Used 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Diesel Consumer Reviews - 24 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel - Consumer Reviews

2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel

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24 Total Reviews

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They almost knocked it out of the park
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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.

Update - We now have a bit over 52,000 miles on the clock. The car has remained trouble-free. The fuel economy of 41-43 mpg (average over a fill-up) is unchanged. We expect to put at least 100,000 miles on the car before replacing it. Of course, with the emissions debacle (grossly overblown in our opinion) in full swing, we really couldn't doing anything if we wanted to (which we don't) until whatever solution the eco-Nazis force on us is implemented. On the bright side of that issue, though, VW's Goodwill Package has effectively provided us with free maintenance for the next two years, and that will be about the time we would look at replacing it anyway. That makes this the least expensive car to operate we have ever owned.


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First VW and First Turbodiesel
3 of 3 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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We Bought Two and Both Cars blew the Turbo
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By bubbastarr
on

Vehicle

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


Review

The gas milage is great, the luxury is good. The tranmission can be unresponsive, expecially in the cold. We bought two for our company and both have blown the turbo. One at 30k and the other at 18k.


Best Features

The automatic downshifting while braking to slow the car on steep declines.


Worst Features

Fix the Turbo!!!


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Second Review
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By brian_h
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I posted in November 2012 short after I bought my car. It has performed well w/ mileage averaging around 38-40 mpg with currently 50k on the car and I drive 110 miles/day battling a 2000 foot elevation change into the Wyoming wind in one of those directions.
Still really like and enjoy this car.
There remain a few electronic issues that are dismaying but I will not let them dampen my enjoyment of this car. The only part I have had to have replaced is the heat/AC blower due to freezing up in some subzero weather.


Best Features

Mileage and comfort. Good solid car.


Worst Features

Backup camera is still an unreliable safety issue / liability rather than a safety feature.


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Would not purchase again
8 of 44 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By j__c
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I purchased this 2013 TDI SEL Premium in October 2013.
It already had one owner and 32k miles.
I now have 45k miles on the car.

Fuel mileage is about 40 MPG with 60% hwy 40% city.


Best Features

- Bluetooth


Worst Features

Needs: - Full leather seats - Navigation is a nightmare. Needs faster chip and option for QWERTY keyboard along with options on what information to put in first. Need to eliminate the "extra" choices for locations. For example I am around Tampa. Sometimes it shows the county as incorporated and sometimes unincorporated. That is a ridiculus choice. - Backup camera comes on after I have already put it in drive. - Transmission should not require $300 service @ 40k miles. - The brake assist for "hill" starts is not needed in most areas...Florida...but I cannot turn it off. - The phone system keeps telling me is cannot install my phone book...every time.


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