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2013 Volkswagen Passat

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2013 Volkswagen Passat Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.1

Last year, Volkswagen completely reinvented the Passat mid-size sedan, and aimed it straight at the heart of American shoppers. Bigger, conservatively styled, with lots of standard equipment and a lower price, the Passat retained its German driving feel even though VW now builds it in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For 2013, the Passat continues to deliver great value for money. It plays in the tough heart of the market, where the iconic Toyota Camry and Honda Accord set the beat and more edgy upstarts like the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima play counterpoint. But the new VW Passat is carving out its niche as a comfortable, affordable 4-door with good space, lots of features, great road manners, and an honored spot on KBB's list of the 10 Best Family Cars of 2013.

You'll Like This Car If...

Looking for a roomy, mid-size sedan that offers an assortment of powertrains and lots of standard content? Like the idea of genuine German driving characteristics with a Made in America label? Want it all for a starting price in the low $20K range? Check out the 2013 Volkswagen Passat.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Although starting around the $20K price sweet spot, options packages and higher trim levels quickly push the 2013 Volkswagen Passat into $30K territory. And if you're looking to make a visual statement, the sharp-looking Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima will draw more attention.

What's New for 2013

After its thorough remake last year, aimed specifically at attracting more American consumers, Volkswagen's mid-size Passat sedan is little changed for 2013. Some tweaking inside makes the center console's cup holders and storage space more functional, and a rearview camera is now offered on the top SEL trim level.

Driving the Passat

Driving Impressions The Volkswagen Passat sedan has grown substantially to appeal to North American sensibilities, but even though it's now a larger, heavier car, you'll still be rewarded with...

a refined road-going experience. Its suspension – including a 4-link independent rear setup – cancels out most road imperfections, and body roll is nicely controlled on tight, curvy roads. The base 2.5-liter 5-cylinder is the volume leader of the Passat's engines and is a perfectly fine around-town commuter, but if you want more zip in your drive, the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine is where you'll get your smiles. Its minimal turbo lag and lusty low-end torque make a trip of any length a more pleasurable experience. The final feather in the VW Passat's cap: Whether you choose the inline-5, the TDI or the V6, this German sedan is one quiet ride. That's a good thing, because with segment-leading rear legroom, passengers sitting there won't need to yell to be heard.

FENDER SOUND SYSTEM
Fender, the electric-guitar icon, is making its first foray into automotive audio. The Passat's optional 9-speaker, 400-watt system developed with Panasonic provides clear, well balanced sound.

TDI
Offering up to 43 miles per gallon on the highway, this clean-burning diesel engine can return nearly 800 miles per tankful. Whether you can survive for that long without a rest-stop break is another matter.

2013 Volkswagen Passat Details
2013 Volkswagen Passat photo Interior

The 2013 VW Passat isn't flashy inside. Think clean lines and tasteful – but not overdone – chrome highlights. Lower-end Passats can look vanilla, but moving up to the Premium level adds an Autumn Nut Burl wood-trim detail that brings some visual interest to the cabin. Base S models come with standard cloth seating surfaces while SE models get V-Tex Leatherette and SEL models receive the full leather treatment with suede-like "Dinamica" inserts. And on the subject of seats, thanks to the Passat's longer wheelbase, rear-seat passengers now enjoy more legroom than in any other current mid-size sedan.

Exterior
2013 Volkswagen Passat photo

The 2013 Volkswagen Passat may not be as distinctive-looking as the Passats that came before it, but its clean styling should serve it well over time. It is sleek and subtly angular in appearance, sporting a 3-bar horizontal grille and pronounced side crease lines that draw attention to the sedan's increased length. This length also allows for a more sizable trunk – with 15.9 cubic feet of space, it's a nearly a cubic foot larger than the trunk in the Honda Accord, which the EPA classifies as a large car.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

For just over $21,000, a 2013 Volkswagen Passat S sedan (inline 5-cylinder) comes equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission, hill-hold control, cloth seating, automatic dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a 3-year/36,000-mile maintenance program. Hoping for a USB port to plug your mobile device into? You'll have to move up to the top SEL trim to get it.

Optional Equipment

With a lot of available options, packages and trim levels, it's easy to equip a 2013 VW Passat the way you want. Noteworthy items include Vegan-friendly V-Tex Leatherette seating, a Fender Premium audio system, an iPod interface and the quick-shifting 6-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission. For a little more oomph in your daily drive, a 3.6-liter V6 or the strong but frugal 2.0-liter 4-cylinder clean turbodiesel engine are also on the menu.

Under the Hood

The 2013 VW Passat sedan offers three engine choices, which greatly affect the character of the car: a 2.5-liter inline-5 shared with the smaller Jetta, a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 diesel (TDI), and a 3.6-liter V6. There are four transmissions available: a 5-speed manual (with the 2.5), a 6-speed manual (TDI), a 6-speed automatic (2.5) and the DSG 6-speed dual-clutch automatic (TDI and 3.6). If how much you spend at the pump is important to you, you'll be interested to know that the TDI can return a class-leading 43 mpg on the highway when matched with the manual transmission. In order to get comparable fuel economy in any other sedan, you'd have to move down out of the mid-size segment.

2.5-liter inline-5
170 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 mpg (manual), 22/31 mpg (automatic)

3.6-liter V6
280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4
140 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/43 mpg (manual), 30/40 mpg (automatic)

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2013 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 169 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

PASSAT TDI SE SUNROOF W/NAV AND I LOVE IT

By on Wednesday, September 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "GAS MILEAGE, STYLE, AND RIDE"

Cons: "NO USB PORTS, NO REMOTE START,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

GOT TINT 5% ALL AROUND AND VISOR STRIP. AMAZING LOOK

"First off the vehicle I purchased had an MSRP of $31,990 and paid $25,657 before TTL. The amazing part about the discount is I got to use my own financing since it was a Fastrak dealer which saved me money. I LOVE MY CAR! This thing has significant curb appeal and looks better than a mercedes, BMW and Lexus. The interior is well done and feels great to sit in. I've been averaging 43MPG and 50mpg on the highway. The push button start is more like a HOLD and start. I wish there was a remote start. the app VW Car Net is awesome but has a long delay for it to work. Its unfortunate there's not a USB port."

GOT TINT 5% ALL AROUND AND VISOR STRIP. AMAZING LOOK

2015 Passat TDI SEL

By on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,300

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Efficient, great build quality, elegant design"

Cons: "Resale/Trade value, Needs more tech"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"German performance and luxury at half the cost. Driving dynamics and overall feel of a much more expensive vehicle. More efficient than about any other car out there and twice the size. I Avg 53 mpg and I have gotten as high as 58 mpg. Amazing range from a full tank, Fender sound is clear and sounds great. On recent road trip from DFW to Santa Fe, NM at 80 MPH, the vehicle was returning 46 MPG. I arrived in Santa Fe with 175 miles to empty. Comfortable, efficient, and classy now we just need better resale values."

11 people out of 22 found this review helpful

Best Vehicle i've owned to date

By on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Simplistic Elegance, Spacious, Comfortable"

Cons: "Sand gets in the window slides and scratches glass"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I thoroughly enjoy my Manual TDI. It's a lot of fun and easy to take care of. I've owned it since Dec 2012 and am very pleased with this car. I plan on driving it until it gives out."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best and safe car in its class.

By on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Nice to drive and handle, safe and spacious."

Cons: "Warranty period not comparable with competetors."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Its almost 2 years since I got a VW Passat SEL with Moon roof. I still enjoy the drive and comfort while I drive it, its spacious compared to similar cars in the market. The Cargo protection system comes handy at times and the huge trunk space adds up to the convenience to store much for travel. I like the interior and the AC rear vent helps keep family happy during long travel. Overall I have had good experience with the car so far. So far didn't notice any issue and VW roadside assistance was prompt too as I was helped once to fix flat tire. Cons: 1. Only thing I did not like is the marketing calls I get from warranty companies trying to sell me additional warranty even before my original warranty got over ad they explain to you that since its a foreign car it may cost you much for repair etc. But I did make an attempt to call VW warranty department and they confirmed that they do not issue additional warranties and that I need to contact the dealer from where I got the car to get any additional warranty. 2. Now heard from friends that few other cars comes with window tint etc by default. It would be good if we can get such things from the manufactures as it will be perfect. 3. Other competitors offer extended warranty for around 5 to 10 years that keeps the customers happy."

11 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Great car but door toggles are aggravating.

By on Sunday, July 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great mpg and dependability"

Cons: "door toggles are biggest problem"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"My 2013 VW Passat has been a wonderful car. Incredible room inside. Four large men could ride in this car on a long trip in great comfort. Incredible fuel mileage. I have gotten 52 mpg on a trip from St. Augustine, FL to Ormond Beach, FL.; 51.6 mpg from Cherokee NC to Atlanta. Driving around town I routinely get close to or above 40 mpg. I have had the car two years and have not had the first mechanical problem. This is not a sexy car. It is not a sports car. But it is a great car. It is a good looking car. The only problem I have experienced has to do with the door toggles. I am continuously fighting with the driver's door every time I try to get out of the car. The door simply will not stay where I place it when I try to get out of the car. It always comes back toward me multiple times after I open the door, even on level surfaces. I suffer continuous aggravation with the door toggles. Hyundai and GM don't do that to their customers. Why would VW design and build such a splendid car and diminish it's value by trying to save a few sheckels on the door toggles?"

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Excellent experience for three years of ownership

By on Thursday, June 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Comfortable, quiet, convenient, huge back seat no problems, high mpg."

Cons: "Radioi/Nav is slow to react. Diesel costs more."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Previously owned Jetta version which was excellent experience in three years of ownership. The Passat is similar but much more comfortable and better ride with longer wheelbase. Zero problems with both. Would buy again without hesitation. Last summer, took 8,000 mile trip. Over six weeks averaged 44 mpg overall. This summer took 4800 mile trip. Over three weeks averaged 43.3mpg. Day-to-day average between 34-37 mpg. Low-end torque characteristics of the diesel provide very satisfying ride. Acceleration quite adequate for "normal" driving but you're not going to win any contests with V-6 gas version. I regard as one of the most satisfying cars ever owned. At 60+ years of age, that would be quite a few. I like a good no-problem ride. This is one."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

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