2014 Volkswagen Passat Sport Long-Term Arrival
Sporty Passat Makes a Promising First Impression
The MT staff has consistently held the Passat in high regard, so much so that we named it our 2012 Car of the Year. The engines on that Passat were an adequate 2.5-liter I-5 and a turbodiesel we adored, and we noted that we were looking forward to a new direct injected and/or turbocharged four-cylinder replacement in the near future. Well, the future has arrived. Our new long-term Passat revs a 1.8L turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder making 170 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, and we’re eager to put it to a year’s test in all sorts of driving.
The Sport Edition is a new trim for the Passat and slots below the 1.8T SEL Premium. Sporty bits include foglights with low-speed corner illumination, brushed aluminum-look pedal covers (they’re actually stainless steel), V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, a rearview mirror, a rear spoiler, and 19-inch Luxor alloy wheels with all-season tires. (I won’t have much use for the heated side mirrors and heated windshield washer nozzles in sunny SoCal.) The two available transmissions are a five-speed manual and a six-speed auto with Tiptronic paddle shifters and Sport mode, and that’s the one we got. Our only add-on was a set of four heavy-duty MojoMats and a heavy-duty trunk liner with CarGo blocks ($235). Those will be appreciated on road trips, as will the 18.5-gallon fuel and the EPA rated 24 city/34 highway/28 combined mpg. Bonus: It takes regular gas.
Inside, there’s no navigation system, but the Passat is VW Car-Net equipped—the system is like OnStar, with roadside assistance, live navigation, accident response, and emergency calling—and it’s free for six months. There’s also no sunroof or pushbutton start; you’ll need to option those if you want ‘em, or step up to SEL Premium. So far the touchscreen radio with available XM/Sirius Satellite Radio (free for three months) and is easy to use and see. It comes with an MDI iPod cable connector compatible with the iPhone 5, and guess who has an iPhone 4. Luckily my sister’s Audi had a 4 cable she wasn’t using, so I swiped it. The interior design is clean and modern, and the two-tone upholstery complements the Candy White exterior with a black roof. There are heated front seats, and the eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat has lumbar support. Three 12V power outlets keep electronics charged.
"The Candy White paint looks great against the black top, and the alloy wheels say "Notice Me!""
So far, multiple staffers have complimented the exterior looks and been wowed by the 39.1 inches of rear legroom. “It’s HUGE back here!” one passenger said. “It feels like I’m in a front seat.” That’s good news for a year full of road trips and other assorted fun.
|Price as Tested||$28,730|
|Service life||1 mo/1505 mi|
|Average fuel economy||27.9 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||0.70 lb/mi|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||24/34/28 mpg|
|Energy consumption||121 kW-hr/100mi|