Used 2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel - Consumer Reviews

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They almost knocked it out of the park
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By CN
on

Vehicle

2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel TDI SEL Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)


Review

This the fourth diesel we've owned (2nd VW) and they just keep getting better. We bought this car after comparing it to the Honda Accord and Subaru Legacy. It, by far, was the most refined, quietest, smoothest, and most composed of the three. Surprisingly (to us) the Honda was a distant last. After 42,000 miles over 2 years, the car has been flawless. Mileage is consistently between 42 and 44 over a tank with 60% hwy / 40% city split. Open highway runs are typically in the mid to upper 40s. I've seen as high as 52 mpg. The DSG transmission is the mark by which ALL other transmissions should be compared with respect to smoothness of operation. I have never driven a car with a smoother shifting transmission than this one. Even when one watches the shifts, they cannot be felt; utterly imperceptible. It has the most room of any mid-size car, especially in the back seat. It handles well, and ergonomics, while not perfect, are very good. The diesel engine does take getting used to. One of my sons says it's "touchy". It's not, really; just behaves differently than most other cars. Pulling power is quite good thanks to the abundance of torque, though with only 140 hp one isn't going to win any stoplight races. Then again, that's not why one would buy this car in the first place. My quibbles with the car boil down to three items. First, the ride, while composed, can become somewhat harsh. The 50 series tires certainly don't help, but softening the ride slightly would make a big difference in my book. Second, some of the interior parts are on the cheap side. Not as bad as the crap Toyota uses, but they could be better, or at least made to "feel" better. Last, and by far the worst issue, is the infotainment system. It is unquestionably the absolute worst excuse for such a system ever put in a vehicle. While the radio sounds great, and the nav system is quite good, the system is so pathetically slow to respond to input it is maddening. Taking my time, I can back out of a parking spot and drive off before the back-up camera ever turns on. I can literally count the seconds it takes between pushing a button and the system taking action. I could go on about how bad it is, but I digress... Overall, the car had been outstanding. More reliable than a Honda we recently replaced, it has continued to be exactly what we needed.


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Turbo, inter-cooler and oil pump all died
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By zebrafarm
on

Vehicle

2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel TDI SE 4dr Sedan w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)


Review

I owned a 2013 VW Passat TDI for 8 months. I bought it with 13K miles & traded it in at 29K. At the 29K mileage the turbo went out & I limped home which was only about 2 miles away. The VW dealer had it towed in & it took 10 days for them to complete the repair. If the car had not been under warranty the repair cost would had been $6000+. The parts alone were $3500. The mechanic at the VW dealer said, " We found metal parts from the turbo in the inter-cooler and oil pump, so we flushed the engine & we hope that cleaned it out". At that point I knew I would have to get rid of the car. A design flaw like that will kill an engine & cost $9000+ without warranty. Very poor design engineering!!


Best Features

The best thing about the car is how it handled and it had good acceleration.


Worst Features

The design engineers need to do their due diligence on the oil circulation on engine oil as it moves through the intercooler and turbo, before the design is released to the pubic. This design fault should have been a full recall for all these vehicles.


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Not what I had hoped for
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By 13passatowner
on

Vehicle

2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel TDI SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)


Review

I really enjoyed driving my 2013 Passat diesel but the turbo charger failed on it with 32K miles on it. We live in a rural area (sparsely populated/closest dealer is 1-1/2 hours away) and I have been talking to owners in the area and two others have had the same problem. This is my first VW and I am getting very concerned. I have had three Honda's and have not had any problems. Am thinking of trading off.


Best Features

I really enjoy the steering and of course the gas mileage. Very comfortable seats.


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Not a purchase I would repeat
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By crazymom1
on

Vehicle

2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel TDI SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)


Review

Unlike the majority of females, I like to "drive" a car. I haven't owned anything that doesn't have a stick in 25 years, with the exception of a brief mind lapse with a Honda Pilot. We special ordered my Passat TDI with a 6 speed manual transmission.I've driven it 85k miles in 2 years. The only two things I like about this car is the cabin room, and the excellent mileage. The back seat space comfortable suits my 6'1" and 5'11" teenagers, and my 8 year old. The turbo lags, there aren't ample charging ports, no memory seats, HATE the stereo touch screen, cheap mirror control, needs a sensor light for re-gen. and on and on. Inside is cheaply made. Exterior is frumpy.


Best Features

Mileage and cabin room.


Worst Features

6-speed manual- offer more options. Just because someone likes to shift, doesn't mean they want the base model. Seriously?? No memory seats. Didn't this technology come out in the 80's. Add more ports for charging. SD card? Who uses that? Change to memory stick. Also, put smartphone plug into dash or make access for cord in armrest, without having to crimp the cord. Back seat AC vents. You make a family car and don't provide vents for back seat passengers-cheap. The trunk is big, but I seemed to be able to fit the same amount of stuff into my TL with a nicer trunk shape. Needs a sensor light for when it's going to re-gen. Overall, very disappointed in this car, and won't buy another one.


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First VW and First Turbodiesel
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By bristowbob
on

Vehicle

2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel TDI SEL Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)


Review

There is not a lot I can say yet at 2000 miles, but my first impressions after a month are that this is a great vehicle. I did a 440 mile R/T from VA to NJ and averaged 51.8 mpg while cruising on crowded I-95 between 50 and 75, depending on traffic. Very comfortable, very quiet, smooth ride - all relative to my 10 year obsession with 3 Saabs, including the last 95. I notice some of what I consider to be turbo lag when I hit the gas from a full stop, but not a big deal so far...the engine still feels tight at 2000 miles. Acceleration on the freeway to pass traffic is terrific, no lag there. I'll write more as I add miles.


Best Features

Comfort, MPGs, great sounding Fender audio system, conservative styling that will last for years, built in Chattanooga, but with a proven German powerplant and transmission.


Worst Features

I'm very pleased so far and have no suggestions for improvements at this time. Stay tuned...


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