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Volkswagen Passat 2006+

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  • I had a test driving on Passat 2006 2.0T Auto trans. I didn't feel driving smoothly. I had to hit gas paddle very hard to get speed. This makes me so hesitate to buy.
    Does anybody have the same experience?
    Thanks!!
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Two words: Turbo Lag.

    All turbos have this to some degree.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    If you drive the VW turbo for a while, the lag is not as perceptible. You learn to drive the car, and the car learns your driving style, and the computer adjusts.
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    Another point to make is that the car does have an automatic transmission with Tiptronic. An easy way to offset the turbo lag is to put it in manual and downshift or shift into sport mode and go ahead and get the revs up before you pull out to pass.
  • All something-tronics these days (note: excluding those that are in the "hot rod" models, M3, S4, etc) have a penchant for "P.U." and "D.D." (Premature Upshift and Delayed Downshift) compared with what most folks who shift for themselves would do.

    Long timers (and probably even newcomers) to shifting probably run the car's transmissions from gear to gear and "pick" shift points by ear or by feel or by "what I think may happen next" mode. During deacceleration and during twisty road driving, too, downshifts "in anticipation" are quite common -- sometimes just based on visual cues or "been there done that" cues.

    My wife, at 65MPH on the freeway surrounding Cincinnati will, when approaching heavy but still rapidly moving traffic, downshift her manual transmission from 6th to 5th (in a BMW X3 3.0 which at 2,000 RPM has decent power.)

    When she downshifts, she will get an immediate rise in RPM's which increases the responsiveness of the car to her right foot.

    In a tiptronic, at 65MPH the transmission has long long since been in 6th gear. Pressing down "a little bit" on the accelerator will barely cause anything to happen, a little further and the transmission (somewhat reluctantly it always seems, almost as if to say "are you sure?") downshifts to 5th, etc.

    When coming to a full stop or more likely an ALMOST full stop the transmission in a tip will remain in second gear until you'd think the engine would darn near stall before the shift to first actually occurs.

    The tip seems hell-bent to be in the gear that will maximize fuel economy and minimize accelerative urge. Many of us compensate by pressing deeper and deeper, praying for weapons grade torque to come to the rescue.

    Even the 3.6L does not have weapons grade torque.

    In an attempt to respond, the tip will downshift, perhaps 2 gears (if there ARE 2 lower gears) and since the accelerator pedal is depressed pretty far, well -- even the 2.0T will "awaken" and some commotion and a lunge will happen as the engine reaches full cry.

    This happens with 2.0TFSI's, 3.2FSI's, 3.6FSI's 4.2's and I'd assume W12's. The trouble is NOT in you and NOT in your set. It (the tip) is jus' doin' what comes naturally.

    Current 6spd tips offer "D" and "S" mode in addition to manu-matic mode (which I think, personally, is pretty lame-o.) In "D" mode the P.U.'s and D.D.'s are common. In "S" mode, upshifts come at higher RPM's -- as do downshifts.

    The car feels "peppier" since it is usually several hundred RPM higher in "S" mode at any one time than if the selector had been left in "D."

    I am now well above 50% "S" mode in my 3.2FSI 6spd Tip Audi (VW's first cousin if not fraternal twin.)

    The car is much more responsive -- tip lag while not 100% gone is no longer something I have to account for and plan for.

    If you have one of these fine new Passats or are thinking about one, please note the opinion from an earlier post where the person proclaims the Passat a "bargain."

    Most don't agree with that -- I am, apparently, one of the minority who thinks that a Passat is the gun in a knife fight with the Camry and/or Accord.

    The VW Passat 3.6L w/4Motion (speaking for myself) and with the high zoot sport package should be compared with a BMW 325xi or 330xi, Audi A4 quattro 2.0T and 3.2 and the C Class 4Matic Mercedes. Moreover, a price comparison with the Volvo S40 AWD with its highest fittment of engine and suspension, too, would seem to be a "fair fight."

    Now, I actually like, very much, the Acura TL -- but its darn near massive torque steer, coupled with its "only" coming in FWD makes it a "not inappropriate" competitor if AWD performance is not required.

