2017 Volkswagen Passat Overview
Pros & Cons
- Quiet cabin
- Spacious back seat
- Quick acceleration with V6 engine
- Small infotainment screen
- Limited standard features
Notable for 2017
- Forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking now standard
Volkswagen Passat Rankings and Research
The 2017 Volkswagen Passat ranking is based on its score within the Midsize Cars category. Currently the Volkswagen Passat has a score of 8.0 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 54 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.
- #15 in Midsize Cars
2017 Volkswagen Passat Pictures
2017 Volkswagen Passat Review
The 2017 Volkswagen Passat provides a comfortable ride and plenty of room for family and friends. It offer generous space and a quiet cabin that includes high-quality materials, according to the reviews and data that drive our rankings.
The Passat has a lot to offer in terms of features and performance. However, to get most of them you’ll have to upgrade to higher trims. The Passat offers a smooth, if not sporty, ride. The standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers sufficient power, but the optional V6 provides more power and better acceleration.
The base infotainment system features an easy-to-use touch-screen display, but rival vehicles offer larger standard touch screens. Reviewers like the upgraded system, which has a larger screen and great smartphone integration.
With a starting price of $22,440, the Passat is priced just below average for the midsize car class. It earns good safety scores but gets slightly below-average fuel economy.
Pick and Choose
The 2017 Volkswagen Passat provides a comfortable and quiet ride. Its base turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine puts out 170 horsepower and gets 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. An available 3.6-liter V6 produces 280 horsepower and gets 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. These numbers are slightly below average for the class. The Passat has eager acceleration, though there can be some turbo lag with the base engine. It has no problem getting up to speed on the highway, but drivers looking for a sportier ride will need to upgrade to the Passat’s R-Line. It’s not a sports car, but this trim does deliver more of a sporty look and feel.
The Passat’s Sport mode also helps deliver faster acceleration and throttle response, but some reviewers find that it can lead to choppy driving in stop-and-go city traffic. For smoother city driving, the upgraded V6 engine is a better choice. The V6 is only available in the SE with Technology and SEL Premium trims. The Passat’s base transmission is smooth, but the dual-clutch transmission paired with the V6 engine has a faster and more engaging response.
A Bump in the Road
Have no fear of bumps in the road because the 2017 Volkswagen Passat provides a controlled and comfortable drive, even over bumpy terrain. The steering is generally precise, though it could be a bit sharper.
Room For More
You’ll find no shortage of space in the Passat, which feels large for a midsize car. It has one of the largest rear seats in the class, with enough room for taller passengers. In the trunk, there’s 15.9 cubic feet of space. If that’s not enough for your weekend getaway, fold down the Passat’s 60/40 rear seat and you can pass larger items through for more space.
Sitting Pretty… and Safely
Critics praise the Passat for its roomy cabin, which features high-quality materials. The Passat’s interior has a logical and clean design. It is also quiet, with little engine or outside noise making its way in. All five seats are comfortable and supportive with plenty of room all-around for everyone to sit back and relax. The Passat is a great family car, with room for multiple child safety seats. Its two sets of LATCH systems are exposed, making them easy to find and use (lower anchors are often buried deep in the seats of some other cars). Cloth seating is standard, but leather options are available in upper trims, as are heated front and rear seats.
There are an impressive number of safety features available with the Passat. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and anIntelligent Crash Response System, which turns off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and activates the hazard lightsafter airbags deploy during an accident.
Available safety features like blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning bring added confidence to your driving by alerting you to potential hazards when parking or switching lanes.
A Lot Available, Not a Lot Standard
The 2017 Volkswagen Passat has a long list of features, but to get many of them you’ll have to upgrade from the standard trim. Among the standard features are a rearview camera and theMIB II infotainment system that includes a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, and a USB port. The touch screen is easy to navigate and control, however, it is small compared to those found in rival midsize cars. A larger 6.3-inch touch screen is available.
Among the myriad of available features, Volkswagen offers three different Car-Net systems. Available in different trims, these systems include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, enhanced navigation with traffic and weather information, and the ability to find your last parking location and check to see if you locked the car doors.
The Passat’s optional smartphone integration abilities are impressive, and users will be satisfied with its larger, responsive touch screen.
Passat Pricing, Options, and Trims
The 2017 Volkswagen Passat seats five and is available in five trims: S, R-Line, SE, SE with Technology, and SEL Premium. A 170-horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged engine paired with a six speed automatic transmission is standard in all trims. A 280- horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine paired with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic is available in the SE with Technology and SEL Premium trims.
The S (base) model starts at $22,440 and comes standard with cloth upholstery, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera, a six-speaker audio system, and the MIB II infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen.
