2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Road Test


2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: Napa and Back in 30 Hours

September 2, 2013

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

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

Comments

  • reminder reminder Posts:

    Those TDI's fit the bill for anyone in need of an efficient, long distance cruiser. If the diesel is as durable as they typically are, you have a 300K vehicle for certain.

  • Just did a round trip PHX to ABQ. 44.1 mpg on the way over, 46.9 on the way back, with cruise set at 6-7 over the whole way. The car held cruise easily going up the 6% grades climbing out of Phoenix. 3,000 total miles on the car so far, so barely breaking it in yet. Great long-trip vehicle.

  • I love the vw commitment to diesel. But where is the oil burner in something at least slighty desirable. CC? I have no doubt the passat tdi is a great car, a buddy owns a gas model and it is nice but a little bit...stoic? The new gtd or a CC TDI would be awesome. Anyone agree?

  • I love the vw commitment to diesel. But where is the oil burner in something at least slighty desirable. CC? I have no doubt the passat tdi is a great car, a buddy owns a gas model and it is nice but a little bit...stoic? The new gtd or a CC TDI would be awesome. Anyone agree?

  • rwatson rwatson Posts:

    cuselancer, I agree with you. I'm driving what may very well be my last VW. I guess they feel they've made the right decisions on decontenting their North American line of cars, but it will end up costing them their loyal cult follower base. I really wanted the Golf TDI due to its durability and overall use of quality materials and construction, but will now cancel that notion after learning all North American bound Golfs will now be made in Mexico. That means (more than likely) the interior materials and features will also suffer like the Jetta line has. I'm living with the Jetta's last "attempt" at semi-quality (06 GLI) construction and even it leave a lot to be desired. As long as the average American thinks the type of "infotainment" (I really hate that word) and nav system dictates a car's quality, we will only experience a reduction in really nice automobiles. As far as the Passat goes, I'll pass on them until VW shows us some watered-down NA version of a "German" car is more than just a Hyundai alternative.

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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
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