October 13, 2014
October 9, 2014
Day 4: Willcox, Arizona to Lake Forest, California, 571 miles.
Another early morning wake-up call on my Texas Road Trip. Partially because, once again, I wanted to get in a run before I hit the road in the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI, and partially because I wanted to get home at a reasonable hour to get some things done.
Arizona had gotten some rain the day before, and the sky was full of leftover clouds for a cool-looking sunrise. It also helped my mood that I found a much nicer backroad to run on near my hotel, kind of off in the country, than I had on my trip over in New Mexico. I'm telling you, I'm loving this early-morning run thing on road trips. Even if it means sacrificing 45 minutes or so of sleep.
I took a slightly different route home to California than I had to Texas.
September 30, 2014
Day 1: Lake Forest, California to Deming, New Mexico, 688 miles.
I needed to get to Austin, Texas for the press launch of the 2015 Audi S3. Here at Edmunds we have a bunch of long-term cars, so it was decided I would drive instead of taking the easy way and flying.
Edmunds car czar, Mike Schmidt, said our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI was most in need of some mileage lovin' (my words, not his), so that's what I took on my road trip.
Now, because I'm awesome (and by that I mean I'm about as far from awesome as you can get), I left, oh, about three-and-a-half hours later than intended. It's kinda my thing.
September 24, 2014
Since we took delivery of our 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI back in December, it has performed the regular commuting duties with little or no fuss. Our VW has also undertaken a few moderate road trips and hauling duties, you know typical sedan stuff. It has served us as well as any other midsized family sedan in this capacity. It also went to our test track.
The big news with this 2014 Passat isn't its ability to hold five people pretty comfortably, we knew it did that. The interesting bit is actually its new 1.8-liter, four-cylinder gasoline motor that pumps out 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.
How'd it do?
September 10, 2014
It's almost an automotive cliché that German cars are "solid," that they deliver a certain gravity of sensory experience that other sedans don't always deliver.
It's the trunk thunk, the door close, the steering wheel feel, the buttons, dials and controls. All those little details add up to the feeling of a well-built car.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
February 27, 2014
When the current generation Volkswagen Passat debuted for 2012, its base engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, was hardly a standout. For 2014, the competition is even better, and that sets up the 2.5 as an underperformer for both acceleration and fuel economy.
With the 2014 Passat's newly available turbocharged 1.8-liter engine, though, the game has changed.