    The tiptronic, sadly, is all there is -- the Audi and the BMW do offer the stick. Mercedes ONLY comes in automatic, too (and its manumatic transmission is or soon will be a 7 gang, but I'd wager will also have the same P.U. and D.D. traits as the VW version.)

    :shades:
  • I have two questions for new Passat owners-

    First, what octane rated gasoline are you using? The salesperson suggested I put plus gasoline (89) in the tank most of the time and premium (91 or 93) every once in a while. This seems to be working.

    Second, I got the standard 16" wheels/tires. What is the benefit of going to larger 17" tires? Would I need new wheels?

    This is a great car. Huge fun.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    This very discussion came up back in September and was discussed for several days. If after reviewing the three referenced posts as well as the responses to them you still have questions, I'll be happy to expound further. ;-)

    alison1, "Volkswagen Passat 2006+" #710, 1 Sep 2005 10:30 am
    alison1, "Volkswagen Passat 2006+" #713, 1 Sep 2005 10:58 am
    shipo, "Volkswagen Passat 2006+" #714, 1 Sep 2005 12:29 pm

    Long story short, the Passat 2.0T is a blown engine with a high mechanical compression ratio. Individually, both of those attributes indicate the requirement for Premium fuel, combine them into a single engine and it DEMANDS Premium fuel.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    Another issue with the Passat is that to conserve fuel it uses what they refer to as "fuzzy logic" to determine whether or not the car needs to downshift. While this does help save gas when you're on the interstate and have the cruise on, it is not helpful at all when you're in heavy traffic and need to pass someone quickly or merge into traffic.

    Overall, I like the Tiptronic. I got a lot of good use out of it on our recent vacation while driving in the mountains. Using the manual mode kept the car from constantly "hunting" the right gear while going up and down and round and round.

    The biggest problem I have with the Tiptronic is that you only have the option to go up or down one gear at a time and the whole thing seems backward. You push forward to upshift and pull back to downshift. To me it's a bit awkward if you're wanting to go from say 6th gear down to 4th. I believe some other cars with similar transmissions actually allow you to shift more like a real manual. If I had that ability I would probably shift myself much more often.

    Another feature about the Tiptronic is it will not allow the driver to shift into too low a gear and get the revs too high on the engine. I suppose for most drivers that is a good thing.

    BTW Mark, I totally agree with your comment about the Passat being the gun in the knife fight with Camcord.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,506
    “The biggest problem I have with the Tiptronic is that you only have the option to go up or down one gear at a time and the whole thing seems backward. You push forward to upshift and pull back to downshift. To me it's a bit awkward if you're wanting to go from say 6th gear down to 4th. I believe some other cars with similar transmissions actually allow you to shift more like a real manual. If I had that ability I would probably shift myself much more often.”

    I had a Passat (W8) with the (then 5 speed) Tiptronic. And all my most recent 4 sedans have had manumatic transmissions.

    I really don’t understand the one gear at a time ‘limitation’ being a problem. It does not seem to be an issue for F1 race car drivers or drivers of every motorcycle (race or street) that I know of. And it is not a problem for me.

    And my current and most recent certainly allowed a ‘double tap’ either up OR down – resulting in 2 shifts – occurring as rapidly as the trans. internal pressure adjustments and mechanical ‘shifts’ can be accomplished.

    Is skipping a gear really such a problem? Why?

    Thanks,
    - Ray
    Not getting’ it here . . .
  • mldj98mldj98 Posts: 378
    I would like to thank everyone for their response to my inquiry about VW's in general. I know dealerships can vary as far as customers service.....so I can deal with that....
    Since I have nevered owned a VW before.....just a litle hestitate.....but the 06 Passat is a fine looking vehicle...
    thanks again
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,665
    Humorous…

    Just yesterday I was telling my wife that she could take 2nd gear to 5000rpm and then shift into 4th.

    Due to a number of circumstances we had to switch vehicles. She normally doesn’t drive manual since she has bad knees (and wrists)…so I told her she could skip a shift if she needed to.

