Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2016 Volkswagen Passat OVERVIEW
The mainstream family sedan with European flair, the Passat receives a host of upgrades this year to make it a stronger competitor to the segment's top sellers. While the car's fine German DNA is untouched, its trimmings and features are now more in sync with American tastes.
What's New for 2016
The Passat receives plusher interior trim and some new body panels for a more aggressive look. A rearview camera and color infotainment touchscreen are now standard, and advanced driver-assistance technology is available for the first time. A sporty R-Line model joins the lineup. The manual transmission has been dropped.
Choosing Your Volkswagen Passat
As before, the Passat starts out with a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 170 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is now standard. With this setup, the Passat achieves an impressive 38 mpg on the highway, a 2-3 mpg improvement over last year. The available 3.6-liter V6 provides a boost to 280 horsepower and comes with paddle shifters and dual exhaust tips.
Trim levels correspond to engine choice:
With this year's additional standard equipment, the base S model makes for a perfectly acceptable family sedan, and we expect it to be quite popular with cost-conscious buyers. Even, so the SE reigns supreme in the lineup when it comes to features for the money.
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