A surprisingly pleasant large midsizer |
Volkswagen is keeping things good with their popular Passat sedan, and adding even more goodies with each passing year.
Volkswagen is keeping things good with their popular Passat sedan, and adding even more goodies with each passing year. Known for their TDI engines, VW is becoming more comfortable with gasoline, and buyers are seeing more available options with their vehicles. The 2014 Passat is available in both a TDI and a TSI (gasoline) engine. I am a huge fan of the TDI engine, but have never actually experienced a non-diesel Passat, so I sampled a 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI to see if the gasoline version is as good as the diesel.
My tester, painted in Night Blue Metallic, sporting Cornsilk Beige Vienna Leather inside, this mid-sized sedan was definitely not an eyesore. The roofline is not too high, giving it a sporty look – but high enough to keep the overall conservative feel. The 17” alloy wheels are a good touch to the family-oriented car.
After such a long and terrible winter, it is so nice to finally have summer here. Except when it is so hot outside you stick to the seats or slide around while driving. Here comes the good part. When I got into the car I noticed the dual leather/suede seats – perfect for any type of driving. The centre of the seats, were suede and the leather was wrapped around it. There was no sticking or sliding in the Passat because of the sporty seats. I am also a big fan of contrasting colours, so the dark blue exterior with the light beige interior was a wonderful touch that made the Passat look clean rather than boring.
One thing I really like about Volkswagen’s infotainment system is how easy it can be to use, especially the navigation. I was able to go to and from destinations without any issues and without having to take my eyes off the road for more than a second. The dashboard is simple, and has almost all options on the market without making the car look overly button crazy. Then again, buttons are much better than having the entire dash a feedback-free touchscreen.
The 2014 Passat can be mated to either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and sport mode. The particular model I had held a 1.8L four-cylinder turbocharged engine with the six-speed auto. While driving the sedan, I found the acceleration was smooth and did not feel as if it was sluggish – there isn’t nearly as much turbo lag as you’d expect. Cruising at highway speeds, the Passat did not show any sign of it struggling and moved along well. I did get stuck in awful traffic in the heart of downtown Toronto with construction every way I looked, but the Passat moved freely and was very easy to handle and maneuver in the gridlock. Surprisingly, with all of the construction that was around me, the car was significantly quiet and when the windows were up, I barely heard any drills or large work trucks.
I do enjoy seeing the differences in fuel economy with every car I get to drive. The Passat is not a small car by any means, and I managed to get some good results over the week I spent with it. The Passat lists fuel numbers at 8.6L/100km for city and 5.8L/100km on the highway, after my week with the Passat I averaged a very reasonable combined number of 6.8L/100km.
Volkswagen’s Passat is a well-known car, and seemingly one generation after another it seems to only get better. Attached with an as tested price of $32,550, some buyers may argue that it needs more features, like a blind-spot monitoring system, ventilated seats or even a heated steering wheel – all of which are not available on the Highline, the highest trim level available. Some of the Passat’s key competitors are the Honda Accord, Mazda6, Kia Optima, and the Toyota Camry. One huge advantage this car does have is the immense amount of rear legroom; the Passat is simply cavernous inside.
While I was outside on a nice Sunday afternoon, my neighbour said she had been eyeing the car all week and was interested in what it was like. As my week with the 2014 Passat was coming to an end, I was not looking forward to returning it. I genuinely liked the vehicle and everything it had to offer. The vehicle is diverse so it could be used as a family car or even a bachelor’s ride. Suited up or not, the Passat looked great no matter where I took it and drove even better. Even though I enjoy the TDI engines, I was fond of the TSI and think VW is en route with something good.
2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI Gallery