Volkswagen Passat Real World MPG Numbers

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,400
With the price of gas being what it is, your real world mileage is becoming more important than the estimates on the sticker. This is the place to talk about your real world on the road results!


  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    I have a 2004.5 Passat GLS 1.8t and never get below 26-27 mpg. Right now, with 80% highway, I am averaging a little over 30mpg. Keep your foot off the gas and you will be amazed at how fast your mileage increases.

    BTW: I just turned 33K miles.
  • carynccarync Member Posts: 14
    I am pleasantly surprised that my new car (5 months old now) has gotten 29mpg in highway driving between NC and NJ--accounting for the usual stop and go on 495 in the DC area! In mixed city highway driving to work I get about 23 mpg. This is the same as I got on my 2002 GLX and also matches mpg I got on my scarily underpowered 1997 Volvo S70! The new Passat is the BEST car I have ever owned! ;)
  • brewerk12brewerk12 Member Posts: 5
    We recieved an average highway mileage of 36-40 going 70 MPH!
    Peppy engine with maintenance every 5000 miles!
    Great car! :D
  • route66usaroute66usa Member Posts: 2
    I own a 2005 Passat Diesel and my average is 39 M.P.G.
  • raven_sevenraven_seven Member Posts: 12
    My Passat 3.6 with less than 1000 miles is giving me about 28 MPG, this is according to the long-term meter. However, my trip to work usually shows 33MPG, while my trip back home shows 27 MPG due to more traffic, A/C running etc.
  • nicinlanicinla Member Posts: 2
    I am concerned that I have a "dud" in the MPG dept of my NEW 2006 Passat 2.0T; I have had it for 3 weeks and only getting 21 mpg; does anyone have any ideas??? :confuse:
  • raven_sevenraven_seven Member Posts: 12
    Most of the MPG numbers posted in this thread seem to be for highway driving. I don't know your specific situation, but your problem could be that you have an auto transmission and drive mostly in the city and have a lead foot (??). Too much stop-and-go traffic? Also, engines tend to give better MPG numbers once they are fully broken in (+/- 5000 miles).
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Member Posts: 172
    I have two possible commuting routes (each an hour on the highway). One is a four-lane with a 65 MPH speed limit, and you can figure on going 70. The other is a two-lane with a 55 MPH limit.
    On the four-lane, I get 30-33 MPG depending on my speed. But on the two-lane - IF I can keep the speed to exactly 55 or so--I get a solid 38 MPG (38.5 or more). If the wind is behind me, and I avoid accelerating on hills, I can get 39 or even 40 . Quite a difference in gas costs over a year!

    How did I discover this, given my speedy nature? One night I was on the 55-mph route and noticed a state trooper driving behind me. I set my cruise control on 55 - exactly 55- the whole way. Finally the cop passed me. But by then I was noticing the incredible mileage. Given that gas was topping $3 a gallon, i took heed.

