It was only a few months ago when I reviewed the 2014 Volkswagen Passat midsize sedan. This past week, I’ve found another VW Passat in the test driveway; this review model outfitted with the TDI diesel engine backed by manual gearbox, so this review is pretty much just going to be an update for the powertrain variation.
Nearly every impression about the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI was as I found in the previous 2014 Passat that was tested – ride, handling, comfort, technology, etc. – although this new powertrain setup included a manual transmission, and at times there was a slightly sportier element in the driving experiences.
The TDI clean diesel engine series from VW is a 50-state emission compatible system. In the Passat it arrives as a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 140hp and 236 lb. ft. of torque. It can be mated to either the six-speed manual as our tester was, or to Volkswagen’s DSG dual clutch automatic gearbox.
As is the nature of most turbo-diesel engines, the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI develops power low in the rpm range that remains fairly constant until approaching redline at 6,000 rpm. The clutch is easy on the leg and features a hill-hold feature for smoother take-offs on inclines. Shifting is quick and easy with the Passat shifter, although the knob does heat up a bit in the midday Texas sun.
At the pumps, the new low-sulfur diesel fuel is a bit more expensive than regular unleaded, but as with most new diesel engines, fuel economy is higher so the costs are offset. In the case of the 2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI, the EPA rates fuel economy at 31 mpg city and 43 mpg highway, meaning this car has a fuel range of nearly 800 miles. That’s a lot of restroom breaks before having to stop to refuel!
Pricing for this SE tester 2014 Volkswagen Passat TDI was $26,295 before destination charges.
As for choosing between the gas and diesel Passat models, and which one I would prefer as the daily driver; I think I would lean more towards this TDI, and I would really like to see a diesel/hybrid variant in this roomy, comfortable midsize VW sedan.