VW Passat






VW Passat



Feature wise, the only thing I’d like available that isn’t as a factory installed feature is Bluetooth capability. There’s a phone button on the steering wheel, but according to the salesman it’s for European cars; we get the same wheel here in the US but not the same function. I also saw nothing on VW’s website about Bluetooth, so I assume he’s correct.

It also has a feature the BMW X5 doesn’t: you can close the liftgate with the touch of a button. The BMW brochure and website promise that option, but the BMW salesman I’ve been working with says it won’t be available until autumn. (He also told me it was a waste of money; sometimes I think salesmen should keep opinions to themselves! ) And the button is much preferable over the “yank and duck” method I have to use with the A4.

One option I wasn’t too impressed with on the Passat was what happens if you get navigation - then the 6 disc CD changer goes in the glove box instead of the center dash stack. Fine if you have a passenger, but a hassle if you don’t. At least it holds 6, though, so you won’t need to change the CD halfway into town.

I got to play a little bit with the premium sound system, and all I can say is check that option box, please! Wow! In the showroom with the windows on the car rolled down it sounded incredible. Can’t imagine with the windows up. Of course road noise will negate it some, but I’m game for any system that has bass with the windows down (my A4 does not).

The Passat is very similar to my A4, using many of the same controls like the Driver Information System joystick and the seat adjusters. That makes the learning curve for me very low, unlike the X5 where I have to get instructions each time I drive on how to get it out of park (why?!!! Why is the shifter so complicated?!!).

All in all, I think the Passat provides great bang for the buck and it’s back on my list of possibilities (it was removed for a while because of the looks). It’s biggest downfall for me is also one of it’s charms: We’re looking for a family car that can hold two carseats, and extra passengers would be a bonus. The Passat Wagon is a 5 seater, and not overly large, so we really need to decide how much seating we really need. But its smaller-than-an-SUV size is also its charm: Drives like a car, rides like a car, and gets great gas mileage like a car.

Oh, and one more bonus I just remembered: The rear doors on the Passat open REALLY wide, as opposed to the X5, meaning I can more easily stuff a child in the backseat. Sweet!






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