    The neat thing about having a mileage counter built into the dash is that MPG has become the metric I'm thinking about, rather than time (how soon can I get there?) or speed (how fast can I go without getting caught?)
    The inconvenient thing about going slow is that it annoys other drivers. I used to hate it when i got behind someone going slow. But there's not that much traffic on the two-lane. And I don't care that much anyhow - one of these days I'll become a geezer so I might as well get used to being dissed. (Another advantage of slower speed: a lot of deer around here, and I'll have more time to react.)
    Anyway: the moral is obvious - amazing how much difference your speed makes to your mileage.
    One other key to good mileage: suppress the natural tendency to accelerate on hills. (and this is hilly country.) If you manage that, your mileage improves vastly.
    BTW, the car does not get good mileage in the city. I don't know why (maybe the turbo doesn't kick in as often at city speeds? I assume the turbo improves mileage.) But most of my driving is highway.
    I do use 91 octane gas, too. Mileage would be lower with regular. Also, I've always used Synth oil.
    Anyway, the moral applies to any car, but I was amazed at how high this Passt goes in the real world. Wasn't expecting it.
  • nicinlanicinla Member Posts: 2
    The Odd thing is that my car was a demo and had 5400 miles on it. I did have trouble at first with taking off too fast every time, but once I got used to it that is no longer the issue. I have a lot of stop n go in my commute. I guess I need to try a different route and see what I get on the hwy. Thanks for the advice. :)
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    I have a 2006 Passat 3.6L with automatic. It just turned 10,000 miles. A couple of days ago I drove from El Paso to San Antonio with the cruise set at 86 MPH. I got 30.4 mpg. Since I don't normally drive I-10 in West Texas, my usual cruise setting is 76 mph, and my per tank average is between 32 and 33 mpg. I have an economy car that I drive around town, so I don't really know what my Passat might get in town.
  • ray_818ray_818 Member Posts: 1
    Just got a new '04 passat 1.8t two weeks ago. So far I usually average 30ish mpg on highway going 65-70 mph. On local street I average 17 mpg. The car has 27k miles, btw.
  • autophile_89autophile_89 Member Posts: 9
    In May of 2006 my parents purchased, at my recommendation, a 2001.5 Anthracite Blue GLS wagon with the Tiptronic tranny and 62,000 one owner miles with all the maintenance records and the fail prone timing belt replaced at the 60,000 mile maintenance. We drove it for four weeks and it was only averaging about 24 mpg. So we replaced the stock air filter with a K&N filter in hopes that it would eliminate the turbo lag and improve the gas mileage. Well, it did completely eliminate the turbo lag and vastly improved mid-range acceleration, but it actually dropped the mileage to 23 mpg and has stayed right around there ever since. We have a 22 mile daily commute, composed of 3 miles of gravel and 19 miles of highway. We do maybe 5 miles of city driving per day, and then 22 miles back to the farm, so just over a 50 mile commute six days a week.
    Now I understand the 1.8T is a little on the smallish side for a car this heavy, but from what I've read and given that our commute is 90% highway with minimal stop and go, shouldn't it be getting more like 25-28 mpg instead of 22-23mpg? :confuse: Is there anything wrong that we should fix/replace, and if not, would chipping the engine raise our gas mileage?
  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    and chipping in all possibility will decrease your milage.
    if you want more power you need to burn more fuel.

  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    Couple of comments for you...

    1) Some say using a K&N air filter can cause problems with the MAF sensor.
    2) Some say chipping can improve mileage, assuming you can keep your foot light on the go pedal. The problem is, of course, that the exhilaration coming from the extra power unleashed by the chip tends to negate any possible fuel savings.
    3) Wihout knowing the traffic conditions of your commute, the weather and terrain of where you live, it's hard to draw a conclusion about your mileage.

    For me, living in a hilly section of SW PA, In the winter, I get around 20 mpg in suburban driving with a fair number of traffic lights. In the summer, this climbs to 22 or so. Light traffic interstate driving will get me over 30 miles to the gallon. Last autumn, we got above 34 mpg travelling across the Ohio Turnpike with the cruise set at 73 mph. I'm meticulous about recording and calculating my mileage.

    I use only 93 octane premium (octane below 91 will retard the timing and impact mileage), run Mobil 1 0w-40 synth oil, and have the tires inflated to 32 psi all around.

    Mileage-wise, the 1.8T shines best at uninterrupted highway speeds. Stop-n-go traffic, especially full stops, takes a real toll on the mileage with this car, unless you are really light on the gas pedal.

    Couple of other things worth checking out:
    1) Vacuum leaks, especially given the age of the car and the heat under the hood.
    2) Condition of spark plugs (sitck with OEM recommendation).
    3) Condition of tires and steering system (inflation and alignment).
    4) O2 sensors, but that would throw a code.
    5) Are you idling the car at all before driving? If so, don't! Just start it and go, driving lightly until the engine warms up. Just keep it under 3,000 rpm until warmed up.
    6) I can noticeably improve my mileage by anticipating traffic lights and traffic conditions. The brake pedal is the enemy of fuel efficiency.

