The 2014 VW Passat 1.8T is a mid-size sedan that also happens to be fun to drive and is smoother handling than other cars in its class. There is also decent room in the cabin. It all adds up to being a great car for road trips, small families or people who just want more room but don’t want to sacrifice good handling.
With the addition of the new EA888 1.8- liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI engine, the Passat lineup now includes a model for just about any taste or desire. The choices are the 1.8T S, 1.8T Wolfsburg Edition, 1.8T SE, 1.8T SE with Sunroof and 1.8T SE with Sunroof and Navigation.
Designed to be lighter and more fuel-efficient, the new EA888 Gen 3 four-cylinder engine has numerous revolutionary refinements, including a new thin-wall cylinder block, a cylinder head with an integrated exhaust manifold and greatly reduced friction. The 1.8T engine has a peak output of 170 hp at 4800 to 6200 rpm, matching the horsepower rating of the outgoing 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, but delivered at 700 fewer revs. The new engine offers seven pound-feet more torque at 184 pound-feet, produced at just 1500 rpm—an amazing 2750 revs less than the outgoing 2.5’s torque figure. All 1.8T Passat models now have electric power steering, replacing the hydraulic setup on the 2.5 models.
The new engine also delivers better EPA fuel economy figures than the 2.5-liter unit. The Passat equipped with the 1.8T and a six-speed automatic transmission gets 34 mpg on the highway, up from 31 mpg for the 2.5-liter engine. At the same time, the city mileage improves from 22 to 24 mpg, and the overall EPA estimated combined fuel economy is 28 mpg, compared with 25 for the outgoing five cylinder. On the manual transmission model, the EPA city/combined/highway fuel economy ratings increased from 22/26/32 mpg to 24/28/35 mpg.
As well as offering better fuel economy, the new engine’s additional low-speed torque enhances the performance of the car. The manual transmission Passat 1.8T clocks 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds, an improvement of 0.7 seconds over the 2.5-liter model. With a six-speed automatic, the time is a little slower at 7.9 seconds, but still better than the 8.7 second clocking with the 2.5- liter engine. Volkswagen first used the combination of turbocharging and direct injection in the U.S. in its TDI Clean Diesel engines in the Passat in 1996 and extended it into the gasoline field in the 2006 Jetta GLI and GTI models. By the end of 2014, almost 90 percent of VW vehicles will be sold with these advanced turbocharged and direct-injection engines.
The base price for the Passat 1.8T S is $20,895 and ranges to $27,555 for the SE with Sunroof and Navigation.
Grant Miller is the publisher of Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or by addressing email to Grant@CommunityNewspapers.com.