I have officially had my Passat for about 3 weeks now and I think I can give a pretty good review of it now. I was going to do a 2 week review but I was in Denver, CO for the last week for a software engineering conference. I flew there since Denver is like 2000 miles away and my work would not give me that much time off. Anyways I finally have gathered my thoughts for the past 1500 miles.
First lets start with the looks. The Passat really is the most mature looking car in VW’s line. And they have really stepped up their game with the B7.5 update. I really like the sharp lines and the aggressive hood bulge. Only place the I feel could look a little sharper would be the trunk lid. That could probably be fixed with a small lip spoiler.
Another thing that I enjoy about the looks of it is just how much larger it is than the Jetta. I really like these wheels which for 2016 is only on the SEL trim. If anything it might look nice lowered about an inch. Also window tint is in the works this week. I am trying to decide how dark to go. 15% or 35%. Also the LED lighting package is fantastic on this car, DRL’s look sweet and they are super bright at night.
Next up is the interior. The interior is very nice but pretty standard for VW. It has all of the things you would expect to be wrapped in leather and whatnot. Leather seats, not just the regular leatherette, and the seats are memory. Also the rear seats are heated and include a USB for charging, vents in the back, and nice storage as well. The seats are comfortable and supportive but not as supportive for cornering (obviously). The interior has lots of cool tech and has the upgraded, and amazing fender audio. In comparison, the interior feels much more premium when comparing it to my Jetta. Also really enjoy the dual zone climate, very practical since my girlfriend is always cold and I love to blast the A/C.
As far as tech / features, the Passat does pretty well for its class. Has a nice head unit with Nav, Android Auto/Carplay, Gives you near by gas and weather. The gauge cluster is simple and clean, nothing too crazy. Also includes an analog clock in the dash, although not for much reason.
Finally the most important thing. How it drives. First of all, this is the first automatic car that I have owned since my first car, 4 cars ago. So you can imagine this was a huge change. I went this direction for 2 reasons though, one because my commute now contains a bit of traffic around Baltimore, and two because VW does not sell any high trim manuals anymore. Plus I do plan on picking up a toy in the next few months so stay tuned. Anyways this car has the newest rendition of the 1.8T making around 170hp, which doesn’t sound like much for how big of a car it is but really its more than enough, a car like this just doesn’t need lots of power. And the 1.8T is still much quicker than the TDI I have gotten used to, especially in the high revs and it has a pretty good torque band. If you let it rev all the way out to 6500 it makes a good noise and revs smooth with hardly any turbo lag. Although the most of the power is up high. As far as the auto gearbox, it is a lot more likable than any other auto I have driven, and I really was sure that I was going to hate the auto but this one does a good job at keeping it efficient on most drives and when in sport mode it keeps it within the torque band pretty well. And as far as the manual shift modes it shifts nearly as quickly as a DSG.
Now on to the handling. I am genuinely impressed. Its no MX-5 but it corners much better than the Jetta. I have way more confidence into a corner with this car. This probably is because its but much better (and wider) tires and it had fully independent suspension. Also it has a lighter engine up front to help. It still soaks up bumps well but it corners really well for a regular sedan, much better than pretty much everything in its class besides the Mazda 6. One thing I don’t like is the electric power steering. While it is nice in a parking lot it is a little too detached for me in a corner.
So overall I really like the car so far. Still discovering some of the quirks and will report more as I go but so far so good. Still miss my manual but hopefully not for long. Feels like a worthy upgrade to the manual. Thanks for the read.