    If you’re stuck on the highway behind somebody in 6th gear and want to pass in 4th I guess you could down shift right to 4th when passing.

    But…yes I agree with you, usually going through the gears sequentially makes more sense.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Skipping gears with a true manual gear box is very much a no-brainer and something that I and most folks that I know who drive such cars do all of the time. The vast majority of my skipped gears come from when I'm downshifting for a corner or a curve; I'm thinking that my most common skip-shift is from either 4th or 5th gear to second. On the acceleration side I do occasionally, and I mean very occasionally, skip a gear while upshifting, and that usually means that I've been bun-hugging it up a freeway ramp only to find that traffic is moving at a very sedate pace. Such a situation would certainly dictate a 2nd to 4th or a 3rd to 5th shift.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,506
    Well, I do understand the concept of skipping gears. I drove (almost exclusively) cars with manual transmissions for many, many years. (3 speeds [ on the tree or on the floor ], 4 speeds, 5 speeds [ on the floor ] , 4 + separate OD [ Volvo ] , and even a 4 speed on the tree (old Peugeot – a 404, I believe – very odd] )

    I just don’t see tapping (forward or back, in this case) twice rapidly in succession to drop 2 gears or (per your acceleration example) to upshift twice as a problem.

    I do much the same as you describe, just let off the gas and hit the (in my current case) paddles twice. My experience has been that you can hit the control twice (or thrice) in very rapid succession. The requests “stack” – and are dealt with in due course. The 2 (or even 3) shifts occur without further attention from me. And quite rapidly.

    And my clutch leg \ knee tendonitis and toe bursitis is not aggravated.

    Anyway . . Works for me.

    Cheers,
    - Ray
    Not quite clear on the “bun-hugging” reference . .
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Not quite clear on the “bun-hugging” reference..."

    Geez, I guess I'm dating myself. That was a fairly common way to indicate that one was moving fast back in the mid 1970s, I'm thinking it was from a Fireside Theater comedy bit.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I have two answers:

    Use Premium. There is no other option, it costs more to use lower grade fuel. Why spend more to get less?

    If you have 16" wheels and you buy 17" tires, you must also acquire new wheels.

    The wheels and tires you get must be what are called "plus size." You can, typically, replace tires with identical sized tires (OEM identical); you may widen the foot print and lower the profile on the same oem wheel, this is called Plus Zero sizing.

    Plus one and Plus two sizing mean: one inch or two inches larger wheel size(s) and of course an accompanying increase in tire diameter and width and a decrease in aspect ratio must go along with plus sizing.

    For example: IF the car came with 225 x 55 x 17 tires (on 17" wheels) it is probably quite possible to increase the tread width from 225 to 245 and decrease the aspect ratio from 55% to 50% all on the OEM 17" wheel.

    If a size increase in the wheel is desirable for whatever reason (performance and/or appearance), the plus sizing would require the following: 245 width, 45 aspect ratio and 18" wheel/tire diam.

    The result of plus sizing (+1 for instance) can be better turn in and crisper handling (often is.) Another possible consequence is that "unsprung" weight may increase and depending on several factors this may not be a good thing at all.

    Generally speaking, +1 sizing is thought to improve both appearance and performance.

    Generally speaking.

    It is possible, for instance, to improve the sidewall stiffness, tread pattern and width, of the tire, lose wheel weight and enjoy better performance all the way around AND get an appearance boost too.

    It is also possible to pick the wrong wheel and tire and make the car overall worse. It is NOT rocket surgery, but you should figure out what attributes (and looks) are most important to you.

    Summer only?

    A/S?

    Speed rating?

    Treadwear stats?

    Road noise?

    Winter driving?

    Extreme cold stamina?

    Who moved my pants?
  • I bought the 06 Passat 3.6L with lux pack #1 and Dynaudio on 1/5/06. Love it. Better than the Mercedes C350 and $10,000 less.
  • Amen. Comparing this car to the Accord and Camry make less sense to me that what you did.

