The 2013 Volkswagen Passat comes with a long list of options and trims, but generally speaking it is left rather basic in design both inside and out. Regardless of the conservative styling, the engine options offer practicality and power, and with the diesel turbocharged engines, both fuel economy and decent power is available. Given the perfect safety ratings, it's hard to say no to this sedan.
New For 2013
Volkswagen signaled a new direction with the introduction of the 2012 Passat. There are no significant changes for 2013.
The 2013 Volkswagen Passat is a European-styled car with obvious American influences. The conservative design is sleek enough to be attractive, but it doesn't rely on showboating. The base S model features 16-inch wheels, keyless entry, and automated headlights. It also has an Appearance Package, which adds 16-inch alloy wheels. The SE trim receives 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, and chrome trim along the exterior. The SE has options for a sunroof. TDI SE models, which run on diesel gasoline, can also add 18-inch alloy wheels and fog lights. The 3.6L SE includes all of these exterior options. The 2.5 SEL includes the fog lights.
Exterior options include a lip spoiler, but there is little else in the way of adjustments to the style. Color options include eight neutral colors, with the most exciting option being an Opera Red Metallic. Wheel upgrades are available as well.
Overall, the exterior style is simple and minimalistic. This is an intentional measure by Volkswagen, who claims that other manufacturers are making over styled cars that won't last as attractive in the years to come. As such, some buyers will find the Passat dull, and others will find it perfectly understated.
Interior & Cargo
The 2013 Volkswagen Passat has an extremely spacious interior. The upholstery is cloth, and the front seats feature a six-way adjustable driver seat. In the rear seats, the amount of legroom is admirable, and it even allows taller adults to stretch their legs. Unfortunately, the backrests are too upright, so those taller passengers are likely to brush their heads against the roof. Unfortunately, the rebuild in 2012 resulted in lower quality materials throughout the Passat, Even so, the build quality and material used are still higher in quality than a majority of the vehicles in this class. Much like the exterior design, the instrument cluster and front seat are rather simplistic, which is either welcomed or annoying.
Different trims see different features. The base S model receives air conditioning, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, audio controls on the steering wheel, a trip computer, and cruise control. Additionally, the base model comes standard with a six-speaker, AM/FM/CD stereo system. The SE trim receives the addition of leatherette upholstery, air vents for the rear seats, a six-way powered driver seat, and an eight-speaker audio system upgrade. The SE also has the option of a navigation system. The 3.6L SE receives a Fender audio system with premium sound quality. The 2.5 SEL model receives live traffic updates, automatic climate control, and a rearview camera. The Premium package adds a memorization system and powered front seats to the SEL.
Overall, the interior comes very simple. The gauges get upgraded for the SE, but typically the controls are easy to use, classic in style, and don't require the use of a touchscreen like many vehicles on the road today. Volkswagen should have left their more premium quality building materials inside, but other than that, there's little to complain about.
The 2013 Volkswagen Passat comes with traction control, stability control, and anti-lock brakes. Anti-lock brakes also include electronic braking assist and electronic brake force distribution. Airbags include front side airbags and side curtain airbags for both rows. The passenger seat also features a sensor that disables the airbag when no one is riding beside the driver.
For manual transmission models, the Passat is outfitted with hill-assist technology, which keeps the vehicle from rolling back when accelerating from a stop or coming out of park. Additionally, the Intelligent Crash Reporting system will turn off the engine in the event of an accident, unlocks the doors, and activates the hazard flashers. The overall braking performance is below average for its class.
During crash testing conducted by that National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Passat received a perfect five out of five rating for overall safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also gives the Passat a perfect score of ""Good,"" and covered testing for roof strength, side impact, and front impact collisions. Overall, the Passat is an incredibly safe vehicle with plenty of safety features.
The 2013 Volkswagen Passat comes with three different engine choices. The smallest is the 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine that produces 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. This comes with transmission choices of six-speed, manual transmission or a six-speed, automatic transmission. It takes the 2.5L Passat about nine seconds to reach 60 miles per hour, which is neither disappointing nor impressive. The fuel economy is estimated around 22/33 mpg city/highway.
Diesel models feature a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. These also come with either six-speed, manual or six-speed, automatic transmissions. Fuel economy is markedly better at 31/43 mpg city/highway. The third engine is the larger 3.6-liter, V-6 that produces 280 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a dual-clutch, six-speed, manual transmission. Estimated fuel economy is 20/28 mpg city/highway.
The small engine is more than adequate for daily use, and the diesel engine does a good job reducing the cost of fuel and providing more power under the hood thanks to the turbo. The larger engine is really only needed for extra oomph, All do rather well on the highway, and the overall drive of the Passat is smooth and easy to handle.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Volkswagen Passat
- Ford Fusion
- Honda Accord
- Hyundai Sonata
- Toyota Camry