2018 Volkswagen Passat Sedan

#83
in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL

$22,995 - $34,650

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Overview

The midsize-sedan segment is dominated by such competitive players as the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. However, if you desire a more understated means of transportation, the 2018 Volkswagen Passat is worth a look. It exudes understated German charm, has an expansive rear seat and comes with a starting price of $22,995.

A 2.0L TSI 4-cylinder engine producing more power and better efficiency has replaced the earlier 1.8L TSI. If that's not enough, you can also have the 280 hp 3.6L V6. Although its standard 6-speed automatic is getting old, it still executes smooth shifts and has well-spaced ratios. However, there are caveats.

While the interior trims are well fitted, the material quality is compromised against rivals. Also, Japanese rivals have better resale value and reliability history. Still, Volkswagen has tried to address the reliability concern by upgrading the warranty to an impressive 6-years and 72,000 miles.

See detailed review »

Pros

Exceptionally roomy interior

Well-cushioned ride

Capacious Trunk

Cons

Rivals have more upscale interiors

Thirsty V6

No hybrids on offer

What's New?

New 2.0L TSI engine replaces the old 1.8L TSI engine

2018 Passat now has longer 6-year or 72,000-mile warranty

New Passat GT is available with sporty suspension


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$22995

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

139 mph

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

121 cu. in.

horsepower

174 hp @ 5000 rpm

torque

184 lb.-ft. @ 1500 rpm

transmission

6-speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

10.7 in. ventilated front disc/12.3 in. solid disc brakes

dimensions

wheelbase

110.4 in.

length

191.9 in.

width

72.2 in.

height

58.5 in.

curb weight

3274 lbs.

ground clearance

5.4 in.

capacity

passenger volume

102 cu ft.

cargo volume

15.9 cu ft.

payload capacity

1014 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.7 sec.

standing ¼-mile

15.8 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

25/29/36 mpg

highway range

666 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

6 years/7200 miles

drivetrain warranty

6 years/72000 miles

corrosion warranty

12 years/unlimited

roadside assistance

No



Styles

 2018 Volkswagen Passat Sedan in Platinum Gray Metallic color  2018 Volkswagen Passat Sedan in Fortana Red color  2018 Volkswagen Passat Sedan in deep black pearl metallic color
Platinum Gray Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.5

Engine

7.2

Fuel Economy

7.9

Interior

6.7

Exterior

7.2

Safety

8.1

Driving

6.9

7.4

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Volkswagen Passat Sedan S

S

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$22,995

Configurations
S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (25/29/36)
Torque: 184 lbs.-ft. @ 1,500 rpm

 2018 Volkswagen Passat Sedan R-Line

R-Line

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$24,995

Configurations
R-Line 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (25/29/36)
Torque: 184 lbs.-ft. @ 1,500 rpm

 2018 Volkswagen Passat Sedan SE

SE

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$26,295 - $29,595

Configurations
SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (25/29/36)
Torque: 184 lbs.-ft. @ 1,500 rpm
SE w/Technology 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Transmission: 6A Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (25/29/36) Torque: 184 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm

 2018 Volkswagen Passat Sedan V6 GT

V6 GT

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$29,090

Configurations
V6 GT 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6AM)
Transmission: 6AM Drivetrain: FWD
MPG: (19/22/28) Torque: 258 ft-lbs. @ 2500 rpm

 2018 Volkswagen Passat Sedan SEL Premium

SEL Premium

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$31,650

Configurations
SEL Premium 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Engine: I-4 Transmission: 6A
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (25/29/36)
Torque: 184 lbs.-ft. @ 1,500 rpm

 2018 Volkswagen Passat Sedan V6 SEL Premium

V6 SEL Premium

Fuel: Regular unleaded, Transmission: Automatic, Seats: 5

$34,650

Configurations
V6 SEL Premium 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6AM)
Engine: V-6 Transmission: 6AM
Drivetrain: FWD MPG: (19/22/28)
Torque: 258 lbs.-ft. @ 2,500 rpm

Expert Review


carhp editor October 3, 2018

7.4

Overall Rating


7.5/10
Features

 

7.2/10
Engine

 

7.9/10
Fuel Economy

 

6.7/10
Interior

 

7.2/10
Exterior

 

8.1/10
Safety

 
 
 

A 2.0L TSI 4-cylinder engine producing more power and better efficiency has replaced the earlier 1.8L TSI. If that’s not enough, you can also have the 280 hp 3.6L V6. Although its standard 6-speed automatic is getting old, it still executes smooth shifts and has well-spaced ratios. However, there are caveats.

