2017 VW Passat

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Last year, VW nixed the so-so-fuel-efficient (but simple and inexpensive) 2.5 liter in-line five that used to be the Passat’s standard engine in favor of a slightly more fuel-efficient (but more expensive and complicated) four cylinder turbocharged engine.

This year, Uncle’s nixed the extremely fuel-efficient TDI diesel engine that used to be optionally available in the Passat (and other VWs).

It’s still a great car, though.17-passat-tdi

Despite Uncle.

For one thing, it’s big. Nearly full-sized inside – with a mid-sized car’s price tag.

For another, it’s very closely related to a high-end luxury car – the Audi A6.

For one more thing, it’s still available with a V6. This is a type of engine that’s becoming scarce as Uncle imposes ever-stricter fuel-efficiency fatwas.

The six doesn’t suck that much fuel, either: 20 city, 28 on the highway – vs. 23 city, 34 highway for the otherwise standard turbocharged four.

Not a big whoop.

But expect the VW six to go away soon – for the same reason other manufacturers (Mazda, for example, which no longer offers a six in the Mazda6) have been doing away with them.

Because Uncle.

WHAT IT IS17-passat-interior-1

The Passat is VW’s biggest sedan.

It’s got a smaller footprint than full-size sedans like the Chevy Impala and Toyota Avalon – but nearly as much room inside – and for a lot less money, too.

It’s also the only car in this class with German prestige-car kinship.

It’s basically a lower-profile Audi A6.17-passat-vs-a6

Prices start at $22,440 for the base S trim with the now-standard 1.8 liter turbocharged four and a six speed automatic.  A top-of-the-line SEL with VW’s 3.6 liter V6 and a six-speed automated manual (DSG) transmission stickers for $33,995.

The least expensive version of the Avalon starts at $33,250; $27,300 for the cheapest (and four cylinder-powered) Impala.

A V6 Impala Premier – comparably equipped to the top-of-the-line VW Passat SEL  – stickers for $35,645.

WHAT’S NEW17-passat-front

More like what’s gone.

No more TDI. No more manual transmission option.

Both because Uncle.

The TDI being politically incorrect – the manual being slightly less fuel-efficient than the automatics VW now uses exclusively in order to maximize its “fleet average” mileage numbers… in order to placate the old goateed SOB.uncle-pic

On the upside, all Passats lose the the awkward, VW-specific dongle hook-up thing for devices such as iPods – and get a standard USB interface in its place.

You can also get an Audi-esque R-Line version of the Passat now. It comes standard with a 19-inch wheel/tire package, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and other high-end trim upgrades.

On the saaaaaaaaafety front, a collision avoidance system with automatic braking, a blind spot monitor and land departure warning are available, too.

Thankfully, these are optional.

WHAT’S GOOD'16 Passat rear seats

Limo-like back seat. Mid-size car parkability.

$10k less to start than an Avalon.

Base-engined (four cylinder) Passat is much quicker than base-engined/four-cylinder Impala.

Costs thousands less, too.

Base-engined (four cylinder) Passat is capable of almost 40 MPG on the highway – much better than either the four-cylinder Impala or the V6-only Avalon.

WHAT’S NOT SO GOOD

No more simple five-cylinder without a turbo.

No more manual transmission.

No more diesel.

V6 is only available in the most expensive SEL trim.

DSG automatic (V6 models) is very expensive to repair/replace. Be hipped.

UNDER THE HOOD'16 Passat 1.8 engine

The Passat differs from its two chief rivals in this class in that its standard engine is a four cylinder engine but isn’t a weak engine.

It’s VW’s excellent 1.8 liter four, direct-injected and turbocharged.

It doesn’t come across as ferocious on paper – it’s rated as developing 170 hp, less than the Impala’s standard 196 hp, 2.5 liter four (and much less than the Toyota Avalon’s standard 268 hp 3.5 liter V6) but nonetheless, it manages to get the Passat to 60 in about 7.5 seconds – while also delivering 25 city, 34 highway.

