August 21, 2014
It's been years since I've visited Six Flags Magic Mountain, but the impending closure of one of its most famous roller coasters meant I felt compelled to make the trip. The coaster-heavy theme park was about to retire Colossus, the wooden behemoth that, to me, served as Magic Mountain's mascot. I needed something comfortable for the long ride to and from Valencia, so I grabbed the keys to our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI for the weekend and drove up on a Saturday.
August 13, 2014
In reading through previous entries in this blog for our long-term 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI, I noticed that my colleague Mike Monticello found the front seats to be marvelous for someone with his trim frame but wondered how a wide-bodied driver would do.
Much as I hate to admit it, I'm fairly wide-bodied at 6'2" and 238 pounds. And I can provide an answer.
August 5, 2014
It's been a busy month for our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI, 3,222 miles in several long road trips, the most miles in any month since we got the silver sedan.
That's probably why this also was one of the VW's best months ever for fuel efficiency.
August 4, 2014
My teenage son and I visited my mom up in the Bay Area last weekend. I was lucky enough to take our long-term 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI. I say lucky because the more time I spend in the Passat, the more I like it.
July 28, 2014
After staying in Chandler, Arizona for the night, it was off to Nissan's proving grounds in Stanfield the next morning to get some background information on the 2015 Nissan Murano.
July 25, 2014
Driving the miles and miles of desert highway from southern California to Nissan's proving grounds near Phoenix, Arizona gave me much time to consider the front seats in the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI.
July 24, 2014
Just as with our 5,000-mile update, it's continued to be smooth sailing, mechanically, up to the 10,000-mile mark for the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI.
July 23, 2014
Could you sense a tinge of sarcasm in that headline exclamation point? No? Well, it was there.
Not that there's anything wrong with Phoenix, Arizona, but this hotbed of desert heat is far from my first destination choice. Especially in the middle of summer.
July 21, 2014
In my last update, I showed you everything my family of four put in the trunk of Edmunds' long-term 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI for our extended weekend with friends in Mammoth Lakes, California.
You already know that the Passat's trunk performed admirably. But what about the passenger compartment?
July 18, 2014
I rarely notice a car door. Unless something is glaringly wrong like a super loud squeak or a handle not working, I don't pay attention to the door when I'm getting in or out of a car. Done it too many times to even notice I'm doing it. So when I got out of our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI this weekend, I was surprised to have the door catch my attention.
July 17, 2014
Say you and your spouse have two smallish kids. Let's also say you two crazy lovebirds decide to take your smallish kids on a summer road trip to Mammoth Lakes, California (approximately 300 miles away from your home), to meet up with two other families and do fun summer lake stuff together for a four-day weekend.
And suppose you had also recently purchased a 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI as your family car because you feel that a midsize sedan — and the Passat specifically — is the best choice for your family, as it serves your needs perfectly 95 percent of the time, is easy to park, has a massive trunk (pictured) and looks good. Great reasons. You don't like crossovers, SUVs, minivans and wagons. You like to drive a sedan. I feel ya. Rock on, sedan-lover.
(Note from the writer: My husband and I have not recently purchased a Passat. We drove Edmunds' long-term Passat TSI for this road trip, but that tidbit didn't fit in with my pastoral about this fictitious family.)
Now let's look at how you might fit all the stuff that a family of four with two smallish children needs for an extended weekend road trip in summertime Mammoth.
July 10, 2014
I like to drive each of our long-term cars into the hills of nearby Palos Verdes to judge how easy or difficult they find the climb.
July 09, 2014
I parked our long-term 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI in my driveway this weekend. I live on a hill near the Pacific Ocean where the sun beats down heating things up pretty darn good. Whenever I get into a car during daylight hours, the interior is hot.
July 07, 2014
My family and I just got back from a road trip to Mammoth Lakes, California. The full story of that trip and our experiences in the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI will have to wait for another update (or two); this post is all about the car's fuel economy over the last month.
July 1, 2014
A long commute to work means I spend a large amount of time listening to terrestrial and satellite radio. I have begun to appreciate the logic of radio presets in cars like our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI. I like how FM, AM, and SiriusXM channels can be programmed all on the same list of presets.
June 13, 2014
Most of the trim on our long-term 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI is well built from high-quality materials, but this piece isn't. It's the mounting surface around the fuel filler neck. Instead of being made of sheet metal or hard plastic, it's a strange flimsy rubber. It flexes and bends under the weight of the fuel nozzle, which disengages the fuel pump's automatic-fill-latch-thingy, and makes for an annoying fuel stop.