Features

7.5/10

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat has a starting price of $22,995 and it goes all the way to $34,650 for the range-topping Passat V6 SEL Premium trim. You can choose between the standard 2.0L TSI I4 or a powerful 3.6L V6. However, it only has front-wheel drive and there is no hybrid powertrain option either.

Trims S R-Line SE SE With Technology SEL Premium V6 SEL Premium
MSRP $22,995 $24,995 $26,295 $29,595 $31,650 $34,650
Features

The S includes:

Automatic headlights

16" Carolina alloy wheels

Rear View Camera System

The R-Line includes:

R-Line front and rear bumpers

19" Salvador alloy wheels

VW Car-Net App-Connect

The SE includes:

Keyless access with push-button start

Power tilting/sliding sunroof

Blind Spot Monitor

The SE includes:

Remote start

Park Distance Control (Park Pilot)

Discover Media touchscreen navigation

The SEL Premium includes:

Leather seating surfaces

Fender Premium Audio System

LED headlights

The V6 SEL Premium includes:

Leather seating surfaces

Fender Premium Audio System

Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist)

Too many to choose from? We help you find the best trim

We think the Passat SE equipped with the SE technology package delivers the best value for your money. The feature list includes power-adjustable driver seat, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, keyless ignition, and heated seats among others.

Engine

7.2/10

“It’s a spacious people mover with a pair of solid powertrains and a compliant chassis. The ride is composed even over rough pavement, and it can also hold its own through twisty passes. While there are family sedans with better steering and firmer, sportier suspension tuning, the Passat presents a well-rounded package that is more than the sum of its parts.” – Car and Driver

Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat now comes with a larger 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine as standard instead of the 1.8L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in 2017 Passat. At 174 hp, the new engine delivers 4 more hp than the old one. This engine has a smooth throttle response despite being turbocharged and its 184 lb-ft torque kicks-in as low as 1500 rpm.

Models VW Passat (S) Chevy Malibu (L) Honda Accord (LX) Toyota Camry (L)
MSRP $22,995 $22,555 $23,570 $23,495
Engine 2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 1.5L Turbocharged Inline-4 1.5L Turbocharged Inline-4 2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic CVT Automatic 8-Speed Automatic
Power 174 hp 160 hp 192 hp 203 hp
Torque 184 lb-ft 184 lb-ft 192 lb-ft 184 lb-ft

A 280 hp 3.6L Naturally Aspirated V6 is also on offer but only on the top end Passat V6 SEL Premium. While the base engine is sufficiently quick, the V6 delivers luxury-car-like effortless acceleration. While the 6-speed automatic looks dated compared to 8-speed automatic in Camry, it still delivers smooth shifts and has well-spaced ratios.

Acceleration

The 2.0L Passat can accelerate from 0-60 in 8.1 seconds. Aided by the much more powerful 3.6L V6 engine and the lightning quick 6-speed dual clutch automatic, the Passat V6 SEL Premium posts much faster 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds.

Models VW Passat (S) Chevy Malibu (L) Honda Accord (LX) Toyota Camry (L)
0-60 MPH 8.1 sec 8.0 sec 7.3 sec 8.0 sec
Quarter mile 14.8 sec @ 99 mph 14.3 sec @ 99 mph 15.7 sec @ 91.1 mph 16.2 sec @ 88 mph
Engine 2.0L 1.5L 1.5L 2.5L
Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year) 6.1 5.9 5.3 5.2

The base engine of the competitors offers similar acceleration. However, the Honda Accord with more powerful 192 hp engine and CVT transmission does 0-60 mph in 7.3 seconds. That’s 0.8 seconds faster than the Passat.