This is much better on both counts than the four cylinder version of the Impala, which isn’t particularly fuel efficient (22 city, 31 highway) and not as quick (0-60 takes about 8 seconds) because it’s heavier'16 Passat shifter

While the Avalon – which comes standard with a 268 hp V6 – is quicker (6.4 seconds to 60) it’s also much more expensive and – as you’d expect – uses more fuel (21 city, 31 highway).

So, the 1.8-equipped Passat is something of a wild card in this class.

Power and economy.

Affordability, too.

The only downside, VW no longer sells a manual transmission with the Passat. It’s been taken off the roster – along with the formerly standard in-line five cylinder engine.

A six-speed automatic with Sport mode comes standard with the 1.8 liter engine.    

To go heads up with the V6 Avalon and Impala, you’ll want the available 3.6 liter V6, which makes 280 hp and is paired with a six-speed automated manual (DSG) transmission.'16 Passat V6 engine

So equipped, the Passat morphs into one of the quickest cars in its class (zero to 60 in about 6.3-6.4 seconds, even with the V6 Avalon and V6 Impala) while still maintaining class-competitive gas mileage numbers (20 city, 28 highway, slightly better than the V6 Impala’s 18 city, 28 highway) and slightly worse than the Avalon’s class-best 21 city, 31 highway).

Unfortunately , the hunky V6 is only available in the higher-cost trims, which takes away from the Passat’s otherwise huge advantage as the value proposition in this class.

It’s a shame that VW doesn’t offer the V6 as an a la carte upgrade for less-expensive Passat trims, especially the performance-themed R-Line version (which gets the suspension and wheel and tire upgrades).17-passatgauges

Also a shame is the back-benching of the formerly available TDI diesel engine option – which gave the Passat something no other car in the class offered. It appears the TDI engine will never return due to the political fallout attending the scandal.

This is VW’s fault. The company caved in completely, never explaining to the public that while it was true the “affected” cars were jiggered with to “cheat” Uncle’s emissions test, the actual emissions were literally fractional and caused harm to no one. Uncle’s tests, meanwhile, have imposed thousands of dollars in per costs, billions in cost on the industry and cost untold thousands of people their jobs.

ON THE ROAD'16 Passat road 1

You won’t be disappointed by the 1.8 liter Passat’s ability to get going.

The turbo engine’s maximum torque (184 ft.-lbs.) is made at  just 1,500 RPM – and it’s maintained throughout the power band – so it’s at your disposal whenever you need it.

 As a counterpoint, the four cylinder Impala’s torque peak (187 ft.-lbs.) isn’t achieved until you spin the engine to 4,400 RPM – which is 75 percent of redline. Real-world driving-wise, you have to floor the Impala’s gas pedal (and keep it floored) to wring anything approximating acceleration out of it – whereas light pressure on the Passat’s accelerator results in immediate forward thrust.

The Impala’s a very nice big lug of a car, but in four cylinder form, it’s under-engined. The Avalon’s also very nice – and its not under-engined – but it is expensive.

The 1.8 Passat is neither of those things.'16 Passat gauges detail

It’s not necessary to upgrade to the more expensive V6 to get a Passat that performs well.     

In addition to its generous spread of torque, the 1.8 liter engine also has a fun over-rev feature that adds to the spiciness of the experience. Put pedal to the metal and the engine will spin about 600 RPM into the red zone of the tach (about 6,500 RPM) before the transmission shifts up to the next gear. Don’t worry – it’s ok – the engine is built to handle this or VW would not have programmed it to spin that high.

It’s just a shame VW doesn’t offer this quick-punching turbocharged four with a six-speed manual transmission. Which is the case (like the departed diesel) because Uncle – whose fuel efficiency fatwas are systematically eliminating manual transmissions (which are slightly less fuel-efficient than automatics) from the new car marketplace.   

