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2015 Volkswagen Passat Overview

John Diether
Automotive Editor - December 31, 2014

The family sedan with European flavor, the midsize Passat manages to be distinctive while adhering to the rules of this conservative class. It's a roomy, soberly styled four-door with interesting engine choices and an impressive array of configurations. If nothing else, the Passat does a skillful job of avoiding the me-too character of some competitors.

What's New for 2015

The available turbodiesel engine has been retuned for slightly better power and efficiency.

Volkswagen Passat

Choosing Your Volkswagen Passat

Contrary to what you might expect from VW, the Passat is more spacious than average for this segment, especially when it comes to rear legroom and cargo capacity.

  • The engine roster starts with a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 170 horsepower, matched to a six-speed automatic transmission. A five-speed manual is available on certain trim levels, a rarity for this class.
  • Next up is a turbodiesel 2-liter four-cylinder (TDI) that produces 150 horsepower and achieves up to 35 mpg in combined driving. The TDI comes with its own transmission choices: a six-speed manual or six-speed automated manual known as DSG.
  • Your top power choice is a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, which comes with the DSG only.

Engine availability is determined by trim level:

Volkswagen Passat Dash

1.8T S:

Gets the 1.8-liter engine and your choice of the five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, plus standard features such as Bluetooth phone and audio, automatic headlamps, a six-speaker sound system and a split-folding rear seat. The S rolls on 16-inch steel wheels.

1.8T Wolfsburg:

Comes standard with the automatic transmission and upgrades like leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver seat, satellite radio, alloy wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

1.8T SE:

Builds on the Wolfsburg with a rearview camera, upgraded instrumentation, 17-inch wheels, heated mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an eight-speaker sound system with a touchscreen display. Options for the SE include a sunroof and a navigation system.

1.8T Sport:

Adds front sports seats, faux carbon fiber interior trim, a rear spoiler, 19-inch wheels and paddle shifters for the automatic transmission. The manual transmission is once again available.

Volkswagen Passat Interior

1.8T SEL Premium:

Tops off the Passat with leather seating with driver memory and passenger power, navigation, a sunroof, keyless ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, digital audio storage, HD radio and 18-inch wheels. The six-speed automatic is also standard.


Equipped like the 1.8T SE, but with the efficient turbodiesel engine, matched to your choice of the six-speed manual or DSG transmission.

TDI SEL Premium:

Combines the SEL Premium equipment with the turbodiesel and standard DSG transmission.

V6 SEL Premium:

Same as above, but with the more powerful V6 engine.

CarsDirect Tip

The TDI registers a truly stellar 44 mpg on the highway. We can't think of a more appropriate midsize sedan for frequent business travelers and long-distance commuters.

Choose your Volkswagen Passat »

Volkswagen Passat Rear

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