    The car is a bargain.
  • nowakj66nowakj66 Posts: 709
    When will it be on the lots?
  • jefferygjefferyg Posts: 418
    Thanks Ship, that's exactly the point I was making.

    What I don't like is having to "bump it" twice. It just doesn't feel natural.
  • asjavuasjavu Posts: 5
    When I bought my Passat the salesperson told me that in order to obtain 91 octane. I would need to fill it with 1/2 tank mid grade gas & 1/2 premium grade gas. 81 + 93 octane divided by 2 = 91 octane.

    The car doesn't run right and feels differently when I use Premium only gas. I've never put just regular gas in the car.

    What type of gas do most of you people use? And what's been your experiences with using a certain type of gas?
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,665
    Is that the 2.0T? If so, I’d just use the highest octane that is available.

    I wouldn’t think it would feel different using a higher octane than is required…other than the feeling in your wallet.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'll make it simple for you, who would you trust more to give you advice on the fuel for your car, your sales person or the folks who designed your engine?

    My bet is that your sales person might have a year or two of community college somewhere, while the folks who designed your engine probably teach very advanced engine dynamics to graduate students.

    Hmmm, a college drop out or a Professor with a Doctorate?

    Me? I think I'll believe the guy who designed it and as such, I'll take the advice that is printed in the manual. Said another way, Use the highest quality fuel you can buy in your area. Period, full stop, then end!

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Use Premium, Super, High test, whatever it is called in your area. Use 93 octane, 91 octane or even 94 octane whatever is called PREMO in your area.

    The requirement for premium should be noted in your manual. I have no clue why the salesperson would suggest you run the car at suboptimal power with the added benefit of lower power and overall higher fuel costs.

    It sure sounds as if the sales training of this individual has not been completed.

    The engine management computer in your VW will effectively retard the spark when lower octane fuel is detected (it seems to do other technical tricks, too, but this is the essence of what it does.)

    The 2.0T AND the 3.6L both require premium.

    Perhaps asking the service manager will help -- but the manual would be my first choice of info.

    No wait, edmunds folks might be your first choice. :surprise:
  • You can use 89 octane with no problem in the Passat and save a little money. I have 2 Passats, a 1998 w/110k miles and a 2006 with 3k miles. I have experimented extensively using 89 and 93 octane and based on the computer, the fuel mileage is aways the same. I have done this using the same commute route to reduce any variables.

    I have used mostly 89 octane in the 98 with no problems, it runs flawlessly with 110k miles. The only disadvantage is a very slight reduction in power. This is only really noticeable in hot weather with the AC running. So, because I am a cheap skate, I only use 93 octane in the summer and 89 otherwise. If you want maximum power, then use 91 or higher octane.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,486
    All that discussion really beats me, big time. When gas was cheap ($1/gall), percentagewise, there was significant difference (20%), but the gas bills were low anyway. Gas got more expensive, but the dollar difference is the same. So, percentagewise, it is less than 8% now, 5% in some states. Why even bother to risk knock sensors working overtime, not to mention loss power, etc.

    FSI with turbo is like doubling the cause (both high compression and turbo engines require premium on their own, so combines - you get the tune).

    There was a merchant in XVII century Poland - his name was Zablocki. He wanted to save on tarriffs and decided to float soap down the river in a submerged vessel. Well, the vessel was not exactly waterproof... Isn't this "saving on gas" a little bit like that? Just think about it - you both (possibly) $30+ machine and now you want to save money on gas??? If so, should have gottten Impala. :confuse: :sick:

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • asjavuasjavu Posts: 5
    I have the 2.0T w/lux pkg#2

    It's not the cost of gas that's my concern. I used to drive a SUV and I only used the cheapest gas I could find. With the Passat, I have used premium gas. I think alot of my confusion is coming from when you open the gas cap it says use at least 91 octane or 95 octane. There is only 87, 89 & 93 octane gas available.

    But I will fill up with premium gas from now on. My salesperson owns a Toureg so he wouldn't know anything about a Passat.