Ride and Handling

The Passat gets fully independent front and rear suspension as is the norm with modern mid-size sedans. Suspension tuning prioritizes ride comfort over excitement and the Passat easily filters road imperfections and expansion joints. However, the quick and precise steering also makes handling the Passat down a curvy road a pleasant experience.

Braking

“Our Passat has the same sort of long, spongy brake pedal we've experienced on other VWs before.” - Edmunds

The Passat gets 12.3-inch brake rotors up front and 10.7-inch brake rotors at the back. Some reviewers noted that the brake pedal does not offer the desired linear and firm feel. In a panic braking situation, the Passat takes 128 feet to stop from 60 mph. That’s not bad but all the competitors here perform better.

Model VW Passat (S) Chevy Malibu (L) Honda Accord (LX) Toyota Camry (L)
Brake front(in) 12.3 11.6 11.5 12.0
Brake Rear(in) 10.7 10.8 11.1 11.0
Curb weight(lbs) 3274 3086 3131 3241
60-0 MPH (ft.) 128 126 123 122

Fuel Economy

7.9/10

“The 2018 Volkswagen Passat offers competitive fuel economy, as long as you stick with the turbo-4 engine.” - Carconnection

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat with the standard 2.0L TSI engine gets higher EPA mpg rating than the earlier 1.8L TSI engine. It delivers 25 mpg in city and 36 mpg on the highway for a combined rating of 29 mpg.

Model VW Passat (S) Chevy Malibu (L) Honda Accord (LX) Toyota Camry (L)
MPG (city) 25 27 30 29
MPG (highway) 36 36 38 41
MPG (combined) 29 30 33 34

While it’s sufficiently frugal, the competitors like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry post considerably better figures despite being more powerful. The more powerful and more expensive 3.6L V6 is also considerably thirstier with EPA rating of 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Interior

6.7/10

“Inside, drivers will find oodles of space, simple controls, good outward visibility, and a comfortable driving position. But the fit and finish isn't that impressive, and the car is a bit stingy with standard features. The seats are large and supportive, even over the long haul, but some staffers found them to be too hard.” – Consumer Reports

Seating and Comfort

The Passat rear seat legroom is second only to the immensely roomy rear seats of the Honda Accord. While three people in the rear seat will be slightly tight, two passengers will be happy at the rear even after a long transcontinental trip. Up front, standard power adjustable driver seat makes finding perfect driving position easy and outside visibility is good too.

Model VW Passat (S) Chevy Malibu (L) Honda Accord (LX) Toyota Camry (L)
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume(ft cube) 102.0 102.9 105.6 100.4
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 38.3/56.9/42.4 39.1/58.5/42.0 39.5/58.3/42.3 38.3/57.7/42.1
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 37.8/57.0/39.1 37.5/57.1/38.1 37.3/56.5/40.4 38/55.7/38

The base Passat S gets fabric interior but the higher trims upgrade to the synthetic leather interior. If you desire real leather, upgrade to the Passat SEL premium package. While the interior has well-fitted trim pieces, there is an overabundance of hard plastic. Rivals like the Accord and Camry are considerably more upscale.

Cargo Capacity

With 15.9 cubic feet of luggage capacity, the Passat trunk can pack enough for a weekend getaway. The wide opening makes loading easier and the rear seats can be folded for added flexibility. However, rear seats do not fold as flat as some of the rivals.

Trunk volume (ft.cube)

Model VW Passat (S) Chevy Malibu (L) Honda Accord (LX) Toyota Camry (L)
15.9 15.8 16.7 14.1

Infotainment System

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat gets a 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system on the base Passat S – only. All other trims get the larger 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. A Fender premium audio system is also available in the Passat SEL premium and Passat V6 SEL Premium.

