Photo by A. Ogletree
The 2014 Volkswagen Passat is a midsize sedan with a roomy interior and very good fuel efficiency, which is boosted by its optional diesel engine.
The Passat has an understated but stylish appearance that gives it an air of luxury both inside and out. There’s a creased hood that sweeps toward a handsome front fascia that comes with optional fog lights.
The inside offers comfortable seating for two up front, three in the rear. There’s a neatly arranged dashboard that has its controls placed intuitively. All materials seem to be of good quality.
There are a number of engine choices, starting with the base 1.8-liter four-cylinder that improves on the fuel economy of the previous five-cylinder and makes 170 horsepower. Another choice is the 3.6-liter six-cylinder that makes 280 horsepower. The diesel option, which our tester was, is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 140 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet of torque.
The engines are rated at 24 mpg city, 34 highway for the base, 20 and 28 for the V-6 and 31 and 43 for the diesel.
Despite being impressed with its fuel economy and torque, we noticed a fairly persistent turbo lag in the diesel engine, putting a damper on what was otherwise a pleasant driving experience.
For technology options, you can choose VW’s new Car-Net system, which links to your smartphone to provide access to roadside assistance, stolen vehicle location, crash notifications and speed or boundary alerts for parents of young drivers.
The Passat gets very high safety ratings, providing you with extra peace of mind.
The Passat starts at around $22,000 and ranges to about $36,000.With nice styling and very good fuel economy, it is a viable competitor in the midsize sedan market.