2013 Volkswagen Passat reliability

I do not own the car yet, however I am seriously considering purchasing a 2013 Volkswagen Passat SE. The only thing holding me back is the mixed reviews on their reliability. I am a college student and am having to buy this car myself so reliability means a lot to me. Therefore I would like to know your thoughts on the reliability of yours and the repairs you have had to do while owning it, if any. Thank you so much it is greatly appreciated.

First of all you will not get many replies or may not get any from people who have 2013 VW Passat . This is a site that is part of Car Talk not just for vehicles like yours . The standard reply is to pay a shop to inspect any used vehicle you might buy. But I always say if you have any doubts about a vehicle just move on to something else that does not make you wonder.

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That is your answer, pure and simple. This would not be my choice as a reliable car for a college student.


A used VW, particularly without an inspection from your mechanic is a foolhardy choice. VW repairs and maintenance tend to be more expensive than domestic and Asian brands.


Check carcomplaints.com for some responses.

In general, Volkswagens don’t have the best reputation for reliability. And if reliability and repair costs are an issue for you, I’d look elsewhere.

Good luck.

Your URL appears to be for a travel site. It should be carcomplaints.com with no space. That said, I agree the OP should probably keep looking.

I own a 2015 Passat 1.8t currently and have already had to put in around 2,500 in repairs. They are notorious for the injectors needing replaced. Two of mine have already gone out, in fact I just had one replaced a week or so ago. An added issue with VWs is that everything is super expensive to fix. My mechanic told me that most repairs are on par with BMWs and I don’t doubt it.

As a first car / college student it’s probably not the best idea due to the repair cost alone. You might get lucky but I know other VW owners and they also have had injectors go out. It’s always an expensive fix due to so much engine tear down. But if you end up loving it and insisting I agree with others. Make sure you have a personal mechanic check it out before signing the papers.

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2013 average overall reliability; fuel system much worse than average. The 2015 is worse than average for overall reliability with fuel system, climate system, and power equipment all much worse than average – Consumer Reports , April 2020, p. 98.

My in laws are big VW fans and that’s all they ever drive and passed the disease to their daughter. He drives a Passat and doesn’t have any problems with them, but then he leases and gets rid of them every two years.

I do not have the same level of distaste for VWs and other Euro cars as others have. I’ve worked for several VW dealers and never found VW to be any more problematic than other cars. While one car owner is cursing VW for a certain problem while their car is on the rack other car owners are cursing their Subaru/Honda/Nissan/Etc for certain problems while their car is on the rack next to it.

“But it’s a (fill in the blank). It’s not supposed to break…”.

My son has a 2015 Jetta bought new and it’s never been to the shop once for any warranty repairs or failures other than basic maintenance and tires.