2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: Similar, Except For AdBlue
June 24, 2013
We've had a lot of Volkswagen test vehicles with the TDI engine come through the Edmunds long-term program over the years. (Most recently, and the only one currently available to read about, was a 2011 Jetta TDI.) For our new Passat TDI, the driving experience is pleasingly familiar, and I'm sure we'll have a lot of updates during the next year about that.
But one new thing that is different about the Passat TDI is that for emissions purposes it requires the use of a diesel exhaust fluid additive (DEF).
Volkswagen uses DEF (it's called AdBlue, a brand name, in the owner's manual) to help the larger, heavier Passat meet emission requirements. It's the same for the Touareg SUV TDI. The smaller Jetta/Golf TDI doesn't use a DEF system.
You can do a lot more reading about how DEF works on other sites (this one is quite good) but basically for the Passat, DEF refills are part of the service intervals (10,000 miles will be our first). Given that we have our vehicles serviced at the dealership, and that basic maintenance is free/covered by Volkswagen for the first three years or 36,000 miles, the DEF refills will pretty much be invisible to us.
Refilling AdBlue is very easy (it's done through a fill point in the trunk). But for somebody planning on owning a Passat TDI a long time and/or doing basic maintenance himself, it's still something to be aware of.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 2,655 miles