Especially the family car marketplace. Good like finding one.    

If you like to corner, spring for the R-Line. You’ll get bumped up not one, not two but three sizes, wheel-wise, from the base car’s 16-inch rims to 19s, shoed with sport tires that sharpen the car’s already excellent reflexes and without killing the ride quality. This is a point worth harping on for a moment. It is often the case that going with 19 or 20-inch wheels results in a car that feels like a Harley hardtail on anything but glass-smooth pavement, of which there’s not much in these days of crumbling infrastructure.'16 Passat wheels

VW (being Audi’s budget arm) knows how to dial in suspensions for handling without killing the car’s ride.

A big part of that equation is getting a handle on the car’s weight.

It’s hard to make a tank like the Impala – which weighs in at almost 3,700 pounds for the four cylinder model – agile and smooth. The Passat 1.8 weighs just 3,263 pounds –  vs. 3,662 pounds for the four cylinder Impala. That’s a difference of almost 400 pounds.

Ask a chassis engineer about dealing with that. About tying it all down.

Even the Avalon is a fatty compared with the VW – which is surprising for a Toyota.'16 Passat road 2

Both of them – the Impala and the Avalon – are great highway cars and exceptionally comfortable cruising-around-town cars. But don’t try to keep up with a Passat in the curves.

Another tangible metric of the VW’s superior maneuverability is its much tighter turning circle – 36.4 feet vs. the Impala’s 40 feet and the Avalon’s 38.8 feet.

Now, it’s true the Impala and the Avalon are both a bit larger on the outside. But that’s no excuse given they are both less roomy on the inside.

Let’s have a look at that now.

AT THE CURB'16 Passat cut-away

The Passat is 191.9 inches long overall vs. 195.3 for the Avalon – and a truly Shamu-like 201.3 inches long overall vs. the Impala.

But check the interior specs.

The VW has 42.4 inches of front seat legroom and 39.1 inches in its second row – slightly more room in both rows than the Avalon (42.1 inches and 39.2 inches, respectively) and nearly as much room as the much larger-on-the-outside Impala (45.8 inches of legroom up front and 39.8 in the second row).

The Impala does have a couple inches more legroom up front – but anything more than 42 inches is  of relevance to the NBA statured only. I’m 6ft 3 – and need to slide the Passat’s (and the Impala’s) driver seat forward to get my feet comfortably close to the pedals.'16 Passat night

It’s the back seat number that’s functionally more relevant. And the Passat’s is virtually the same as the much larger on the outside Impala’s.

Also – the VW has several inches more headroom for the driver and front seat passenger than the Impala: 42.4 inches vs. 39.9 inches. The Avalon has even less room for your head – 38.5 inches.

Keep in mind that Germans are large people – and the Passat was designed by such people.

Headroom in the second row is more generous as well, though not to such an obvious degree: 37.8 inches vs. 37.4 in the Impala and 37.9 in the Avalon.

The one measure where the VW’s smaller package manifests is trunk space. It has a mid-sized car’s 15.9 cubic footer.  The Impala boasts a Goodfellas-style (two bodies) 18.8 cube trunk.'16 Passat foot swipe

On the other hand, the Avalon’s trunk is only 16 cubic feet – an unnoticeable difference vs. the Passat’s.

The Passat’s trunk has a useful pass-through that makes it feasible to carry a pair of skis (or some 2x4s) inside the car with the trunk closed.

Visually, the Passat is less striking than the sleek – and imposing (due to its exterior size) Impala. It shares with its Audi cousins a kind of understated but still upscale ambiance, especially inside – where the materials and trim used in even the base S version are all above-par. This classiness is particularly striking given the $22k-ish base price of the Passat – which is thousands of dollars less than least expensive versions of either the Avalon or the Impala. They had better be nice given what you’re expected to pay for one. But you don’t expect the Passat to be as nice as it is given what you’re asked to pay for it.'16 Passat glamor shot    

Even the base ($22k) Passat S comes with dual zone climate control, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, power windows and locks, a nice six-speaker stereo and an LCD touchscreen.

