Aside from the most obvious reason, that being room, why did you choose the Passat over the Jetta?
Dollar for dollar, I think you get more features with the Jetta; but there are of course reasons for this. I'm looking at a Passat as well as a Jetta, and the Jetta SEL w/nav is a very, very loaded car for just $25,250. Going up the food chain to the top dog GLI (which looks better than the SEL IMO) you get all the SEL goodies plus dual zone climate control and xenons, which we can't even get yet on the Passat. That model goes for a bit shy of $30k, which is definitely well-equipped Passat territory.
So why did you choose the Passat? Was the Jetta too cheapened, too boring, too ugly, too common, etc.?
I've driven a Passat, but not a Jetta.
We were going for a Jetta Wagon TDI, but the seats didn’t feel good and were too cramped, the ride was a little stiff and not a lot of room overall.
Then I found out the Passat came in with the TDI and after one test drive it was a done deal. The back seat and trunk room and overall comfort were important as this is our road trip car.
A Passat TDI wagon would have been my first choice, but, oh ya, they don’t offer a Passat wagon.
TDI, the only reason to own a Volkswagen.
Better suspension, much more space, climatronic, auto wipers / lights, huge trunk, nicer interior and better fuel economy
1991 Mercedes 350SDL. 221,000 miles, 60k on the replacement motor
1991 Jetta GL ECOdiesel. 429,000 miles. Totaled
1992 Jetta GL ECOdiesel. 150,000 miles Sold.
1999 Jetta "GLX" TDI. 282,000 miles.
2012 Passat TDI SE DSG. 21,000 miles. LED tails, VCDS tweaks (wipers, alarm, cluster)
I chose the Passat because it was a better value. A base Passat has similar options and price as a mid-level Jetta, but the Passat a few more standard goodies like independent rear suspension, hill-hold assist, climatronic, 4-wheel disk brakes, and bluetooth. The Passat also gets roughly the same fuel economy as the Jetta, but in a bigger car (I'm used to driving large sedans). I thought about getting a used MkV Jetta because I like the design better, but it seems like every other car on the road is a MkV Jetta and the price difference for a 2 y/o Jetta wasn't that significant.
in the 2012 model year, the passat was a much better value. I was about to get a second GLI but with my 2 mile daily commutes I figured I'd tone down the payments and value shop.
My SE passat minus the NAv which I didnt want Had:
soft touch dash, non rear drum brakes, independent rear suspension, dual zone climate control etc etc etc.
pretty much all the stuff the stripped out of the past model jetta the passat had. The new jetta to me is plastic stripped down piece of junk.
I took a big step back in performance from my last 2 cars but I wasnt going to drive some drum brake econo car on top of that..
Last edited by turboDSG; 10-07-2012 at 10:15 PM.
2002 Sentra SER Spec V
I was working when I got my car and work across the street from a VW dealership. I was looking at my Saab bored at work, and said I love you but it is time for you to go. So I walked across the street to the VW dealer. I originally walked into the dealer with the intentions of getting either a white 5 speed Jetta Wagon TDI, or a white 5 speed 4 door Golf TDI. I told him what I wanted to spend he started showing me GLI Jetta's, Beetle's and Tiguan's and then the Passat's. They had two automatic 2.5 Passat's, one was a burgundy base model with black cloth and hubcaps, and the other was a white SE with beige "leather", 6 disc, 17 inch wheels. I asked him about the white one, we talked numbers, and it was cheaper then the base Beetle they had.
I walked in with basically one car on my mind and told myself I am not leaving without a TDI and a manual. But I walked out with a 2.5 and a automatic. I think long term and driving in NYC with a stick is like getting a BJ with teeth, or if you want a calf that looks like it was shot up with roids. I would make my ex-girlfriend massage my leg after taking her to Manhattan during rush hour so she can go shopping. The Saab I sold to my best friend so I get to see the car everyday and watch him **** it up which is killing me. June 19th I got my car, and he got my Saab. The guy has not got a car was for my Saab since he got it. I offer to pay for it because it was my car and I loved it but he always puts it off.
When the Passat is done with, I want another coupe before I have kids (had a BMW E30 Convertible 7-8 years ago that the girls loved). The Audi A5 is on my list once I am done with the Passat. But watch me walk out with something completely different. I'll take my sister with me or something so I don't do anything stupid.
2013 Passat SE 2.5 with Navigation and Sunroof Navy Blue Metallic
I couldn't decide so I got both..
Actually my wife drives the 2012 Jetta and I drive the Passat. While the Passat is nicer inside and has more room, I like the way the Jetta drives better than the Passat. Both of mine are SE 2.5's, but the Jetta has a much tighter sporty feel to it. In reality though, you get a lot more car for the money going with the Passat. There really wasn't a huge price difference between the 2 and I got them both a bit under invoice back in March. My wife thinks the Passat is too big and calls it a "boat" which is why she picked the Jetta.
