Becoming numb to the New Midsize Sedan
I think the funniest thing about the Passat is that I don't really care about the Passat
A couple of years ago, my grandfather walked into a VW dealer, and left it With A Problem. In true old person fashion he bought the first floor model he saw. Sure, he did know there was a VR6 and a version with electric seats, but he didn't want that, he wanted to feel happy about buying a huge barge for 17,000 dollars and putting it to his name. Did he need to buy such an inexpensive version of the Passat? no. Would he have bought a better version if he knew? Yeah, I guess.
Anyway, the last two years have proven to be a bit bizarre for him, and he doesn't really live in Mexico anymore, but he left this thing behind, and it turned into my sister's car.
Ever since I work in a rural area and I can't take my car because it would literally get stuck, I've gotten used to having cars lent to me in order to get there; sometimes a Tahoe, sometimes a Jeep, sometimes that weird VW. Lately, I've driven the VW for the most part... I must say; I've grown to like it. I think it cars the right way and usually doesn't car in the wrong way.
It's a good cruiser
This car has done a lot of highway service under my watch, chiefly going to Queretaro and back at some amusing speeds. Lets just say this car can handle a 150 km/h cruise along an interstate nearly two kilometers above sea level with intense inclines and downhills. I know most modern cars can do that, but the Passat does it in a very unobtrusive and effective fashion. Sure, steering feel is dead and the brakes are a bit touchy, but a few miles into any drive you'll find those things don't matter a lot
It is supremely comfortable
This car takes on the shitty pavement on this country better than pretty much everything else I've driven. The suspension has a long travel and compliant dampening, so it's never caught off guard, the seats might only have a couple of possible adjustments, but on the highway runs I've found it's OK. a complaint I keep having about VWAG cars is the telescoping wheel's limited reach which for me makes driving a bit more uncomfortable than my Kia or the Jeep; which have excellent adjustment.
It has adequate fuel economy, and maintenance is cheap
The good thing about the Passat is that VW was Mexico's best selling brand for years on end, so you'll never be lost for service options and prices will be very competitive. As much as this one has the old 2.5L 5 cylinder motor; it's rudimentary and demands very little from you. It's not as efficient as the 1.8 (nor, I expect, as eco-friendly), but it does is thing. I wouldn't buy this car with the VR6 despite how underpowered it feels, and that does say something for the 2.5L.
One thing I've come to understand about the Passat is that it says very little about the driver, but what it does say is "I don't want a pretend my car is a cheap Aston Martin or an LED ridden bottom feeder fish" (ie, a Fusion or an Optima), it's a very classic and Germanic design that doesn't have too much chrome or outlandish wheels. It's boring in the right way; like an Americano.
More than anything, it isn't a stupid SUV, with bizarre proportions and body cladding.
It's cheaper than the B8
VW makes a regular Passat for the European market, which is available with awd, a wagon, a hybrid, and a variety of motors. It is a better car than the NMS we get in North America and (I believe) China. But the NMS is a lot cheaper than the B8, and that makes it better for the markets it serves because in these parts of the world, no one is gonna want to spend more than 35,000 dollars on a Passat.
It's baaaaaaaad, but, it's better.
One thing I realized when driving the Passat is that it did 95% of the shit other cars I've driven do. The key question for most people trying to justify very expensive or very niche vehicles is that of the remaining 5%. I find that, many times, life isn't about thinking about that 5%, and for a daily the Passat is unobtrusive. As much as I won't praise it for it. I don't want to complain about it.
That's kind of the brilliance of the NMS.