Saturday, August 30, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Volkswagen Passat a fuelish family sedan

By
From page C1 | March 28, 2014 |

Don’t be fooled by the mild-looking exterior of the Volkswagen Passat sedan.

This mid-size four door comes with a solid, stable ride, European-style handling, exceptional back-seat legroom and superlative fuel economy.

In fact, the Passat differentiates itself well from other mid-size family sedans because it is one of the few sold in the United States that offers buyers a choice of gasoline or diesel engine and automatic or manual transmission.

With VW’s turbocharged diesel four cylinder and five-speed manual, the 2014 Passat ranks second best in fuel mileage among non-hybrid, non-electric sedans sold in the United States. The federal government ratings are an impressive 31 miles per gallon in city driving and 43 mpg on the highway for a combined travel range of nearly 600 miles on a single tank of diesel.

The numbers drop slightly to 30/40 mpg with VW’s Tiptronic automatic, but based on experience with a test Passat diesel Tiptronic, these results are achievable.

Indeed, a slightly modified 2014 diesel Passat, driven for maximum fuel mileage, set a Guinness World Record of nearly 78 mpg.

Plus, the 2014 Passat, like its 2012 and 2013 predecessors, earned top, five out of five stars overall in federal government crash tests.

The Passat also is a recommended buy of Consumer Reports magazine, which lists predicted reliability as average.

Buyers get to pick among several trim levels and engines — one of which uses diesel.

Note that while VW announced it is replacing the 2.5-liter, gasoline, five-cylinder engine that was in the Passat with a 1.8-liter, double overhead cam, turbocharged, gasoline four cylinder, buyers may still find 2.5L models on dealer lots.

Starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price, including destination charge, is $21,815 for a base, 2014 Passat S with the 170-horsepower, turbocharged, gasoline four cylinder and five-speed manual. The lowest starting retail price for a 2014 Passat S with the gasoline turbo four and six-speed Tiptronic automatic is $22,915.

Mileage ratings for the turbo four gasoline engine are 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg to 35 mpg on the highway, depending on the transmission.

The 2014 Passat with the turbocharged diesel four cylinder, is pricier, in part, because it includes more standard equipment, such as rearview camera and heated front seats. Starting MSRP, including destination charge, is $27,495 for a 2014 Passat TDI SE manual and $29,495 with an automatic.

Competitors run the gamut from the top-selling car in America — the Toyota Camry — to the Chevrolet Malibu. Starting retail price for the base, 2014 Camry L with 170-horsepower, naturally aspirated, gasoline four cylinder and automatic transmission is $23,235. The base, 2014 Chevrolet Malibu LS with 196-horsepower, naturally aspirated, gasoline four cylinder and automatic transmission carries a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $23,990.

Neither the 2014 Camry nor Malibu offers manual transmissions or diesel engines.

The Passat is styled on the outside cleanly and pleasantly. But no one gave the test car a second look. Some observers said the car, an upscale SEL Premium model, looked a bit plain, despite though the sticker price of more than $34,000.

Inside, the Passat exhibited VW functionality and a back seat with 39.1 inches of legroom — more than a 2014 Honda Accord and the larger Ford Taurus.

Buttons and knobs were well laid out in the Passat and had good tactile feel. The dashboard had a no-nonsense, horizontal appearance, even with a display screen in the middle.

But an enthusiast driver will enjoy the thick-all-the-way-around steering wheel, the properly positioned foot rest for the driver’s left foot and the supportive, adjustable driver’s seat.

The tester had a bonus: A 400-watt Fender premium audio system.

The typical diesel engine clatter came through at startup, acceleration and when the car was sitting idle at stoplights. It’s noticeable to people who are standing outside the car, too.

But the Passat seems to minimize road and wind noise.

The car rode stably and a bit firmly so passengers felt some vibrations as the car traveled over sunken manhole covers and broken pavement.

But the test Passat did not drive like the large, 16-foot-long car that it is. Rather, the sedan remained buttoned down to the road during abrupt, emergency maneuvers and drove easily in normal circumstances. It also managed mountain twisty roads with composure.

Speed can be deceptive. Several times, the test car was at 50 miles per hour without the driver noticing.

The Passat TDI tester had the 2-liter, double overhead cam, turbocharged, diesel four cylinder with direct injection. While horsepower of 140 is less than that of the Camry and Malibu and many other mid-size sedans, the Passat’s torque, or low-end “oomph,” is palpable and satisfying.

Fully 236 foot-pounds of torque comes on at 1,750 rpm, so a driver can scoot around obstacles and accelerate into traffic from a stop with impressive power.