Wasn't shopping at all. Went to the dealer for my Rabbit's 80,000 service and the lease deals were way too good to pass up. It was between the Passat SE V6 and a CC LED, the Jetta never entered the equation, it was more expensive for the same trim level (on lease).
I walked out with a Passat SE V6 and am saving $65/mo. vs. my Rabbit payment...no brainer. Three times the car, brand new, full warranty for less money=win win!
BTW, the CC is just too small for a 6'3" guy, even though a very nice car. That was even a better lease deal, a $32k car for $309/mo with nothing out of pocket, that's just silly!
I chose the Passat over the Jetta mainly because it was infinitely more comfortable for me. I have a bad back and subtle differences in seats, ride, etc. create pronouced differences in comfort for me. I liked the space and feel of the Passat better. The Honda Accord I test drove felt more like a go-kart than a car compared to the Passat.
Actually, I have a loaded Jetta (2007) less Navi and really liked the car. My son needed a car for grad school and so I loaned him the Jetta and bought a new TDI SE with Navi. I didn't think I'd like the larger car but it's growing on me more every day. I am disappointed with some of the cost saving measures on what should be a top line model. Less than adequate sound system and inadequate sound proofing are just a few of many complaints. Other than that I'm slowly tweaking the car to get it where I want it for the Long haul.... So far so good, although if AUDI had put a TDI in the A4 I'd bolt in a heartbeat.
Better engine tuning
Crazy better ride. Passat is my 05 B5.5. Jetta is my wife's 98 Cavalier.
More interior room
Nicer car all around
Might consider a JSW if they put the adblue system in, with a stick. The sedan, never.
More comfortable interior
I had the same challenge that you did. We were heavily torn between the Passat and the Jetta SportWagen. I couldn't make up my mind for a long period of time. What pushed me to the Passat quite frankly was room. I can sit comfortably without having the kids kick the back of my seat (and I'm 5'11). We went with the Passat SEL TDI - hard loaded out. The technology and amenities have been top notch. We only have 1500 miles on the car over the last month but no regrets.
We had a 12 Accord with 5500 miles that we traded in. I couldn't get the Passat back in 12 when we got the Accord. Wait list was too long. Long story short; I should have waited. Accord was nice but the seats were painful as can be on trips more than 45 minutes long.
Good luck with your decision. I think you will be pleased either way!
I did most of my car shopping while I was still in Iraq. I was torn between the GLI, Mustang premium and the Passat. I had a 07 Jetta prior to deploying and was familiar with the 2.5l and had been pretty happy with it over all. I went home for R&R and talked my wife into going to the VW dealer for some test drives. The GLI was a lot of fun to drive and the Mustang was cool. In the end, with the prospect of a growing family and the maturity/upscale feeling of the Passat I went with the Passat 2.5 SE. With a few minor tweaks it is everything I ever wanted in a car.
I wanted climate control, auto headlights and lights on the doors, which were not available on a diesel jetta with a manual transmission, at least not here in Ontario.
I also wanted red, which is not available on a TDI jetta in Ontario -- although the red on the B7 is actually maroon. I don't know what it is with VW Canada, but they have two tans and two greys, but no red. Red's still the 5th or so most popular colour. I can get that colour in the US -- at least it shows up on the web site -- but not here.
Gardner -- 2012 Passat TDI 6sp
I went to buy a jetta but after driving the passat I had to reconsider. The passat had a better ride with the longer wheel base and IRS. The room of the passat really sold me, long trips will be made better with the extra room. The difference in mpgs was hardly anything between the two tdi models.
Well guys, the wife and I went to test drive a Jetta (first time) and a Passat (second time) back to back tonight.
Took the Passat out first, an SE w/roof. Again I found that I hated how much I had to push the gas pedal to get the car in motion from a stop; same as the other test drive, and probably the one thing that stood out the most as annoying. Last time I drove one, I had no other real complaints except a lack of passing power at 70 mph. This time though it seemed like once I learned to just push the gas from a stop the car actually didn't go too bad, probably good enough for daily duty. Loved the interior, always have. One thing I didn't notice the first time around that I did this time was a bit of wind noise (not bothered by it). I went into this test drive really looking to compare the ride quality due to the wheel base differences, I thought for sure the Passat would win here. I found the ride quality to be surprisingly not that great, or at least not as great as it seemed a couple weeks ago. Freeway ruts were heard and felt pretty harshly. Overall not a bad car though, but it's shining moment is the interior, hands down.
