Used 2013 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Reviews
Traded in a 2011 Rav4 Limited because the fit and finish (i.e. squeaks, rattles, road/wind noise) were terrible. I looked at countless vehicles and finally looked at the Passat. Once I read everything I could, scoured the reviews for any negatives (there weren't any) and convinced my wife that diesels aren't what they used to be, I took one for an extended test drive and was hooked. Fantastic fit and finish, little or no wind noise at highway speeds (75 to 80), solid "thunks" when the doors are closed and no odd noises from the cabin. Overall - Very happy and look forward to years of quiet, 40+ mpg drives. I'll post follow-up's every few months (as comments) for anyone interested.
**UPDATE** This is an update to my original review posted below. Now that I have owned the car 2 1/2 years I can offer a "post-honeymoon" perspective. Overall I have to say that I am VERY satisfied with this car. I have driven it hard in L.A. traffic everyday for over 2+ years and it is holding up well. Unless you have driven in this type of traffic you cannot appreciate how this can wear down a car. The V-6 has plenty of power when I need to pass and the wide wheel base makes for a comfortable ride. Having said this, there have been some issues along the way that were all covered by the warranty but I felt I should still mention them. I should also mention that I bought the car with 8K miles as a VW Certified Pre-Owned which extended the warranty up to 60,000 miles. 1. 18K Miles, Fuel Door Stuck - For some reason the fuel door would not unlock and I could not put gas in the car. VW roadside assistance towed the car to the dealer and provided a loaner while this was being fixed. 2. 56K Miles, Fuel Sensor - This caused the check engine light to come on and was affecting the car's acceleration. VW repaired it and provided a loaner car while it was being fixed. 3. 58K Miles, Nav/Entertainment System Replaced - The Nav system would sometimes shutoff and reboot itself for no reason. This was an ongoing problem that I complained about multiple times at the dealership. They could not duplicate the problem and thought a software update would solve it but it did not. I was able to video this happening once and took the car to a different dealer. After seeing the video, they immediately diagnosed it as a hard drive problem and replaced the entire unit. I have had no problems with it since then. The only issue that some people may not like is the system does not read your text messages in the 2013 and 2014 models. I thought this was odd since it does everything else but I don't really miss it, and it was corrected on the 2015 model. Overall I am still very satisfied with the car and will probably give it to my son when he gets his license next year. **ORIGINAL REVIEW** I just bought a top of the line V-6 SEL Premium and I am loving it. I was looking for a luxury sedan with reasonable gas mileage and had driven almost everything under $45K. I was prepared to get the Cadillac ATS 2.0T Luxury with an MSRP of about $44K. I leased a new Passat for my wife back in '02 and remembered it was a reliable car so I thought I would stop at the VW dealer on my way to get the Cadillac. Needless to say I never made it to the Caddy dealer. This car blew me away with it's price and performance. The ride and interior space is comparable to the Mercedes E350 or Acura RL. For less than the price of a base model Cadillac ATS, I was able to get a fully loaded Passat V-6 SEL.
I am extremely thorough in my research and very picky when it comes to the car I want. I am a college student; however travel 25,000-30,000 a year for my job as an Ice hockey referee; I travel the midwest and east coast. This car thus far is awesome on road trips. Quiet, smooth, powerful tdi engine. 3 driving modes make this awesome to drive, while I am getting 43 mpg highway and 30 mpg city (not babying it @75 on the highway). I did replace the awful hankook tires with Continental extreme contact dws. The build design is great and you can tell the high quality, just watch for the rattles in which the dealer quickly fixed. If you want a fun to drive sedan with awesome mpg get this!
I test drove the gauntlet looking for a replacement for my A8L looking for something that was sporty, smooth, comfortable, and would give me a more green environmental look. Face it the A8L is a gas pig at 18mpg and It did not fit with my new business model. GO GREEN. I drove the Prius, Leaf, Volt Eh not so much. I mean they are green but they just all feel tight like a smart car with a different flare. I did drive the Jetta Hybrid turbo gas electric and I really liked it! but too small felt like a sardine in a can. I am 6feet 250lbs. The Passat TDI SEL is a perfect car for someone who is used to driving a luxury car that wants to just do better things for the environment.
After reading many reviews and talking to mechanics, I decided to go with the Passat TDI. I started looking at the Jetta, but certain aspects with the Jetta I wasn't impressed with such as the single torson bar for the rear suspension. The Passat is just better built, plus it's built in TN. After looking at the different models and price, I decided to go with the SEL. This thing is loaded. I have taken it on a 1200 mile trip, averaged 43mpg @70mph avg. Only problem was a rip in the door panel. Dealer fixed it promptly. I only miss two options: HID's and heated steering wheel.