Diesel, But Drives Normal - 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: Diesel, But Drives Normal

January 2, 2014

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

I haven't spent much time in our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI. I'm going to try to correct that over its final 8,000 miles or so.

There's a lot to like here.

For instance, this turbodiesel can effortlessly rack up over 600 miles between fill-ups.

And I mean "effortlessly." In most cars, if you want good fuel mileage you actually have to work for it a bit. Not in this thing. It just happens. So far we've been averaging almost 37 mpg with all sorts of different drivers and driving.

But here's possibly the best thing about the Passat TDI: It drives like a normal car.

You almost never think about the fact you're driving a diesel, it's so smooth and quiet.  

And that may be the best compliment you can give to a turbodiesel.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 12,000 miles


  • ed341 ed341 Posts:


  • kirkhilles_ kirkhilles_ Posts:

    ... and how much are you paying per gallon of diesel?

  • cynic783 cynic783 Posts:

    you forgot to tell us if it is "torque rich" overused automotive journalism cliche of the decade

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Diesel fuel is more expensive, but given that the LT TSI Passat is going to average maybe 27 mpg, diesel would have to be around $5.25 a gallon to erase the TDI's advantage in fuel costs.

  • oxmead oxmead Posts:

    I would think you know that VW wants no more than 5% bio diesel to be used. How do you handle that when a larger percentage is all that's available?

  • Right now I'm paying $3.65 where at the same pump unleaded premium is about $3.40 or a little more. Last spring and summer diesel was five cents LESS at the same pump than premium, which was needed for the car we traded in. Regular is clearly down now, maybe $3.13. So far, however, with our mix of driving we have had exactly three tanks with under 40 mpg over 9200 miles of ownership. Maybe we get 27 with a similar car which takes regular, and my wife could not stand the engine stop feature of hybrids and some of the gas models. We do notice it's a diesel. There is a coarse engine noise, though its largely muted and not enough to be intrusive. It doesn't have the power of our old X3, but in most situations it has enough and at lower speeds more than enough. Torque may be a cliche but it is also an undeniable, tangible fact.

  • toamatoro toamatoro Posts:

    I had a 2013 VW Passat TDI SEL Premium, fully loaded, and I heard a strange whistling noise. So I scheduled an appointment for service. Then, on the expressway, the car loses power and it starts smoking out the back! Any help?

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    You know that this thing drives just like any other modern diesel truck out there right?

Leave a Comment

Past Long-Term Road Tests

Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411