Fuel Economy Update for August - 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: Fuel Economy Update for August

September 5, 2013

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

We put 2,928 miles on our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI in August. Not only did we plump our lifetime average to 37.7 mpg (up from a mere 36.3 a month ago), we set new highs for both mpg and miles traveled on a single tank.

Interestingly, these feats did not occur on the same tank. James Riswick is the new record holder for mpg, as he logged 43.8 mpg on a 452.2-mile tank on August 11.

Later in the month, yours truly traveled 733.5 miles from Kettleman City, California, to St. Helena, CA, and then to Long Beach, CA, before finally refueling in Santa Monica. I wasn't particularly light on the gas pedal during that tank and I only managed 41.7 mpg. With the right driver at the wheel (i.e., not me), our diesel Passat could easily make it to 800 miles. I've included a photo of my 700-mile tank, but ignore the optimistic range estimate: I snapped the shot while the VW was refueling.

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

As you may have noticed in the top photo, I also pulled into a 76 station in Long Beach that sells diesel, but couldn't sell it to me. This station is evidently aimed at truckers using the 91 freeway, and those large-diameter nozzles wouldn't fit in the Passat's slender filler neck. It was too bad, because they were selling it for a good price.

Our overall average for August was 39.7 mpg (over those 2,928 miles), and our lowest tank of the month netted 35.4 mpg.

Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 7,247 miles

Worst Fill MPG: 25.2
Best Fill MPG: 43.8
Average Lifetime MPG: 37.7
EPA MPG Rating (City/Highway/Combined): 34 Combined (30 City / 40 Highway)
Best Range: 733.5 miles
Current Odometer: 7,247 miles


  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    Impressive. Most impressive.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    Ok, so here's my thought. You guys generally average around the "combined" mpg rating with your long term vehicles. The fact that your Passat's lifetime average is 37.7 suggests that its true "combined" rating should be more like 38 mpg, with maybe a city rating of 30 and highway of 45.

  • rmhpmi rmhpmi Posts:

    This is such an awesome freeway ride. I only wish I was able to trust the long-term reliability of VW products. Fool me once...

  • seppoboy seppoboy Posts:

    Yeah rmhpmi, that long term reliability thing is a real problem. My 2006 TDI Jetta is practically falling apart, why it needed replacement brake pads at only 151,000 miles. Now that it's at 200,000 miles I just know something else is bound to go wrong any day now. They aren't making buggy A4 Jettas and B5 Passats anymore, I'm not worried about current VW model reliability, with the possible exception of Toureg, the Slovakian plant still doesn't have the greatest track record.

  • My 2010 Jetta TDI has 105,000 miles and so far I've had to change the oil, a couple filters, and I've had to replace one exhaust pressure sensor. All while getting 40+ mpg average on almost every tank.

  • rwatson rwatson Posts:

    My 06 GLI has had 5 AC compressors, 2 diverter valves, I can't remember how many PCV valves blew resulting in a lot of intake coking, A headliner at 2 years old with all the hardware for it either broken or corroded (which I was blamed for by the VW dealership. It took the owner to smooth it over with me to save someone's life that day) 2 brake calipers frozen at 4 years old and an engine mount broken when 2 months old. It's my 5th VW and my last. The Mexico plant seems to be getting even worse and I can only imagine what the Golf will be like now.

  • hoppysport hoppysport Posts:

    Simply a great test! I am seriously considering buying a 2014 Passat TDI Premium...but I live in Manhattan and about 80% of my driving is in the city. It's really torture driving here, and I have a couple of concerns with the Passat: 1. How is the DSG transmission in stop and go driving? 2. Can you do a mileage update that is solely city driving, in stop and go situations? 3. Thoughts on the DSG reliability, life, and potential repair costs?

  • @ hoppysport, I get in the low-30s with my TDI SE manual. I test drove the DSG and could not stand it. I also found the premium seats to narrowly bolstered and preferred the non-premium seats, at 6'2'' and 240lbs I get a bit more shifting room in the non-

  • I have a 57 miles daily commute. The first 8 miles are back roads to the motorway. A couple of lights and a roundabout, takes about 13m, and the miilage is typically 39-41mph. I then hit the motorway.A hilly drive, mostly uphill. I drive between 65 in traffic, 85-89 where possible with my V1 at attention. Rarely over 90. I get about 42mpg into work, on the way back I get as high as 45, sometimes 47, if there is more traffic and I have to go a bit slower. With the chillier weather of the last few days there seems to be a bit of a drop off. Too early to tell. FWIW and all that, but overall I am very pleased. I don't baby this car. Stoppng for fuel every 5-6 days beats every 2 1/2-3 days. Oh, and one more for hoppysport: I could not stand the DSG. I would wholeheartedly recommend against it. The Diesel engine goes MUCH better with the manual.

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