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.
2017 Volkswagen Passat OVERVIEW
The Volkswagen Passat is perfect for drivers who are looking for a midsize sedan that comes with a little extra luxury and style as standard equipment. The Passat drives beautifully, has a high-end interior, is available in a variety of trim levels and most importantly, is very affordable.
The Passat was redesigned for 2016 with an updated look, revised interior and new driver assist systems. The 2017 Passat will stay mostly the same with the big news being that Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking will become standard across all trim levels, making this the safest Passat ever to hit the road.
What's New for 2017
Because the Passat was updated for 2016, little is changing for this model year. Volkswagen is making forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking standard across all Passat trims. This safety feature monitors the front of the car and sounds a warning if a collision is imminent—if the driver doesn’t respond the car will come to a stop on its own.
Other changes include blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert coming standard on R-Line and SE trims. A V6 SE with Technology is being added to the lineup and the R-Line models gain a touchscreen radio that has USB connectivity and voice control. The SE trim now has keyless access and push-button start.
The best news of all is that prices are dropping. According to official order guides, the base model 1.8T S will maintain the 2016 starting price of $23,260 but most other trims will benefit from a price decrease with the 1.8 SEL Premium coming down a whopping $3,275.
Choosing Your Volkswagen Passat
The Passat comes in a number of different trim levels and the majority of them have a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that cranks out 170 horsepower. It is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with a sport mode. The Passat manages 38 mpg out on the highway and 25 mpg in the city.
While the 1.8-liter engine is standard on most trim levels, an available 3.6-liter V6 ups the available power, producing 280 horsepower.
Here is a quick rundown of the available trim levels with the Passat:
The Passat is a great vehicle regardless of the trim level you choose. The R-Line has gotten some major technology upgrades making it an excellent buy. The SE is always a popular model and 2017 will most likely follow in that tradition, and if you are after true luxury, the SEL Premium V6 is not only luxurious but fun to drive.
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