We tested a diesel Passat a while ago, and found it to be an interesting alternative to the average mid-sized sedan.

The diesel consistently got us mileage in the high 30’s and low 40’s.

So it was a surprise to find that the 1.8 Turbo wasn’t too far behind in the mileage department….rated at 25 city and 34 highway.   We averaged a little over 28.

Plus you get performance.   The 1.8 liter, 170 HP turbo can more than hold it’s own in fast company…and as a bonus, it does it on regular gas.

The Passat in “Premium” edition gets you a roomy, conservatively chiseled, made-in-the-USA four-door European-styled sedan….and as Passats are made just up the road in Tennessee, I guess you can call Chattanooga just as “European” as Alabama, where Some Mercedes are made….or South Carolina…home of more than a few BMW’s.

While you can get a Passat with a six-speed stick….ours, like most, came with a six-speed auto.

“Premium” gets you a heated leather and artificial suede interior that looks quite attractive and should wear well, too….plus outstanding Fender audio, nav, pretty convincing artificial wood trim and more.

“More” would also apply to room.   The Passat can easily carry 5…and very possibly half of the things that they own.   Lotsa’ legroom….and lotsa’ room in the trunk.

At a window sticker of $31,715, the Passat SEL Premium offers a good dose of European cachet and feel….for the price of the average American or Asian competitor.

Is the TDI worth the additional $2,100? That’s your call.   If you believe that the diesel will last longer, or have a higher resale value, go for it. Otherwise, at today’s prices, you’d have to drive around 125 – 150,000 miles to recoup the extra initial investment.

Either way, you’ll have a roomy, poised and well-mannered vehicle that’s a pleasure to drive.DSCN5890DSCN5891DSCN5889DSCN5849DSCN5850


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