Passat Challenge: Seattle to San Francisco On One Tank of Fuel? – VW Southtowne Utah

Two teams competed to see which one can make it from Seattle to the Golden Gate Bridge filling up their fuel tanks just once on a drive that covers over 800 miles.  A documentary film crew covered the journey.

Both teams were driving Volkswagen’s new Passat TDI clean burning diesel.  Originally, both a hybrid and an EV (electric vehicle) were to compete in the challenge as well, however there are currently no vehicles of that type that have the possibility of driving that far without stopping to re-fuel or re-charge.  It was unclear if the Passat that gets 42 MPG would make the full journey.

It’s not just about getting better fuel economy, but getting people to consider how far green cars have come. They don’t have to be stuck in a little box to be green anymore.

The teams stopped in Portland and other places along the way to talk about eco-friendly cars while interacting with communities online with video, blogs, social networking, and more.  “48 hours of green car fun!” says John Polnik, one of the producers of the mobile event.  “It’s amazing how excited people were to talk about better ways to get around.


As I write this we are thru Cottage Grove and we on our way to the Oregon/Cali border.  My initial impressions of this car are very positive I am amazed how spacious it is considering the fuel efficiency.  What makes this vehicle different is that it is a real mid-sized sedan in the same class as Toyota Camry and Honda Accord but it fact my personal observation is that it is at least all that in size and perhaps more.

So far the average fuel consumption is 56.1 MPG this is freeway driving from Auburn, Washington to just past Cottage Grove where we are now.  But remember too this is a much heavier vehicle than previous VW that boasted this kind of mileage. There are four people and a trunk completely full of gear. While at the moment we are doing far better than the advertised 43 MPG we will see when we hit the mountains tomorrow that will be the real test.  At this moment we have used over 1/3 of our fuel the team needs to have 1/2 of our fuel remaining when we all hit Yreka which is 160 miles away. The team is determined not to hypermile the car but to give it a ‘real world’ test to see if the claimed manufacter stated mileage is in fact something the average consumer can expect to truly get.


Here are Facebook posts of the Challenge as it came to Day Two and into the final stretch…

” Just left the 5 for 505 into SF. 98.1 miles to go! Traffic could be the determining factor. less than 1/4 tank left. ”

” Just stopped for lunch at In-N-Out Burger. 71 miles to go ”

” To avoid traffic we made a decision not take the shortest route. we’ve left the interstate for highway 37 Sears Point Road @Infineion Raceway now this adds miles but we think saves time. Given that we’re sitting in stop-n-go traffic we’ll see if this was a good decision. ”

” less then five miles to go! ”

” We just made the Golden Gate Bridge. We’re so excited. Dash says we still have 90 mile range left a little less than 1/8 of a tank before we hit reserve. 799.8 miles total and fuel still in the tank. Approx average 55 MPG from car 1. car 2 and total stats to follow. Unbelievable! ”

Some additional stats. We actually made it BACK across the Bay Bridge through one hour of stop and go traffic, then up to Lafayette (near Walnut Creek) total mileage 835 miles logged with 25 reported left in the tank. Averaged just north of 55 MPG, cost me $70 to refill the tank. Amazing.

So as you can see the Passat not only handled the challenge well, it was a slam dunk! What a great way to show how off the new 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI! Great job to the two teams! For more information on the new 2012 VW Passat click on any of the links below.

The 2012 Volkswagen Passat Website

VW Southtowne 2012 VW Passat Webpage click here

 For any questions regarding delivery dates, ordering, model information.. Contact our internet Specialists at (801) 285-0334

VW Southtowne
11000 S. Frontage Rd
South Jordan, UT 84095
(801) 285-0334

One response to “Passat Challenge: Seattle to San Francisco On One Tank of Fuel? – VW Southtowne Utah

  1. Pingback: Taking a Digital Road Trip. The Passat ONE TANK Challenge. | Steenman Associates·

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