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  1. #1
    Moderator - CPST Instructor Pixelated's Avatar
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    VW Golf / Jetta / Passat Wagon

    I am considering a VW wagon as my next vehicle, and one of my main criteria is to actually be able to use the three rear seating positions at the same time (super hard to find without going to a much larger vehicle).

    It won't be all the time so it doesn't need to be easy but it does need to be possible. I currently have a 4 year old FF and an almost 7 year old in a booster, but will eventually have two boostered kids (and we tend to keep cars a long time, mine are both now 11 years old). I have a wide selection of seats and am not averse to having to get something else down the road. I want to be able to toss in an extra kid in a harness, a booster, or even an adult from time to time. Scraped knuckles are okay because it won't be very frequent.

    I'm thinking most likely 2011 or 2012, although I do realize the Passat hasn't been made since 2010. Not sure I want to go to that model year unless it's extremely awesome for seating.

    Does anyone have any experience with any of these?
    Jen ~ Canadian CPST-IT with CPSAC

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician
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    Re: VW Golf / Jetta / Passat Wagon

    Friend has a Passat Wagon - but not sure what year. . .might be older than 2010. I'll ask her and if it's a year you're interested in, I could check out the back. I have 2 RN, 1 TB, 2 TBSS, 1 Apramo.
    Tech and mom to:
    8yr old in a HBTB with SS, and 9yr old in a NB TB in an 07 CRV

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member jwilliams's Avatar
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    I was thinking about the same vehicles earlier this year. I think the Passat Wagon would be pretty three across friendly - nice wide, flat back seats (no bolsters!), short, stiff buckles, tons of front to back space. It's a bummer that they aren't made any more, because I am also not crazy about going back to a 2008-2010 model year.

    We went and checked out a 2014 Jetta SportWagen, with an RXT and a Sureride in tow, and just... no. Not for a main car with three kids, not even three in harnessed seats. Too tight, middle seat too narrow, not quite enough front to back space. I'd buy it for two kids, though.

    FYI the SportWagen is getting a makeover that will give it slightly more space in all directions, plus better gas mileage. I think Q1 or Q2 2015 last I read? Maybe that will push it into three across friendly territory.
    5yo harnessed in a Britax Pioneer, one 3yo RF in a Fllo and another 3yo RF in a plum RXT, all in a 2014 Honda Accord.

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member T4K's Avatar
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    The current Passat can fit three tightly. I'm not sure what you want the wagon for but the trunk is awesome in the Passat. Nat just bought one too.
    Mama to Baby Girl N - two years old
    Loving Stepmother of wonderful girls, H-9 and S-5

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy thtr4me's Avatar
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    Re: VW Golf / Jetta / Passat Wagon

    I have an older (2007) Passat Wagon, and I would say 3 across would be difficult at best. Even three people in the rear seat is tight. Granted I have wider seats in the back, but with a Frontier and a Boulevard, you can sort of wedge a really small person (I am 5'1") in the back seat, at an angle, with one should wedged behind a seat, and one in front. It might be possible to get 3 Radians across. I think the newer Passat models are much better in terms of rear seat width, but the wagon is not an option in the newer models . When I have had to transport 3 kids, I ended up putting a booster in the front seat for the oldest of the 3. The wagon models have a back seat that is much closer to the current Jetta Sportwagon. Even front to rear space is tight for the size of the car (we had a heck of a time fitting a convertible rear-facing and having my DH be able to drive the car). The cargo area is cavernous though, if that is what you are looking for.

    I will say though, that I absolutely LOVE my wagon and refuse to give it up. I think I email VW of America at least once a year asking them to bring back the Passat Wagon.

  7. #6
    Moderator - CPST Instructor Pixelated's Avatar
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    Re: VW Golf / Jetta / Passat Wagon

    Thanks for the input. I want the wagon because we already have a sedan and I like variety, and also to be able to pack it full of stuff like training seats. And an elderly dog. All properly restrained of course.

    I'm still confused about the similarities and differences between the Golf Wagon and Jetta Wagon. I think I'm just going to have to haul along some seats and try some out when my dealer gets one in.
    Jen ~ Canadian CPST-IT with CPSAC

  8. #7
    CPS Fanatic Morganthe's Avatar
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    Re: VW Golf / Jetta / Passat Wagon

    I have a 2003 Passat Wagon (owned since 2009). I regularly put 3 in boosters in the back. Monterey nbb on outer positions & a bubble bum for center.

    It's a tight fit to buckle, but once they're in there, it's comfortable. We've done 2 hour rides with no complaints. The bubble bum is for a 12 year old who is shorter than my dd. Tried it 2 months ago without the bb, and the seatbelt would have choked her. The back seats are deep. DD's 5'1 and still prefers using her nbb in my car. Everywhere else, she's 5 stepping.

    I wish they were still making Passat Wagons for the US market... I'm holding on to mine until they return if it lasts that long. Jettas are just a wee too cramped for the price. The SUVs don't interest me at all and I know they are why Passats have been discontinued. I can pack so much variety of stuff in the wagon from love seats to people & pets. It's a big gaping maw of space, if I so choose.
    My Munchkin -- Nov 2008--5 years, 45.5", 42lbs
    Current Stats: 12 years old /5'5/ 115lbs/ Seatbelt

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Phillip K. Dick

  9. #8
    Moderator - CPST Instructor Pixelated's Avatar
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    Re: VW Golf / Jetta / Passat Wagon

    Quote Originally Posted by Morganthe View Post
    I have a 2003 Passat Wagon (owned since 2009). I regularly put 3 in boosters in the back. Monterey nbb on outer positions & a bubble bum for center.

    It's a tight fit to buckle, but once they're in there, it's comfortable. We've done 2 hour rides with no complaints. The bubble bum is for a 12 year old who is shorter than my dd. Tried it 2 months ago without the bb, and the seatbelt would have choked her. The back seats are deep. DD's 5'1 and still prefers using her nbb in my car. Everywhere else, she's 5 stepping.

    I wish they were still making Passat Wagons for the US market... I'm holding on to mine until they return if it lasts that long. Jettas are just a wee too cramped for the price. The SUVs don't interest me at all and I know they are why Passats have been discontinued. I can pack so much variety of stuff in the wagon from love seats to people & pets. It's a big gaping maw of space, if I so choose.
    Now I'm extra sad they're not made anymore. THIS is what I want!
    Jen ~ Canadian CPST-IT with CPSAC

  10. #9
    Moderator - CPST Instructor Pixelated's Avatar
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    Re: VW Golf / Jetta / Passat Wagon

    Golf Wagon is a big fat no go. Not a chance. The centre seat is way too narrow. Sad face.
    Jen ~ Canadian CPST-IT with CPSAC

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: VW Golf / Jetta / Passat Wagon

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelated View Post
    Golf Wagon is a big fat no go. Not a chance. The centre seat is way too narrow. Sad face.
    Wait, are they out in Canada already?? We are also considering this one but if three-across doesn't work that's a dealbreaker. They have been advertising it as bigger than the Jetta wagon so it's frustrating if they've designed the seats in a way that won't accommodate this. Argh.

    As I understand it the main differences between the Golf and Jetta wagons are that the Golf wagon will have more legroom and headroom, 10% more cargo room, and better mileage (new engine tech in both TDI and non-TDI) than the current Jetta wagon. It might have AWD eventually in the TDI version but not for 2015. Our dealer is now saying late spring for the U.S. release though--keeps getting pushed. I would love to hear more from those who have seen it IRL in other countries!

