NEW_CAR_PREVIEW

2013 Volkswagen Passat Preview

6/27/2013
Fast Facts:
  • Choice of gas and diesel engines
  • Only available in 4-door sedan body style
  • EPA-estimated to achieve up to 43 mpg on the highway
  • Front-wheel drive (FWD)
  • 15.9 cubic-foot trunk
  • 5-passenger seating
  • 3-year/36,000-mile free scheduled maintenance plan

Introduction
Volkswagen introduced a number of updated models in 2012, one of which was the Passat. For 2013, this VW debuts with a few minor interior changes, such as redesigned cupholders, a rearview camera on mid- and high-grade trim levels, and a new Passat Wolfsburg Edition.

Exterior Features
The base 2013 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L S sedan features a chrome grille, 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps, automatic headlights, power-adjustable turn signal mirrors, and a 5-cylinder gasoline engine. These items are also standard on the Passat 2.5L S with Appearance package, along with 16-inch San Jose alloy wheels. A new 2.5L Wolfsburg Edition trim level has been added to the Passat lineup for 2013, and is visually differentiated by a set of unique 16-inch alloys wheels.

That theme continues with the 2013 Passat 2.5L SE, which rolls on 17-inch Sonoma alloy wheels. 2.5L SE with Sunroof and 2.5L SE with Sunroof and Navigation trim levels boast, as one might expect, a power tilt/slide moonroof. A VW Passat 2.5L SEL variant includes 17-inch Salamanca alloy wheels, but the 2.5L SEL Premium goes a couple steps further with its standard fog lights and heated power-adjustable turn signal mirrors with memory.

Based on their gas-powered counterparts, the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE and TDI SE with Sunroof differ only with their diesel engines. However, the TDI SE with Sunroof and Navigation adds 18-inch Bristol alloy wheels, fog lights, and extra exterior chrome accents. From an outside view, the Passat TDI SEL Premium looks identical.

Unlike the other SE variants, Volkswagen's Passat V6 SE trim level offers not only 6-cylinder power, but also standard 18-inch Bristol alloy wheels, power tilt/slide moonroof, and fog lights. V6 SE with Navigation and V6 SEL Premium trim levels are also offered, each of which matches the base V6 SE's appearance.

Interior Features
Inside, the base 2013 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L S is equipped with cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and streaming audio, auxiliary input jack, cloth upholstery, and a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with integrated controls. The 2.5L S with Appearance package version of the 2013 Passat adds illuminated vanity mirrors and a rear folding armrest, while the 2.5L Wolfsburg Edition sports leatherette upholstery, heated front seats with power adjustments for the driver, and a touch-screen sound system with satellite radio service and iPod compatibility. On top of that, the Passat 2.5L SE and SE with Sunroof offer upgraded audio with HD Radio and an auto-dimming rearview mirror; the 2013 Passat 2.5L SE with Sunroof and Navigation introduced a touch-screen navigation system into the standard mix.

From there, the Passat 2.5 SEL moves a bit further upscale with its 400-watt sound system, real-time traffic and weather information, dual-zone climate control, rearview camera, and wood trim. For the 2.5L SEL Premium, Volkswagen loads the interior with push-button start, remote start, power front seats with 8-way adjustment and memory settings for the driver, and leather upholstery.

TDI models are near duplicates of their 2.5L siblings. The Passat V6 SE, however, features more standard equipment than other Passat SEs, including add-ons such as leatherette upholstery and the 400-watt premium sound system. V6 SE with Navigation and V6 SEL Premium Passats mirror 5-cylinder and diesel-powered versions.

Optional Features
All of the 2013 Volkswagen Passat's features are included as standard equipment on one or more of the various trim levels. Accessories, like upgraded alloy wheels and all-weather floor mats, are available from local VW dealers.

Under the Hood
Volkswagen equips the 2013 Passat with one of three engines, one of which is a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder that produces 170 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque, output delivered to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic with sport and manual shift modes.

The Passat is also available with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine that features turbocharged direct injection (TDI) and generates 140 horsepower as well as 236 lb.-ft. of torque. Transmission choices include a 6-speed manual or the 6-speed automatic.

A 3.6-liter V-6 rounds out the Passat's trio of engine options. Volkswagen recommends using premium-grade gasoline to get the full effect 280 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. The 6-speed automatic transmission is standard, as are steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Fuel Economy
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Volkswagen Passat are:

  • Passat with 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine and manual transmission: 22/32/26 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Passat with 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine and automatic transmission: 22/31/25 mpg
  • Passat TDI with manual transmission: 31/43/35 mpg
  • Passat TDI with automatic transmission: 30/40/34 mpg
  • Passat V-6: 20/28/23 mpg

Safety
The 2013 Volkswagen Passat's standard safety features include 6 air bags, front active head restraints, daytime running lights, traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, electronic locking differential, and brake assist.

In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Volkswagen Passat received an overall rating of 5 (out of 5) stars. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 Volkswagen Passat received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for moderate overlap frontal-impact crash protection, but a lower "Acceptable" rating for small overlap frontal-impact crash protection; the Passat also received a "Top Safety Pick+" designation from the Institute.

Additional Research:

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