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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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?
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.
March 18, 2014
I recently volunteered to indebt myself to a bank for far, far too long. But driving the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI on the multiple fact-finding missions toward this end somewhat alleviated this grim prospect. The Passat feels like an adult's car.
March 11, 2014
Our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI recently hit the 5,000-mile mark and it's been a smooth ride so far. No problems to report and plenty of compliments on its smooth, quiet engine.
February 28, 2014
If you go by Volkswagen commercials, typical Passat owners would include dads who have kids super into Star Wars, goofy corporate types who air drum and sing Rush, dads who can't throw worth a damn, guys with tennis balls hanging in their garages, and "lucky" dads.
Hey, I think I qualify on all counts!
February 26, 2014
Our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI comes standard with keyless ignition/entry, which means you can keep the key fob tucked away (in your pocket or handbag, presumably). As you approach, the car recognizes that the fob is close and then allows you to open the door and start the car with the push-button ignition. Personally, I find this feature to be very convenient. If I were thinking about buying a Passat, I'd consider it one more draw for the SEL trim level.
February 13, 2014
After a fine weekend with our 2014 Volkswagen Passat 1.8 TSI (the one that takes gasoline), I encountered a curious problem with the audio system on my way to work one morning.
When I got into our silver family sedan, the radio was still on 101.1 FM (L.A.'s oldies station has become a compromise radio station for my husband and me). After a few seconds, the sound cut out. I then switched to my more usual 89.3 (yes, public radio), started listening to the news, and after a few seconds, the sound cut out again.
February 11, 2014
If you've got a school-aged kiddo like mine, you know the omnipresent roller bag. When I was a kid her age, I had a locker where I kept my school books and a small canvas backpack to haul homework back and forth. Now, however, lockers have gone extinct and laptops, chargers, textbooks, reading books, binders, lunch box, water bottle, and all manner of flotsam and jetsam travel to and from school every day.
January 21, 2014
We recently published a list spotlighting 10 vehicles available with features that may be useful for certain older drivers and the 2014 Volkswagen Passat made the cut.
January 17, 2014
A friend of mine is in the market for a new car. He recently rode in our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI and mentioned this is one of the cars he's considering. He's married with no kids, so he probably won't be using the generous legroom in the second row much. But he's a large guy, and for that reason, I think he finds the overall spaciousness of the cabin appealing.
Since he's working within a tight budget, I did a double-take at first when he said the Passat is on his short list. The car's refined handling and spare-but handsome cabin cause it to come across as more expensive than it actually is, and it doesn't naturally come to mind when I think of the most economical choices.