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The First Hybrid Car with a Turbocharged Engine - it's a VW

Updated on April 9, 2013
The new models
The new models
The 2005-9 models
The 2005-9 models

For many years, many car buyers seeking great MPG have long known about the VW Passat and Jetta TDI models (turbo diesel). Owners of these cars easily get 30 in the city and 45 on the highway. Since diesel and gas are not that different in price, going diesel is a smart thing. VW has been making the clean diesels since 2004 or so. The newer models, from 2009+, are even cleaner. Commuters will sell a more recent year car that gets only 25\30 MPG, for a 2006 TDI to get the MPG.

Now, Volkswagen Jetta has made it even better-the 2013 Jetta Hybrid with a turbo. This is gas model, not a diesel. Because of the turbo, it is quick acceleration. Its electric motor is for use around town up to 40 mph. It has a 1.4 liter engine with 170 hp, its electric motor is a 20kw and comes with a 7-speed tranny. When you go faster than 40 mph, the engine kicks in and you do notice the difference. As you use the brakes, the batteries are recharged. Cool!

The downsides are one must use 87 octane gas and the base price is $25,000, compared to the Jetta non-hybrid costing $16,000. Like many turbos, it activates upon acceleration only to conserve fuel and most last to 100k miles. When the fail, the cost to replace hits around $3,000.

The MPG of this hybrid is the same as the TDI models using diesel. I am talking about any TDI from 2005 to present, that is, 30\45 MPG. So, unless you really like the hybrid idea or the body of this 2013 model, it certainly is more cost effective to buy a used 2005+ TDI for $9,000 or more for the same MPG using diesel. The gas models MPG get only 24\30.


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