2014 Volkswagen Passat Sport Long-Term Update 1
Getting Comfortable, With a Disabled Honk and a Secret Key
When I hop into a new long-termer, the first things I do are adjust the driver’s seat settings to fit my pathetically short legs, and, if it comes turned on, turn off the honk that sounds when the door is locked via the key fob. That honk always startles me, even though I know it’s coming, and when parking late at night in my densely populated neighborhood, I’d rather not disrupt the quiet.
So first, the seat. Driver’s seat comfort is really important to me, because in some cars (hello, Mazda3) I can’t get ideally situated. So far I’m 95 percent happy with the driver’s seat in our long-term VW Passat. (I haven’t taken a long road trip yet.) The two-toned leatherette seat is attractive and has just the right amount of padding and support. Like in pretty much all cars, I had to move the seat way forward and raise it way up by tiny increments until I could reach the pedals with ease and see out with a full field of vision. I adjusted the side and rear mirrors, then turned the lumbar support knob a couple ticks, and I was good to go. The 5 percent I don’t like about the seat is there’s no button to save my customized setting -- my former Kia Optima long-termer was able to save two driver’s settings. After I’ve been out of town and someone else has been driving, I have to go through the whole rigmarole again to get the position exactly right.
Next, disabling the honk. That was easy: I opened the manual, which told me to go to the Convenience menu using the steering wheel menu control button, choose the ATA confirm, and un-check it. Done. While I was reading about that I came across instructions for the valet key, a pretty cool feature I’ve never had in a car. It’s a plastic key that looks fake but feels substantial, and it lives in a little niche in the glove compartment. Its purpose: to prevent the valet from accessing and perhaps wandering off with whatever you’ve got in the glove box or trunk. First, remove the key from its little perch in the glove box. It’s hard to spot -- I used the flashlight function on my phone. Push the Valet Parking button in the glove box, then lock it with the same key. Hand the key to the valet and keep the fob with you. The valet can use the key to drive the car, but it won’t open the glove box or trunk. Only the fob will do that. As L.A. is the land of valet parking, and I take my iPad everywhere and would like to be able to leave it in the car, I’m going to use this quite a bit.
|Service life||3690 mi|
|Average fuel economy||28.5 mpg|
|CO2 emissions||0.68 lb/mi|
|EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ||24/34/28 mpg|
|Energy consumption||118 kW-hr/100mi|