December 24, 2001
TEST DRIVE - 2001 Passat GLS 1.8T Sedan
New Passat GLX Wagon
Volkswagen has a long tradition of producing people-friendly vehicles. I recently drove the 2001 Passat GLX wagon and the 2001 Passat GLS 1.81T sedan.
What I liked best about both of these models was that I felt confident and safe when driving in the heavy rains. With lots of water on the highways both models felt solid on the road, and in some scary moments provided me with good braking with the ABS anti-locking braking system and the all season tires.
Safety features lead the list of standard features that come with all Passat models. New in 2001 is the Side Curtain Protection system that deploys a protective curtain of air from the rear pillar of the car in the event of a crash. They have front and side impact airbags for front passengers, height adjustable front safety belts with emergency tensioning retractors, power central locking system, and child safety rear door locks,
Both models have front 4-link suspension for minimized torque steering and power rack and pinion steering.
The power windows are interesting. You have one touch up and down, but also a key operated close and open feature. This would be handy on a warm day.
One feature I really like is the power heated side mirrors. Cruise control is standard as is the integrated front fog lamps and a multi-function trip computer.
Both models also featured the height adjustable, telescoping steering wheel.
For two years or 24,000 miles you can get all scheduled maintenance at no charge at Volkswagen dealers. The Volkswagen Protection Plus provides a two year/24,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty and a limited powertrain warranty at ten years/100,000 miles. And because of the use of fully galvanized sheet metal in the construction of the Passats, there is a limited corrosion warranty of 12 with no mileage restrictions. And for two years, 24-hour roadside assistance is provided.
Passat GLS 1.8T Sedan
My mojave beige metallic test model was powered by a 170 hp, 1.8L turbo, 4-cylinder engine with 20-valve fuel injection engine and a manual 5-speed transmission with overdrive.
This front wheel drive model has traction control with anti-slip regulation (ASR) and electronic differential lock (EDL). With an rounded aero-dynamic look, it has a 60/40 split folding rear seat.
The luxury package at $1,550 provided a glass sunroof with power tilt and slide, and 15-inch alloy wheels and rear sunshade. The leather package, also at $1,550, provided beige leather and heated front seats. Heated windshield water nozzles and a multi-function steering wheel. The Monsoon sound system was optional on the sedan at $325.
New Passat GLX Wagon
My pine green test model was powered by a 190 hp, 2.8L, 6-cyclinder, 30-valve V6 engine with variable intake and valve timing. The Tiptronic 5-speed automatic transmission allowed me to choose between normal automatic or shift the gears manually using a special shift gate.The all wheel drive has an electronic differential lock (EDL).
The interior was beige leather with genuine wood trim. I found that the seats were very comfortable with height and lumbar adjustments. The multi-function steering wheel is standard. The front armrest has a small storage compartment. The Monsoon sound system with eight speakers comes as a standard feature. The power flush-folding side mirrors are handy. Other standard features for the wagon include power glass sunroof, self-dimming interior rearview mirror, roof rack, luggage cover and heated wiper nozzles.