2014 Volkswagen Passat S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Being in the market for a mid-size family car in the most competitive segment, I found the Passat quite a balanced choice. The combination of performance and spaciousness is very accommodating. The 1.8 Turbo breaths smoothly and effortless, marking a significant difference, especially when your weekend driving involves a few mountain ranges (which will surprise some V8 drivers out there).
The six-speed automatic shifts seamlessly (almost as a CVT without the retrofitting side-effect). Power is always available thanks to the engine's low end torque. In fewer words, I just love the driving dynamics of the Passat regardless of the package you choose.
Cabin and trunk space. Comfortable road manners which are especially appreciated in long road trips. Fit and finish is good especially in the higher end versions. Did I already mentioned my favorite feature: the synergistic effect of the 1.8 TSI powertrain which propels the 3 ton Passat as if it were a Fiat 500. Not to mention 35 MPG average when coasting on the highway?...
Tires! The OEM Hankook tires are a big disappointment. They add unnecessary road noise to an otherwise quite cabin. They particularly louder on rough pavement. VW cars and drivers deserve better tires...
Appreciate your comment re. the tires.
At our test drive earlier this Spring I commented to the salesman that we loved the car but the road noise was a deal breaker for us.
His response was (1) replace the tires at our expense with no credit for those on already on the car or, (2) install aftermarket sound deadening in the rear wheel wells and behind the rear seat - at around $900.
Needless to say we decided to wait to see if this issue is resolved with the 2015 model.
If not, we'll get something else as we need to do something in the next few months but this really bugs me because it's such a wart on what appears to be an ideal vehicle for us.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.