2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)
I don't see many Passats where I live, so people do a double-take when they see it. Despite what critics think of its understated styling, most of the people that see mine are impressed by its looks and clean lines. I just don't think it photographs well though unless you know how to work the clean lines. The diesel's excellent fuel mileage, German-driving feel, and cavernous rear interior space are what sold us on the TDI SE Passat. It's great for our family of 5, almost negates the need for a larger crossover SUV.
Free satellite radio for 90 days and 3 years free preventative maintenance also adds some value.
For a family sedan this is actually a fun car to drive, thanks to its dual clutch DSG transmission and 236 lb/ft of torque. The fuel mileage is awesome averaging better than expected 38 mpg in mixed driving, including some spirited driving in S mode and "manual" auto. The ride quality and interior comfort are excellent.
The throttle response from a stop is slow for my taste. But once it gets going it's a great cruiser on the highway and sure-footed on the back roads. Like the SEL trim, I'd also like to see a start/stop button standard on the higher SE trims. Compared to the competition though, it's also missing some key features like more voice-control (e.g., GPS), blind-spot monitoring, and standard rearview camera (only avail in the SEL). It would also be nice to see the VW CC's LED headlamps on the Passat. Excellent value otherwise.
† 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.