Seat Time: Imagine A VW w/Emojis

July 20th, 2016 at 1:29pm

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Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Katherine Gritzinger with Carmen Erickson
Vehicle: 2016 Volkswagen Passat
Price: Starting at – $22,000, as tested – $38,000

Final Impression:

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Pros – Apple CarPlay, Safety technologies-adaptive cruise, lane detection, post-collision braking, USB ports; zippy – accelerates quickly, paddle shifter nice. Large trunk and spacious backseat.

Cons – Boring styling, other drivers thought bright headlamps active during normal driving.

“Wow, this car’s cruise control slows itself down?” was my first thought when I drove the 2016 Volkswagen Passat. As a millennial a year post-college, I don’t often find myself in a vehicle model with a production date past 2010; my personal car being a 2008 Saturn Astra accruing 170,000+ miles.

The Passat put my little bucket of bolts to shame.

For starters, the Passat has adaptive cruise control that works like a charm. I drive about an hour round trip from home to the office on all kinds of roads, and it gives me quite a bit of testing time to notice the bugs in a system. As far as the Passat’s cruise goes, I’d say it’s nearly flawless. Driving home is normally a chore for me. My Astra has a manual transmission, making the heavy traffic miserable. With the Passat, I didn’t have to slow myself down or push anything… the car did it for me!

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This car has a lot of features, but I have to say that the one that stands out the most to me is Apple CarPlay and the USB port. It’s amazing to have my entire phone on the giant screen in front of me. Apple CarPlay is incredible because it allows me to navigate with the touch of a finger, or with the sound of my voice. It displays any relevant icons I might need in the same design they would be displayed on my iPhone. Even Spotify is available with an icon. A little easter egg that I noticed and LOVED as well was, when I called my boyfriend through the Apple CarPlay, his name, which is followed by a kiss emoji on my phone, was announced as “Calling Boyfriend ‘Kissing Mark’.” I loved it.

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