The ride is on the firm side but absorbs bumps decently. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission deliver power effortlessly, but initial acceleration from a stop feels a bit abrupt and fuel economy trails the competition. The front seats are comfortable, and rear-seat occupants benefit from limousine-like spaciousness. The trunk is large. Controls are very easy to use, and so is the infotainment system. Active safety features, including FCW, AEB, and BSW, are standard.More
Volkswagen Passat review
Volkswagen knows that the only way is upmarket for conventional family cars. The class is dying out, so it needs to focus on rivals such as BMW and Mercedes, rather than Ford and Vauxhall. Luckily for VW, this Passat is a more convincing alternative to these executive cars than ever. It's got the quality, refinement and technology to compete with the best, even if it lacks the badge prestige.
The Passat has plenty of advanced tech, including the latest infotainment and active safety options, while the GTE uses Volkswagens’ clever hybrid tech to minimise emissions and appeal to fleet users. Most buyers will still be best-served by the smooth, economical diesel models.
• Best family cars to buy now
The exterior looks aren't very inspirational, but the Passat has moved up a notch in terms of luxury, which is reflected even more strongly inside, where it feels a cut above the Ford Mondeo. The Passat is roomier than most rivals, despite being no larger than the previous-generation model, and it rides and handles better than ever, thanks to its lighter platform architecture.
The Volkswagen Passat saloon and Passat Estate are the longest lived models in the VW line-up. They've been for sale since 1972, so pre-date the Golf by a couple of years, while the current B8-generation version has been on sale since 2015, with a facelift arriving in 2019.
The big change when the current Passat arrived was a move upmarket compared to what we're used to. It was a planned step, with VW moving away from the family car sector and fixing its sights on the compact executive saloon class instead. As it sits in this middle ground between the two sectors, it has a number of rivals that it needs to take on.
Other models in the family car class have taken a leaf from the Passat's book by moving upmarket, so cars like the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, Ford Mondeo, Peugeot 508, Mazda 6 and Skoda Superb have all raised their game, while the Kia Optima and Hyundai i40 are alternative family cars, and the Toyota Camry has returned to shake up the market. While these rivals offer a mix of hatchback or saloon bodies, all bar the Camry also come as an estate.
At the other end of the spectrum are the executive models that the Passat is designed to emulate. This includes the big three Germans in the shape of the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, while the Jaguar XE, Alfa Romeo Giulia and Lexus IS are also in the running. In reality, the Passat gets close to these cars, but isn't quite at the same level.
But if you want an upmarket, spacious and well equipped family car, then the VW Passat fits the bill. VW offers SE, SE Nav, SEL and R-Line, along with the Alltrack and GTE models; prices start from around £25,000.
Power comes from 1.6 TDI and 2.0 TDI diesels, or VW's 2.0-litre TSI and 1.5 TSI EVO petrol units with cylinder shut-off tech. Six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG auto gearboxes are available, with the latter fitted as standard on higher-spec models. The 4Motion four-wheel drive system is standard with the 190PS and 240PS diesel units in R-Line trim and also on Alltrack models.
There's also the plug-in hybrid Passat GTE, which features a petrol engine combined with an electric motor and battery pack. It’s relatively expensive to buy but low emissions mean it's attractive to company car users – you can read our review of this version here.
The Passat uses the VW Group's MQB platform and is one of the larger models to do so. As a result, it's relatively light, so the Passat handles tidily – although it's geared more towards comfort than performance.
As mentioned, the Passat Estate is also offered, and it carries a premium of around £1,500 over the saloon. It's available in all the same trims as the saloon, including GTE, but also comes in Passat Alltrack spec, with raised suspension, 4Motion four-wheel drive and with SUV styling additions. It's a great alternative for buyers who don't want an SUV but appreciate their abilities and space.
For an alternative review of the latest Volkswagen Passat Saloon visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk
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Fair Market Price
With the MotorTrend Fair Market Price (powered by IntelliChoice), get a better idea of what you’ll pay after negotiations including destination, taxes, and fees. The actual transaction price depends on many variables from dealer inventory to bargaining skills, so this figure is an approximation.
|5-Year Cost to Own / Rating|
|$27,295||$30,129||Coming Soon / N.A.|
|$27,295||$30,129||Coming Soon / N.A.|
|$29,295||$32,259||Coming Soon / N.A.|
|$30,295||$33,324||Coming Soon / N.A.|
- Roomy cabin
- Big trunk
- Standard adaptive cruise control
- Brake pedal feedback needs refinement
- Outdated infotainment system
- Slower acceleration than rivals
Volkswagen Passat Expert Review
Once one of Volkswagen's most successful cars in the United States, the Passat enters its final year of production with a Limited Edition trim. It rides on the platform that's been on sale in the United States since 2012, the same year it won our MotorTrend Car of the Year award. The Passat last received a major refresh in 2020. Although this midsize sedan no longer feels like a fresh offering, it comes with the traditional advantages of its segment, namely a comfortable ride, a large trunk, and spacious interior.