In comparison, the peak torque in a 2014 Camry with four cylinder is 170 foot-pounds at a high 4,700 rpm. It’s 248 foot-pounds, also at 4,700 rpm, in a Camry with V-6.

Even with spirited driving, the test Passat averaged 35 mpg in combined city/highway travel, which translated into a generous 647-mile range on a single tank.

At today’s $4 average for a gallon of diesel, filling the Passat’s 18.5-gallon tank can cost nearly $75.

A few nits in the test car: While rear doors are long and have sizable openings, the windows go down only about halfway. And the middle person in the back seat has to straddle a sizable hump in the floor.

The Passat has only six air bags, while the Camry comes with 10.

2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium

BASE PRICE: $20,995 for 1.8T S with manual; $22,095 for 1.8T S with Tiptronic; $23,995 for 1.8T Wolfsburg Edition; $24,775 for 1.8T SE manual; $25,875 for 1.8T SE Tiptronic; $26,475 for 1.8T Sport manual; $26,675 for TDI SE manual; $28,675 for TDI SE Tiptronic with sunroof; $30,375 for TDI SE Tiptronic with sunroof and navigation; $33,395 for TDI SEL Premium.

PRICE AS TESTED: $34,215.

TYPE: Front-engine, front-wheel drive, five-passenger, mid-size sedan.

ENGINE: 2-liter, double overhead cam, turbocharged/intercooled, diesel, inline four cylinder with direct injection.

MILEAGE: 30 mpg (city), 40 mpg (highway).

TOP SPEED: NA

LENGTH: 191.6 inches.

WHEELBASE: 110.4 inches.

CURB WEIGHT: 3.459 pounds.

BUILT AT: Chattanooga, Tenn.

OPTIONS: None.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Clarksburg family rolls with times

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fresh, fruity, summer and fall Delta pitstops

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Saving the Gakuen: A bit of history tucked away in Clarksburg

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Old, new collide in Freeport

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Vacaville honors top crossing guards

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
 
 
State lifts Solano moth quarantine

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Gallo subsidiary wins bid for Winterhawk Winery

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B10 | Gallery

Green Valley teachers get wet for a good cause

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B12

 
The Leaven helps reach at-risk kids

By Murray Bass | From Page: B12

No plea as suspect in Suisun slaying appears in court

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Weather for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B13

.

US / World

Man is guilty of murder after his dogs kill woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
California teacher reprimanded for sending tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

N. California officer accused of beating woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
California appeals teacher tenure ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lawmakers pass first California groundwater rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Lawmakers send gun restraining order bill to Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California marijuana grow stole reservation water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Feds critical of California twin tunnel project

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

California mentally ill inmates get special units

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
1K-pound alligator caught in Alabama sets record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Manatees may lose endangered species status

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Marathon bombing suspect: Delay trial until 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Border Patrol agent fires at armed militia member

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Westerners linked to extremist groups in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Rescuers locate 20 of 24 trapped in Nicaragua mine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
At heart of Syria fears, extremists returning home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Experimental Ebola drug heals all monkeys in study

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

Cheers, jeers for the week of Aug. 24-30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Changing election dates: Dems seek more domination

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

Zombies are not for fun

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Our irresponsible sister is getting the house and mistreats Mom

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Ex-Myanmar beauty queen accused of stealing crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Cee Lo Green enters no contest plea in drug case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Chris Brown due back in DC court for plea hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire destroys house on late author Clancy’s estate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Chelsea Clinton quits as NBC News reporter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Daughter: Joan Rivers is in ‘serious condition

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Hip-hop moves as strong force for Michael Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Sports

 
No. 11 Stanford set to open season vs. UC Davis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

After eventful offseason, Northwestern meets Cal Bears in opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Armijo opens its football season with 26-7 win at San Rafael

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JC women’s soccer: Solano kicks off season with 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Raiders face decisions at QB heading into opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Prep volleyball: Vacaville Christian falls to D-I power Davis

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Palmer opens with a 63 to lead in Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Pernice, Bryant share Champions Tour lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

I.K. Kim increases Portland Classic lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
A’s fall back in AL West, blanked by Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Posey goes 5 for 5 in 6 innings, Giants rout Brewers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Errani’s ‘cottage cheese’ serve tops Venus at Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Tony Stewart back at the track, looking to heal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Jerry Lee Trammell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Florence Virginia Boes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Darrell D. Stevens

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Lois C. Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Hazel Gertrude Wamsley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Home Seller 08/30/14

Real estate transactions for Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2