2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: Long Weekend
August 8, 2013
I recently became a homeowner, and as you might guess from the exterior paint, said home is a true fixer-upper. My task this weekend was to unearth the house's original wood floors from decades of carpeting and prepare them for refinishing. I made countless runs between the house and the hardware store in our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI. Later in the weekend, when our work was finished, we made a trip to Angel Stadium for Sunday's Angels-Blue Jays game.
I've driven the current-generation Passat 2.5 before, and it didn't do much for me. But the more I drove our diesel Passat, the more I liked it.
The low-end torque is certainly a big part of it. Our Passat is not quick, and as with other diesel VWs equipped with this particular dual-clutch automated manual transmission, there's a short-lived, but noticeable delay in response when you ease into the throttle. Actually, with the delay, you really can't ease into it. You have to be deliberate with your right foot. But you do learn to live with it, because once this big sedan is moving, there's enough torque here to catch most of the holes in traffic.
Ride quality is the other thing I really like about this car. The Passat gives you just about the ideal balance. There's ample cushioning over the roughest sections of the I-5 and I-710 freeways, yet the VW generally feels composed and steady, you know, like a real German sedan.
The only thing I don't care for so far is the brake pedal feel. It feels like not much is happening in the initial pedal travel (something we noticed when we track-tested the car). So, then you press a bit harder, and the brakes come on with more force than you need. I'm getting better, but it's hard to brake smoothly in stop-and-go traffic.
Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 4,695 miles