2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE 4dr Sedan w/Sunroof (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)
The Passat TDI is an amazing car that returns excellent fuel economy with PLENTY of smiles per gallon to go with it. That is, if you're willing to due your due diligence to take care of it. Use only VW 507.00 approved oil, do your 40k DSG services (YOURSELF to save a lot of money) and don't drive like an idiot. Also, a lot of people neglect the DSG transmission on the TDI and never do the 40k service intervals. If you are willing to 1. Do you own oil changed to be ABSOLUTELY SURE that VW 507.00 oil goes into the car, 2. Do your own DSG service (plenty of guides telling you how to do it, and in idparts.com you can get a complete kit for $130) every 40 (I've done it and it's not all that bad), 3. protect your turbo by not running the car super hard right before shutting it off, then this car is an absolute joy to drive. I don't know why other cars have had turbo failures, but a lot of it could do with the engine oil being used and the way it is driven. If you drive a turbocharged car hard and shut it off not long after that, the engine oil in the turbo will "burn" because of how hot the turbo gets when driven hard. The way to avoid this is to drive the car normally/gently for the last few minutes before shutting it off to allow the circulating oil to cool the turbo to a safe temperature. Anyway, it could be something totally different. All I know is, my car has had NO failures whatsoever in it's history, and even though the 40k DSG service was not completed by the previous owner, the car shifted really smooth when I bought it. After doing a DSG service myself soon after the purchase, the shifting improved even further to a buttery smoothness that you don't even notice unless you're looking at the RPM cluster. On long trips I average 45mpg, but my overall average since buying the car is 41mpg.
2013 Volkswagen Passat V6 SEL Premium 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6AM)
Overall I like this car and am happy with the purchase. I think the interior layout is nicer than an accord or camry. I am a big fan of the Mazda6 but it had only one engine option at the time. That being said the Mazda6 may be a better overall choice. The Accord V6 has better shifting/acceleration from a stop and the Camry I am sure will last longer with lower maintenance costs. I am 6'7 and I can sit in the back without moving my seat from the location I had it in the front. Thus for tall people, or people with rear-facing child seats this car is great! I like the simple but stylish interior - to be expected in a VW. The DSG transmission is great once moving BUT there is a lag when moving from a start that isnt great and takes some getting used to. The trunk is HUGE (I can get a large stroller or a dual stoller in there). The price was very good - I bought a CPO with 11,000 miles. The navigation/entertainment system is slow - especially the back-up camera. It takes so long that you may just reverse without it..... an improvement in processing speed of the unit would be great. Also the HVAC isnt as solid as VW's of the past (I've had 5). The AC will eventually kick in but in hot temps over say 85/90 it can take upwards of 15-20 minutes. So... overall I recommend this vehicle. The newer 4cyl is a great option as well that addresses some of these issues.