The 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI: Real fuel economy

There’s no doubt that with fuel prices ever spiralling upwards these days that one of the main criteria that car buyers insist on is excellent fuel economy. With the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI, a full tank of fuel produces over 700 miles. That is what I call real fuel economy and that isn’t the only plus with this car.

Volkswagen over the years has generated a reputation for producing functional, sturdy cars with a touch of sportiness about them if you venture out into a Golf GTI. However, with this Passat, there isn’t anything sporty about it whatsoever, but it does have ton of function. The car is powered by a 4cyl 2.0L turbo diesel engine which produces 140HP. You won’t break any speed records as 0-60mph is a sedentary 8 seconds and a top speed of 110 mph wont light your hair on fire either, but that isn’t the point here. The 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI is probably one of the most likable family sedans on the market today. It is roomy – you can fit two tall Germans in the front and the back, one behind the other, and still have room for the food basket – and the trunk space is massive. It is stylish in its own way but it won’t win any awards for looks.

Performance is ample with the automatic transmission but if you wish to maximise that fuel economy number, the car does come with a 6-speed manual transmission. Now, here is where the car gets a little off track. If you’ve ever driven a Volkswagen, clutches are not their most redeemable feature. They are spongy and very unresponsive and the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI is no stranger to that. For the unaccustomed, my suggestion would be to stick with the automatic option to prevent the air in the cabin turning blue with rage and frustration.

Everything about this car says “family” and rightfully so. With the diesel option, it presents fuel economy in the same way a Hybrid would but also has power at the low RPM’s that Hybrids tend not to have. Gone also are the days of the noisy, smelly diesel cars of the 80’s and 90’s. This car is not loud and burns clean which is another feather in the cap for a family sedan. The 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI takes on the Honda Accord Plug-In, the Toyota Camry Hybrid and beats both hands down in the chase for most economical car. The Passat has a 37/51 city/highway spread whereas the Camry offers 38/43 and the Accord Plug-In only 46mpg combined.

At the price of $27,000, the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI also presents tremendous value although if you choose to add navigation, special wheels, leather seats and all those goodies, you can push up towards $40K, but the Base Model is a perfectly sufficient offering for a large family. It will be interesting to see going forward how much press coverage this car gets as it begins to grab customers away from Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

I’ll take it.

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