Saturday, March 28, 2015
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

Fraisure Smith hearing delayed twice Friday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 14 Comments | Gallery

 
Luncheon honors women for their work to help others

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Sheepdogs, handlers flock to Rio Vista for trials

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Solano Rotary clubs honor top firefighters from across county

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Eatery to host event to support child with cancer

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Project begins to brighten downtown Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 21 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 26, 2016

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

Suisun police log: March 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Going home to mother

By Murray Bass | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

 
.

US / World

 
Jury says Silicon Valley firm did not discriminate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
Gov. Brown signs $1 billion water plan for dry California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Public defender: San Francisco jail inmates forced to fight

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
NY mayor: Someone may have ‘inappropriately’ tapped gas line

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Feds: Baltimore jail illegally keeping juveniles in solitary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Autopsies determine children found in freezer were slain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Fetus debate looms following charges in womb-cutting case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
‘Sopranos’ star’s apartment destroyed by blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Pilot who scared passengers sues airline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

‘Mad Men’ costumes, props head to Smithsonian

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
US economy showing signs of durability

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

Mexico City businesses cite losses during Bond filming

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Nelson set to return to role as Coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
German airline could face ‘unlimited’ damages for Alps crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Co-pilot appeared healthy, but may have hidden illness

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
About 4,000 fishermen stranded on Indonesian islands

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Warships move in key strait as airstrikes widen in Yemen

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Iran says nuke talks focused despite Yemen crisis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

At least 9 dead as militants attack hotel in Somali capital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned by Italy high court

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Living

Books as decor: Versatile but meaningful design elements

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Today in History: March 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: March 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

My elderly mother is so stingy I’m finding excuses not to visit her

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
The newest fitness trend: Mixing it up

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Entertainment

‘Stomp’ stopped by NYC blast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Mannequin museum show hits New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
‘Teen Mom’ star charged in picture posting case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

People: Zane Malik

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Larry David Broadway role handed to Jason Alexander

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Curry, Thompson lead Warriors in rout over Grizzlies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Evans helps desperate Pelicans end skid vs. Kings, 102-88

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Ranuado goes 6 for Rangers’ but A’s rally for 7-6 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Notre Dame beats Stanford women 81-60, advances to Elite Eight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
A-Rod’s cousin pleads guilty in Florida steroids case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Durant to have another surgery, miss rest of season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Chicago rooftop owner charged with trying to defraud Cubs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gift returns: Sterling wife wants house, $1 million

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Shaq acknowledges regret about decision to leave Magic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NASCAR topic: Cheating with tire pressure, or just hot air?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hot Rod Hundley, former NBA player and Jazz announcer, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Area resident Jimmy Walker takes lead in Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Logano wins Martinsville pole; Elliott to start 27th

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for March 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Home Seller 3/28/2015

Books as decor: Versatile but meaningful design elements

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

Real estate transactions for March 28, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2