2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Automatic Sedan Diesel FWD 

  • $33k
  • 2.0L Diesel
  • 30 city 40 hwy
7.9 Out of 10
Its minimal turbo lag and lusty low-end torque make a trip of any length a more pleasurable experience.
by KBB (May, 2013)
Bigger, conservatively styled, with lots of standard equipment and a lower price, the Passat retained its German driving feel even though VW now builds it in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
by KBB (May, 2013)

RideNerd Review Our evaluation of the Volkswagen Passat TDI


Will it break the bank?

Passat TDI SEL Premium
Annual cost

Fuel economy

Is it a gas sipper or guzzler?

Passat TDI SEL Premium
EPA highway mileage

Air quality

Help the world breathe easier with higher scores.

Passat TDI SEL Premium
NMOG/mile, carbon monoxide/mile, nitrogen oxide/mile and EPA Smog Score

Climate friendly

Higher scores leave less of an impact on global warming.

Passat TDI SEL Premium
EPA greenhouse gas score


RideNerd Score

Affordability, Fuel economy, Air quality and Climate friendly

Passat TDI SEL Premium

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Volkswagen Passat TDI

EPA Greenhouse Gas Score The EPA ranks cars based on their climate change impact; 10 is best.

Passat TDI SEL Premium

EPA Smog Score The EPA ranks cars based on their air quality impact; 10 is best.

Passat TDI SEL Premium

Annual Cost The yearly cost to drive 15,000 miles, including fuel and car payments.

Passat TDI SEL Premium

Annual Fuel Cost The cost of fuel to drive 15,000 miles each year.

Passat TDI SEL Premium

Reviews Word on the street for the Volkswagen Passat TDI

It's also critical to the automaker's business goals: VW is on a mission to sell lots of cars — 800,000 annually in the U.S. by 2018, more than triple its 2010 sales — and to get there it needs a high-volume family sedan.

Its suspension – including a 4-link independent rear setup – cancels out most road imperfections, and body roll is nicely controlled on tight, curvy roads.


8.3 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


A 2013 TDI with a manual transmission starts at $27,020 in SE trim; the next-step-up SE with Sunroof includes the automatic transmission as standard for $2000 more.
by Car and Driver (Oct, 2013)
Since a manual transmission is only offered on the base TDI and ours is a top-shelf SEL Premium, our car is equipped with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
by Car and Driver (Oct, 2013)
Noteworthy items include Vegan-friendly V-Tex Leatherette seating, a Fender Premium audio system, an iPod interface and the quick-shifting 6-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission.
by KBB (May, 2013)


Our drivers have complimented the fuel-sipping diesel, the quick-shifting transmission, the amenable ride, and, yes, the large trunk.
by Car and Driver (Oct, 2013)
Base S models come with standard cloth seating surfaces while SE models get V-Tex Leatherette and SEL models receive the full leather treatment with suede-like "Dinamica" inserts.
by KBB (May, 2013)
If how much you spend at the pump is important to you, you'll be interested to know that the TDI can return a class-leading 43 mpg on the highway when matched with the manual transmission.
by KBB (May, 2013)


For a little more oomph in your daily drive, a 3.6-liter V6 or the strong but frugal 2.0-liter 4-cylinder clean turbodiesel engine are also on the menu.
by KBB (May, 2013)
The final feather in the VW Passat's cap: Whether you choose the inline-5, the TDI or the V6, this German sedan is one quiet ride.
by KBB (May, 2013)
The Passat’s optional diesel is still its best engine and a segment exclusive that makes it oh-so-European.
by Car and Driver (Oct, 2013)

Body style

And on the subject of seats, thanks to the Passat's longer wheelbase, rear-seat passengers now enjoy more legroom than in any other current mid-size sedan.
by KBB (May, 2013)
After its thorough remake last year, aimed specifically at attracting more American consumers, Volkswagen's mid-size Passat sedan is little changed for 2013.
by KBB (May, 2013)
The Volkswagen Passat sedan has grown substantially to appeal to North American sensibilities, but even though it's now a larger, heavier car, you'll still be rewarded with a refined road-going.
by KBB (May, 2013)


In SEL guise, the Passat’s minimalist interior comes dressed for business casual, with leather seats and long, flat stretches of faux burled-wood trim.
by Car and Driver (Oct, 2013)
Lower-end Passats can look vanilla, but moving up to the Premium level adds an Autumn Nut Burl wood-trim detail that brings some visual interest to the cabin.
by KBB (May, 2013)
The cabin feels large, not just because of the additional legroom but also because of the low beltline, expansive glass, and generous elbowroom.
by Car and Driver (Oct, 2013)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Brand Volkswagen
Body style Sedan
Model year 2013
City range 555 miles
Highway range 740 miles
MSRP $33k
Annual cost $8,314

Manufacturing Emissions

Water per car made 4.55 m³
CO2 per car made 0.89 metric ton
Energy per car made 1,790 kWh/vehicle
Waste per car made 209 kg

power & handling

Max torque 236 ft-lb @ 1,750 RPM
Max HP 140 HP @ 4,000 RPM
Power-to-weight ratio 24.71 lb/hp
Curb-to-curb turning radius 36.4 feet

suspension, wheels & brakes

Rear suspension Multi link
Front brakes 12.28 in Ventilated Disc
Rear brakes 10.71 in Disc
Front wheel width 215 mm
Front wheel diameter 18 inch
Front wheel aspect ratio 45

safety features

Active head restraints No
  1. Driver
  2. Passenger
  3. Side
  4. Head curtain
Antilock brakes Standard
Child door locks Standard
Electronic stability control Standard
Traction control Standard
Rear camera Standard
Rear sensor N/A
Park assist system N/A
Communication system None

physical dimensions

Width 72.2 in
Front track width 62.1 in
Height 58.5 in
Ground clearance 5.4 in
Length 191.6 in
Wheelbase 110.4 in
Curb weight 3,459 lb
GVWR 4,652 pounds
Tow weight 1,000 pounds
Has a rear spoiler No
Seats 5 seats
Front seat room 53 ft³
Rear seat room 49 ft³


EPA smog score 5
EPA GHG score 8
Carbon monoxide/mile 0.24 g
Methane/mile 0.03 g
NMOG/mile 0.04 g
Nitrogen oxide/mile 0.03 g
Vapor canisters 0
Bleed canisters 0
Catalytic converters 4
Stops the engine instead of idling No
Disables engine cylinders under low loads No
Recirculates exhaust gas Yes

engine & drivetrain

Engine size 2.0L
Air compressor Turbocharger
  1. Gas
  2. Diesel
Cylinders I4
Paddle shifters N/A
Gearing type Traditional
Transmission 6-speed Automatic 2WD

stereo & entertainment

Brand Generic
Speakers 9 speakers
Wattage 400 watts
Has a speed sensitive volume Yes
Has a subwoofer Yes
Auxiliary input No
AM/FM radio Standard
CD player Standard
CD changer Standard
Satellite radio Standard
Entertainment system N/A


Cruise control Standard
Front A/C Standard
Front passenger A/C Standard
Keyless entry Standard
Keyless ignition N/A
Sun roof Standard
Navigation system N/A, 20 GB
Roof rails N/A
Power locks Standard
Power mirrors Standard
Power outlets Standard
Power steering Standard
Power windows Standard
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