The 2019 Volkswagen Passat maintains a small slice in a shrinking mid-size sedan segment, a vehicle that'll be replaced by an all-new model next year. The current model is big on standard active safety tech, quality, and it has a voluminous interior. But its limited lineup and lack of personality underscore why it's largely eclipsed by competing models.

Best Value

The 2019 Volkswagen Passat is a front-wheel-drive model with room for five. Just ahead of the new model’s release, Volkswagen discontinued the previously available V6 engine. The two available trims, Wolfsburg and SE R-Line, come with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Standard features include automatic headlights, heated side mirrors, alloy wheels, keyless entry with push-button start, imitation leather seats, heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and an audio package.

We recommend the Wolfsburg trim, which includes the features mentioned.

  • Model:2019 Volkswagen Passat Wolfsburg
  • Engine:2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder
  • Output:174 hp / 184 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Six-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy:25 City / 36 Hwy
  • Options:Sunroof and Wheels Package ($1,000, 18-inch alloy wheels, power tilt-and-slide sunroof, illuminated vanity mirrors)
  • Base Price:$26,190 (including the $895 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$27,190

Performance

Volkswagen Passat

Last year’s previously available V6 engine is no more, while the standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine powers the 2019 Passat line. We’re sorry to see the V6 go, but the turbo is matched well with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Speed is not this model’s strength, but ride quality is. In fact, the VW Passat rides like a luxury car thanks in part to its 17-inch wheels and independent front and rear suspension. We found the Passat delivers confident steering and composed handling, although it isn’t especially entertaining.

What makes the Passat appealing from a performance standpoint is its fuel efficiency. This model makes an EPA-estimated 25 miles per gallon city, 36 mpg highway, and 29 combined.

Style

The Volkswagen Passat won’t win any style awards, as this sedan is about as nondescript as they come. That’s far different from the brand’s crossovers, which convey a ruggedness new to Volkswagen.

Up front, the Passat has a wide grille with a prominent VW badge. Distinct creases along its profile give way to a prominent greenhouse, which supplies superior outward vision. From the rear, the VW logo is also prominent and the trunk’s face is trimmed in chrome. Choose the SE R-Line and it comes with a body kit and 18-inch-wheel embellishments.

Slip inside and the Passat is decidedly restrained. Its look is even more conservative than the exterior, with only an analog clock making a fashion statement. The Passat’s strength lies with its fit and finish as well as with its cavernous interior. Its 15.9 cubic-feet trunk is another plus.

The Best and Worst Things

Volkswagen PassatWe find the Passat’s standard equipment list its strongest attribute. For 2019, Volkswagen overhauled the Passat’s model lineup, narrowing it to just two trims. But this also means the V6 engine is gone and we’re sorry it's no longer available.

Right For? Wrong For?

If you’re looking for a premium mid-size sedan, the Volkswagen Passat fills the bill. But the 2019 Passat has certainly aged. Every competing model is newer and in some cases offers more standard driver-assist features than the Passat.

The Bottom Line

Now in its eighth and final year, the 2019 VW Passat bows out with two trims to show for it. One of its strongest points is its six-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, which is also fully transferable to a new owner.