ll never purchase another Volkswagen.

  • anon

    Mexico or Chattanooga, what’s the difference? They are still made on all-German equipment and machinery.

  • BJ Stroup

    I can’t help but think they may have missed the mark here…they have the TDI eco-diesel engine, arguably one of the most reliable and fuel efficient version of the compression driven breed, and yet they don’t combine this with a Lithium Polymer power cell for their new hybrid?!? Porsche started working on their hybrid a year or so ago, and I hear Opel may be considering a European released hybrid as well, but still I’ve not heard of any companies considering the diesel hybrids. I do know that there are a few of them out there, but they have all been custom built by automotive enthusiasts…(Neil Young’s ’59 Lincoln that caught fire a couple of years back in storage was an Bio-diesel/plug-in hybrid conversion…the fire started in the charging system and was ruled as human error)…I sincerely hope that some of the auto makers start tapping into this virtual fountain of ridiculous fuel mileage and vehicle range.

  • Wain

    If I recall correctly. the reason no one makes diesel hybrid is because diesel engines don’t like on/off all the time. So for us on the know TDI is the way to go.

  • QA

    I just drove a Jetta Hybrid prototype at the Mexico’s plant and it was absolutely beautiful. Aweseome power, great simple displays, smooth handling.

  • jon f

    Hybrid diesel can start and stop frequently with electric motor assist to the diesel, and electric oil pump to maintain pressure.
    The Volkswagen Golf diesel engine is made to start and stop frequently; could be used in a hybrid. The engine stops when clutch is engaged while in neutral and restarts when clutch is disengaged, to avoid excess idling.

  • thusitha

    why not the technology similar to Civic.. Engine does not turn off but idles.. its motor assist.. Diesel hybrid would be awsome…

  • Scotty In New York

    I looked at Volkswagon Passats back in 1998 or so. How a dealer ever told me this I’ll never know, but a sales person told me that Passat’s are only good for 100,000 miles. They’re just not built to last like some better built cars are. Getting up to 120k, sounds like you did it one better!

  • Jake

    Clearly your comments were directed at non-diesels. As a long time Mercedes Diesel owner and now a Volkswagen Passet TDI SEL Premium owner, I have to say the TDI diesels are impressive. Diesels regularly run 300,000 to 400,000 miles without rebuild. I personally put 30,000 on a car a year. This year I made the leap from a Mercedes E320 Diesel to the VW Passat Diesel. I commute on the GA 400 corridor in Atlanta with 1.25 hour morning commute in bumper to bumper traffic and a nearly as bad evening commute. I am getting 45 mpg on this diesel Passat. My wife used to drive a Toyota Hybrid Camry for a while. I used it several times to commute in and could not get never this level of economy. I can drive this Passat at 75+ and still get 43 to 45 mpg.

  • tapra1

    fuel efficiency numbers to be reversed in the Jetta Hybrid—with city driving in the 40s and highway mileage in the mid-to high-30 neighborhood. Consumers are likely to make the hybrid versus diesel.TuxNews

  • joe

    The low sulfer diesel shrinks the seals. Buy the bio diesel blend when you can for the TDI engine. It’s what the doctor ordered and way better for your TDI. Will stop the pump failure period!

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  • Ben

    How about a Diesel Hybrid? That’s what we all really want. Then we have the option of running biodiesel and the greenest car conversation would change dramatically.

  • alvin

    With a clean diesel engine equipped under its hood, the new Jetta Sportwagen TDi is certainly one of the top-choices for a family wagon on the present market.

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  • danwat1234

    Why is VW so dumb?? Don’t use a 1.4 liter OTTO cycle gas engine! I don’t think they are even using an Atkinson cycle OTTO. VW is not very good with gas engines, take the whopping 31MPG hwy new Beetle for example.

    Come on now! It’s real easy. Put a 1.2 liter turbodiesel like you have in the European Polo and mate it to a strong hybrid drivetrain.

    Bam. Now you have more MPG than any Prius and decent acceleration due to the power of the electric motor.
    55-60MPG HWY is within reach.

    I know VW can make that 1.2L Diesel pass emissions in the USA so make it happen and beat the competition!

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