Tuesday, January 29, 2013

First Drive: 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

The Volkswagen Passat has been around since 1973, serving as Volkswagen's mid-size/large family sedan. The Passat is in its seventh generation, which was released in 2010. In the North American and Chinese markets, the seventh generation Passat was released in 2011. While the new Passat is known as the Passat B7 worldwide, the new Passat is known as the Passat NMS (New Mid-size Sedan). The Passat NMS was named Motortrend's 2012 Car of the Year. At the 2013 Houston Auto Show, this is one of six Volkswagen that were available for test drives.

As far as exterior styling goes, nothing special. It looks like your typical mid-size sedan. The front grill is standard for Volswagen. On the inside, the Passat felt roomy. I had plenty of leg room and head room behind the wheel. Other than that, nothing else noteworthy.

The Passat TDI is powered by a turbocharged direct injected 2.0L diesel engine that produces 138 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 seconds in 9.2 seconds. When I was behind the wheel of the Passat, I was comfortable. The Passat went smoothly over speed bumps. The car responds when I turn the steering wheel. The Passat has some zip to it. I had fun behind the wheel of the Passat TDI.

The Passat has been featured on The Middle, Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Continuum, Major Crimes, and Your Sister's Sister.

Overall, the Passat may look like your typical mid-size car. The interior and exterior are nothing special. Yet, the Passat TDI was very comfortable to drive in and I had fun behind the wheel. While the 2.0L TDI engine does not put out a lot of horsepower, the engine has a good amount of torque and it gives the car decent acceleration. The Passat handles the one curve on a side street well. I was so comfortable behind the wheel that I felt like I was on cloud. The Passat TDI is a good car. Now do I agree that with Motortend that the Passat is the 2012 Car of the Year, an award given out near the end of 2011, no I do not. The Passat was not my favorite Volkswagen to drive. Prices for the Passat TDI SE sedan start at $26,225. Prices for the Passat TDI SEL Premium sedan starts at $32,915. If you are in the market for mid-size sedan that comes with a diesel engine, give the Passat TDI a test drive. However there are better mid-size sedans out there for around the same price as the Passat TDI, and the Passat TDI does not stand out from the other mid-size sedans. But if you are interested in the Passat, with or without the TDI engine, give it a test drive.

Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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