Best Green Car For Your Money and Most Fun! Loving it!
By kickingtires1 on
2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)
This is absolutely the best car you can get for your money! I'm a car nut having had a Car and Driver subscription since I was 15. I've owned several high end cars such as Porsche BMW Lexus and Audi
I took a new job with a commute averaging 100 miles per day.
I researched green cars for months and nothing compares to this vehicle, especially with the manual transmission, which transforms it into a true sport sedan. The manual transmission is smooth, effortless and precise. Gives you immediate power without the delay of the awkward automated manual (test drove both and there is no comparison). It's a must if you like having a little fun behind the wheel. The interior quality is outstanding.
Averaging 50.5 mpg hwy (80% highway), seamless Bluetooth phone and iTunes integration, excellent thumping base stereo and sat radio, excellent handling, cornering, solid build and quality materials, very quiet, can only hear diesel purr at idle with windows down. Otherwise you'll forget you're driving a diesel. Slick manual transmission offers surprising fun and punch. Huge
trunk and quality comfortable vinyl seats (much better than leather). Dash, gauges (crisp and neat with bright red accents),
solid materials, switchgear are sophisticated and Audi-esque. Upgraded to 18" Spokane wheels which look great without compromising ride quality, which is excellent. No mechanical probs whatsoever.
Make more options available for the TDI Manual: can't get sunroof or nav unless you get automatic transmission. No homelink on base models. No HID or LED headlights (hopefully coming as present on other VW's). Base halogen headlights seem a little dim and yellow after used to driving cars with xenon lights. It does have broader band and less tunnel vision as with HID. Would also like interior ambient lighting on tdi manual. People criticize styling as bland, which looks timeless and classic to me. Could use a bit more exterior flair though.
I finally took delivery of my 2013 Passat TDI 6-speed manual. I used to drive a 2007 Toyota Corolla CE - very different cars.
The Passat is comfortable, refined, powerful, and pretty quiet. It's quieter than my Corolla (which is surprisingly quiet for an inexpensive car). The Passat is not as quiet as, say, a Toyota Avalon (one of the quietest cars on the road today).
The diesel engine is very quiet underway. At idle, if I turn off the A/C and turn off the radio, I can hear the sound the engine but is not annoying or intrusive. It's just kind of there in the background at idle. The
Hankook tires seem good so far. Some have complained that Hankook tires are really noisy, but not for me so far.
The performance is very good and the turbo comes on subtly but strongly. You don't really notice the turbo - you just feel more power coming on. Although the engine is only 140hp, it has something like 235 ft/lbs or torque and the torque seem to be all that's important for getting acceleration. I can pass on the highway in 6th gear at 65mph without any problem. Just push gently on the accelerator, and of you go. You don't have to downshift and stand on it to pass other cars.
The six-speed stick is great! I was worried that it would be numb or feel detached, but it's very good. Nice and smooth, easy to shift, etc. I haven't quite gotten used to first gear yet.
The car has an amazingly small turn radius for such a long car. I think it turns in better than my much smaller Corolla.
Steering feel is very good. It has variable assist steering - extra assist at parking lot speeds, much less assist on the road. Steering has plenty of feedback and is comfortable heavy on the road.
The dealer set up bluetooth in the car to sync with my phone so I can listen to music from my phone over the car stereo. I can also receiver and make phone calls via voice commmands from the car.
The stereo sounds and it picks up HD radio stations in the city and comes with a three month trial of Sirius. The stereo is not "audiophile" quality but it is very pleasant.
I live in Texas and air conditioning in a car is pretty important during our 100 degree plus summers and the A/C keeps up very well with temps into the 90s now.
I love the interior. I got the "cornsilk" interior - sort of a off-white color - with vinyl seats and love the way it looks and how the seats feel. The driver has a 6-way power seat; passenger seat is manually adjusted.
The car has daytime running lights which are always on during the day, but they are a separate narrow horizontal light under each headlight. My Corolla had daytime running lights too, but it was just programmed to leave the regular headlights on all the time.
The car also has turn signal indicators in the side mirrors, but unlike some cars I have seen which have three ">>" indicators built into the glass of the mirror itself, the Passat has a separate indicator light that sort of wraps around the outside of the mirror housing that comes on when you use your turn signal.
I love this car so far! I am getting not quite 40mpg around town at 30-40mph on regular streets and (according to the trip computer) 50+ on the highway in 6th gear at 65mph. Overall, it says I'm getting in the mid to high 40's. We'll see how accurate the trip computer is in a few months when I have to fuel it up again.
I've had a lot of cars over the years but this is the nicest car I've ever had!
I test drove a manual transmission version of this car and its performance was OK but not
great. Mostly the car is so quiet inside and so smooth that I can't hear or feel the engine, so I have no idea when to shift to get best performance.
I have a 2007 Toyota Corolla now with a 5 speed manual and it is pretty quiet but I can hear the engine while accelerating and I can tell by the sound of the engine when I need to shift.
How do you keep your TDI manual in the "torque zone" to keep it accelerating well if, like me, you can't hear or really feel the engine?
I drove the car on interstate 35 over the weekend. I-35 in my area is smooth, meaning no potholes or choppy pavement, but is is coarse, unlike city streets which normally havea good coat of asphalt on them. The OEM Hankook Optima tires on my car have been reasonably quiet until my trip on I-35. Then the tires made a LOT of noise. My passenger and I spent the trip saying, 'huh?", "what did you say?" because the tire noise was so loud. I could turn up the stero (and I did - some) but for me I don't want the stereo too loud as I find it distracting.
If you buy a new Passat, be sure to make part of your deal that the are will come equipped with some other tire than the Hancook.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.