April 15, 2014
A friend of mine is in the market for a new car, and specifically a midsize family sedan with good fuel economy. I suggested he take a look at our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI and he was quite impressed when I brought it by. Mainly, the enormous back seat means he can set the front seats as far back as he wants without worrying about bumping up against his rear-facing child seat. When you're 6-foot-4 like he is, that matters. The cavernous trunk was another attraction. His wife was almost in shock at how deep it was.
However, the Ford Fusion Hybrid has also caught his eye. Although I was quite impressed with it during our hybrid sedan comparison test, my gut reaction was that it would be considerably more expensive than the Passat TDI. I was wrong.
March 14, 2014
There are a lot of things to like about our 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI. Here are seven I noted after a weekend with the car. I hardly drove anywhere, so the car's astonishing range is not in the list:
1. Feels big, drives small: The 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI is plenty roomy on the inside, but it drives and parks like a much smaller car.
2. Easy Bluetooth Audio. Many cars have fussy steps for instituting Bluetooth Audio. Not this car. It's a snap.
3. Ginormous trunk space. I can't fill it up, even at Costco. I keep trying.
October 9, 2013
The 2013 Passat has a very large trunk, which is good, because I need to move a very large dress.
September 17, 2013
I'm aware that we're beating you over the head with joyous posts about the 2013 VW Passat's cavernous space and cargo ability. Now it's my turn to contribute. But there's an important lesson in here, if for no one but me.
I started playing drums long before I could drive. Once I could drive, a whole new world opened to me: gigs. Primarily high school and college house parties, and bars where the manager wasn't particularly concerned with the ages of the musicians.
My Nissan pickup at the time was the perfect hauler. The open bed was a security worry, but sharing a bit of the evening's earnings with the doorman always kept our cars safe from fast fingers. That Nissan ingrained in me the belief that I'd always want a truck if I was to keep playing drums and lugging them around.
But I have to admit, the Passat has shown me another way.
August 28, 2013
My to-do list for the weekend was short, but it included the demolition of the bathrooms at my new old house. I could have rented a truck to haul around the shop vac, six-foot ladder and assortment of pry bars and sledgehammers I borrowed from friends, but the more time I spend with our long-term 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI, the more respect I have for its hauling capabilities.
The VW's trunk measures 15.9 cubic feet. That's a healthy number for a family sedan, but what really makes this car useful is the huge pass-through space when you fold down the 60/40-split rear seats.
August 22, 2013
My bicycle was stolen recently. I'll spare you the details, but there was a lot of pouting, and the bike needed replacing. Summer is in full swing and I haven't spent nearly enough time outdoors, so I enlisted the services of our 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI to check out a second-hand bike from an ad on Craigslist.
August 21, 2013
After my experience with our 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI the previous weekend, it really wasn't surprising that our large VW managed a three-person golf outing with ease.
As the photo shows, our golf bags, including Takahashi's silly giant cart bag, fit width-ways with drivers (as in the golf club, not the car pilot) in place. In many cars you need to remove the driver (ditto) or place a bag or two diagonally. The Passat's trunk couldn't make it easier, and in fact, we probably could've fit in an extra bag if our fourth passenger had decided to join us (see below).
August 16, 2013
The perfect car for the journey. That pretty much sums up my experience with the Volkswagen Passat TDI as it transported two couples and a trunk filled with their stuff to Las Vegas and back. The only better cars would surely cost $90,000.
As a 6-foot-3 driver, it's not very often that a full-size adult can fit behind me over long distances without one of us feeling mushed. Yet with the giant Passat, I didn't have to (as usual) put my tiny wife behind me or even care how far I moved my seat back. As for the trunk, it managed three sizeable Roll-aboard suitcases, an overnight bag, my briefcase and a 36-liter roller cooler that impressively fit all the way rearward. No Tetris needed, it all went in without effort.
July 26, 2013
I had an awkwardly shaped TV stand and a 6-foot-2 floor lamp to transport a few blocks. Now, I could've taken the easy route and used my wife's Mazda 3 hatchback, but what kind of automotive journalist would I be if I did that? Before going to the bullpen, so to speak, I had to see if my own starting pitcher was up to the task.
July 22, 2013
You can fit the starting midfield for the German national soccer team in the 2013 Volkswagen Passat's rear-seat, yet the center console is this skinny, inefficient space. I think even the Focus ST's is larger. Lame.
Look, no one's gonna mistake the Passat for a driver's car. It's a nice, big utility sedan with a premium sheen. As such, give me big bins and compartments where I can throw keys, phone, wallet, sunglasses, gate opener, a compact camera sometimes, access cards to the office and garage, and other junk that attaches itself throughout the day.