The R-Line trim starts at $23,975. It comes standard with features found in the S trim, as well as heated seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leatherette seating surfaces, a 6.3-inch touch screen, and Car-Net App-Connect, which allows you to connect your smartphone to the infotainment system’s touch screen. It also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Available in the R-Line trim is the LED Lighting Package. For $1,095 you’ll get LED headlights and LED taillights.
The SE trim includes the standard features from the lower trims, plus keyless entry, a sunroof, push-button start, and Car-Net Security and Service, which can locate your last parking location, check to see if you locked your doors, provide stolen vehicle location assistance, and call for help in case of emergency. The SE trim starts at $25,495. For an additional $1,245 you can add the available Lighting Package, which includes LED headlights lights and tail lights, along with fog lights.
At $27,995, the SE with Technology trim includes lower trim features plus premium headlamps, adaptive cruise control, remote start, navigation, and the Car-Net Guide and Inform system, which provides enhanced navigation with traffic, sports scores, and weather information. You can also get this trim with the more powerful V6 engine and six-speed dual-clutch transmission for an extra $1,300.
The SEL Premium trim has everything the lower trims have, plus the Fender Premium nine -speaker audio system, leather seats, driver's-seat memory settings, and lane departure warning. It starts at $30,995. This trim is also available with the V6 engine and dual-clutch transmission for an additional $3,000.
Passat Safety and Reliability
The 2017 Passat receives a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It earns five stars in side crash tests and four out of five stars in rollover and frontal crash tests.
Volkswagen offers many safety features. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking,and an Intelligent Crash Response System, which turns off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and activates the hazard lights when airbags deploy during a crash. Optional features include blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross traffic alert, and lane departure warning.
The 2017 Volkswagen Passat comes with a three-year/36,000-mile new vehicle warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Other Cars to Consider
If you’re looking for a car with sharper handling and stronger engine options, the Ford Fusion is a good choice. The Fusion is roughly the same price as the Passat, and its base engine gets around the same horsepower. However, the Fusion’s twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine makes 325 horsepower, surpassing the Passat’s top 280 horsepower.
For intuitive infotainment features, look to the Hyundai Sonata, which gives you a lot of bang for your buck. With a base model less expensive than class rivals, including the Passat, you’ll still get great standard features such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. These two features are only available in the Passat’s upper trims. The Sonata also comes standard with a 7-inch touch screen, satellite radio, and HD Radio. The infotainment system is easy to use and comes with physical knobs for controls such as volume and radio tuning.
Details: 2017 Volkswagen Passat
The 2017 Volkswagen Passat seats five and is available in five trims: S, R-Line, SE, SE with Technology, and SEL Premium. The Passat comes standard with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. It puts out 170 horsepower. A 3.6-liter V6 that produces 280 horsepower is available in the SE with Technology and the SEL Premium trims. The V6 comes with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Passat received a refresh for the 2016 model year that included interior and exterior design updates, but it was last fully redesigned in 2012. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and data from the 2012 through 2017 model years.
The Passat comes standard with cloth upholstery, dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera, a six-speaker audio system, forward collision warning, emergency brake assist, the MIB II infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, and an Intelligent Crash Response System.
Available features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, remote start, push-button start, heated seats, a sunroof, navigation, power seats, a Fender premium nine-speaker audio system, satellite radio, park assist, a hands-free trunk, and an upgraded infotainment system with a 6.3-inch touch screen. Also available are Volkswagen’s three Car-Net systems, which allow you to integrate your smartphone into the Passat’s infotainment system.
- "The 2017 Volkswagen Passat is the only European alternative to the plethora of American, Japanese and Korean cars in the ever-popular midsize-sedan market. It's also one of the most enjoyable to drive, with confidence-inspiring driving dynamics at any speed that makes for a satisfying and relaxing driving experience. But despite its Germanic heritage, this particular Passat is built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and was designed for North American tastes and preferences. So it's roomy, practical and priced competitively against its more mainstream competitors like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord." -- Kelley Blue Book
- “If the idea of owning an affordable German sedan sounds appealing to you, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat delivers as expected. At the same time, it also provides the American car virtues of abundant cabin space and ample features for the money. But if you're also expecting Teutonic refinement and engagement as part of the deal, you'll likely be disappointed." -- Edmunds
- "It's easy to see why the Passat is so good. When you're popping down to the mall, or the hair salon, sometimes you just need a car that feels unobtrusive -- when you don't want to think about driving, but still want something that feels nice. Here it is! This is the archetypical sedan, the template of four-doored serenity." -- AutoWeek (2015)
Research Prices: 2017 Volkswagen Passat
Over 75,000 car shoppers have purchased a car through the U.S. News Best Price Program. Our pricing beats the national average 86% of the time with shoppers receiving average savings of $3,279 off MSRP across vehicles. See what others paid for the Volkswagen Passat and get upfront pricing to make sure you don't overpay. Learn More »