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The 2013 Volkswagen Passat is offered in three different trims: S, SE and SEL. Among those trims, there are three different powertrains. Base 2.5 S, 2.5 SE and 2.5 SEL models come with a 177-horsepower, 2.5L 5-cylinder engine, offered either with a standard 5-speed manual gearbox or optional 6-speed automatic. TDI SE and TDI SEL Premium models add the 140-hp, 2.0L TDI diesel 4-cylinder engine, while top-of-the-range 3.6 SE and 3.6 SEL models step up to a 280-horsepower, 3.6L 'VR6' 6-cylinder engine. Both the TDI and VR6 engines come only with a 6-speed dual clutch DSG automatic transmission that can pull of remarkably quick shifts.
Base Passats move quickly enough with their smooth standard 5-cylinder engine. The VR6 is the performance pick of the lineup; it's especially strong, smooth and responsive. But the TDI has the potential to put smiles on lots of faces; with an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 43 mpg and a meaty 236 pound-feet of peak torque, this engine has more power than one might think and can move up to speed on the highway--or up long grades--without strain. The rack-and-pinion power steering is light while parking but well-weighted on the highway and the Passat has a pretty nimble feel for a mid-size sedan.
The new Passat's larger cabin is now truly mid-size, with a spacious, airy feel to the interior, enhanced by an instrument panel that doesn't swoop around but instead helps yield the most space in front of driver and passenger. The backseat is very generously sized--with enough headroom and legroom for most adults--and getting in and out is easy. Across the model line, the Passat comes with a 60/40-split folding rear seatback.
The 2.5 S model, which starts at $20,845 and comes better equipped than most base models. A Bluetooth hands-free interface, air conditioning, remote locking, power accessories, a trip computer, steering-wheel controls and a 6-speaker CD sound system are all standard. The SE model adds leatherette upholstery, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, power heated side mirrors, an upgraded sound system with touch screen and 17-inch alloy wheels. 2.5 SEL models bring a much more upscale look and feel with footwell lighting, added chrome trim, sport seats, a backseat ski pass-through and a navigation system. The SEL Premium model gets fog lamps, seat memory settings, push-button start and full leather upholstery. Appointments are similar in TDI models, only the SEL Premium Package includes 18-inch alloys and woodgrain trim. Top 3.6 SE and SEL models also get a sunroof and chrome-tipped dual exhaust system in addition to the SEL Premium equipment.
All Passat models include six standard airbags--including side-curtain airbags that cover front and rear occupants--plus standard electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and hydraulic brake assist.
Vast Backseat Space
Smooth Available VR6
Excellent Efficiency From The TDI Model
The Passat gets a few adjustments for 2013. The biggest change is actually to the center console. Volkswagen has worked hard to Americanize the Passat and their work this year shows their attention to detail. VW has redesigned the storage space and most importantly, the cup holders in the center console. They will now fit a large assortment of different drink sizes. Rear seat occupants also benefit from the new center console which features a pair of rear facing vents. Other changes include a standard rear back up camera on SEL models and a price hike of $850.
The 2013 Passat is a midsized sedan, fully competitive in price and features with other high-value models such as the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. It is configured size-wise to directly take on the Honda Accord. VW has increased standard feature content and simplified the Passat to just 16 build combinations, all with lower prices than seen on the previous generation--meaning that if a buyer is simply looking for a well-equipped mid-size sedan, the Passat is going to look like a great deal. The Passat remains one of the few mid-size sedans to offer the option of a manual transmission and the only non-luxury mid-size to offer a diesel. That TDI model manages an astonishing 43 mpg EPA highway rating--enough to beat some hybrids.
2.5L MPFI DOHC 20-valve I5 engine
6-speed automatic transmission -inc: Tiptronic & sport mode
Front wheel drive
MacPherson strut front suspension -inc: coil springs, anti-roll bar
Four-link independent rear suspension -inc: anti-roll bar
Hydraulic rack & pinion pwr steering
Vented front/solid rear pwr disc brakes
Chrome exhaust tip
17" "Salamanca" alloy wheels
215/55HR17 all-season tires
Compact spare tire
Pwr tilt/slide tinted sunroof
Body-color bumpers -inc: chrome accents
Protective side moldings w/chrome accents
Chrome window surrounds
Halogen automatic headlights -inc: coming/leaving home function
* Advertised Used car prices plus tax, tag, title, predelivery service fee of $799.95 and administrative processing fee of $199.50. Price subject to change. Clean Car Fax refers to no structural or frame damage. Pictures for illustration purpose only and dealer is not responsible for printing errors. All vehicles subject to prior sale. See dealer for details.