All standard.

The much more expensive-to-start Impala does not come standard with climate control – it has manual AC. The Avalon is better-equipped as it sits (heated leather seats, an eight-speaker stereo and a larger LCD touchscreen) but then it ought to be better equipped as-it-sits given it costs about $10k more to start.

If you order the R-Line Passat, you will get most of the things that come in the more expensive Avalon and Impala (including leather trim) and (for a little more) heated leather seats and still pay a lot less than you would for either the Impala or the Avalon.

And you’ll get the 19-inch wheel/tire package, too.

THE REST'16 Passat interior details

VW has added a bunch of electronic stuff – for those who want such stuff. This includes collision mitigation with automatic braking, a blind spot monitor rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning. Luckily – for those who do not want such stuff and prefer not to pay extra for it – it’s optional and so (for now) avoidable.

This is just me ranting here, but someone more interested in driving than texting doesn’t need the above stuff – which adds both expense and distraction as the buzzers beep and lights light.

Adaptive cruise control is available  – but it’s a not-obnoxious technology (unlike the above). Same goes for the available foot-swipe trunk opener and the new Car-Net smartphone integration that includes Android Auto, CarPlay and MirrorLink.

Best of all, the weird (and uniquely) VW little dongle thingie that the Passat used to come with, that you had to use to connect your iPod or phone with, has been thrown in the woods in favor of a standard USB port.'16 Passat gadget 2

Worst of all, the TDI engine is unavailable – and not just in the Passat.

VW has had to bend knee to Uncle and isn’t selling any TDI engines in any of its current cars, including the Beetle and Golf and Jetta as well as the Passat.

They are gone for good.

Thanks, Uncle.       

THE BOTTOM LINE    

Despite taking some serious hits, the Passat is still one of the most appealing – and affordable – family cars in the under $30k bracket. You get more car for your money – literally.

But the death – the murder – of the TDI engine is nothing less than tragic.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. My daughter just bought one of these 2 weeks ago, and SEL with the V6

    What a total joy to drive, she adores it. Driveability is second to none in its class, and the thing is beautiful in a sophisticated and understated way. It is not over styled, but very tasteful.

    She got the thing at an incredible price as well, just at 30k loaded up.

    This is the best kept secret of the midsized auto market. But I am starting to see more and more of them on the road.

    Myself I am waiting for the Atlas. I saw one at the auto show this past weekend, it was a pre-production model but looked great, perhaps a worthy replacement for my work Tahoe (283k miles).

    I will look forward to Eric’s review of the Atlas.

  2. Any word what the B7 TDI Passat mileage may drop to once Mr. EPA gets done w it? Or will Trump’s new EPA czar kill all this? Will that model of TDI drop further in value or go up in value as no new TDI’s will never come in to USA?

    #wishfulthinking

    • Hi Perfect Day,

      It’d be a guess at this point – in re the mileage – but you can bet the price of the car will go up.

      Trump’s EPA appointment is a semi-good omen… much better, at least, than what we would have gotten for sure had Hillary ascended.

    • I agree with Eric, I think these will become more valuable. I have a 2014 Cayenne Diesel and have more than one offer to buy it already.

      The guys at Porsche store are telling me that performance is not expected to suffer with the so-called fix, but the mileage will probably drop. I have no plans to take the deal at this point to ‘fix’ it just on principle. If I am forced to for one reason or another – like unable to register it in the state – I will take thew cash and spend it on a new VW. I figure it is the least I can do for this great company.

