Volkswagen’s Passat has been one of the German carmakers top selling sedans, and has been for over 50 years. This iconic mid-size has enjoyed many transformations and enhancements over the years, from sedans to wagons, from 4-cylinder to V6, to turbo diesel with front or all-wheel drive. Passat got better and larger with each remake, even transforming to an Audi A4 platform.
Today’s Passat takes on a sleek look with a coupe-like roofline. It has been offered in S, SE tested, sporty R-Line and top-line Limited Edition. More on this later.
Passat SE’s interior is on the conservative side with comfy, heated V-Tex leatherette perforated front seats with minimum lateral support. A smallish but vivid 6.3-inch infotainment touchscreen serves the XM audio, rearview camera, navigation, voice control, functions and apps through App-Connect that hooks up Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink systems.
The sedan’s HVAC controls are pleasingly large and easy to view and use with flush push button switches. Absent though is wireless phone charging, but there are receptacles for wired charging.
The console houses a burly transmission shifter that controls the quick shifting 6-speed Tipronic automatic transmission, a VW specialty.
Over on the instrument cluster, the gauges are analog with a small driver information display between the gauges that also displays a digital speedometer. The display issues alerts, functions and features.
Passat’s back seats are spacious for two adults with decent leg room. Because of a high transaxle hump, only three youngsters could have sufficient middle seat leg room. Ingres and egress though is easy thanks to wide opening doors with assist handles above all the doors.
Trunk space is rated at 15.9 cubic feet and is 45 inches deep to easily handle two large rollie luggage bags. Pull two handles in the trunk and cargo space increases to 72 inches, a full six feet.
Passat SE comes with a long list of standard safety features such as forward collision assist w/autonomous emergency braking w/pedestrian alert, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane keeping system, adaptive cruise control, tire pressure monitoring, tilting/telescoping steering wheel and for amenities, a power sunroof.
Passat comes with a single powertrain. Its 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder produces 174-hp and 206 lb/ft of torque. Coupled to the 6-speed Tiptronic auto transmission, the four earns EPA mileage ratings of 24 city 36-highway mpg with engine start/stop technology. The combination provides spirited acceleration and passing power. Kick in the turbo a bit too much and fuel economy expectantly suffers.
Passat comes with a 4 year/50K mile warranty that includes powertrain components; 7/100K corrosion protection; 2/20K scheduled carefree maintenance; and generous 3/36K 24-hour roadside assistance.
Now for the sad news.
The long-running Passat is being phased out. So, if you want one, better buy it now.
Of the last 800,000 Passat’s coming off the Chattanooga, Tennessee production line where they are made, the final production model was a spiffy Limited Edition trim. The plant will now be used to produce VW’s all electric ID-4 sedans we recently reviewed.
Passat’s history dates back to 1974 when the car was called a Dasher. Since then and for those who own a late model Passat, you may feel like a buddy of mine does. He loves his metallic blue Passat and hasn’t had a bit of trouble with it. And he was sad to hear of its demise. He insists he’ll keep it until it dies