    Good luck!
  • lane2lane2 Member Posts: 28
    Would like to hear from others on MPG they are getting. Will post mine after two upcoming trips are completed. Mine has auto transmission. Thanks
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    My 3.6L Passat now has 17,500 miles. I just drove from Memphis to Indy with my cruise set at 75. I filled up before I left, and immediately upon arriving in Indy. My mpg for the tank was 32.2.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Was that via a fuel calculation or was that from your trip computer?
  • devildeldevildel Member Posts: 3
    i live in nyc - i have 02 passat 1.8T - i get 18-19 in city traffic but on highway i get 27-29- out of a whole tank i usually get 400-450 miles
  • tms0425tms0425 Member Posts: 13
    Considering a 2006 3.6l 4motion sedan and drive 85% highway at 60-70mph. Just wondering what real world mileage is for that combo (with 4motion)? Tom
  • lane2lane2 Member Posts: 28
    I posted my reply in another location before remembering the separate listing for Passat wagons. My trips of 311, 316 and 560 miles gave 31.7, 31.9 and 33.3 mpg. It was mixed, interstate and town driving. I am using 93 octane premium gas and not trying to baby it in heavy traffic. Very pleased, so far.
  • arpadarpad Member Posts: 1
    jetta tdi 1999 35 miles newyork city 51 hw miles.
  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    Sorry for the tardy reply, but I have not checked this thread for a while. That was miles driven divided by gallons used calculated with pencil & paper.
  • mm515mm515 Member Posts: 2
    We are thinking about getting an 07-08 Passat wagon to improve gas milage from a 06 honda odyssey. Then we noticed VW recommends premium gas. This would cancel all savings from increased gas milage. How much efficiency will we lose if we used regular gas?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    By all accounts you'll lose enough economy by running regular fuel that your fuel costs per mile will actually increase by using the cheaper fuel. FWIW, my last trip to the gas station caught me by surprise. Why? Because Premium was only $0.18 more expensive than regular, or said another way, what with the 87 AKI fuel going for $3.04 per gallon and the 93 AKI going for $3.22 per gallon, Regular is not even 6% cheaper than Premium. The flip side is that I've seen tests that indicate mileage reductions that range from 8% on the conservative side to 15% on the aggressive side.

    In the end it is typically a "fool's economy" to burn Regular fuel in a car that calls for Premium.

    Best Regards,
  • divewreckdivewreck Member Posts: 50
    I agree, but I would choose an Audi or Lexus before the Passat, unless it's a diesel.
    Even so, diesel is more expensive than regular, but the MPG outweighs everything else.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Uhhh, what? :confuse:
  • divewreckdivewreck Member Posts: 50
    Since you're spending more for premium, go for diesel in order to get better mileage. I haven't seen any cars requiring premium get over 25/32
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Cars that take Premium fuel can get very good mileage, the VW GTI, Audi A3 & A4, Honda Civic Si and BMW 328i immediately come to mind. Even with the new (i.e. very conservative) EPA mileage estimates, the worst of the above gets 29 mpg highway (and all are easily capable of mid 30s over the road).

    Best Regards,
  • wagonhuntingwagonhunting Member Posts: 1
    I drive a corolla wagon. the engine is great but the details are dying and I really want a newer car. The Passat wagon seems to be one of the few that's not an absolute tank but my mechanic says I should really avoid them and so does consumer reports, but a friend who has one loves hers. Then I found the Subaru Outback and I get warnings of repair costs- sigh.... but I just found a 2003 Passat wagon with 82 k for 6500 with ALL the bells and whistles- I think it even has dvd in the headrests for my daughter!!! but the big concern with this one is that it's a V8 and the mpg has me scared silly- anybody have any experience to share? hellllp!!
  • smarty666smarty666 Member Posts: 1,503
    Hey all, I might be considering the Passat for a next vehicle, so I wanted to find out what kind of mpg city/highway some of you with the new model are getting with the 2.5L 4 cyl and the TDI. The TDI is rated much higher for mpg, but is it worth the extra costs to get, especially if gas prices ever go back down.
  • prospectiveprospective Member Posts: 10
    I have a 2012 Passat S with a 5 speed manual transmission... The best mileage I've been able to squeeze out in mixed city/highway conditions is 31 MPG. That's with short shifting and setting the cruise control at 55 MPH on the highway. Real world driving in mixed conditions is more like 27 MPG. I was a little disappointed as I was getting a consistant 37 MPG out of my 2010 Honda Civic prior to the Passat. Here's my review on my 2012 Passat:

    I have had all kinds of minor quality problems with my 2012 Passat... I love the car but VW doesn't do a whole lot to rectify these issues:

    1. Seatbelt light and chimes even though my seatbelt is fastened and I'm the only person in the car. VW's lame excuse is that my cell phone is emitting electromagnetic waves that are setting the seatbelt light and chimes off. VW told me not to charge my cell phone in the car and not to get my phone too close to any of the seats. LAME!

    2. Front end suspension noise. I has to bring my car in to the dealer twice before they admitted the right front suspension was defective. I had to put the tech guy in my car and roll over speed bumps at low speed before he admitted there was a defect. They have since rectified the problem.

