Suggestion No. 1 – 2014 Volkswagen Passat V6 SEL Premium
Yep, we just recommended another Passat, though if you notice it’s not a station wagon. This sedan suggestion is convenient for two reasons. One, Mike & Co. don’t need all that space with the Touareg serving active duty, and two, VW doesn’t offer one in the U.S. anymore (a Passat wagon, that is). Well, it’s decided then.
The car’s engine displaces 3.6-liters and features an unusual 10.6-degree angle between the cylinder banks. This tight packaging keeps its exterior dimensions compact and allows it to squeeze into a space normally reserved for four-cylinder powerplants.
The so-called VR6 is smooth running and muscular, delivering a 280 hp serving of get-up-and-go along with 258 lb-ft of gravy on top; it’s matched to a responsive six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that changes gears so fast you’ll shift your pants!
This drivetrain combination should be able to move the portly Passat 20 miles on a single gallon of gasoline in urban conditions and up to 28 on the interstate. Combined it stickers at 23 MPG. Regrettably for maximum performance premium fuel is recommended; if maximum economy is desired opt for one of the Passat’s other engine offerings, a generous spread that includes an ultra-miserly diesel.
The V6 SEL Premium variant of this Germanic sedan comes nicely equipped and jingles the bell at $35,085, including destination fees. Owners (or lessees) are treated to some highly desirable items including a rear-view camera, leather seating surfaces and a touchscreen navigation system, to say nothing of keyless entry and push-button start. They also benefit from paddle shifters for a sporty-ish drive and a Fender premium sound system so they can rock out to their favorite Saline Dijon hits.
Of course heated, eight-way power front chairs, Bluetooth connectivity as well as electric windows and door locks are included as well. There’s no roughing it in this VW.
Beyond these fancy features the Passat offers massive rear-seat legroom and is built in ‘Murica if you can believe it. The car is assembled in Chattanooga, Tennessee of all places.