VW Passat Test Drive. Part three.

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I had to return the Passat TDI yesterday, but not before taking it for a few drives on the freeway.
Where the diesel really shines.
My gas mileage was between around 53 and 58MPG. Quite amazing.
And far better than the official numbers. And similar to what I got last year with the Golf TDI.

I have no idea why these official numbers are so low when almost everyone does much better…

City driving returned 30 MPG. Pretty much what was expected.

Still, it is not a perfect car. There are some cheap bits in the interior. Like this horrendous looking rear view mirror.
In general, the whole thing doesn’t feel as good and high quality as the previous Euro Passat.

But, it is also thousands of dollars cheaper. I guess we get what we pay for….

Also, the touch screen was never able to control my iPod. Pretty annoying. Since there was no USB connection to be found in the car.

The Passat TDI is a very punchy drive. Especially when the DSG is in the sport mode.
It’s just too bad about that DSG. In the D setting, it just zaps too much power. Again, probably starting in 2nd most of the time.

The DSG is just a bad idea for an automatic. In every model I have tried it.

The Passat might be the roomiest car in its class. Otherwise it doesn’t really offer anything special.
Unless you pick the diesel, which is both a sportier option, and a much more frugal one than the base model.

Conversation 11 comments

  1. There's absolutely no way that a vehicle that looks this derivative of a used 2010 Chevy Impala, feels/looks this cheap inside, and drives this boring could ever be worth near US 30K… Regardless of the MPG.

  2. Vince that "horrendous looking rear view mirror." is for erogonomics, and gives you a far better view then a conventional rear viewmirror. Would you have preferred they paint it a different color?

  3. Why do japane mafnufacturers don't offer a diesel?
    I love TDI frugality but VW reliability records keep me away.

  4. Hope you were wearing a mask, the WHO World Health Organization have tied diesel vehicles to cancer. Read on Left Lane News today

  5. Did you look in the glove box for the USB connector? I know what you mean about the rear view mirror, it looks like a nasty hunk of cheap plastic, almost as bad as the nasty plastics in the Sonata. I don't get MT and other press rewarding VW for this cheapened mess. No I don't see the point in picking VW over more reliable cars like the Accrod and Camry

  6. No USB connector in the glove box. That's where it was in the Beetle, but nothing in the Passat. At least the one I had.

  7. About the Diesel cancer scare… From the BBC website:

    Deadly: Diesel exhaust fumes pose the same cancer risk as passive smoking.

    Go figure…

  8. The TDI starts at $26K and that's with manual. Loaded it goes quickly through $30K.

    53-58MPG highway sounds impressive but in mixed driving mpg is much lower (especially compared to hybrids) and you do pay extra for diesel fuel.

    The Camry Hybrid should get better mpg combined and still cheaper as well with regular gas.

  9. This would be the best used deal in the world if it weren't for VW's reliability record.

    I love this car on paper, but that's where it's going to stay.

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