2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: Texas Road Trip, Day 3
October 2, 2014
Day 3: Austin, Texas to Willcox, Arizona, 805 miles.
With the 2015 Audi S3 press event over and done in Austin, I wasn't as constrained by time commitments for the homeward-bound portion of the Texas Road Trip. That meant I could sleep in a little bit and go for a relaxing (albeit hot and muggy) run down by the Colorado River. I was on the road by 9:45 a.m., earlier than Day 1's 1:30 p.m., more civilized than Day 2's 6:30 a.m. wheels-up time.
Plus, I knew I would have time changes on my side heading west in the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI.
It was pretty easy-going getting out of Austin on a Sunday morn, and by the time I was in west Texas Interstate 10 was downright empty. Refreshing.
Hit some good rainstorms on the way out of Texas, as I had in Arizona and New Mexico on the way over. The Passat handled them without any problem, I just slowed the speed down some to lessen the chance of aquaplaning over any standing water. Of course I wondered aloud (and no one heard, or cared) why some of this rain couldn't find its way to southern California. Why, Ma Nature, why? Come on!
I digress. Spending this many hours in a car gives you plenty of opportunity to listen to the sound system. I try not to get all consumed by name brands, nor do I consider myself an audiophile/music snob/expert like colleague Dan Frio (he knows everything about music. And knows it.), but even to these tone-deaf ears I must say the Fender audio system in the Passat sounds dang good. Other than a few moments of quiet reflection (another thing you have plenty of with a life on the road), there was almost always something coming through the sharp-sounding speakers to keep me company.
The day was going smoothly, so I pushed on through New Mexico and made it to Willcox, Arizona, ensuring the final day would be fairly easy mileage-wise. It sure helps when you're driving a car with a fuss-free ride and such comfy seats.
For this leg of the journey, the Passat averaged 31.2 mpg.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 17,316 miles