- S trim discontinued (previously the base model)
- New Limited Edition tops the lineup with 18-inch wheels, leather upholstery, heated rear seats, power passenger seat, navigation, Fender sound system, and other features
As Volkswagen continues to focus on SUVs, the Passat got pushed to the wayside. It doesn't enjoy many of the updates that its stablemates have received in the last few years, making do with a tiny screen in the otherwise analog gauge cluster and the last-generation version of VW's infotainment user interface.
The Passat still provides a comfortable ride and a roomy, if barren, cabin, but it lags behind its competitors in acceleration and on-road dynamics. Brake pedal feel remains a point of frustration; odd calibration makes it hard to trust the Passat when hauling down from higher speeds.
A new Limited Edition trim offers a comprehensive list of standard equipment, but buyers dead set on a VW may want to look at another model in the lineup that has received a bit more attention.
Volkswagen offers the Passat with just one engine: a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four that develops 174 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque. It's optimized for easy, relaxed driving and doesn't fare well when compared with the power delivery of its competitors. The six-speed automatic transmission is partially responsible for this underperformance and suffers from too-long gearing and slower shifts than other gearboxes on sale right now. Fuel economy is decent, with an EPA-rated 24/36 mpg city/highway.
Volkswagen won't be offering its IQ.Drive safety assistance tech for the Passat's last year, but the midsize sedan does come standard with a roster of driver aids. Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control are all standard. Volkswagen dropped the base S trim, so now automatic windshield wipers and high-beams are standard, as well. The top-of-the-line Limited Edition trim adds adaptive front lighting and front and rear parking sensors.
Despite the Passat's shortcomings as one of the oldest entries in the midsize sedan segment, the Passat stands out with great cargo space and legroom. The trunk can swallow 15.9 cubic feet of goods, although that's still smaller than the Honda Accord's 16.7 cubic feet.
Compared even to other models in the VW portfolio, much less its competitors, the Passat falls short. Its 6.3-inch infotainment screen is on the smaller side, especially when you factor in the availability of an 8.0-inch unit in other models sold by Volkswagen. The small display between the tachometer and speedometer is still black and white, a glaring representation of how far behind the Passat has fallen in recent years. There are a total of three USB ports in the Passat as standard equipment. A six-speaker sound system comes with the now-base SE model; the R-Line and Limited Edition trims receive an upgraded nine-speaker Fender premium setup.
Folks who want to snag one last Passat before it's discontinued should opt for the Limited Edition trim, which starts at just over $31,000. These models come fully loaded, receiving a bevy of unique touches. The Passat Limited Edition rides on 18-inch wheels and has fully upgraded LED headlights with adaptive front lighting. It has parking sensors for the front and rear, a hands-free opening trunk, and power folding mirrors. Volkswagen adds navigation to the infotainment unit and its premium nine-speaker Fender audio system. The cabin also gets upgrades in the form of leather seats, heated front and rear seats, a power passenger seat, and memory settings for the driver's seat.
Volkswagen will build 1,973 examples of the Passat Limited Edition. The number represents the year the first Passat was introduced in Europe. Within this total production volume, Volkswagen will sell the Passat in specific quantities in four color combinations, with the numeral of each total signifying something significant from the Passat's history. The reasoning for each is more than a little convoluted, but here's the breakdown:
- Racing Green metallic over Mauro Brown leather: 423 examples will be built, representing Chattanooga's telephone area code.
- Aurora Red metallic over Titan Black leather: 411 will be made in honor of the Passat's "original vehicle production code. "
- Pure White over Mauro Brown leather: 524 will be produced, representing the Chattanooga plant's opening date of May 24, 2011.
- Platinum Grey over Titan Black leather: 615 units signify "six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales. "
Based on performance, value, MPG, interior space, and more, this score reflects MotorTrend’s exhaustive evaluation process. Scores can only be compared to other cars in the same class. A 7.0 rating represents average performance.
#7 in Midsize Sedans | Rankings
A dated infotainment system and middling fuel economy leaves the Volkswagen Passat behind many of its competitors. At least it has a roomy interior and a big trunk for your gear.
Performance of Intended Function: How does a car drive? Does it have enough space for passengers and their stuff?
We track efficiency and driving range.
Does the car offer impressive tech for its segment? How well does it work? Are there any innovative design details?
