Friday, October 24, 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

 
 
‘The Rocky Horror Show’ finds a home on stage

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

For sale: Solano home with Nike missile bunkers

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
Salvation Army debuts giant kettle for holidays campaign

By Robinson Kuntz | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Suisun City police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Oct. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

New survey details vast scope of teen dating abuse

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Boosters seek to keep Bay Bridge light display

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Brown opens up spending in campaign’s final month

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Driver attacked after ice cream truck kills boy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 8 Comments | Gallery

$50,000 reward to find killer of Anaheim girl, 9

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

 
Video shows bikers taunting California officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 5 Comments

California man guilty in wife’s stabbing death

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
US tech firm fined for underpaying Indian workers

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

Suspect in girl’s 1984 killing was police employee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
PTSD argued in case of Marine jailed in Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 7 Comments | Gallery

Paintings in national parks spark probe, furor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
For teen with passport, Syria trip can be seamless

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Border deaths drop to 15-year low

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 3 Comments

 
Prisoner in Afghanistan to be tried in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

US, SKorea agree to delay wartime control transfer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
US officials: Iraqi army regrouping slowly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Gary killings put spotlight on abandoned buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Lawmakers seek to end benefits to former Nazis

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

NK experts: US must apologize to free detainees

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ebola: A crash course in fear and how it hurts us

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 4 Comments

Cremation fears leave empty Ebola beds in Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Ex-Mountie hero of shooting at Canada’s Parliament

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Canada gunman wanted a passport to go to Mideast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NYC mayor: Don’t be alarmed by doctor’s Ebola

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

NY doctor back from Guinea has Ebola, 1st in city

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
.

Opinion

 
Planning Commission not listening to the people

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 14 Comments

Not sure I trust government on Ebola

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

 
Is America prepared for Ebola or is threat overhyped?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Oct. 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Oct. 24-30, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: ‘John Wick’ delivers non-stop action

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Entertainment calendar Oct. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Burns’ series gives PBS a ratings milestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Q&A: Mick Jagger, the film producer, heads to work

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6, 1 Comment

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

 
At 1-all, World Series moves to quirky Giants park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Giants’ Hudson to face Royals’ Guthrie in Game 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
College notebook: Cordes chosen to try out for USA national team

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Homecoming still on but no game for VCS

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
Compton among PGA leaders at Sea Island

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Steve Nash ruled out for season with back injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Judge questions $75M NCAA concussion settlement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Arizona men near-unanimous pick by media to win Pac-12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Raiders may lose Woodley to biceps injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

No. 6 Oregon looks to extend streak against Cal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
The Write Way: KC coach’s lineup cards are artful

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Prep football capsules: Week 8

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Manning, Sanders lead Broncos past Chargers, 35-21

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Business

Honda Fit becomes even more intriguing small car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Letting your car find a spot and park itself

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2, 1 Comment | Gallery

Zuckerberg speaks Chinese, Beijing students cheer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

 
Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

A blue Christmas for Amazon?

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9