2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: Napa and Back in 30 Hours
September 2, 2013
Earlier this week, I made a road trip from Los Angeles to California's Napa Valley and back in 30 hours. Needless to say, there was little time to linger in the tasting rooms, but it was a relaxing trip in our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI.
I've told you before how I like the way this car rides around L.A., and that also held true over the monotonous stretches of Interstate 5. The driver seat ranks above average in my book, too. I rarely got uncomfortable, even on the return leg when I hopped into the Passat for the 450-mile trip after a day of driving other cars around Napa.
It's also a quiet ride. I'm not thrilled with the sealing properties of the driver door's weather stripping, which lets in more wind than I'd like (though it's not nearly as bad as the seals on our long-term GTI), but there's minimal noise from the tires.
There were times when I wished the Passat TDI's 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder packed a meaner punch (it's good for 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque), and these times were mainly during passing maneuvers, when I simply wasn't able to grab holes in traffic and pull away from other drivers with the authority I prefer.
However, there's plenty to like about our diesel Passat's automated manual transmission, which swaps gears quickly once you're on the move. Finally, I hate stopping to refuel when I'm in a hurry, and I only had to stop one time on this trip. I'll divulge my new range record (which will be broken by Mike Magrath in about 5 minutes) in a subsequent update.
Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 7,276 miles