2014 Volkswagen Passat Review

April 3, 2014
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There are more than a couple of things that make the 2014 Volkswagen Passat a must-have deal: competitive price, good fuel economy, several engine and transmission choices, impressive array of cabin tech, roomy cabin, and upscale interior design. If you’re in the market for a midsize sedan, the new Passat is worth giving a look and try.

NEW FOR THE 2014 PASSAT

  • turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine
  • Volkswagen Car-Net system
  • standard rearview camera on most trims

UNDER THE HOOD

The 2014 Volkswagen Passat is a front-wheel-drive midsize sedan that gets its power from any of the three engines available. The first engine is a turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that makes 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The S, SE and 1.8T Sport models have a 5-speed automatic transmission as standard. A 6-speed automatic is optional but standard on the Wolfsburg Edition, SEL Premium and some SE models.

The Passat can also be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine with 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The TDI SE comes with a 6-speed automatic while the other TDI trims get a 6-speed DSG automated manual transmission.

V6 models get a 3.6-liter VR6 engine that generates 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A 6-speed DSG automatic is the only transmission available for this engine.

The EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2014 Passat are the following:

Model City/Hwy MPG
1.8L 4-cyl, 5-spd manual 24/35
1.8L 4-cyl, 6-spd automatic 22/34
2.0L TDI SE, 6-spd automatic 31/43
2.0L TDI SE, 6-spd DSG 30/40
3.6L V6, 6-spd DSG 20/28

 

ON THE ROAD

The Passat is a good vehicle for everyday driving as it provides a relaxed, quiet and refined ride. Steering is precise and the sedan is stable in corners.

But the Passat’s performance largely depends on what’s under the hood. The new 1.8T engine delivers power more smoothly and returns better fuel economy than the passé 2.5-liter four. The TDI is certainly the engine to choose if you care more about fuel economy. It’s lively even with just 140 hp, but the 1.8T is still quicker. The V6 engine is, of course, the most powerful in the lineup. It’s the one that delivers thrilling acceleration.

The DSG transmission feels just like a conventional automatic transmission. It even downshifts more quickly in highway passing. But if you’re not used to how a DSG transmission behaves, you can opt for a Passat 1.8T with an automatic transmission.

INSIDE THE 2014 PASSAT

The Passat’s cabin is very spacious for a midsize sedan. Front seats are roomy and in the back, there’s plenty of legroom for adult passengers to stretch their legs. The sedan’s trunk also tops the class with nearly 16 cubic feet of space. If that’s not enough for you, you can make use of the rear-seat pass-through or fold the rear seatbacks down to make more room.

Interior materials aren’t cheap. The layout of the controls is simple and the overall design is actually classy.

KEY FEATURES

The 2014 VW Passat has 13 trim levels. Here are the key standard features that go with each trim.

S: cruise control, 2 key fobs, child safety locks for rear doors, automatic door locks, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio system, auxiliary audio jack, Bluetooth, 6 airbags, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, daytime running lights, automatic headlights, 16-inch steel wheels

WOLFSBURG EDITION: 8-speaker audio system, satellite radio, iPod interface, 8-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, heated front seats, Volkswagen Car-Net, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and brake handle, rear center armrest, power side mirrors with turn signals, 16-inch alloy wheels

SE: heated power side mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome exhaust tip, chrome window trim, leather-like door trim panels, multifunction trip computer, auto-dimming rearview mirror, 8-speaker audio system with touchscreen display and HD radio, leatherette upholstery, rearview camera

1.8T SPORT: sport seats, aluminum pedals, fog lights, 19-inch alloy wheels, rear slip spoiler

SE W/ SUNROOF: 18-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof

SE W/ SUNROOF AND NAVIGATION: keyless access with push-button start, touchscreen navigation system

SEL PREMIUM: dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, interior ambient lighting, Fender audio system, 8-way power front seats with lumbar support, sport seats, rear-seat pass-through, premium touchscreen navigation system, wood interior trim, leather seats, fog lights, power heated side mirrors with turn signals and memory, chrome exterior accents

TDI SE: all SE features

TDI SE W/ SUNROOF: all SE w/sunroof features

TDI SE W/ SUNROOF AND NAVIGATION: fog lights, keyless access with push-button start, touchscreen navigation system

V6 SE: Fender audio system, sport seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, chrome dual exhaust tips, fog lights, power sunroof

V6 SEL PREMIUM: dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless access with push-button start, remote start, interior ambient lighting, iPod interface, 8-way power front seats with lumbar support, premium touchscreen navigation, wood interior trim, leather seats

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Photo credit: thecarconnection.com

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