  3. I drive a B6 (prior generation) Passat wagon with the 3.6L vr6 engine as my daily driver. The engine is a joy joy joy to drive. However, there are some caveats to this engine that those thinking about buying and keeping a vr6 Passat for a long time should be aware of. Realistically, you must be prepared to maintain the guides, tensioners, and rails on this engine every 100-125k miles or so. The 3.6L vr6 is a ‘higher maintenance than VW is willing to advertise or acknowledge’ engine in the true VW tradition. If the engine bay in the new Passat model is like the one I drive, maintaining the guides, tensioners, and rails will be an especially expensive repair (figure $2-3k). However, in return you get all that German-ness stuff that Eric talks about which you will not get in, say, an Avalon.

  4. Nice thorough review Eric.

    I’ve seriously considered the Passat for my next car but I’m haunted by VW reliability worries. I’m intrigued by the V6 (really a VR6), but the cost premium is too much (I’m sure Uncle has something to do with that too). I’d consider the R version but not sure I’d want to pay extra for 19″ tires for the life of the car, not to mention the extra unsprung weight.

    I’ve also seen some crazy good deals on VWs around here (NC). I think VW is desperate to get past this scandal.

    • Hi Robbie,

      Try the 1.8 turbo; you may be pleasantly surprised. And – open secret – VW is desperate. See the earlier posts about the deals available on 2017s… and even more so, the remaining stock of new 2016s.

      I have no doubt you could acquire a Passat for less than dealer invoice at this point.

    • Robbie,

      For what it’s worth, I’ve owned VWs from every decade since the ’70s and never had a major problem with any of them. Well, intermittent brake issues with my Super Beetle, but that’s a whole nother thing..

      I think reliability is really good across the board today. Obviously, as cars get old the costs get greater and it remains to be seen how direct injection, for instance, will fare over time. I bought the 2015 late last year and cross shopped a bunch of different sedans, including a bunch of high-line European cars, but the Passat was by far the best car for the money. I don’t normally buy new, but I would definitely consider it today, given the situation with VW.

      Good luck!

      • I am concerned with long term reliability. I keep my cars a loooong time. My current daily driver (2000 Accord) was purchased new almost 17 years ago and has 244k miles on it with very few issues during that time.

        • I am, too. The reality is that there is almost no way this Passat will be as reliable as your Accord for that many miles. I am not planning on keeping mine that long, simply because of the technical complexity. We also have a 2007Jetta with the 2.5 and a manual – I suspect this one will be a long-timer.

          It’s a tough call, man. The 2016 Accord is a very different animal from yours, so I’m not sure 244K is in the cards there, either.

          • A new Accord is on my list but only with a manual – no CVTs for me.

            I can’t believe how much it has grown over the years. The Civic is now about the size of my Accord.

  5. It’s subjective, but I think this is a Great Looking Car. I’m so sick of garish grills, and the Nissan Maxima type over-styling that afflicts so many new cars (thankfully in most cases, not as badly as the Maxima itself.)

    I’m sick of alpha numeric vehicle names too. So Passat scores again.

    Guess I’m in the minority, but I like cars with quick 0-60 times. Unfortunately, the V-6’s 6.3 second run is not fast enough to rock my boat.

    If they offer a Passat “wagon,” with all the go fast stuff, I might be seriously tempted. If not, this is one of those cars I could afford, and really like, but would never buy.

    • Hi Mike,

      I am with you on both counts. I dislike the now-generic alpha numeric names and am not a fan of kabuki opera (or, as Eight puts it, catfish) styling. The Passat is a car that has a recognizable name and a style that is handsome and will wear well.

      I just wish it were still available with the TDI…

  6. “The VW has 42.4 inches of front seat legroom and 39.1 inches in its second row – slightly more room in both rows than the Avalon (42.1 inches and 39.2 inches, respectively)”

    These figures are basically a wash, but the Avalon is a tiny bit larger in the back for legroom.

    • They ought to rename the Toyota to something relevant to its nature. I am thinking the “Toyota Somnolent” or the “Toyota Narcoleptic”.

