Used 2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel Consumer Reviews - 54 Car Reviews | Edmunds
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2013 Volkswagen Passat Diesel - Consumer Reviews

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Wonderful car for DIYers
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Adam
on

Vehicle

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


Review

The Passat TDI is an amazing car that returns excellent fuel economy with PLENTY of smiles per gallon to go with it. That is, if you're willing to due your due diligence to take care of it. Use only VW 507.00 approved oil, do your 40k DSG services (YOURSELF to save a lot of money) and don't drive like an idiot. Also, a lot of people neglect the DSG transmission on the TDI and never do the 40k service intervals. If you are willing to 1. Do you own oil changed to be ABSOLUTELY SURE that VW 507.00 oil goes into the car, 2. Do your own DSG service (plenty of guides telling you how to do it, and in idparts.com you can get a complete kit for $130) every 40 (I've done it and it's not all that bad), 3. protect your turbo by not running the car super hard right before shutting it off, then this car is an absolute joy to drive. I don't know why other cars have had turbo failures, but a lot of it could do with the engine oil being used and the way it is driven. If you drive a turbocharged car hard and shut it off not long after that, the engine oil in the turbo will "burn" because of how hot the turbo gets when driven hard. The way to avoid this is to drive the car normally/gently for the last few minutes before shutting it off to allow the circulating oil to cool the turbo to a safe temperature. Anyway, it could be something totally different. All I know is, my car has had NO failures whatsoever in it's history, and even though the 40k DSG service was not completed by the previous owner, the car shifted really smooth when I bought it. After doing a DSG service myself soon after the purchase, the shifting improved even further to a buttery smoothness that you don't even notice unless you're looking at the RPM cluster. On long trips I average 45mpg, but my overall average since buying the car is 41mpg.


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Family Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Mattihas Frontzek
on

Vehicle

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


Review


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Long term review
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Ray P
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Not to get into my utter disgust with the TDI cheating scandal, my car had suffered a turbo failure at 36K like many others along with urea tank replacement at 70K. Other than the above issues the car was fairly decent. My only major issue that I have paid for dearly is related to poor ergonomics due to poor driver seat, misalignment with respect to steering as well as gas and brake pedals. These became obvious in time unfortunately after logging lots of miles. Another annoyance was the diminutive buttons and their location for cruise control especially for long commutes.


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Buyer beware
2 of 6 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Jamie
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I bought my second Passat on 2013 - a TDI Diesel for the mileage since I have a long work commute.
The cost of my checkup last year by the dealer was ~$600 since they are the only ones that can add the blue liquid stuff.
I just had to take it in 12 months post the expensive checkup because the blue tank heater stopped working and this cost ~$1400. Outrageous. And everyone I talk to that owns or has owned a TDI had to replace the same part. Defective part coupled with bad engineering.
I will not be buying another VW product.


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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.

Update 2 - We had to stop driving the car about two months ago. Not because of anything wrong with it (it still runs perfectly), but because of the diesel settlement structure. We will be selling the car back to VW. It has a little shy of 59,000 miles on the clock, which is just below the threshold for a mileage deduction of the buyback price. While we won't recoup our full purchase price, we will be getting back a heck of a lot more than we could ever think of getting by selling it on the open market. it's too bad because it's a really good car despite some of its aggravating shortcomings (e.g. the lousy infotainment system).


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