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#16

in Affordable Midsize Cars

MSRP: $21,120 - $35,660
Invoice: $20,253 - $34,198
MPG: 24 City / 35 Hwy
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Volkswagen Passat Review

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat ranks 16 out of 19 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen Passat, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat’s large back seat and fuel-efficient diesel trim impress test drivers, but many are disappointed with its clunky navigation system.

Auto writers agree that the base 2015 Passat 1.8T’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine has lively acceleration. The VW Passat TDI comes with a turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, and though it’s less powerful than the 1.8T, reviewers love its perky low-end acceleration and the fantastic fuel economy that it gets. Reviewers agree that the V6 model delivers very potent acceleration. A manual transmission is standard on the base Passat, and an automatic is available. The 2015 VW Passat 1.8T gets an EPA-estimated 24/36 mpg city/highway with an automatic transmission, which is a bit low for an affordable midsize car. The 2015 Passat TDI gets 30/42 mpg city/highway, which is superb for the class. Test drivers say the Passat is an enjoyable car to drive on a winding road, with composed handling, accurate steering and strong brakes. They also say it has a smooth, comfortable ride, even on rough roads.

The 2015 VW Passat’s simple, upscale interior and first-rate materials appeal to critics. They also appreciate the Passat’s large trunk and extraordinarily spacious rear seat. Some reviewers think the optional touch-screen navigation systems respond slowly to inputs, but they write that the other controls on the Passat’s dashboard are user-friendly. Standard features in the 2015 Volkswagen Passat include a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, an auxiliary audio input and automatic headlights. Available features include leather upholstery, front seats that are power-adjustable and heated, navigation, an eight-speaker Fender audio system, an iPod input, satellite radio, a rearview camera, a sunroof, push-button start and dual-zone automatic climate control.

  • "The 2015 Passat remains the only sedan in its segment to offer a high-mileage diesel engine, boasts limousine-like rear-seat legroom, and has handling manners that are proudly German." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Set apart by its European-style refinement roomy interior and fuel-efficient diesel engine option the 2015 Volkswagen Passat is a solid choice for a family sedan." -- Edmunds
  • "In a segment dominated by Korean, Japanese, and American powerhouses, Volkswagen's Passat stands proudly as a solid German alternative to the midsize competition." -- Popular Mechanics (2014)
  • "Other family sedans may be flashier, but the Passat provides one of the best all-around combinations of performance, features and value." -- AutoTrader (2014)

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Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers are impressed with the Mazda6’s engaging handling, lively base engine and roomy back seat. The Mazda6 also gets great fuel economy ratings for the class.

Unlike most affordable midsize cars, the Subaru Legacy comes standard with all-wheel drive, and it gets great fuel economy for the class. Test drivers appreciate the Legacy’s composed handling, top-notch cabin materials and easy-to-use touch-screen infotainment system.

Compare the Passat, Mazda6 and Legacy »

Details: 2015 Volkswagen Passat

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat seats five and is available in S, Wolfsburg Edition, SE, Sport and SEL Premium trims. The Passat comes standard with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, a five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmission is available, as are four-cylinder turbodiesel and V6 engines. The VW Passat’s last full redesign was in 2012, and since it sees only minor changes for 2015, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 through 2015 model years.

See 2015 Volkswagen Passat specs »

Review Last Updated: 10/23/14

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