On the 16th I had to drive to Chicago, sadly for a funeral. My POS C240 was not to be trusted, so I rented a car. Somehow, I managed to talk my way into this Passat. I hadn’t drove a Passat since I sold my 2006. What a fun car to drive it was.
This is an appliance.
Apparently, the 2019 only comes in two flavors: this Wolfsburg Edition and a SE R-Line.
Even better, they share the only engine available, a 2.0T with a whopping 174 hp and 184 ft lb (my ‘06 had 200hp/207ft lb). Regular 6sp automatic, so no DSG. No manual either. So I question why the R-Line even exist. And the engine is loud even at 60% throttle. The NVH is not Toyota like.
See that steering wheel? It’s slightly offset from center in relation to the driver’s seat.
Electric power steering is vague on center. It takes about a half second in either direction before it kicks in. It’s not completely lifeless but it’s not reassuring, so much so that keeping one hand on the while I reached for something in the passenger seat had me rolling over the rumble strips in no time.
Fuel economy is good at 25 city 36 hwy and 29 combined. Over 400 miles round-trip in driving, I averaged just short of 33 mpg. I think it was very good considering that my rental only had 1300 miles on the odo, so it hadn’t been completely broken in.
The upside, my rental had a lot of nice features: front and rear collision warning, whatever the orange passing car icon in your side mirrors are called, Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, and MirrorLink, heated seats without the crazy temp swings between each increasing setting, power driver’s seat with lumbar support, a big ass trunk, sunroof, and stuff that have forgotten...oh yeah, it’s very roomy, so big guys like me can find comfort in front or back.
The downside is that the 18" Conti tires, along with wind noise around the doors, the engine noise for passing, I find it hard to believe that anyone would want to live with this on a regular basis if you do a lot of highway driving.
Nothing wrong with a nice appliance if that’s what you want. But I think Honda and Toyota do it better. Hopefully the 2020 model is more fun and sporty like my ‘06 and less meh when you’re looking for more.