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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+)

VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+) Discussion area for the 2012+ Passat TDI (North American and rest of world versions versions). The North American model was previously codenamed NMS (New Midsize Sedan) and the version the rest of the world gets is sometimes referred to as B7.

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Old May 9th, 2012, 07:03   #1
compu_85
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Default 1000 Mile Update

Crossed the first 1,000 miles on the way to work this morning:



I thought this would be a good time to share my thoughts about this car.

Overall I am thrilled with the 2012 Passat. The ride is controlled and comfortable, there's tons of interior space, and the control layout is excellent. I like the change to the high beam switch... it returns to center now rather than staying pressed in, which means the stalk is always in the same place. The Climatronic seems to do a great job, and the air conditioner blows nice and cold.

I love the weight of the steering. The assist curve the computer uses is perfect... extra help when in the parking lot without being too much, and still enough assist on the highway. The steering rate is excellent. The car also corners very flat and has enough feedback for my taste.

Personally, I don't think I'll make any changes to the suspension... I like it just the way it is. There's enough clearance I don't bang the car into dips and speed bumps but it's not super tall. I think VW set the car up with stiff springs, but soft bushings. Whatever they did it worked and I hope it holds up for many miles. The suspension doesn't completely squat down when you fill the car with people and stuff... a nice change from the Mercedes. The car handles great and seems to love powering around corners!

Initially I was worried about how the DSG would handle traffic... those worries are totally gone now. The DSG exceeds every expectation I could have had. It seems to always be in the right gear, Sport mode does exactly what I would like, it's smooth and precise, and even does OK starting out on steep hills! The take off from a stop when you just lift your foot off the brake is a bit quicker than I would like... it was always nice to be able to creep with a normal automatic. But it's a very minor thing and just requires a bit of planning to leave enough space behind the car ahead.

I'm still on my first fillup. According to the MFI, which I think is accurate, the car does great on fuel. So far on this tank it says 41... and that's with about 50/50 city and highway. I'm blown away that a large car with an automatic transmission could do so well.

The Hankook tires are a bit of a let down. They do OK in most driving situations, but are very noisy on rough pavement surfaces. The rest of the car being so quiet just makes this worse. So far they are riding smooth and seem to have good grip though.

When I got the car I turned the headlight voltage up to 13v from the stock 12.6v setting. I have no complaints about brightness... and I like how wide the pattern is. The automatic lights work perfect... they turn on exactly when I would be clicking the switch on anyway. I do wish they turned on more readily when the wipers were on, but that's very minor. Speaking of the wipers, the rain sensor works great!

The range on the remote controls is excellent, and I love how the trunk lid opens completely when popped. I also like how deep the trunk is... great for moving servers I also like how the doors shut so easily, they kind of spring closed when you get them most of the way shut.

I do miss the front height adjustment feature on the power seat. I also wish the steering wheel came out just a bit further. The brake feel is a bit odd too... sometimes when coming to a quick stop it feels like the assist gets less. The car stops fine... I guess it's something with the emergency brake assist?

I feel like VW spent a lot of time with QC at the new American plant. The build quality on this car seems very very good. Apart from a very small rattle in the sunroof when the vent is up the interior is squeak and rattle free. All the trim has a nice look and feel, and all the buttons feel great too... properly weighted. I did have the trim piece at the front of the driver's seat track break when I moved the seat forward... I'll have this fixed at the first "check up".

VW did a great job with the driving feel of this car. You really fell like you're the one in control... not the computers. I have not been able to tell when the car is doing a regen while driving. I think I interrupted one as I was parking this morning... the fans were running after I turned the car off and I could feel a lot of heat coming from under the car.

So that was kind of a rambling review, and I'll probably add more as I think about it. Overall I love the car, and hope the next 100,000 miles goes as smooth as the first 1,000!

Thanks,

-Jason
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Originally Posted by BRUSSELS BELGIAN View Post
Maybe I should pay MYSELF to do bad work on my car!
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Old May 9th, 2012, 08:19   #2
TDI_Timmy
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Nice write up.

I am trying to talk my dad into replacing his '91 350SD with a new Passat. Glad to hear you like your new car.

Questions about increasing the headlight voltage - how was this done? I am guessing through VCDS. Are you worried about any increase in heat from the bulb? I did some searching and didn't find anything online.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 08:26   #3
compu_85
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Yes, done with VCDS and a change in the coding in the Body Control Module. I'm not worried about heat. The lamps are life rated at 13.8V, so I'm not worried about then burning out too quick either.

That reminds me of one more thing I like about the car... all the exterior lamps are easy to get at and change, and the owner's manual tells you how to do it!
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99.5 Jetta "GLX" TDI. 323,000 miles. Power Memory Seats, HIDs 11mm pump, BV39 Turbo, RCIII 36/47 MPG.
1991 Mercedes 350SDL 230,000 miles, 70,000 on engine. 18/27 MPG.
Past:
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2004 Touareg V10 TDI. 165,000 miles. Sold to Matt98AHU w/ flat camshafts.
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Quote:
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Maybe I should pay MYSELF to do bad work on my car!
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Old May 9th, 2012, 09:23   #4
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Good review makes me feel even more confident about my choice! (Even I was already before)
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Old May 9th, 2012, 09:40   #5
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Ditto everything Jason said, however I am not a big fan of Sport mode on the transmission... I use either Drive or Tip - no big deal.

The seat adjustment bugs me a bit, too... it would be nice if the front of the seat bottom was adjustable in addition to the rear adjustment. Regardless, the seating position is comfortable.

Looking forward to our first real road trip and some killer fuel economy!
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Old May 9th, 2012, 10:17   #6
TheGrove
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compu_85 View Post
...The suspension doesn't completely squat down when you fill the car with people and stuff...

...

The Hankook tires are a bit of a let down. They do OK in most driving situations, but are very noisy on rough pavement surfaces. The rest of the car being so quiet just makes this worse. So far they are riding smooth and seem to have good grip though.
Yes the suspension is nice. I took mine to the beach last fall with my mother, sister and myself with a full trunk and you would not know that we had all that weight in the car. It rode just as nice with no bottoming out.

I agree about the Hankook tires. This is the one place where I am being "cheap", I'll wear the current ones out before buying new. I figure I'll need new tires this fall anyhow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by compu_85 View Post
That reminds me of one more thing I like about the car... all the exterior lamps are easy to get at and change, and the owner's manual tells you how to do it!
Double check the instructions on changing the DRL's - I need to do this. I had one burn out yesterday as I picked it up from the dealership while it was in for the 30K service. It took a good hour to get it replaced, according to the service guy the tech had to take the front fender liner out to get to the bulb. Maybe it was just inexperience with the car but I do want to check out how you get to that bulb.

Nice write-up!.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 11:05   #7
compu_85
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There's a little access hole in the fender to reach the DRL bulb. I didn't try to remove that one.

-J
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1991 Mercedes 350SDL 230,000 miles, 70,000 on engine. 18/27 MPG.
Past:
2012 Passat SE TDI DSG. 114,000 miles. LED tails, Memory Seat, HIDs. Bought back by VW.
2004 Touareg V10 TDI. 165,000 miles. Sold to Matt98AHU w/ flat camshafts.
1988 Audi 5000S Quattro, 1992 Jetta ECOdiesel, 1991 Jetta ECOdiesel.
Thank you for giving me the BUG*PWR award. It means a lot to me!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BRUSSELS BELGIAN View Post
Maybe I should pay MYSELF to do bad work on my car!
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Old May 9th, 2012, 12:32   #8
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Is the voltage adjustment for all bulbs? I think the taillights (i.e. the turn/stop function) is not quite brigth enough to be easily noticed in bright sunlight.

