2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: Lame Rear Ventilation

October 8, 2013

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

Our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI has a lot of good things going for it. It's fuel efficient, easy to drive, quiet, comfortable and has a ton of space for passengers and stuff. It was that last bit that made me sign out the Passat when the girlfriend's parents came to L.A. for a visit.

Unfortunately, the VW Passat's rear seats, while spacious, have a shortcoming.

The rear ventilation in the Passat is lousy. It's been surprisingly warm in L.A. lately and, even when it's not, you keep the windows up when slogging through the city. Front seat passengers were comfortable the whole time, but those camped out in back were constantly complaining about the heat. Chock that one up to the Passat having only this tiny HVAC register in the back of the center console. Nothing in the doors. Nothing apparent coming out from under the front seats like in other large sedans.

I wasn't expecting my rear passengers to have Phaeton levels of rear-seat comfort, but I was hoping they'd get more than a whisper of A/C.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 8,040 miles

Most Recommended Comments

By quadricycle
on 10/08/13
7:37 PM PST

It is certainly possible that the A/C system isn't all that strong. I bet that your passengers were complaining because of a mix of reasons though. I say this because it is a rare occasion to find a car that really can't keep the cabin cool with A/C on full blast. Especially a new one with rear air vents. Did you have the front center air vents pointed straight back and towards the ceiling of the car, or were all four pointed at the front passengers making them freeze and the rear passengers getting ignored? Also you said that nothing comes out from under the front seats. This area is usually activated by the "air towards feet button" on the console. Was that activated? Also not helping is the fact that this car doesn't have window tint (p.s. nobody needs limo tint, a very light tint helps tremendously without absolutely destroying nighttime visibility), so that may have made your passengers cook just by direct contact with the sun regardless of cabin temperature. Lastly you said something about air vents in the doors; what other large, non-luxury sedan has this feature? I have never heard of such a thing...

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Volkswagen Passat in VA is:

$152 per month*
* Explanation