The 2011, Motor Trend named the 2012 Volkswagen Passat its Car of the Year. That generation of the Passat has been on the market for 3 years now and while winning many awards, has had its fair share of complaints as well. The majority of those complaints centered on the Passat’s 2.5-litre, inline, five-cylinder engine. For most consumer’s, the engine simply didn’t have enough “oomph”. With the 2014 Volkswagen Passat, the German auto-manufacturer hopes to persuade all the previous nay-sayers to come to the dark side with a newly revamped engine.
While the 2.5 L, five-cylinder engine will still be the base engine for the first-half of the Passat’s 2014 run, it will be offered alongside a new 1.8 L, dual overhead cam, turbocharged four-cylinder engine; the upsides to this switch are quite noticeable.
In all the reviews of the 2014 Passat, drivers seem to be unusually impressed at the power and performance delivered by the new engine, and for good reason. The 1.8 L engine offers significant improvement over the outdated 2.5 L engine, going from 0-60 mph a full second faster (7.8 versus 8.8 seconds), while also besting the 2.5 L engine in the quarter-mile by 0.7 seconds and 3.4 mph (88.5 mph top speed versus 85.1).
The 2014 Passat also offers a 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine – the engine that is Voklswagen’s most prominent selling-point.
Besides improving on the engine performance, Volkswagen loaded the mid-sized sedan with features more likely to be found in a luxury vehicle. The center console boasts a newly improved and larger navigation screen, along with hard drive music storage and advanced navigation controls with traffic updates. Leather, heated seats with programmable positioning memory are featured in most versions, along with dual-climate control.
Perhaps the most impressive innovation for the interior of the car is the new VW Car-Net connected service, a service which closely resembles the On-Star service offered by GM vehicles. The Car-Net service is connected to cellular service in order to offer in-car assistance and to report traffic accidents.
Volkswagen hopes that the redesigned Passat will help improve its low sale numbers for the beginning of 2014. In February, overall Volkswagen sales were down 16.3 percent from the same time last year, with Passat sales decreasing 19.3 percent.
Mark McNabb, chief operating officer of Volkswagen of America, believes there is still no reason to worry: “With a full range of fuel-efficient vehicles, seven of which deliver more than 40 mpg on the highway, we anticipate steady demand as we enter the spring selling season.”
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