How well will this car hold its value over time? Will it be expensive to maintain, insure, or repair? IntelliChoice data and research inform this score.
Passat reviews vw
The 2022 Volkswagen Passat doesn't excite like the flashier, speedier family sedans it competes against. Parked next to the low and wide Hyundai Sonata or the sleek Kia K5, the VW looks y bland. Although its interior is equally unassuming, it's put together well and boasts pleasant materials. The Passat's cabin is also a spacious place, particularly in the back seat. This along with its myriad standard driver assists, such as automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring, make it a solid choice for families. Its four-cylinder powertrain operates without fuss, but it's notably slower than rivals such as the Honda Accord, and VW doesn't offer all-wheel drive or a hybrid variant like many of its classmates. Still, the 2022 Passat possesses a comfortable ride and attractive pricing. For some customers, those traits—and its refined German disposition—might be preferable to more popular mid-size alternatives.
What's New for 2022?
Volkswagen will bid farewell to the Passat after the 2022 model year, but the brand is sending it off with a special Limited Edition model. Among the 1973 copies that VW will build, 423 of them will be coated in an exclusive Racing Green metallic paint, as seen on the VW Atlas SUV. The Passat Limited Edition also rides on 15-spoke, 18-inch wheels and has distinct exterior detailing. Along with an assortment of upscale interior features–including leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, built-in navigation, and a Fender audio system–there are call-outs to the Chattanooga assembly plant in Tennessee where the Passat has been built for the past decade.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We'd recommend the Passat SE, which comes standard with plenty of features that family-sedan buyers will appreciate, including touchscreen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, 17-inch wheels, heated front seats, adaptive cruise control, automatic climate control, lane-keeping assist, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Passat has a single powertrain option: a 174-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic transmission. In our testing, the engine was smooth and refined throughout its rev range and helped move the sedan with ease. The automatic is mostly a smooth operator, but occasionally it stumbled during our testing when crawling along at low speeds in heavy traffic. Whether eating up highway miles or tooling down back roads, the Passat is up to the challenge. It combines a soft, almost luxurious ride with predictable handling, providing a vehicle that's as comfortable as it is capable. Steering is accurate and well-weighted, but as with many others in the class, it doesn't offer as much feedback as we want.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Passat's turbocharged four-cylinder engine's EPA fuel economy is average among family sedans, and many rivals offer more efficient models and hybrid options. The VW's 24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway estimates trail those of the four-cylinder Toyota Camry. We tested both on our 75-mph fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen; the Passat earned 36 mpg while the Camry delivered an impressive 42 mpg. For more information about the Passat's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Inside the Passat, clean, straight lines follow Volkswagen's unassuming design language. The Passat's interior is handsome in a German, utilitarian way, but it's lacking true inspiration to earn our full praise. The Volkswagen's cabin isn't completely without merit, though; it's among the most spacious and comfortable in its segment. With an open cabin and thin door pillars, outward visibility in the Passat is excellent. There is little variation in cargo capacity among family sedans. With the seats folded to their not-quite-flat resting position, we managed to fit 16 carry-on-sized boxes behind the front seats. The Passat fell to the bottom of the family-sedan pack for real-world carrying capacity, perhaps because Volkswagen sacrificed some trunk space to the Passat's huge back seat.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The standard infotainment system includes a 6.3-inch touchscreen with a three-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and several USB ports. The top model adds navigation, a larger 8.0-inch display, a premium sound system, and a six-month subscription to VW's Car-Net services. This allows users to locate the vehicle, call for roadside assistance, and even lock/unlock the doors remotely from their smartphone.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
While even the base model has several standard driver-assistance technologies, only the top trim has the most advanced equipment. For more information about the Passat's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Volkswagen has an above-average limited warranty and below-average powertrain coverage. To offset the latter, the company provides some complimentary maintenance.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for two years or 20,000 miles
2020 Volkswagen Passat
front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
$32,410 (base price: $23,915)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection
121 in3, 1984 cm3
174 hp @ 5200 rpm
206 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.3-in vented disc/10.7-in disc
Tires: Giti GitiComfort A1, 235/45R-18 94H M+S
Wheelbase: 110.4 in
Length: 193.6 in
Width: 72.2 in
Height: 58.0 in
Passenger volume: 102 ft3
Trunk volume: 16 ft3
Curb weight: 3430 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
60 mph: 8.3 sec
100 mph: 21.3 sec
110 mph: 26.7 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 9.0 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.4 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 6.3 sec
1/4 mile: 16.2 sec @ 88 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 116 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 183 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.84 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 27 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 27/23/34 mpg
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