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If the windows are left down on the TL the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Passat can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The TL’s speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Passat’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
Consumer Reports rated the TL’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Passat’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”
When the TL is put in reverse, the rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Passat’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.
The TL’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Passat doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.
Both the TL and the Passat offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the TL has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Passat doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.
The TL’s standard steering wheel mounted cruise control is close at hand. The Passat’s standard cruise control is on an over-crowded turn signal stalk.
The TL’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The Passat’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.
With optional voice command, the TL offers the driver hands free control of the radio, climate controls, cell phone and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Passat doesn’t offer a voice control system.