2013 Volkswagen Passat: Trip To The Coast, Part One
June 27, 2013
I've had a summer vacation trip planned to California's central coast for a while. The week has finally arrived, and I happened to be signed up for the long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI.
My trip has only just started, but I'm already enjoying the Passat quite a bit.
By road trip standards, this trip with my family (wife, two young children) isn't very long, only about 150 miles each way (about three hours driving time given the roads used). But even on this relatively short trip, the Passat is winning me over with its comfort, room and diesel-boosted fuel economy and range.
I did have to pack up quite a bit of stuff, so the Passat's large trunk proved useful. I happen to like its squared off shape as it makes it easy to be efficient with space. (I took a picture without luggage so you could better see available room.)
The Passat is well suited for long-distance travel, boasting flat but comfy front seats and a smooth ride. The Passat's healthy amount of rear legroom is wasted on my kids, but I still managed to take advantage of it by using the extra floor space to carry more stuff (I fit a medium-sized cooler behind the front passenger seat, for instance).
Of course, that TDI engine is a highway mile-eating beast. I'll post final fuel economy in my next update, but based on the in-car fuel economy gauge I'll be easily above 40 mpg for this mostly highway-based trip. Plus, I suspect I'll use less than half a tank of gas.
The only thing I noticed that we really need to get taken care of soon (given how much I think this car will be used for long trips) is a wheel alignment. The Passat has a noticeable pull to the right, and doing three hours of minor counter-steering got pretty old.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 2,813 miles