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2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,112
edited September 2014 in Volkswagen

image2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

Who needs a hatchback? The long-term Volkswagen Passat can also swallow some large, awkward objects.

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Comments

  • so no rattles, squeaks or other annoyances with it? I'm really starting to think about moving to the dark side with either a Jetta or a Passat. I'd love the range on the TDI and I like the looks of both. The Passat, to me, has a subtle classy look to it. The main thing I want in my next car is for it to be comfortable enough to not hesitate to just jump in it and drive for 4 hours for a day trip and 4 hours back when done.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    Maybe I'm off-base, but I'm betting people also like it for having excellent fuel ECONOMY, not just range. Having long range is nice, but having a shorter range doesn't actually cost you any more money. Having excellent fuel economy is what saves you money - not long range.
  • Excellent point fordson1. I see that all the time in ads but you wouldn't expect to see it on a car site. It is nice to have a large tank so you don't have to stop as often for gas but it is much nicer if you don't have to shell out $75-$100 at each fill-up because the tank is so big and it just isn't efficient.
  • rwatsonrwatson Posts: 144
    Not to offend anyone, but I wouldn't recommend the Jetta. I always tell folks (from my own experience) that if you want a solid, durable, rattle-free VW you can enjoy having after 3 years, don't buy one from the Mexico plant. Those are what's given VW their bad reputation over the years, with shoddy build quality and materials. In fact, the VWs "made for the North American market" have the cheap, hard plastics in the interior, while the European models have the good materials. Now, even the Golfs that are for America are built in Mexico. I was entertaining the idea of a Golf TDI and found the Interior was better quality than even the CC next to it, but that was back in 2012. Don't expect the newer Mexican built ones to have that, which will, more than likely, lead to the rattles and squeaks. As far as the Passat, well, I walked past one a few weeks ago, looked through the window and spotted the cheap, hard plastic panels everywhere. I know what VW's look like. Maybe I'm wrong, but It'd be nice if someone here could visit their local dealer, have a feel and report back to us. My nearest VW dealer is about 60 miles away. This is another reason I don't like all the funky, touch-screen gizmos, because people seem to be so distracted by these Walmart toys, they don't notice the cheap, shoddy materials on the inside and the manufacturers take this as approval. Now, we have to live with this unless we lay down $40K for the same quality that was $22K just a couple years ago. We do it to ourselves...
  • Mine, an SE, at 10K miles:

    One rattle, fixed, uneventful first service and then--fuel pump went, sort of imploded, supposedly sending "shrapnel" through the fuel system. Every component in the fuel system but the tank was replaced, took about a week to put it all back together. Now its back, and runs fine.

    Everything was under warranty, never got an ad-blue warning but they topped the tank at the scheduled service. My loaner car was a 300C, a beast but comfortable and an interesting comparison for a week. Obviously more powerful than the TDI, but I forgot what it was like to be frequently checking the fuel guage. The thing drank over double the fuel, driving the same routes. The 300 was quieter, I wish my seats were ventilated like that, but for me the Passat's drivers seat is more comfortable. Laughable back seat room compared the Passat. Trunk felt smaller but more by shape. Actually it was easier to park due to very visible ends of the vehicle, where the VW sheetmetal just rolls off and down. Driving-wise, though, I missed the Passat. You could feel the extra weight of the 300, though it was pretty well managed.

    The tow guy said he hardly ever tows a diesel VW and it's the one he'd buy. I still think highly of the car, but the first chink in the armor has arrived.
  • great insights expensivehobby, that is what more of the car updates here should include. somebody here should put you on the payroll.
  • I like VW diesels and ironically they are probably the most trouble free of all VW products. However testing in southern California doesn't address a diesel's weakness, cold weather. Although they are MUCH improved cold weather starting and heater performance are still issues with diesels. Wouldn't stop me from getting one because the fuel economy more than makes up for it.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    zimtheinvader, don't look now, but Edmunds has had the 2010 GTI, the 2011 Jetta TDI, the 2012 Turbo Beetle, the 2013 Passat TDI and the 2014 Passat TSI...and basically NOTHING went wrong with any of them. Four different models, three different powerplants and two different platforms, and no problems. The thing that kills me is that the Passat TDI is over 300 lbs. heavier than the Jetta TDI, but is getting exactly the same mpg. Also, there are other cars in the Edmunds LT fleet that are beating their EPA combined estimates like this TDI is, but none of them have 34 mpg estimates! I can see why the only competition they have in North America is the Cruze diesel - VW has the diesel identification in the marketplace, for one thing, but basically they just have this passenger-vehicle TDI technology down cold. Right now this large sedan is posting significantly lower cost-per-mile numbers than anything else in the LT fleet.
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