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First Drive and Review: 2014 Volkswagen Passat

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2014 Passat 1.8T SEL on Everyman Driver with Dave Erickson

 The 2014 Volkswagen Passat ranks 13 out of 21 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on US News & World Report analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen Passat, as well as reliability and safety data.  The 2014 VW Passat is geared toward buyers who need lots of space and want a sedan that’s more fun to drive than the typical midsize car, according to critics. 

Test drivers agree that the Volkswagen Passat delivers a more enjoyable driving experience than other midsize cars in its class, saying it offers strong engine choices, a comfortable ride and composed handling. The 2014 Passat is available with a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is replacing the base five-cylinder engine. Reviewers say the new turbo four is strong and delivers power smoothly. Models with this engine get 24/34 mpg city/highway, which is about average for the class.

2014 Passat 1.8T SEL on Everyman Driver with Dave Erickson

A turbodiesel four-cylinder is also available, and critics are impressed with its acceleration and excellent fuel economy of up to 31/43 mpg city/highway. A V6 engine is also available for 2014, which reviewers say has potent power. Four transmissions are available, depending which Passat model and trim you choose: two manuals, an automatic and an automated manual. Although no test driver says the Passat is a sports sedan, they say its dynamic handling and comfortable ride present buyers with an enjoyable driving experience. The Passat also comes with safety features like Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System, which automatically shuts off the fuel supply, unlocks the doors and turns the hazard lights on if an accident occurs.

2014 Passat 1.8T SEL on Everyman Driver with Dave EricksonReviewers say that the quality of the materials inside the Volkswagen Passat’s cabin, as well as its roominess, are two of the VW Passat’s best attributes. Test drivers say there is plenty of room in the back seat for adults, and that it’s comfortable for road trips. They also like the large trunk. The 2014 Passat’s standard features include Bluetooth, an auxiliary audio input and automatic headlights. The Passat can be equipped with features like VW’s new Car-Net connected services, which pairs with your smartphone to offer roadside assistance, automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle location assistance, remote car access, speed alerts, a car health report and an improved point of interest service on models with navigation.

Below, Dave Erickson goes on special assignment to Portland, Oregon to do a first drive and review of the 2014 Volkswagen Passat SEL Premium.

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