June 5, 2014
Back in March, we set a new low for fuel economy in our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI at 21.1 mpg. In May that figure dropped even lower to our worse tank yet, just 18.7 mpg.
With our best fill holding at 33 mpg, our new lifetime average for the car is now less than 26 mpg, or 2 mpg lower than the EPA's combined city/highway rating of 28 mpg.
May 28, 2014
After about 30 minutes of working just fine, the Bluetooth streaming in our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI decided to stop playing music and start playing a single, high-pitched tone at stupid-high volume.
Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?
May 23, 2014
I find the audio interface in our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI very easy to use. The simple design and logical button layout makes navigating it a breeze. And I welcome the inherent element of customization this system offers.
May 22, 2014
As much as I appreciate the keyless entry feature on our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI, there is one aspect of it that I really dislike. With the key in my pocket, I slide my hand behind either front door handle and it unlocks. But it does not unlock the rear doors at the same time.
May 21, 2014
After several days in our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI I have to say, the Passat makes the car seat shuffle refreshingly easy. Three things stand out as examples of how the Passat does it right with respect to car seats...
May 20, 2014
External trunk lid hinges on our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI are the only blemish on an otherwise excellent trunk design. The Passat has a large opening for easy cargo loading and it is spacious, to the tune of 15.9 cubic feet. Divided cubbies near either taillight offer space for storing delicate items as well. There is a lot to like, here.
May 2, 2014
Driving the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI is a lot easier than I expected. Weighing in at a tad over 3,200 pounds, I was concerned the 1.8-liter four-cylinder 170-horsepower engine might come up a bit short, turbocharged or not.
No problem at all.
April 29, 2014
I popped the hood to check the oil in our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI, which is usually a dirty job. Not only was the dipstick clearly visible, and made of plastic so I didn't burn my fingers, but there was barely a speck of dust on the engine cover.
April 28, 2014
I took a day trip in the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI with a friend who is really into old Mercedes. He said this Passat makes him think of the '80s-era S-Class Mercedes. In particular he mentioned it was the simplicity of the dash layout, the size of cabin (particularly the backseat) and the overall feel of solid German engineering that impressed him. Not only that, but it's a car that actually has some character.
But there are at least two big differences between this 2014 VW and a 1980s era Mercedes.
April 18, 2014
Oh yeah, the bike fits. Lengthwise, no less. The scooter and the helmet fit, too. There's even enough room for the kid that rides that stuff, but we don't put her back there too often.
April 11, 2014
I spent last weekend in the car on the left, our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI, but what I'm about to say also applies to our silver 2013 Passat TDI on the right and (to some extent) even the 2014 BMW 3 Series GT in the center. All of these cars have a soft brake pedal feel, and it drives me a little nuts in normal driving situations.
April 8, 2014
It was Cesar Chavez Day in the state of California, and in Los Angeles, we commuters celebrate all holidays, however state or nationally recognized. They typically mean lighter traffic, and on my route, a chance to push the speedometer past 35 mph.
April 7, 2014
We put 1,017 miles on our long-term 2014 Volkswagen Passat 1.8 TSI in March. Almost of all of it was city driving, and we're learning that VW's 170-horsepower, turbocharged and direct-injected, 1.8-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine is quite sensitive to driving style in these conditions. We set a new low for mpg at 21.1 mpg, well short of the car's 24 mpg EPA city rating.
April 2, 2014
My sister called from Michigan complaining her 2010 Chrysler Town & County blew its second tire this week in a giant slush-filled pothole.
While searching Tirerack.com for minivan replacement tires ($124 each for the OE Bridgestones), I figured I'd check the price on tires for the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI I'm currently driving.
April 1, 2014
I've driven our long-term 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI several times, but until recently, I'd never been in the backseat. I was curious to see what kind of room it provided for a human-sized guinea pig, so I set the front seat position about an inch farther back than I normally would (I'm about 5-feet-9-inches tall) and climbed in the back.
March 26, 2014
I like keyless start systems. They make sense. Get in the car with the key in your pocket, hit the button and go.
So the first time I saw a car that had a slot for the key fob even though it was a keyless ignition, I was confused. Why take the key out and put it in the dash? Doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of a keyless start setup?