Then we took a Jetta SEL out. Despite being the SEL, I knew the Jetta constantly gets dinged for its interior. It was still nice, but let's face it it was not the Passat's interior. The only glaring thing I hated about it was the lack of steering wheel controls on the right side and the half-assed computer in the gauge cluster...the gauge cluster looks a little lacking compared to the Passat, or even to my wife's new Beetle. That said the interior was still pretty nice and comfortable, especially with the sport seats in the SEL. Took the car on the road and I really was expecting a cheapened ride and not that great of quality, but it really surprised me; to my ears and bones it sounded and felt smoother and quieter than the Passat, which makes no sense, but it was. I was pleasantly surprised by the ride quality and how solid it felt. Freeway ruts on the same stretch of road were much better dampened. One quick punch of the gas pedal and it was game over for the Passat, sorry to say. While I'm not looking to race around town and just want something nice for a daily, it was painfully evident that the 2.5 is much better matched to the Jetta, as it is to my wife's Beetle. The car had so much more pep with the 2.5 than the Passat, and I think back to back test drives really highlighted it since at first drive in the Passat it seemed a bit down on power but overall probably fine. After the Jetta it wasn't fine. The Jetta also handled better, as expected. Stopping seemed about the same for both cars.
I walked away from the test drive feeling like the Jetta was designed for the 2.5 and vice versa, like it was engineered as a whole package. Unfortunately I felt like the Passat was something with the potential to be great, but like they just threw the 2.5 in for lack of a better option; that it was never intended to be in that car whatsoever, like the car just wasn't engineered as a complete, polished package. Hate to say it, but I walked away pretty much sold on the Jetta, interior notwithstanding, and pretty much wrote off the Passat, at least at the price point I would like to spend. I feel like the VR6 or even TDI Passat probably would feel as good as the Jetta did, but the SE not so much.
So, it looks like it will either be a Jetta for me, or something from another make. Thanks for all the input guys, still like the Passat but just not in SE format.
Still a nice car, still like them, and may look to one in the future when I have kids. But for now being 28 with no plans for kids anytime soon, the room isn't something I need so I was looking to the car for all the other reasons (interior, exterior, power, etc.) and I think at this point in time the Jetta is the better fit and more my style. I still have a couple cars to look at, but a white/black '13 Jetta SEL looks like it very well may be my next car.
Thanks, I read that; it's more or less a wash to me. From what I've heard the base 1.8T actually makes slightly less power than the current 2.5, plus in a world of 4 cylinder cars, it's nice to have something different with the 2.5 5 cylinder.
I grew up with V8 coupes in the family and nothing else (parents even put child seats in the backseats of coupes) and while the new technology going into the smaller engines is nice and they are getting great power/economy out of them, I really feel like it's getting to the point where eventually there will be no V8 to buy or anything but 4-bangers for that matter. It's a little disheartening to see big car after big car being increasingly offered with only 4 bangers. Look at a $40k Tiguan SEL, that's a $40k car, and an SUV, and all it has is a 4-banger with no other option. 15 or even 10 years ago, there's no way that would've flown. Sure technology changes, but so too does it in the V8s and other larger engines. Ford's Mustang GT makes 420 hp with the AC and stereo on full blast, idles just as smooth as any other car out there, and gets around 25 mpg. The base N/A V6 gets a ridiculous 305 hp and 30 mpg.
End of the day, no matter how much power or economy or technology you put in a 4 cylinder, it just will never feel or sound like a bigger engine. It will always have that toy feeling, at least to me given my background growing up with V8s that just sailed down the road effortlessly.
I'll be curious to see how the new 1.8T does though; I do like the 2.5 (unlike most people on these boards) because it's dead reliable and makes ok power with ok gas mileage, so I'd be fine picking up a 2.5 before the 1.8T arrives. The new 1.8T will be a bag of unknowns at least for a while, with the added complexity of a turbo setup. The N/A 2.5 just sounds like a better choice, for me personally.
Puma - agree that the 2.5L is lacking in the Passat and works better in the Jetta. As nice and roomy as the Passat is, the test drive was a letdown once I tried roll-on acceleration at freeway speeds.
My wife drives a 2.5L Jetta, and it's a terrific car around town, and sport mode gives it all I ever need there. On the highway it's not a rocket ship, but it's quick enough and moves better than the Passat.
And, I might be in the minority, but I really LIKE the quirky growl of the I5 engine. It's pretty cool. Doesn't hurt that the 2.5L has built one helluva reputation for reliability in the VW community. It's a very robust engine!
I dont' think it's an afterthought at all to be honest. My wife has a jetta I have a passat and both now have 2.5's. They are the same rating and perform identically. The smaller proprtions of the jetta make it feel slightly more sporty but that is really it.
She has a 2010 and it weighs a few hundred pounds more then my passat which is like an aircraft carrier next to her jetta. Her car feels way sportier but again it's the size.
Coming from a 300+ hp WRX and a tuned GLI I would like more performance. This car should have the 2.0T.. one in a more tuned version to replace the V6 and one like the GLI for the base.
That engine was a joy and would have been perfect.
2002 Sentra SER Spec V
I still think they should have a 220 hp version of the 2.5 for the Passat, or at least a 200 hp version like the 2.0T. Like I said I can't speak for the Diesel or the V6, but I'm guessing those are both pretty good in the current Passat.