As a new owner of a 2013 JSW (TDI, pano roof, manual trans, white/titan), I'm curious about what has changed in the 2013 model. Most likely being the last year of this body style, changes are obviously minimal. Media sources say that everything is a carryover from 2012 (no changes). But I think I have found at least one change.
The carpeted rear wagon floor is now a folding "accordion" design. The 3 sections fold up and can rest on top of the separate front section. (The front section has its own underfloor storage area). When folded, the shallow underfloor storage area is exposed. No holding up a large single-piece panel, or securing it to the back hatch door (if that was possible in earlier models). My sales guy was surprised to see this folding panel change - if it is indeed a change. If it's not, I'm sure people will speak up.
Any other changes that anyone has found?
Comments on clutch and transmission: Having not been able to drive a manual-equipped JSW before ordering and taking delivery, I was pleasantly surprised at how the clutch and transmission operate. I read lots and lots of comments about LONG clutch travel where people can't even push the clutch all the way to the floor. On my 2013, I'm just not seeing that. Travel is about what I'm used to on other cars. And at 5" 10", I have no trouble pushing the clutch to the clutch stop at the floor. So I'm wondering if VW made a change there, or maybe the experience is just exaggerated on the internet.
Also, I find the shifting action smooth and light. There's not a huge amount of "feel" when shifting, but there doesn't need to be. The 3/4 gate seems a bit closer to the 5/6 gate than I'm used to (with BMW, for example), so when the car was brand new I hit 4th a couple of times when I was going for 6th. The only real annoyance so far is that the trans sometimes doesn't want to shift into first gear from a stop. The solution either seems to be to push harder, or shift into second, then up into first (clutch depressed the whole time), which seems to eliminate the resistance of going into first.
There are also some internet complaints about how easy it is to kill the TDI engine when engaging first gear. I haven't had that issue. However, I have noticed that it's pretty easy to kill the engine going into 2nd gear at a very low speed, which was a bit of a surprise. Even if I'm going a couple of MPH already, going into first is a better idea than 2nd. Second gear will work with more gas and clutch slipping, of course. It doesn't seem like starting out in 2nd gear will be a good option, such as on snow/ice. (Maybe after break-in, it will get a bit better).