  12. #11
    Moderator - CPST Instructor Pixelated's Avatar
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    We looked at a 2011 golf wagon so I didn't know they were new. Unless the 2015 is a redesign?
    Jen ~ Canadian CPST-IT with CPSAC

  13. #12
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: VW Golf / Jetta / Passat Wagon

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelated View Post
    We looked at a 2011 golf wagon so I didn't know they were new. Unless the 2015 is a redesign?
    Google to the rescue--looks like the Canadian Golf wagon is the same as the U.S. Jetta wagon for those years. There's a completely new (and supposedly bigger) design for 2015 that's being released as the Golf Sportwagen in the U.S. (and they are discontinuing the Jetta Sportwagen here). Hopefully that will fit things better, but doesn't help much for older models--sorry I missed that in your initial post!

  14. #13
    CPS Fanatic Morganthe's Avatar
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    Re: VW Golf / Jetta / Passat Wagon

    Quote Originally Posted by Pixelated View Post
    Now I'm extra sad they're not made anymore. THIS is what I want!
    I'm extra sad too after this past week. Flat out, they're not making Passats like they used to. It's traumatic to me since this is my third Passat (the others were German specs and had to be sold before leaving country) & our 5th VW product.

    Long story short, at the last minute because my car wasn't ready on a recall fix due to a massive screwup on the dealership's part, I was offered a 2015 Passat with 148 miles on the odometer for a few hours.

    I gratefully took the free loaner, loaded it up with bags to get to dd's afternoon classes and tried to figured out the 'new' system.

    Well, first of all, I had to get my head unstuck from the 'ceiling'. Lowered the seat down as far as it went..... but STILL felt perched and too high. I'm 5'8, but my sitting height is extremely short. (height is all from leg length).

    It was weird to be this tall and so close to the visor edge. If I straightened, I could almost touch it with my forehead. Felt as if I was sitting in a minivan. It was because they had channeled the rails for the seat. There was about 4" from the base of the seat bottom to the floor. I could have stored my bag in the space, maybe some books. Wasted and weird, imo.

    Didn't help that the huge headrest was pushing my head more forward than was natural on my spine. I couldn't tip it back like I do with my own car.

    In the hour I spent driving the car, I could not get comfortable in this seat. I couldn't see out well. No matter what I tried, it was awful. I dropped dd off at her class & hung out at the library because the experience was so terrible. I doubt 6'3 long torso dh would even be able to sit in it without getting sore.

    The car itself drove okay. But, hmmmm. Okay was all I could feel about it. I couldn't put my figure on what I felt until I was on the return journey. It drove like every other American made car on the market. Adequate. Quiet. Blah. Bland.

    Maybe it's because it was a 4 cyl, vs my 6, but even the 4 speed Golfs I had driven in the past had more personality than this spanking brand new car. There was nothing in the interior that I've always loved about Volkswagen. No fahrfegneugen (that wonderfully made up word that described the Fun & pleasure in buzzing around in a VW.) Even the old camper vans had more character and they were basic.

    Somehow, the designers & manufacturing in the US have sucked the uniqueness out of the vehicle and now it's just like any sedan on the market. Nice, okay. gets you from place to place. But not worth the expense of paying for the VW brand over anyone else.

    Both dd & I were so happy to switch back to my 11 year old car. Just being back down and able to stretch my leg out straighter than the bent downwards positioning because the seat was higher -- felt good.

    I had a moment of concern that somehow they had broken my seat. Whoever parked it must like being on top of the steering wheel. I had to adjust the seat from all the way forward, back, before I could get into it. Then I was just as cramped up against the ceiling as in the new car. Remembered that I could lower it too. Ahhhh, so nice to be grounded. And to have tight steering again where I didn't have to constantly adjust to keep the car on track. I'm happy driving again.

    The one plus with the new version was the camera for the rear direction. So sensitive that I could see the exhaust in pitch dark. But it's really necessary since I couldn't see that well out of the side & back window.

    I sneaked a peak to the Golf and it doesn't have that odd seat lift.. so I guess you can still be sporty in that. Just not a Passat???

    Makes me sad. I hope they somehow get the spirit back.
    My Munchkin -- Nov 2008--5 years, 45.5", 42lbs
    Current Stats: 12 years old /5'5/ 115lbs/ Seatbelt

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Phillip K. Dick

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