The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Passat TDI calls it a “needle in a haystack” owing to its manual transmission and being a survivor of VW’s Dieselgate debacle. Let’s see if that makes its price a deal, or if it’s yet another scandal for the car to face.
Like the designs of all consumer products, car styling ebbs and flows over time Sometimes eddies form along the way, and traditions are born. Yesterday’s 2008 Chevy HHR SS honored two of Chevy’s long-standing traditions — the styling of the company’s early light-duty trucks and the venerated SS or “Super Sport” badge. With over 100K on the clock and a $9,999 asking price, few of you deemed those traditions to be worth a hang. In the end, that led to the Heritage High Roof to go down in a 73 percent no Dice loss.
Let’s go down memory lane for a moment, and consider Volkswagen’s leaked and then aborted April Fools prank announcing that the company would be rebranded as “Voltzwagen.” It was all to be announced on April 1 with fingers crossed behind the back and the rationale that it made sense as the company was moving to an almost entirely electric product line across the board. Wow, it seems like that was years ago.
Volkswagen (no name change) has, in fact, moved to electric vehicle production, much like most of its competitors. Its reason, however, is a bit more scandal-plagued than that of the other carmakers, as it is partially due to the company getting caught cheating on diesel emissions tests.
As partial restitution for its emissions cheating activities here in the U.S., VW is building a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the country. This does tie in nicely with the company’s move to electric cars, a push that was majoritively driven by the loss of the company’s most fuel-efficient models off of dealer lots and even out of some owners’ hands.
Well, maybe not all of them.
This 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI is claimed to be a straggler of the recall efforts, having been saved from the crusher — or whatever VW did with their bought-back cars — by an owner who apparently appreciated high mileage over low emissions. Hey, we’re not here to judge motivations, just price tags.
Being a TDI makes this Tennessee-built Passat an interesting beast in today’s post-Dieselgate world. It sporting a six-speed manual makes it even rarer and more fun as well. Yes, the little 2-liter diesel four’s 140 horsepower is nothing to champion, but its more useful 236 lb-ft of torque might just be. That makes stop-and-go driving a lot more engaging. And, while you might not be passing everything on the highway in this Passat, you will be slipping by most service stations since the car can get nearly 50 miles to the gallon on the open road.
The car presents well in the ad, although the seller notes a crack in the windshield that will likely need to be repaired. The metallic gray paint and meager brightwork both look to be in fine shape, although some fading is noticeable on the driver’s door B pillar. The car is an SE model so it has a few bells and whistles to its name. Those include the bright trim around the windows and a nice set of alloy wheels.
The interior is cornsilk beige leatherette and looks okay. Wear is evident on the steering wheel, shift boot, and the center armrest, all surfaces where a hand or elbow might rest. You do get heated seats and a fancy analog clock here. An aftermarket double DIN stereo hogs the center stack above the climate controls but fits the space acceptably.
There have been some monkeyshines in the car’s mechanicals too. The ad notes the addition of a cat-back exhaust and a cold air intake, both from aFe. The high-pressure fuel pump has also been replaced and the engine runs Malone Tunings Stage 2 mapping for good measure. Lastly, a transmission service (clutch? synchros? what?) was done 20,000 miles ago. The car now has 164,000 miles and comes with service records from both the current and prior owners. The title is clean and the car is claimed to run excellent.
With Volkswagen going electric and seemingly all Crossover too, this last hurrah of both the TDI and sedan body style is a clattery reminder of what once was. For lovers of such things, we’ll now need to decide what that might all be worth. The asking price is $8,500, and it’s safe to say that there will be few comps on the market against which to judge that price.
What’s your take on this rare TDI Passat and that $8,500 asking? Does that seem a fair price for a swan song of a car? Or, is this scandal-ridden VW priced too high for redemption?
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