August 7, 2012
A couple of weeks ago William gave us his review of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.5. While William loved the roominess and quality of the interior, he was less impressed with the 2.5 liter gasoline 5-cylinder motivation. I have driven the Volkswagen 5-cylinder in the Passat and a few other vehicles and I'm inclined to agree with him. In response to that, the Passat is taking another turn in the CheersandGears.com garage this week except this time with an oil burner under the hood and me at the helm. Diesel powered cars have been enjoying a rapid increase in sales lately and Volkswagen is one of the largest purveyors of diesel cars in the US. Diesels accounted for 19.4% of Volkswagen’s sales in July of 2012.
This 2012 Passat TDI has a sticker price of $28,665 and is equipped with sunroof, and automatic climate control. At first that may sound high for a conservative mid-size car, but given the amount of room, equipment, and of course fuel economy, the Passat TDI starts to look quite the bargain.
The Passat TDI is EPA rated at 30mpg city and 40mpg highway with a combined rating of 34mpg. The only other mid-size cars that can touch that are the hybrids from Toyota, Hyundai, and Kia. However, the Passat TDI regularly gets real world numbers that beat the EPA rating by a substantial margin.
As for power, the 2 liter turbo diesel is rated at just 140 horsepower but also sends 235 ft-lb of torque through the 6-speed DSG to the front wheels. All 236 ft-lb becomes available at just 1,500 rpm which I unwittingly found out when making a left hand turn during my initial drive and ended up slapped by the traction control nanny as the front wheels broke loose. The pull from the engine around town is a lot stronger than anyone expects from a 2 liter 4 cylinder.
For this week, I will be driving my normal commute till Friday to get a good read on the city fuel economy. Starting Friday evening until Monday afternoon, I will be taking the Passat on a long distance trip so I can get a good reading of the cruising fuel economy.
Even just the first 5 miles of driving the Passat reinforced my “smooth but different” opinion of the Volkswagen 6-speed DSG transmission that was established during the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo review.
So gear up your questions for this week’s interactive review of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI.