2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: Same Engine, Different Car
March 19, 2014
Our long-term 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI's 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is one of the great engines out there, boasting energetic power and excellent fuel economy. It certainly seems well-suited to our big Passat, bringing it from zero to 60 mph in a quicker-than-average 7.7 seconds and thus-far returning 27 mpg (versus an EPA 28). Plus, it hasn't done many miles at this point, so future road trips could improve that number.
However, this engine gets even better in smaller vehicles. It's a major reason to buy the otherwise unremarkable Jetta, and was thoroughly impressive in a European-market Seat Leon I rented recently while on vacation in Switzerland.
Attached to a slick Volkswagen six-speed manual and paired to the Leon's "FR" sport package, the 1.8-turbo helped create the impression of a hot hatch lite. Not only did it provide ample get-up on the mountain roads of Switzerland's Bernese Oberland, it managed a remarkable trip average of 36.6 mpg. Credit an Eco setting that aids fuel economy without sucking the life out of the throttle.
Though there's zero hope of getting the brilliant little Leon here in the United States, the fact that it's based on the next-generation Golf certainly provides a glimpse of how good that car will be when it eventually shows up here.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor