2018 Passat models start at $23,845 (including an $850 destination charge) for the base S trim and top out at $35,500 for a V6 SEL Premium model. The biggest difference: the top trim is equipped with a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V6. The rest of the lineup receives a 174-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder.
All seven models feature the usual power features plus a power driver's seat, Bluetooth connectivity, a rear view camera, an automatic post-collision braking system, and automatic crash response. All but the S trim are equipped with adaptive cruise control. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert systems are optional on the S and standard on all other variants.
We'd skip both the base S and the R-Line and head straight to the SE trim that adds a power sunroof, larger 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leatherette seats (heated in front), keyless push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a larger 6.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, plus those safety features. Choosing the SE also allows access to an optional advanced lighting package that ditches the base headlights for a much better set of LEDs.
Here's how we'd build it:
- Model: 2018 Volkswagen Passat SE
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
- Output: 174 hp / 184 lb-ft
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
- MPG: 25 City / 36 Hwy
- Options: SE Lighting Package ($1,195, LED headlights, tail lights, and daytime running lights: halogen front fog lights with low-speed corner illumination).
- Base Price: $27,145 (including an $850 destination fee)
- Best Value Price:$28,340