    3. Drivers door. The drivers door doesn't close unless you slam it like you are angry. The door should close properly with just the weight of the door. The VW tech told me "You know, everything on a new car doesn't actually work perfectly." Another LAME!

    4. Rear trunk lid. Same problem with the rear trunk lid not closing unless you slam it like you are angry. There are scratches on the inside lid latch that show the latch is not aligned properly. Tech response, "All VW's are like this." A third LAME!

    5. My brakes squeek in the morning. Eveyday, when leaving my house, my brakes squeek. Tech guy: "Due to the high humidity in the Hawaiian Islands, it's normal for VW brakes to squeek in the morning." Huh, I've leased Hondas for the last 14 years and never had squeeky brakes before. This must be a VW Issue? One more time: LAME!
  • prospectiveprospective Member Posts: 10
    Here's an update on my Passat's rear trunk lid not closing properly... I took my Passat to a auto-body shop and paid them $187.40 to fix the trunk lid. I took my car to Tony Volkswagen twice to have the problem fixed as the car is under warranty. The dealer techs refused to admit their was a problem and my regional VW representative Eric W. said he had to support the dealer techs opinion that their was never a problem with my trunk lid. Funny thing is now the trunk lid is aligned properly and it closes with just the weight of the lid itself. Just like it's supposed to. So much for Volkswagen supporting their customers and their flagship Passat! :mad:
  • belaircarguybelaircarguy Member Posts: 107
    I have a 2012 Passat SE with manual transmission. Just got the car in mid April, and it was built early April. Gas mileage is high 20's in mixed city/highway driving, and low 30's on straight highway driving. I had a 2009 Jetta with the same engine (2.5 gas) and automatic transmission that was traded. That car got about the same mileage as the Passat. I am pleased, as the car is lively with good handling and plenty of power. The build quality is excellent, with no squeaks or rattles. All body panels align well, paint is flawless, and unlike a note on this forum about doors and trunk lids not shutting properly, mine close easily.

    I would highly recommend looking at the Passat, as it has good road manners, comfortable seats, and an excellent radio with Bluetooth (it actually loaded my entire phone book from my Blackberry), HD FM radio, and Sirius satellite radio. This is the first car I had with HD FM radio. Quite clear and sounds like Sirius! Have not activated the Sirius radio as I now question spending $13 per month on satellite, when HD FM is great!

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • bobthebikebobthebike Member Posts: 11
    Ditto on all your observations. For mileage, I can get 35mpg cruising at 80mph. I do have the tires pumped up to 38psi and use 100% gas when possible. The car has been a peach in all aspects.
  • bug4bug4 Member Posts: 370
    I have 3500 miles on my 2012 SE Passat and I'm getting a consistent 29-31 on level interstate driving. That's not bad. But, I'd hoped for better since I've been babying the car and not putting my foot in the throttle at all. Also, my trip computer is about 8-9% off (always giving me results that are too high).
  • gcutler196gcutler196 Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm interested in your comments on the Passat MPG's and other issues. Just so you have a little background on me and don't just want to blast me since I do value your opinion. I actually started in the car business this year and I am selling VW. Actually I'm going to lease a Passat myself. Now I'm 50 and started working on cars with my father in the 1960's and even though I'm in Sales I can work on anything and have for a long time. I started in sales when I was 24 and it was in Motorcycle's, snowmobiles, ATV's, PWC's and also Power Equipment came in along my career path. Now in any mechanical product that is mass produced there will always be some issues in any brand. Over the years when you see the same problem on multiple products you do question quality control and reliability. Overall when you do the math which NEVER lies, people lie, generally issues nationally are always under a 2% Max! Not every tech is good, not all service departments are good and the jobs of Manufacturer’s Tech departments are to Deny claims. That is why there is a Customer Service department. Customer Service will step in and authorize a repair since they operate on a separate budget and want to satisfy the Customer. I have seen it all, in any brand or model.
    So now your issues are resolved, correct?? Obviously someone dropped the ball on your car in quality control and no one wants the car that was finished on Friday at 4pm or Monday Morning. Now did you really expect the far lager Passat to get the same mileage as a Civic? Sure in Diesel but not in gas engines. The fit issues were wrong and the answers you were given suck so there was a total lack of professionalism. So are you happy with the car at this point. I wouldn't buy one just because I sell the brand, I'm keeping my 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 SLT quad cab 4x4 because I still need a truck and it's paid for. I was a Territory Manager for Toro for over 8 years on the road and I fixed issues that a lot of techs couldn't. Now I need a more fuel-efficient daily commuter car and I like the Passat. So all I am suggesting on anything that you ever own is that if you get resistance from Service then contact the Manufacturer's Customer Service Department and your life will be simplified. I only posted this because I spotted your aggravation on what is really a well-made product. In the end they are all great when they run and fit perfect and they all suck when they are broken. So I hope you find this information of some value and best of luck on your car!
  • westys_4_everwestys_4_ever Member Posts: 1
    I just got a 2012 Passat with the 2.5L 6A powertrain and I gotta say, I love it!

