The midsize Volkswagen Passat sedan is in its fourth generation, with the current model introduced nearly a decade ago. It is the first model Volkswagen began building at its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory, but soon it will no longer be made. Indeed, Volkswagen recently confirmed that the Passat will soon be canceled, although the similar-sized Volkswagen Arteon may live on.
Since debuting, the Passat has represented a midsize, front-wheel-drive four-door sedan with room for five. This model features a wide grille with horizontal slats, large LED lighting elements, and a ribbed hood. Its profile is much tamer than most competitors with its even beltline, gentle character lines, and limited body sculpting. From the rear, narrow wraparound taillamps, a trunk lip spoiler, and dual exhaust ports mark the fascia.
Inside, the Passat has one of the roomiest rear passenger areas in this class. Two 6-foot tall adults sitting behind two 6-foot adults, fit with ease; a fifth passenger is possible. The trunk is a roomy 15.9 cubic feet, which is slightly above average for the segment.
VW dresses the Passat in cloth seats with genuine leather available. A minimalist cabin features hard plastics and imitation wood, but the standard leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift column ease that plain look somewhat.
The Passat comes with a 6.3-inch touchscreen, one of the smallest in the segment. A USB port, CD player, Bluetooth, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone compatibility are among the infotainment features of note. A Fender audio system is also available.
Volkswagen equips every Passat model with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 174 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. This engine works with a 6-speed automatic transmission to shuttle power to the front wheels. This sedan makes an EPA-estimated 24/36/28 mpg city/highway combined, which is average for the segment.
On the safety front, Volkswagen equips the Passat with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. It is also equipped with an after-crash braking system that stabilizes the car. We haven’t seen new crash test scores from the IIHS in several years, but the Passat does hold a 5-star rating from the NHTSA.