Last year the Volkswagen Passat had one major flaw that took away from the fact that it is a roomy, well designed, high quality family sedan on every other count. Its entry level engine, a wheezy (no, we don’t mean Mrs. Jefferson) 2.5 liter 5-cylinder, did little but spur any buyer with the means to do so to opt instead for the superior 2.0 liter TDI turbodiesel motor.
But there are still those in this country who don’t want a diesel engined automobile in their garage or in their life. They worry about smelly hands after refueling (not true) and not being able to find a gas station that carries diesel fuel. So for them, Volkswagen has introduced an all new base motor that as it turns out is anything but—the 1.8 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder puts out 170 horsepower/184 lb. feet of torque but if that sounds low to you don’t fret because this motor is on boost nearly from idle.
The standard 6-speed automatic works brilliantly with this new motor offering quick, smooth shifts that enable the Passat to feel lighter on its feet than a vehicle its size has any right to barring some form of black magic. We are pretty sure that Volkswagen did not use any witchcraft on the new 2014 Passat 1.8 turbo but we must admit that its EPA fuel economy numbers of 24 city/35 highway are pretty mystical.
That Passat also has an 18.5 gallon fuel tank so it is the perfect road trip car whether you are headed out to Palm Springs or a party where all you do is dance to techno music with your shirt off. Also impressive is the 15.9 cubic foot trunk if perhaps you are on your way to compete in a drag competition and the back seat simply beats everything in the family sedan class for spaciousness. You can decide to use the back seat however you choose, no judgments here.
As was true before, the 2014 Volkswagen Passat still has a very smooth yet fairly agile suspension set-up that we definitely appreciate. The steering system is also a tad heavier than the class norm but overall it makes the Passat feel sportier. The interior is the picture of calm serenity on the road yet this new Passat 1.8T currently is priced just over $26,000 to start. And that’s just until Volkswagen fully phases out the 2.5 liter which is still available as a price leader.
However, if you want to love your new 2014 Passat please take our advice and pick either the 1.8 liter turbo motor or the turbodiesel. Not only will you enjoy the driving experience more, we think it’s an act of cruelty to burden an otherwise excellent sedan like the Passat with a geriatric motor that would be better served as a boat anchor.