    Thanks!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Using a lower grade fuel in a blown 1.8T might very well not see much of a difference in fuel economy when compared with running Premium in that same car. Why? Because the 1998 mill had a 9.3:1 compression ratio, so all the Premium fuel would do was to allow more boost and greater power. However, the same rules do not apply to the new 2.0T engine. This new engine starts out with a 10.3:1 compression ratio meaning that it will benefit from Premium fuel even before the blower comes on.

    With all due respect to the 3,000 miles you already have on your 2006 Passat and the testing methods you've used to come to the conclusion that the grade of fuel doesn't matter, the laws of physics say otherwise. The simple truth is that a blown engine with a 10.3:1 compression NEEDS premium fuel both for peak performance AND peak fuel economy.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • I am not a chemical engineer nor even an automotive expert, but I read I speak with my service advisors and what I have seen and heard tells me that someone is NOT presenting the full story.

    The dealer service manager who has a bunch of certificates on his wall and has a bunch more folks with even more certificates says "if premium is not available you can use lower grade fuel, but not on a routine and regular basis -- it is a false economy."

    Folks have posted the reasons why premium has, over the years, started to cost less and less and indeed really is a false economy.

    If regular is $2.25, premium will be $2.45. Milage and power will improve and the maximum mileage interval can be used between service requirements.

    The sentence "you can use 89 and save a little money," should read "when you use 93 you will improve performance and efficiency and save a little money."

    If the folks who have explained this will not mind reposting, we need to stop distributing information that is NOT dangerous but also info that leads you down a false sense of savings route.

    The true "cheap skate" uses premium -- unless all these folks have been brainwashed or are getting kickbacks. I can't believe VW would require Premium for any other reason that to optimize performance and efficiency (and probably reliabiity.)

    The slight reduction in power is generally offset with driver or engine management inputs that effectively recognize the lower power of regular and use increased fuel in order to counter act the lower "energy."

    Cheapskates don't use regular in cars that are engineered for Premium unless they want to use MORE fuel to achieve lower power.

    I hope the folks knowing the technical explanation will participate.
  • dino001dino001 Tampa, FLPosts: 3,486
    I am an engineer, not chemical though. My understanding for use of premium gas is simple: in high compression and/or turbo engines it is paramount to have good control over the rate of fuel combustion in the chamber. The higher the grade, the generally better combustion control (less explosive). One can see why this control is important when the engine is revving high (typical for high compression/turbo at their power band): poor combustion, some fuel left unburnt, therefore wasted. Here comes the economy aspect: one saved 20 cents per gallon, but the engine will not be able to burn it in an optimal manner, thus mpg number is likely to fall. I do not know whether the total dollar number will go below premium, but I do know that whatever was hoped to save is likely to be significantly offset.

    Is the sky going to fall, when put lower grade in? Of course not, thus if you're stuck on the highway and the AAA guy has only regular, it's not a problem - things will not get ruined over half-hour use of regular.

    Now, only a qualified engineer can answer whether long-term use of substandard fuel will affect durability or not. My suspicion is not much, but why oh why one would want to put substandard fuel to get substandard performance and fuel economy with no real savings (or perhaps even actually higher final cost)?

    Those false economies are all over the place - people always concentrate on one number, completely disregarding surrounding facts. See them all the time: "my rent was XXXX, my mortgage payment is YYYY" (how about taxes, insurance and financing fees?), or "loan payment is $500, lease is $400 - lease is cheaper!" (what will you do after 3 years of lease are over?), "diesel makes 35 mpg, gasoline 30 mpg - diesel is cheaper!" (what about higher prices of diesel fuel and diesel engine cars?), etc.

    I guess it is hard to handle calculation with more than one terms. Perhaps expanding mandatory math curriculum in high school would help a little, who knows?

    2012 BMW 328i wagon, manual and sports package. No. sold in the US: 1. Probably.

  • I took delivery of my 2006 Passat 3.6L on January 5, 2006. The owner's manual has a "Supplement" attached that states, "Fuel--Premium or Regular unleaded". It also states, "for maximum engine performance, unleaded premium is recommended".
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