2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: Character
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.
The first big difference is price. Back in the day, the S-Class was selling for $60-$80,000. Our TSI stickers for $31,715 and it looks like it is selling for close to invoice now, a $1,600 discount.
The other difference is the efficiency of the engine. On the highway, the onboard fuel economy meter showed the turbocharged engine, running on regular gas, was getting 34 mpg. Back in the '80s, a Mercedes owner could buy gas for about $1.20 so it wasn't an issue. But today, both the cost of gas and the tailpipe emissions are important factors in choosing a car.
Anyway, after my friend's comments, I felt good to think we are getting more car for our money than ever before.
Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 6,820 miles