2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: Road Trip Cabin Report
July 21, 2014
In my last update, I showed you everything my family of four put in the trunk of Edmunds' long-term 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI for our extended weekend with friends in Mammoth Lakes, California.
You already know that the Passat's trunk performed admirably. But what about the passenger compartment?
During the drive to and from Mammoth, conditions inside the Passat were not ideal. With the kids' car seats, road trip snacks, drinks, kiddo activity packs, books, lap desks, and pillows (plus all the cheese bread we bought at Schat's Bakkery in Bishop both coming and going — we are weak) and necessary for both comfort and entertainment of all passengers (aged 44, 41, 8 and 4), it was pretty tight in the front passenger and back seats. (You'll have to take my word for it; my pics of the cramped conditions are not fit to publish.) Every inch of floor space was occupied by either cargo or feet, and if you were in the back seat, sometimes it was cargo under feet.
At one point during the drive, to give them some relief (and let's face it, we benefitted from this, as well), our kids moved into the minivan of one of the other families of four caravanning with us on the trip. Not surprisingly, our offspring were much happier with this scenario. While we were in Mammoth, they elected this option as often as they could when our entire group had to drive somewhere, like Mono Lake (pictured above) for the very informative and enjoyable sunset walking tour.
Now, under normal everyday driving conditions, the Passat has plenty of space and it's quite comfortable. I drive my kids to school in a coupe, so this midsize sedan feels downright huge to me for everyday living with kids.
In road trip mode, however, I found myself wishing we had a larger car in all respects. A larger back seat with more legroom/floor space would have made our kids' ride much more comfortable. Granted, bringing a little less stuff probably would have helped, too.
And while the trunk swallowed an impressive amount of stuff, a taller cargo area, like that of a crossover or SUV, would have allowed us to bring my 4-year-old's best friend and daily driver: his 12-inch bicycle, something we had planned on including before we actually packed.
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor @ 9,752 miles