Hybrid who? I remember seeing a Volkswagen advertisement in Toronto that showed how many tanks of fuel were needed for a road trip to Florida.
I remember seeing a Volkswagen advertisement in Toronto that showed how many tanks of fuel were needed for a road trip to Florida. Targeting snowbirds, it displayed the efficiency of the Volkswagen TDI line. Quite often it showed a necessary stopping of one-to-two times before arriving in Orlando. That led me to drive the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI. A person would have to stop multiple times to use the appropriate facilities before needing to fuel up. But how does that translate to weekly, day-to-day use?
The car I drove was the 2013 Passat TDI Highline with all the necessary option boxes ticked off, priced right around the $35,000 mark. From the turbocharged diesel engine, it put out 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Essentially, the Passat is adequately quick, and isn’t nearly as slow as one would assume from a diesel car.
The exterior of the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI could be simply described as typical Volkswagen. It’s sharp but bland. It has its aggressive tones but won’t push the envelope. It’s effective and precise. German.
People won’t turn their heads to look at the car but they won’t look away either. It is well assembled and flows properly.
Inside it is much of the same, the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI doesn’t feel cheap, or plastic. The seats are comfortable and offers ample trunk space for any day-to-day or once a year travelling. I might go as far as to say it’s the most roomy car I have yet experienced in the class; both in leg and cargo space.
It isn’t any of these aspects of the Passat that makes it stand out however. That’s reserved for the historical diesel vs. hybrid debate and the utterly fantastic DSG transmission.
Over the course of the week I averaged 6L/100KM in the Passat. A figure I’ve previously only matched in the Chevrolet Volt. I, personally, don’t understand the point or how to hypermile. I just can’t coast excessively or drive like I’m scared of the road. It isn’t in me. It is those conditions that the hybrids excel.
As a driver on the road, I feel that people that do such things cause me to shake my steering wheel and deserve a swift finger wag.
The diesel takes care of all that, you get incredible efficiency without being a Nancy boy. You can step on the pedal and go, no fear or enumerations from the car’s onboard computer making you feel bad.
In late 2011, I took a road trip to Atlanta for the Petit Le Mans. Our car of choice was also a TDI Passat but it was standard. Manual transmissions have typically been paired with diesels and in many ways go part and parcel. This Passat however had the DSG gearbox that I absolutely loved and adored.
You will always have the best fuel economy out of a manual transmission but this DSG box helps bring that divide much closer. By removing a torque converter and flattening the torque curve of a car during shifts, the DSG is seamless. It just works and provides a head scratcher for many.
I just couldn’t help but think of a single reason why most people would opt for the manual over the DSG. Less work with barely any noticeable decrease in efficiency. No brainer for me.
One slight on the Passat would have to be the divide between target audiences. That advertisement I saw about road tripping to Florida does tell a big story. It’s smooth and bouncy. So bouncy that when I sat in the backseat on a drive into Toronto that I felt carsick before arriving there. It doesn’t happen too often, but it atypical of ‘floaty’ cars, this being one such vehicle.
If you have a family, have a 9-5 job, want to look respectable while maintaining some semblance of manhood, this is the car for you. Go with the diesel, skip that other hybrid sedan. Please.
2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Gallery