Exterior

7.2/10

“Attractive, clean and understated, the exterior of the 2018 VW Passat never shouts or raises its voice. There’s a quiet elegance to its simplicity.” – Kelley Blue Book

The Volkswagen Passat is one of the most distinctive looking midsize sedans in the market. While its rivals exhibit busy styling details, the Passat has a very conservative design with oodles of German presence. The LED lights on higher trims give this Passat an Audi like glare from a distance. Except for the base Passat S, all trims can be equipped with LED lights.

Model VW Passat (S) Chevy Malibu (L) Honda Accord (LX) Toyota Camry (L)
curb weight(lbs) 3274 3086 3131 3241
Length(in) 191.9 193.8 192.2 192.1
Width(in) 72.2 73.0 73.3 72.4
Height(in) 58.5 57.6 57.1 56.9
Ground clearance(in) 5.4 6.1 5.8 5.7
Wheelbase(in) 110.0 111.4 111.4 111.2
Track width F/R (in) 62.1/61.0 62.6/62.5 63/63.4 63.0/63.2

 

Safety

8.1/10

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat gets following advanced active safety features from Passat R-line onwards:

  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alerts
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Blind-Spot Monitors

These are also available in the base Passat S for just $495. Passat SE and higher trims also get Adaptive Cruise Control as standard. Other safety features available in 2018 Volkswagen Passat are:

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), and Engine Brake Assist (EBA)
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-pressure Distribution (EBD), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA)
  • Side Curtain Protection head airbags, front, and rear
  • Automatic locking feature (doors lock when the vehicle reaches 8 mph)
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) child seat anchor points
  • 3-point safety belts for all seating positions
  • Driver and passenger front and side thorax airbag supplemental restraint system
  • Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS)
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

NHTSA Safety Rating

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat has received the best possible 5-star crash test rating from NHTSA.

NHTSA Ratings
Overall Rating 5 star
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating 4 star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Driver 4 star
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Passenger 4 star
Overall Side Crash Rating 5 star
Overall Side Barrier Rating 5 star
Side Barrier Rating Driver 5 star
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat 5star
Combined Side Barrier & Pole Rating Frontside 5 star
Combined Side Barrier & Pole Rating Rear side 5 star
Rollover Rating 4 star

IIHS Safety rating

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat has also performed well in IIHS crash test but has not received the Top Safety Pick.

IIHS Safety Rating
Small overlap front driver side Good
Small overlap front passenger side Marginal
Moderate overlap front Good
Side Good
Roof strength Good
Head restraints & seats Good

 

Competition

Volkswagen Passat Vs. Chevrolet Malibu

The Chevy Malibu is a genuine alternative to segment leaders with a spacious cabin, excellent efficiency and an impressive roster of standard features including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Adaptive Cruise Control and Automatic Parking Assist. Add a reasonably priced hybrid and excellent reliability to the mix. On the styling front, it stays away from busy elements but still is more eye-catching than the Passat.

Volkswagen Passat Vs. Honda Accord

The new 10th generation Accord is one of the most acclaimed mid-size cars around combining exceptionally well-built feature loaded interior, tremendously roomy rear seats, intuitive but modern infotainment and a capable chassis motivated by a strong but frugal engine.

Add availability of manual transmission for enthusiasts and hybrid for environmentalists to the list and you get an unbeatable package. The Passat is actually compromised against the Accord. But, if you don’t need all Accord has to offer and fall for the subtle German flair of the Passat, get the Passat.

Volkswagen Passat Vs. Toyota Camry

The all-new 2018 Toyota Camry has daring styling never seen on its predecessors. However, inside its still that safe, roomy and cushy family hauler, millions of Americans have trusted. The Passat has a roomier back seat and a slightly better handling but the Camry is better on all other grounds.

 

Final Verdict

The Volkswagen Passat is no doubt overwhelmed by the presence of competitors like the new Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The Passat interior is not as upscale as these rivals and it gets fewer features too. Those looking for a comprehensively modern car will find the Passat unappealing.

However, Passat is not bad and has extremely spacious seats, a pliant ride, capacious boot, impressive powertrain and comes with plenty of features too. It’s just not as competitive as the rivals. So who should buy the Passat? Probably those who can happily ignore its minor shortcomings and are attracted to its understated German charm.

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