Test drive impressions


New member
Dec 9, 2011
Never owned a VW before but I've been reading good stuff about these Passats so I thought I'd go drive one. Ended up driving 2 and a Jetta.

First up was a black SE TDI auto. They didn't have any sticks in a Passat. Really liked the driving dynamics, suspension seemed well sorted, plenty of power to do what I need.

Wanted to drive a manual TDI after reading how the DSG isn't as well suited to this app. Nope sorry but we have a Jetta TDI manual. Drove it and found I enjoyed rowing my own with the diesel. Dang wish they had a manual TDI Passat.

OK salesman says check out this loaded white VR6 SEL over here. Made the SE suddenly seem so plain jane. Big likes are wood trim, keyless ignition and POWER! OMG, this thing makes you just want to mash the throttle and giggle like a kid.

But, and here's the deal breaker on that SEL, it's too loud on the road. I don't know if that's tire noise, wind noise or what but we took the same test drive loop and it was noticeable.

I have become more sensitive to this issue in my cars because I put up with it for far too long in several Hondas. Maybe I'm just getting old?

Oh one more thing. What the heck is that detent in the gas peddle that you have to click through if you want more than 3/4 throttle?


Top Post Dawg
Jan 21, 2009
Fort Worth, Texas
2009 Sportwagen (boughtback); 2014 Passat TDI SEL (boughtback)
After about 400miles in my TDI SEL DSG, and after 80k miles with 09 Jetta TDI DSGs, I think the DSG in my Passat is just about perfect. It's a little different than in the Jettas, still has the too-long clutch slip in first. It lugs a bit, if you let it, but the shifting is so smooth, it's hard to believe there's no torque-convertor.

I think VWoA really has the Passat TDI/DSG well sorted out. There may be a little loss in shifting speed, but the smoothness is remarkable.


Sep 13, 2008
Suburban Philadelphia Pennsylvania
2015 Passat SEL TDI
Just purchased the 2012 Car of the Year!

Just purchased a black over cornsilk beige SEL Premium TDI. power is awesome. You have to love the tdi torque. We chose the DSG since my #1 doesn't want to row a shifter. After @ 1000 miles we are well into the mid to high 30's with mpg.around town. Great ride similar to bigger vehicle. Tight handling and great sound system. Learning how all of the controls work will take a little practice given all of the options with the SEL premium. We keep asking ourselves why the hell would anyone would by Honda, Toyota or even a "hybrid" when you can get all of this for $32,000? Go ahead 'Riceboy' wanna' try me?


Feb 9, 2006
We keep asking ourselves why the hell would anyone would by Honda, Toyota or even a "hybrid" when you can get all of this for $32,000? Go ahead 'Riceboy' wanna' try me?
My thoughts exactly, but I have the SE with Manual Transmission. I originally wanted an SEL fully loaded etc....but....once I looked at the standard features on the SE manual plus the 6k in savings over TDI SEL trim....I was sold on the SE plain and simple. VW has a winner with this car IMO...the bottom tier SE with manual trans has a ton of standard features and while it doesn't have the Fender system the radio is very decent. So you get the sell on a nicely equipped family vehicle that gets stellar fuel economy when driven with FE in mind. You also get the sell to those who want a more lux vehicle with the SEL trim.

The only packaging complaint I have is that you can't get a DSG without adding a sunroof. I really don't care for the sunroof honestly and I think you should be able to get the basic car with just a DSG option. My reasoning for this is that my wife doesn't know how to drive manual and I am not going to teach her on my brand new baby....LOL.