April 15, 2014
A friend of mine is in the market for a new car, and specifically a midsize family sedan with good fuel economy. I suggested he take a look at our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI and he was quite impressed when I brought it by. Mainly, the enormous back seat means he can set the front seats as far back as he wants without worrying about bumping up against his rear-facing child seat. When you're 6-foot-4 like he is, that matters. The cavernous trunk was another attraction. His wife was almost in shock at how deep it was.
However, the Ford Fusion Hybrid has also caught his eye. Although I was quite impressed with it during our hybrid sedan comparison test, my gut reaction was that it would be considerably more expensive than the Passat TDI. I was wrong.
April 7, 2014
Having taken our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI on a weeklong road trip to Sacramento and Sonoma with my dog, I was really able to put it through the paces for this dog report. And I didn't just dump Mya at my parents' house once I got to Sacramento. I took her EVERYwhere with me, even to the hospital to visit my dad. (So cool that they allowed dogs there. Really cheered him up to see her.)
February 20, 2014
Yes, this is super nitpicky. But I was surprised that it took me multiple tries to get two dry-cleaning hangers onto a hook in our 2013 VW Passat TDI's rear seat area.
February 14, 2014
Not only do I find the sport seats in our 2013 VW Passat TDI SEL Premium super comfortable, I also really like the quality of the materials.
January 23, 2014
Overall, our 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI is well suited for long-distance drives. But there's one thing missing that I think would help improve driver comfort even more: an eight-way power driver seat. As it is, the Passat SEL has just six-way power (minus lumbar) and lacks a seat bottom tilt.
November 12, 2013
I just drove our long-term 2013 VW Passat TDI from Tinsel Town to Sin City and back. If you're under 75 years old, you probably have no idea what I just said, so let me start over.
I just drove our long-term VW Passat TDI from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back. That's 576.2 miles. But here's the cool part. I did it on a single tank of fuel. Actually, I did it on three-quarters of a tank of fuel. When I returned home the Passat was still packing 155 miles worth of fuel range. Wow.
Trust me, I'm no hypermiler. But I did use the Passat's cruise control for most of the trip, and I hit zero traffic along the way. My average fuel economy was 40.7 mpg, which is just ahead of the Passat's EPA highway rating of 40 mpg.
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.
August 22, 2013
My bicycle was stolen recently. I'll spare you the details, but there was a lot of pouting, and the bike needed replacing. Summer is in full swing and I haven't spent nearly enough time outdoors, so I enlisted the services of our 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI to check out a second-hand bike from an ad on Craigslist.
August 16, 2013
The perfect car for the journey. That pretty much sums up my experience with the Volkswagen Passat TDI as it transported two couples and a trunk filled with their stuff to Las Vegas and back. The only better cars would surely cost $90,000.
As a 6-foot-3 driver, it's not very often that a full-size adult can fit behind me over long distances without one of us feeling mushed. Yet with the giant Passat, I didn't have to (as usual) put my tiny wife behind me or even care how far I moved my seat back. As for the trunk, it managed three sizeable Roll-aboard suitcases, an overnight bag, my briefcase and a 36-liter roller cooler that impressively fit all the way rearward. No Tetris needed, it all went in without effort.
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.
July 17, 2013
If you're buying a 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI, you're not going to find one with cloth upholstery. Even the starting TDI SE model comes standard with leatherette (premium vinyl). But if you go with the top TDI trim level, the SEL Premium (like our car), you get leather upholstery with these front-seat faux-suede inserts.
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.
June 11, 2013
I noticed it as soon as I started driving. The Passat's seat isn't centered on its steering wheel. And it makes me crazy.
May 30, 2013
Years ago when I wrote a full test of the then newly-redesigned 2006 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T, it had a very handy umbrella tucked into the driver door panel. You might find that a bit gimmicky but the car also had two cooled storages compartments and a number of clever storage areas throughout.
You could argue that in 2006 the Passat had gotten a little big for its breeches. As my mother would say, it was putting on airs, reaching out of its class. The same was happening throughout the segment, the cars were getting larger, packed with more features and the prices were climbing. Wasn't this supposed to be an affordable segment?
In recent years, Volkswagen redesigned the Passat by making it roomier, downgrading the interior materials and dropping the price. It was back where it should have been before hyperinflation.
May 27, 2013
We've added a 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI to our long-term test fleet.
Its turbodiesel engine outputs 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque while earning an EPA rating of 30 mpg city/40 mpg highway/34 mpg combined. And VW claims a range of 740 miles on a single tank of diesel fuel.
Passats are usually pretty nice inside and we opted for the SEL Premium which has an even more elegant interior with leather-trimmed sport seats, memory controls, dual-zone climate controls and an always helpful rearview backup camera.