In an effort to increase market share in the US a few years back, VW increased the overall size of the Passat. Despite its larger size, the Passat has not lost its appeal as a driver’s car with exceptional build quality. The midsize segment is a heavily competitive playing field with vehicles that offer great styling, technology and performance, as well as good fuel economy.
The VW Passat does not offer a hybrid or pure electric model, however it does offer a diesel engine. Until the Mazda 6 diesel becomes available, the Passat is the only diesel family sedan available. Unlike competitors in the midsize field, it's also possible to get a manual transmission on a number of Passat trims.
What's New for 2014
VW has loaded up its base model with the features that most consumers want as standard equipment. A new 1.8-liter turbocharged engine will gradually replace the 2.5-liter unit as the base engine. VW's Car-Net connected services will be offered on select trims, and a rearview camera is now standard on SE and higher trim levels.
Choosing Your Volkswagen Passat
Your most critical decision is choosing an engine, which greatly affects the character of the car.
The Passat offers a quartet of motors:
The new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is being phased in to replace the 2.5-liter as a base motor. It has 170 horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque, and EPA city/highway fuel economy of 24/35 mpg with the five-speed manual transmission and 24/34 mpg with the six-speed automatic.
The 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder, making 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, is rated for city/highway fuel economy of 22/32 mpg with a five-speed manual and 22/31 mpg with a six-speed automatic.
The turbocharged 2-liter inline four-cylinder diesel (TDI) produces 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A fuel economy superstar, it returns an exceptional city/highway rating of 31/43 mpg with a six-speed manual or 30/40 mpg with six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
The 3.6-liter V6 gets you 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque with EPA city/highway fuel economy numbers of 20/28 mpg with the six-speed dual-clutch automatic.
These engines are tossed together with a variety of trim levels:
Add popular options with care—the price of this midsize family sedan can quickly move into premium Audi territory.