I have read a couple of comments about the 2012 Passat lacking the rear air vents, which could make the rear seat passangers area climate control inadequate. Any comments from new owners?
I'm in Houston, 90+ degrees today. I haven't had any complaints from passengers as the car does cool off quickly. The remote start feature comes in handy as well. HOWEVER, the TDI SEL has a pretty nice interior and not having the vents in the back does seem to be an obvious oversight. I betcha they will magically appear on the '13 model.
From the Jetta to the B6, most (if not all) VWs of the 2006-2010 period had under seat vents in addition to the rear seat vents.
It is extremely unfortunate that the new North American Passat does not have rear vents as VW in 2010 (after 'hundreds' of years) finally put in a decent rear system (whether climatic or climatronic) that would blow a ton of air to the rear passengers. Lucky 2010 owners...
Pre-2010 had relatively useless rear vents since very little air would come out. Right as VW gets it right they remove a nice feature.
It's ridiculous to increase rear-seat space and then remove the air vents... So people in the back can now stretch out, but now they can't breathe.
It's extra ridiculous now that rear vents are the norm in this class of car (at least for the upper trims). Even Honda added rear vents to the Accord in its mid-cycle refresh.
Since they're saving money with old drivetrains and have ambitious sales goals, you'd think VW would compensate by making the Passat truly class competitive in feature content. It's not like the Passat is cheap. It is still relatively more expensive than the competition, when similarly equipped.
I test drove the Passat, and, for the rear passengers to get some air, you have to have the front AC at full blast. That's extremely loud and uncomfortable for those in the front.
It's a shame, too, because there's so much to like about this car. I test drove a 2.5L SEL Premium back-to-back with a 2012 Toyota Camry XLE V6, and, even with the power disadvantage, the Passat seemed more fun. The design is also better... But no back-up camera and no rear vents are deal breakers. (Not to mention that the super-slow-to-respond RNS-510 would be annoying to live with.)
time to look at minivans, buddy.
seriously, when did "car enthusiasts" become such crybabies? personally, i would like the rear vents too, seeing as how i have them in my 2006 jetta. but a deal breaker? no.
this mp3/i-phone generation is going to be hell on earth. no backup camera??? you mean i have to LOOK IN THE MIRROR????????
And, again, VW made the backseat bigger yet removed the vents. As I noted, even on the Passat test drive, the rear vents were sorely missed.
There are different types of "car enthusiasts," and, since this is a Passat forum, having enthusiasm for practicality is legitimate. If power, handling and steering feel were all that mattered to me, I would not be looking at a Passat or its competitors. I'm looking for a car that balances driving pleasure with family needs... And a family needs to have good air flow in the backseat.
By the way, there seems to be a misconception about backup cameras. They're not about laziness or not wanting to turn to look back (you should turn to look even with a camera). They're about safety. The rear decklids of most cars are too high these days, including the Passat's, so there is much you can't see, even if you turn your head. Also, backup cameras help you see around other cars in parking lots when pulling out. They're not just about what's directly behind you.
Not being a cry baby. Just discussing the cars. I believe these are serious oversights on VW's part, especially when they had these features in previous years. Heck, VW had a backup camera on the tiny Tiguan and had a TV ad spotlighting the CC's backup camera.
VW is officially the could've been, should've been car brand in America. Sure, other cars in the segment are arguably just as "cheap" and de-contented, but the way that America basically gets the dumbed down and watered down version of VWs that the rest of the world gets bothers me. At least other car brands are built from the ground up to be what they are, and don't feel like you're getting a Big Mac with out the center bun and the second patty, but are still getting it sold to you as a Big Mac. Especially when it's a case of can't-even-get-it-if-you-paid-extra and we KNOW that other markets get it as an option.
Just goes to say that the U.S. market accepts downgrades. Although the Acura brand does not appear in Europe.
A U.S. Accord would NEVER be accepted in Europe from East to West and North to South.
kimilein - "Oversight" was the wrong word choice on my part. You're right, they deliberately cut these features. Cutting features would be forgiveable if the cars were cheaper competitively. And, in reality, the Jetta is less car for the same money as before.
MUG318 - even if the vents blew weakly like the ones you describe, that would still be an improvement. Though I agree with the "show vs. go" sentiment.
I didn't see any power outlet in the B7 Passat's backseat either (correct me if I'm wrong). That's another lame choice.
Even if most Americans don't care as much as I do about cameras, vents, etc., these features should at least be available on the upper trim levels of the Passat for the car to be truly competitive. Like they are with its competitors (which also have better MPG with their gas engines). It's not like the Passat is cheaper than its competitors. It's actually more expensive.
As an example, a loaded 2.5l Passat's invoice price is HIGHER than a comparably-equipped 3.5l Camry's. And the Camry has backup camera and rear vents (as well as struts for its engine hood, compared to Passat's prop rod).
To be fair and comprehensive, aside from the usual VW touches that they fortunately kept, like turn-signal lights in the mirrors and auto up/down windows on all windows, the main feature that top-trim Passat has that the others lack is memory driver's seat/mirrors.
Passat also has noticeably more rear legroom than Camry, despite the official numbers saying they're about the same. But again, all the more reason to take care of the backseat passengers, considering they're farther away from the front vents.
My .02 worth here.... I agree with the logic of the argument that says if the rear passenger cabin is significantly larger, then the lack of rear air vents becomes a real issue, esp. when the cars the B7 is aimed directly at include them. It may not have been considered to be vital to the bean counters, but it IS a competitive disadvantage vs the direct competition, period.
I've said it in other threads about this, and I'll say it again here (since I didn't post in here yet lol). The argument that the rear air vents is such a big selling point against the competition is overly exaggerated. For the amount of air that was blown through the rear vents on the B6 and Tiguan (from my own personal experience) it could be easily made up by the under seat ducts and the AC on Auto. It's job is to direct air flow to cool down the inside more efficiently. Or so it's supposed to. Back seat riders will not feel any less cool (or warm) with the absence of rear console vents. The same amount of air is circulating around the vehicle.
People fail to understand that in most cars with rear vents there is still only 1 blower, and as long as you had the front vents open, the back wasn't going to get my air anyway as the air blows from front to rear. And having the AC on Auto is pretty much the same as having the manual mode on floor and body settings. I will probably test, but I don't believe that if you set it on just body that the back seaters will not get any air flow at all.
I understand some people feel the need to have cold air actually blowing on them, and that's fine. But in the rear, if you come from any of those competitor cars with rear air vents (in this class), they don't really blow enough either to make that a selling point.
And my personal opinion, I rather not having them. I actually went as far as to keep them closed in both the Tiguan and B6. On those summer outtings, my passengers never noticed and never cared. They went so unnoticed that they both have been kicked out lol.
CURRENT: 2013 Chevy Cruze 2LT
PREVIOUS: 2009 VW Tiguan SE; 2006 VW Passat 2.0T; 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva Coupe