The made-in-Chattanooga Passat is Volkswagen’s answer to Camrys, Fusions, Accords, Altimas, Malibus, Mazda 6s, Sonatas, Optimas…and I may have left out a few.
In other words, it’s a crowded field.
VW’s Passat stands out in that crowded field in a couple of ways.
One is size. It’s a big “mid-sized” car. You often see sedans measured by the number of golf bags that can fit in their trunks. The Passat appears to be able to swallow a fivesome plus their bags quite easily.
Another distinction that the Passat offers is a diesel engine option.
The ‘Ssat’s 2.0 liter diesel runs thru either a 6-speed manual or auto….and delivers 140 HP. Doesn’t sound like much, I know. But torque is what diesels are noted for, and the Passat punches out a solid 236 ft lbs in that department….more than enough to easily move out in style…without even dialing in “Sport” mode.
And the other thing that diesels are known for is mileage. While rated at 30 city and 40 highway, our test TDI consistently got 44+ in my mixed X-Way / two-lane commute. In fact, on a laid-back Good Friday Morning, I touched an indicated 50 mpg before running into red lights and finishing with an even 48. Who’s gonna’ complain?
Maybe it’s the German influence, but the Passat TDI seems to have a little more “mechanical” feel about it…..in a good way. You can hear and feel the engine and transmission working it seems….in a reassuring way.
More good news? Our top-of-the-line test TDI SEL Premium stickered at $33,815…including destination charge. You get a clean, well-equipped vehicle for that price…including leather trim with ( warm ) synthetic suede sitting surfaces, an outstanding Fender audio system, sunroof, nav, 18” alloys….and a whole lotta’ room.
Want to save around $4,400? Drop the leather, nav, audio upgrade, and larger alloys….and keep the room. You’ll slide in at less than $29,500.
Drop the diesel and go with their turbo 1.8 or the 5-cylinder 2.5 and you can save even more.
But if I drove 20,000 miles a year or more, there’s no question that I’d go with the TDI and it’s real-world 40+ mpg….along with the diesel’s reputation for durablility.
Diesel smoke and smell? A thing of the past. If it didn’t say “TDI” on the trunk lid, the average driver might never know.
Love the longevity and high mileage of the diesel but want something a little different? VW offers it’s 2.0 TDI in the Jetta sedan and SportWagen, the Beetle and Golf. Take off and travel. Your bladder will stop you long before your empty fuel tank does.