The 2013 Volkswagen Passat earns an average Total Car Score for the Midsize Sedans & Wagons segment.
The 2013 Passat is essentially a carryover from last year, with just some minor changes: all SEL models are now equipped with backup cameras, and SE and SEL versions receive a new center console with rear air vents and revised storage areas.
The lack of change isn’t too surprising, as the Passat underwent a complete makeover last year, including a shift of its production facility from Germany to Tennessee. It’s all a part of VW’s strategy to gain a bigger share of the U.S. market, a strategy that includes mainstreaming some of its high-volume models.
The Passat now has rear-seat room that rivals that found in fullsize cars, and it’s also among the few sedans offered in America with a diesel engine option.
VW has brought the price of base-level Passats down to just over $20,000, though some automotive critics have noticed a certain amount of decontenting has come with that cost reduction. Interior quality isn’t as sharp as it once was, and the base 2.5-liter engine is really better suited to the smaller Jetta and Golf.
The best powertrain choice for the 2013 Volkswagen Passat is the TDI, say the media, given its healthy power output and 40-plus highway mpg.
The 2013 Volkswagen Passat is a five-passenger midsize front-wheel-drive sedan available in a number of trim levels and with a choice of three engines.
The Passat’s standard powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter inline-5 that sends 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque to either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Passats can also be fitted with a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, or a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel good for 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. The TDI can be paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic, while the V6 is mated to a six-speed automatic only.
In total, the Passat can be ordered in 15 different trim levels, starting with the 2.5 S. It is offered with 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with an auxiliary jack. The S also comes with an appearance package, which consists of 16-inch alloy wheels, the six-speed automatic, and a rear center armrest.
Moving up to the SE trim level adds 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, and an eight-speaker touchscreen audio system. The SE with Sunroof package brings a powered sunroof and an automatic transmission, while the SE with Sunroof and Navigation builds a nav system and iPod integration into the sound system.
SEL models have all that equipment plus a backup camera, dual-zone climate control, and a Fender premium audio system; while the SEL Premium model adds leather upholstery, push-button start and eight-way powered front seats.
The TDI and V6 have SE and SEL trim levels that are similar to the 2.5 but with slight differences in the equipment makeup for each.
As you might imagine, the EPA found the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI with the manual transmission as achieving the best fuel economy of the bunch: 31 mpg city, 43 mpg highway and 35 mpg combined. The thirstiest Passat is the V6, earning 20/28/23 fuel economy numbers; and the 2.5 falls in between, hitting 22/32/26 with a manual transmission.
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