Used 2013 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Reviews - 81 Car Reviews | Edmunds

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2013 Volkswagen Passat

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81 Total Reviews

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They almost knocked it out of the park
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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By CN
on

Vehicle

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)


Review

This the fourth diesel we've owned (2nd VW) and they just keep getting better. We bought this car after comparing it to the Honda Accord and Subaru Legacy. It, by far, was the most refined, quietest, smoothest, and most composed of the three. Surprisingly (to us) the Honda was a distant last. After 42,000 miles over 2 years, the car has been flawless. Mileage is consistently between 42 and 44 over a tank with 60% hwy / 40% city split. Open highway runs are typically in the mid to upper 40s. I've seen as high as 52 mpg.

The DSG transmission is the mark by which ALL other transmissions should be compared with respect to smoothness of operation. I have never driven a car with a smoother shifting transmission than this one. Even when one watches the shifts, they cannot be felt; utterly imperceptible. It has the most room of any mid-size car, especially in the back seat. It handles well, and ergonomics, while not perfect, are very good.

The diesel engine does take getting used to. One of my sons says it's "touchy". It's not, really; just behaves differently than most other cars. Pulling power is quite good thanks to the abundance of torque, though with only 140 hp one isn't going to win any stoplight races. Then again, that's not why one would buy this car in the first place.

My quibbles with the car boil down to three items. First, the ride, while composed, can become somewhat harsh. The 50 series tires certainly don't help, but softening the ride slightly would make a big difference in my book. Second, some of the interior parts are on the cheap side. Not as bad as the crap Toyota uses, but they could be better, or at least made to "feel" better. Last, and by far the worst issue, is the infotainment system. It is unquestionably the absolute worst excuse for such a system ever put in a vehicle. While the radio sounds great, and the nav system is quite good, the system is so pathetically slow to respond to input it is maddening. Taking my time, I can back out of a parking spot and drive off before the back-up camera ever turns on. I can literally count the seconds it takes between pushing a button and the system taking action. I could go on about how bad it is, but I digress...

Overall, the car had been outstanding. More reliable than a Honda we recently replaced, it has continued to be exactly what we needed.

Update - We now have a bit over 52,000 miles on the clock. The car has remained trouble-free. The fuel economy of 41-43 mpg (average over a fill-up) is unchanged. We expect to put at least 100,000 miles on the car before replacing it. Of course, with the emissions debacle (grossly overblown in our opinion) in full swing, we really couldn't doing anything if we wanted to (which we don't) until whatever solution the eco-Nazis force on us is implemented. On the bright side of that issue, though, VW's Goodwill Package has effectively provided us with free maintenance for the next two years, and that will be about the time we would look at replacing it anyway. That makes this the least expensive car to operate we have ever owned.

Update 2 - We had to stop driving the car about two months ago. Not because of anything wrong with it (it still runs perfectly), but because of the diesel settlement structure. We will be selling the car back to VW. It has a little shy of 59,000 miles on the clock, which is just below the threshold for a mileage deduction of the buyback price. While we won't recoup our full purchase price, we will be getting back a heck of a lot more than we could ever think of getting by selling it on the open market. it's too bad because it's a really good car despite some of its aggravating shortcomings (e.g. the lousy infotainment system).


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Bland Car
4 of 11 people found this review helpful
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By happy163
on

Vehicle

2013 Volkswagen Passat SE 4dr Sedan w/Sunroof (2.5L 5cyl 6A)


Review

So i got this Passat because I was upside down on my truck trade in by 12k. It was a lease and I thought the Passat would be a good car because they were so well built in the past. Well the car was extremely big for a single guy 5'10 180lbs. The back seat was huge. This car was for a family. The front suspension was too bouncy and the car just floated along like a Buick. The 2.5 liter engine was weirdly displaced, it only had a 5 cylinder. The power was meh, and the MPGs were nothing to brag about. I've had a few BMWs and VWs before this car and the German Engineering was almost non existence in this vehicle. Very disappointing.


Best Features

Auto lights, roomy, neat design,sunroof bluetooth and cool instrument panel


Worst Features

Auto rainsensing wipers, better transmission, horrible 2.5 liter 5 Cylinder Engine. Very poor build quality from what I am used to, cheap plastics and dashboard rattled. Come on VW build something with pride and do a good job. Steering was too heavy and not sporty enough.


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Nice car
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
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Fuel Economy
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By bullis1
on

Vehicle

2013 Volkswagen Passat V6 SEL Premium 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6AM)


Review

Good overall car, gets good mpg on the highway 30+ with the VR6. Fender sound system real good. No Xenon lighlights on a car that cost $36k. Navigation is extremely slow. Trunk extremely deep.


Best Features

Dashboard and climate controls


Worst Features

Improve the Nav start up time. Wider seats.


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Turbo, inter-cooler and oil pump all died
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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By zebrafarm
on

Vehicle

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE 4dr Sedan w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6AM)


Review

I owned a 2013 VW Passat TDI for 8 months. I bought it with 13K miles & traded it in at 29K. At the 29K mileage the turbo went out & I limped home which was only about 2 miles away. The VW dealer had it towed in & it took 10 days for them to complete the repair. If the car had not been under warranty the repair cost would had been $6000+. The parts alone were $3500. The mechanic at the VW dealer said, " We found metal parts from the turbo in the inter-cooler and oil pump, so we flushed the engine & we hope that cleaned it out". At that point I knew I would have to get rid of the car. A design flaw like that will kill an engine & cost $9000+ without warranty. Very poor design engineering!!


Best Features

The best thing about the car is how it handled and it had good acceleration.


Worst Features

The design engineers need to do their due diligence on the oil circulation on engine oil as it moves through the intercooler and turbo, before the design is released to the pubic. This design fault should have been a full recall for all these vehicles.


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First Impressions
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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By jmciii
on

Vehicle

2013 Volkswagen Passat S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 6A)


Review

First off, let me say I'v only had my 2013 Passat S for about three weeks, so don't expect any reliability reviews. But as regards my driving and build quality, well, read on. Yes, mine is the base model. Do I feel underwhelmed? No. The Passat S drives and handles just fine for basic family driving. Plenty of pep, smooth ride, and the "S"port gear when you need the extra oomph. So smooth is the ride that its easy to speed without knowing it. The interior is laid out cleanly and with all controls easily reached. LOVE the Bluetooth capability. Front seats are every comfortable. Huge leg room in back. And wow, what a trunk. I don't know how VW did it. Just wish the gas mileage were better.


Best Features

Love the Bluetooth. Controls are laid out cleanly. PLENTY of room inside. Huge trunk. Even basic engine has pep.


Worst Features

Improve the gas mileage in basic model.


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