2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: Car Seat Friendly
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...
Lower LATCH hooks are visible beneath the seatbacks and you need not flay your fingertips to access them. The only difficulty was access to the upper tethers. This may not apply to all car seats, however, as the shape of our convertible seat required the rear headrest be removed for proper seat installation. And removal of the headrest required a special tool, of my own design, to depress a hidden button while simultaneously pressing the visible, vertical adjustment button. I tossed it in the trunk and never looked back.
Center-Mount Car Seat Access
Not all midsize sedans make it easy to mount the child seat in the center. Of course, this can vary depending upon the child seat brand. Our convertible seat fits great on the slight hump while still attaching snugly to the center tethers. So how do rear seat passengers fare with the seat installed? It's tight. But both outboard safety belts are fully accessible. Two mid-sized adults wouldn't complain over short distances.
Back Seat Accessibility
Another important quality, according to my back, is how easily my three-year-old can get into the seat. Just this morning he muttered a, "Daddy, this car is really easy to climb into. There is a little step." This kid climbs in and out of different cars almost as often as his dad, so I'm going to consider his an expert opinion. The step he's referring to is the door sill. So this ease of entry would apply to any car this height. But still, if he can climb in and out easily, it makes my job easier. That's a win in my book.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 7,846 miles