With ours, I get the impression from the sounds and the revs that the slightly odd feel of the brakes when nearing a stop comes from the DSG still downshifting, even at speeds where a regular automatic would barely push as the engine is going down to idel and definitely below converter stall speed, while in a manual, I'd be clutched out or in neutral, rather than shifting down through second and first to come to a stop.
Frankly, they could extend the freewheel down to lower speeds in general, and way down when you're trying to break significantly but gently. That's just way to much DSG wear, I'd think.
Speaking of which, does anybody else's DSG seem to rattle a bit sometimes when slowing down?

The seats are mostly comfortable, but there seems to be a difference(beyond power vs. manual of the same few adjustments) between driver and passenger seat in the SE: After an 8-hour round trip, my wife and I each doing half the driving, we both had back/shoulder aches after the passenger seat time, but not after driving.
Pushing on the seat bottom and lower back afterwards, it sure seemed like the passenger seat was softer (I had even remarked earlier how comfortable I was in the driver's seat, considering how hard the bottom is) - or am I making it up to fit my experience which actually comes from not having a steering wheel to hold on to while the center arm rest is too low to be comfortable?
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Old May 9th, 2012, 16:55   #9
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There is a voltage adjustment for the headlights, and one for the tail lights.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 21:26   #10
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hmm weird that my GOLF doesn't have KM markings on speedometer only MILES
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Old May 10th, 2012, 07:23   #11
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I noticed that in my boss's Golf yesterday.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 07:38   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI
Ditto everything Jason said, however I am not a big fan of Sport mode on the transmission... I use either Drive or Tip - no big deal.
I totally agree. Drive shifts too soon and Sport holds the gear too long. Like you I either use Drive or Tiptronic. Would love something inbetween. For instance at ~35MPH D goes to 6th whereas S will stay in 3rd (IIRC - maybe it will eventually go to 4th but I thought revs were pretty high). So, I just move into Tip and kick it back into 4th. That being said I still enjoy the DSG and glad I do because I really liked my manual trans in the MkVI sedan.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 10:05   #13
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what mercedes did you replace with the passat?

ive been considering a 6spd passat to replace my merc, but the one i test drove felt a bit on the cheap side somehow... and had noticably more road noise than my car (but that may have been the tires and the particular stretch of highway we were on). driving dynamics and steering feel were amazing though.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 11:08   #14
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So far none... but both of them need to go. Would you like one (or both)?
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Old August 8th, 2012, 19:20   #15
compu_85
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Lawson and I crossed 10,000 miles this past weekend, and I just had the car serviced. So far our complaints are few. The fuel economy has been fantastic, I'm easily beating the EPA rating with normal driving. The aircon still kicks butt, and the DSG still drives fantastic.

The exhaust fluid consumption is also less than I expected, the car used about 2.4 gallons over the last 10k. It didn't burn any oil. There is a rattle somewhere up in the sunroof but it's quite minor, and we've heard it on Geek Drew's car as well.

Here's hoping the next 10k will be as great as the first!

-J
__________________
Present:
2018 Tesla Model 3 DM. 2500 miles.
2014 Cadillac ELR. 33,000 miles.
2013 Fiat 500e. 33,000 miles.
99.5 Jetta "GLX" TDI. 323,000 miles. Power Memory Seats, HIDs 11mm pump, BV39 Turbo, RCIII 36/47 MPG.
1991 Mercedes 350SDL 230,000 miles, 70,000 on engine. 18/27 MPG.
Past:
2012 Passat SE TDI DSG. 114,000 miles. LED tails, Memory Seat, HIDs. Bought back by VW.
2004 Touareg V10 TDI. 165,000 miles. Sold to Matt98AHU w/ flat camshafts.
1988 Audi 5000S Quattro, 1992 Jetta ECOdiesel, 1991 Jetta ECOdiesel.
Thank you for giving me the BUG*PWR award. It means a lot to me!

Check out the official TDIClub Chat Room!
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRUSSELS BELGIAN View Post
Maybe I should pay MYSELF to do bad work on my car!
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