February 18, 2014
As you can see here, our navigation system-equipped 2013 VW Passat TDI has a secondary navigation display located dead center in the instrument cluster. This small, multi-function display screen provides other information too, such as phone, audio and trip data. But while tooling around over the weekend to parts unknown, this no frills display proved helpful.
February 10, 2014
It's no fun carting a very sick cat from one veterinarian to another. Our 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI handled the job admirably, though.
When I had to take the cat from our local vet to a specialist in Culver City that I hadn't been to before, the Passat TDI's navigation system proved handy. The turn-by-turn directions in the center MFI display were easy to follow, even for a preoccupied driver. And I didn't have to worry about stopping for gas.
January 27, 2014
Volkswagen installs a Fender-branded, nine-speaker upgraded sound system on some of the Passat's top trim levels, including our 2013 TDI SEL. It's kind of too bad VW doesn't offer it on more versions of the Passat (as an option), as it's one of the better sound systems that I've heard in a moderately priced vehicle.
November 13, 2013
This update was originally going to commend Volkswagen for providing an actual knob for radio tuning. Then I tried to tune with it.
October 18, 2013
When you buy the top-of-the-line SEL for the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI, you get a variety of exclusive upgrades, including partial leather upholstery (with faux-suede seat inserts), remote ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, the Fender premium sound system, driver seat memory settings and a power front passenger seat. You also get an upgraded navigation system with traffic and Travel Link information.
Seems like good stuff, right? It is. However, that last feature, VW's "RNS 510" navigation system, also comes with a touchscreen and iPod interface that can be finicky to use.
September 30, 2013
When I was growing up my older sister was always on the phone. This was back in the day before call-waiting, texting, etc. So, she tied up the home line for hours. I'm the total opposite. I dislike talking on the phone and to this day, very rarely talk on the phone while driving.
September 23, 2013
Some Edmunds editors were talking about the pros and cons of technology in our long-term cars and the topic of the 2013 Volkswagen Passat and phone pairing came up. The secret, Ed Hellwig said, is to ignore the phone icon on the left of the steering wheel. It will not get you where you want to go. Instead, you work off the Multi-Function Indicator (MFI) in the center of the instrument panel.
Since I had just signed out the car for the night, this was a valuable tip. I easily found my way to the Phone menu in the MFI and proceeded with pairing from there. Bluetooth Audio was also a cinch to fire up.
June 17, 2013
This is the touchscreen display used for audio, navigation, phone and various other functions in our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL. Since I still haven't moved to the 21st century, I listen to a lot of AM and FM radio in this car.
As you can see, there are two different ways to switch between radio bands on the center stack. You can use this hard button (above) or you can use the soft key on the display itself and bring up a submenu. For some reason, I'm partial to the latter method.