  7. Here’s another bonus to the consumer (not to VW): The price you can realistically get out the door with one of these is crazy low. VW dealerships nationwide are desperate to move inventory, so they are selling these things at fire sale prices if you’re willing to take what is on the lot.

    For example, a brand new 2017 Passat on my local VW lot is already selling for a $1500 discount. That’s basically selling it at Invoice already. These 2017 models literally just arrived on the lot within the last month or two. If you’re willing to get a 2016 model that is still brand new, they’re selling for as much as $6,000 off MSRP. Just look up your local VW dealership online and look for the sale prices.

    I’m cruising around in a new 2016 GTI (and loving it so far). When I was working out the paperwork after the deal was sealed (getting some $7k off sticker), I got into a candid conversation about VW’s situation with the guy. He told me that sales had dropped at the local dealership to about 1/3rd of their normal monthly volume for several months after the “scandal” and that even now they’re selling only about 50% of what they would otherwise be selling, based on previous years and the fact that the rest of the auto industry is humming along (for now).

    What this means is that they have more inventory coming in than they are selling, and the longer a car sits on their lot, the more it starts to cost the dealership. VW is still making and pushing out these things, and they haven’t cut back on production very much, if any, on most models. Thus the ONLY way to move them off the lot is to cut crazy deals.

    Now what you’re wondering is “how can the dealership afford this?” And this is the caveat. VW’s own financing department is not going to finance these things at this far below Invoice. If you go with the really low financing rates offered by VW, you’ll pay a higher base price. The dealerships are paid more by VW if they get their financing outside of VW than through VW, even for highly qualified buyers (like myself). They also don’t want you to put a lot of money down b/c they want to finance as much of the purchase price as possible. The more you finance, the more they make off the financing deal. That’s how they are able to cut the price so much. I’m not sure how they’re handling trade-ins in such cases.

    For those who have never bought a VW, be prepared for a much more upscale experience than you get when purchasing a Toyota, Honda, Chevy, Ford, etc. VW considers themselves, rightfully so, a somewhat premium brand. So you’ll find yourself getting more perks than you will with any other mainstream dealership and it is, honestly, comparable to my experiences with Cadillac dealerships of the past (though not on the level of a BMW or Mercedes dealership, but obviously without the extra cost, either).

    Industry-wide, the fact that VW is trying to avoid financing their own new cars is VERY interesting to me. It suggests that someone in VW financial services is expecting a major downturn in the economy, and soon. Otherwise, they would be tripping over themselves to take on the loan risk of offering loans to new car buyers rather than leave that money on the table for another company (Bank of America, Chase, etc.) to grab through financing. It’s possible that they’re expecting only a downturn in the automobile market, and there seems to be other evidence to support this idea. Many other manufacturers seem to be pulling back on growth forecasts and even restricting production of many popular models, anticipating at least a slow down if not a crash. This may also reflect on a behind-the-scenes expectation of a more significant impending bubble burst/economic crash. It’s one thing to listen to politicians and economists praise how well the economy is performing. It’s another to look at actual entrepreneurs, even in a massive company like VW, whose actions speak more loudly. It may just be VW trying to recover, but I suspect there’s more to it than just VW’s hard times.

    • Excellent SJ – especially in re the dealer financing stuff. My radar is pinging, too. Anecdotally, I find that literally everyone I know agrees with me that new car costs have become preposterously high. Not just the car itself, but the other costs associated with buying new. They are opting out.

      I was merely an early adopter!

      • Speaking of associated cost of buying new, in Colorado the gas taxes are low, but the registration taxes are sky high. I just paid an extra $800 cash to keep the potholes on I-70 in good condition for another year. The 2012 A3’s tax was “only” $280. Yet another reason to buy used!