    We just took an 1,800 mile road trip and filled up 3 times. Each fill up was about 14 gallons +/-. We averaged 35 mpg for the trip and got as high as 37 at one stretch. This was with the cruise control set at 75 mph too.

    I am sure with the TDI, the mpg numbers would be better and maybe we would have spent less in total on fuel for the whole trip despite the higher cost of diesel. I really think with this car it's 6 of 1, half dozen of another.
  • sirrob1000sirrob1000 Member Posts: 1
    Just purchased one a couple of weeks ago.

    Its not the same as a gas engine with respect to acceleration, but I knew that going in. The car doesn't ride as quiet or smooth as some of the other sedans out there--but we bought it for the longevity and fuel savings.

    The car has been nothing short of miraculous on the MPG department. On the freeway--going 70ish--I average about 45 MPG.

    In town--drops to 32-34 MPG depending on traffic conditions.

    Don't have any of the fit/finish problems mentioned above.
  • al63017al63017 Member Posts: 149
    edited August 2012
    Drove Hondas for years. Had 2011 Jetta TDI and 2012 SE Passat gas engine. Both cars were flawless and got amazing mpg. Jetta 43 mpg consistently and Passat up to 36 on a recent trip to Florida on some of the long flat stretches of 200 miles or so. I would buy another one in a second. Drove a Honda recently and was so happy to be in my VW as Honda just did not seem so nice inside anymore and was just not impressive like I used to feel. German engineering now I know what that means.
  • remarcremarc Member Posts: 1
    While the car drives me crazy with repairs- it gets a solid 53 MGP sometimes higher- around town driving up to 56 on highways. I cannot afford NOT to fix the multidue small issues that crop up in a 16 year old car. It's a standard transmission and fun to drive - I have not had any variance in the mpg for years. It's reliable and consistant - and I've drives 935 on one tank before the numbers scared me into filling up.
  • homerkchomerkc Member Posts: 113
    I've driven my 2013 SE 2.5 auto for six months, seeing 25mpg consistently in mixed suburban driving. I've only taken one road trip, that a high speed cruise across Oklahoma and Texas, and averaged 31mpg. My 2007 Jetta, with 2.5 and 5 spd manual, did no better. I've seen real-life numbers for the Fusion 1.6T much lower.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098

    Just filled up my 2014 TDI SE for the first time. 80% highway, 43.5 MPG.

  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098

    Second fill up on my TDI SE. About 80% highway. 40.2 MPG.

  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098

    OK, 3rd fill up at 38.3 MPG. A bit down, but we will see how it goes. This one is 95% highway. I'm wondering if it isn't a bit more efficient in mixed driving...

    Still great for the size, comfort, and room, of course.

  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098

    Fourth fill up, 39.07. At least the number is going up. The wife wants over 40, but this number seems OK to me. almost all highway.

  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098

    Latest fill up at 40.67. At least back over 40. Wife says she is trying to ease up a bit so as to get better MPG.

  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098

    Two more fill ups: 37.96 and 39.53.

    Just got back from a trip to San Diego, all on one tank. The indicated MPG was 43.5, but I've found that the dash is somewhat optimistic. Probably fill it up this week again.

  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    edited August 2014

    Four more fill ups, all at high speeds (over 70 MPH) on our recent vacation.

    40.05, 42.24, 40.14, 40.66

    This is an amazing car. I never wanted for more power, at any speeds. Hard to believe there is only 2.0L under there!

  • jhinscjhinsc Member Posts: 399
    edited August 2014

    My third tank I achieved 40.5 avg, calculated, first tank over 40!. MFI stated 42.1, not too far off.

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