2021 VW Passat rental review

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I spent 5 days in southern California thia past week with a 2021 Passat. It has EA888 2.0 turbo engine and a 6 speed automatic transmission. I drove just over 400 miles in it.

The torque from the turbo was really handy for passing cars or getting up to speed in the highway. Even driving up long steep inclines with 4 adults in the car didn't feel like a strain.

However, the transmission was lackluster. Shifts were smooth as expected, but it tended to upshift in situations that were not ideal. For example, when I would slow down to make a turn, the transmission would downshift as the car slowed slowed down (which I lik) but for some reason it would upshift before you got back on the gas when completing the turn. it had already downshift led to the right gear but upshifted too quickly. As soon as you got on the gas it had to downshift again. It was an annoyance but not really a big deal.

The ride quality was very good. A lot of the driving was done with multiple passengers in the car. Everyone was comfortable and had plenty of room. The trunk was able to hold plenty of luggage.


I did too much idling to get a true sense of fuel economy. I was mainly shuttling my girlfriend and her relatives around because of a death in their family. There was a lot of keeping the car running and cool inside before people got in for the sake of making everyone as comfortable as possible. Also I didn't get to really see how it handled on the winding roads the way I would if I was driving alone. It always felt composed but I was driving pretty conservatively.


The instrument cluster looks dated for a car in this class but that makes sense for a model that is being discontinued. Also the screen used for Android auto is positioned too low. Your eyes have to go too far away from the road to look at the map.

Overall it was a great ride. Passengers commented that the car felt really nice inside. Others who didn't ride in it wanted to know what kind of car it was. It definitely has me interested in a Jetta.

Also, of note for those who like to buy cars previously used as rentals, the odometer was 2000+ miles over the mileage listed on the sticker in the window. The sticker didn't show what mileage or date the previous change was done, so I'm not sure what OCI they are using.
 
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I've always loved the current (last) generation Passat, particularly the 2016-2019 model years with the R-line appearance package. Great ride and handling for car this size, massive rear seat / leg room and respectable fuel economy and torque. I test drove a new 2018 and my only complaint was the odd engine sounds the 2.0 was making. These use a detuned version of the 2.0 with a more fuel efficient combustion cycle.

Having said that, the Jetta's from the same year are quicker, return much better fuel economy, have more tech, cost less and still have plenty of occupant space and trunk capacity. It makes the Passat a harder sell when the Jetta is so good.
 

Leroybrown

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Yeah, a 6 speed auto transmission is pretty dated for a 2021 model.
My car is a 2017 Kia Forte. It has a 6 speed automatic that I have no complaints about. The transmission does what it's supposed to do and I rarely even think about it.

The Passat is a bit dated in general but it's being discontinued after this year. It looks like VW decided to stop developing that model since they knew it was on the way out. I'd take that 6 speed over the CVT in the Malibu I drove recently anytime though.

I could pick any car from the executive aisle at National. A BMW 5 series and a midsize Audi both got claimed by people just ahead of me. The Passat was the next best thing available for my purpose on this trip. I chose it over some Camrys and Malibus. I don't like driving SUVs so I didn't even look at those.
 

Leroybrown

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they don't even making those anymore in US, why even bother with the car
It served my purpose for the trip. I wanted a spacious and comfortable sedan as I don't like SUVs. I could have gotten a Camry or a Malibu but I think the Passat has more space. Also I was interested in spending some time with a German 4 cylinder Turbo since I'm interested in the current model Jetta.
 

Leroybrown

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I've always loved the current (last) generation Passat, particularly the 2016-2019 model years with the R-line appearance package. Great ride and handling for car this size, massive rear seat / leg room and respectable fuel economy and torque. I test drove a new 2018 and my only complaint was the odd engine sounds the 2.0 was making. These use a detuned version of the 2.0 with a more fuel efficient combustion cycle.

Having said that, the Jetta's from the same year are quicker, return much better fuel economy, have more tech, cost less and still have plenty of occupant space and trunk capacity. It makes the Passat a harder sell when the Jetta is so good.
Jetta looks like a great option. I live in a big city so anything bigger than a Jetta, Civic, etc can make finding parking more difficult.
 
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I've always loved the current (last) generation Passat, particularly the 2016-2019 model years with the R-line appearance package. Great ride and handling for car this size, massive rear seat / leg room and respectable fuel economy and torque. I test drove a new 2018 and my only complaint was the odd engine sounds the 2.0 was making. These use a detuned version of the 2.0 with a more fuel efficient combustion cycle.

Having said that, the Jetta's from the same year are quicker, return much better fuel economy, have more tech, cost less and still have plenty of occupant space and trunk capacity. It makes the Passat a harder sell when the Jetta is so good.
that European Passat from was great car model 2006-2011; however, just like you have said not only Jetta but also introduction off CC and Arteon killed it
 
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that European Passat from was great car model 2006-2011; however, just like you have said not only Jetta but also introduction off CC and Arteon killed it
The CC and Arteon aren't great sellers either. But VW wanted a flagship car since killing off the Phaeton and Touareg.

The CC and Arteon are just Passats with fancier sheetmetal, since the CC was a fancier 2006-2010 Passat, and Arteon was a fancier european Passat.
 
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The Passat is still going strong in China.

 
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You guys actually think a car designed in 2006 is somehow substandard? Nothing could be further from the Truth. Todays offerings fall very short, have cost cutting measures, less insulation, lower quality components, annoying electronic menu driven screens, annoying nanny systems that interfere with driving enthusias, and in many ways, yesterdays cars are actually better cars.
 
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You guys actually think a car designed in 2006 is somehow substandard? Nothing could be further from the Truth. Todays offerings fall very short, have cost cutting measures, less insulation, lower quality components, annoying electronic screens and in many ways, yesterdays cars are actually better cars.
When the B6 Passat is nicer than the NMS, it's a problem.

The B7 Passat is leagues better.

It's less to do with the fact that the NMS was based on older architecture and more to do with the fact that they beiged it up.

I know why they did it. Americans wanted a bigger, cheaper car. But it kinda flew in the face of your (then) typical VW driver.
 
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The CC and Arteon aren't great sellers either. But VW wanted a flagship car since killing off the Phaeton and Touareg.

The CC and Arteon are just Passats with fancier sheetmetal, since the CC was a fancier 2006-2010 Passat, and Arteon was a fancier european Passat.
it is not surprising VW kill it anyway since many other manufacturers decided, either to cancel their sedans fully or partially

anyway CC is out by now and Artheon will be extinct in coming years IMO especially in US since the markets for cars as we had known is changing right before our eyes
 
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