        Interesting note, with the new vehicle the Jeep dealer did financing through a bank, not Fiat/Chrysler. Since I don’t plan on keeping the loan for the full term I didn’t really think much of it, but after Sojourner’s comment, it makes sense. That and maybe because the cash back incentives are going to work out better even with a little higher interest rate, especially since it’s going to be an early payoff.

    • I test-drove a Passat a few years ago and liked how it looked and how it drove. There were a couple of initial quality issues with it that would have been fixed by the service department. But what killed the deal was getting in an argument with the finance guy. After being burned by my ’95 Jetta GLX (I have many stories), and in comparison how well I was treated by the Lexus dealer even when looking at a 10-year old SUV, walking was my best option.

      Maybe the current crisis is what the dealers need to get their house in order. And maybe it’ll kill off the ones that don’t treat customers well.

  8. Is a 1 second difference in 0 to 60 that big of a difference to choose the V6? It doesn’t seem like it. I would think the low end torque advantage of the turbo would be more appealing.

    • Hi C_lover,

      Not to me! Or, I suspect, most people. The 1 second stuff is stuff that car magazines go ape over. In the real world, it is a difference without much distinction.

      • eric, it must be ONLY the car mags that go ape for it. Up to a couple years ago I hadn’t driven a new car in forever. I was surprised they were all madmen, every brand. Tromp one and they fly, torque steer and all. From the way people drive I wouldn’t have guessed it. What I thought was the reality, you had to thrash hell out of them to get to 75 was so much bullhockey. People still enter onto the interstate so slowly you often have to pull out and pass or either stay in the inside lane for them to get up to speed. Little did I guess they could be doing 90 easily before blending in.

        It seems as though the general driving public is not asleep at the wheel but having a stroke at the wheel. I’d guess 95% will never know how fast their car will accelerate……ever. There’s also a large percentage that must not have cruise control although the cars they’re driving probably aren’t even made without it. Cars pass trucks like Step Child that’s limited to 70mph left and right but come up on a cop with radar(or without)and slam on their brakes forcing me to slow too. WTF is up with that? I guess that crowd must stay off the interstate from Thurs. afternoon through Sunday since Thurs. Fri., and Sat. people are hauling ass…..esp. Friday afternoon.

        It’s that same crowd that pass me and I’m coming up on a slower truck about to change lanes with it all times out and they slam on the brakes and follow that slow rig with the front of their car at the back of the truck, the perfect place to hang out and collect 300 lbs of tire.

        On two lane roads people will ride my ass and I can identify some of those vehicles with 350=400 hp but they still can’t pass. The only vehicles I have a prayer of tromping it and going around me when the way is clear are almost always driving GM and Dodge pickups. You’d think cars had 40 hp and they had to time a two mile straightaway to get around and they’re just simply not up to it at that moment……so they’ll stack traffic up behind them, totally unnecessarily.

    • C, I personally don’t care about 0-60 times, but 9.7 times out of 10 I’ve found V6s so much nicer to drive everyday vs. turbo 4s of similar torque ratings and such. Plus peace of mind knowing there are bigger chunky internals vs. high strung boosted overstressed 4s. If I could get my car not boosted with a V6 instead, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

  9. I absolutely love our 2015, which is very similar to the 2017, but without the nanny shit! The rear seat room and seat comfort really sold me on it. The 19 inch rims, I think, really help the car, as well as the chrome accents on the SEL.

    I had a 1998 Passat 1.8T with a five-speed that only got a couple more mpg on the highway. I loved that car, but this one is way nicer. I recently did a long trip (8 1/2 hours each way) through South Dakota and the car just sang along at 85-90mph.

    It’s primarily my wife’s driver, so it won’t see more than 8-9k a year. Can’t say enough good things about the car.

    Thanks for the review, eric! Glad I made the right call.

    • I rented one last year. I had ti for 2 weeks and didn’t want to give it back I had a deposit on a TDi, they had to order the color I wanted. This was a week before the SHTF. No TDI for me!

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