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Volkswagen Passat

Overview
Review
OVERVIEW

2015 Volkswagen Passat – S FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4 Man Trans (Base Trim)

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PHOTOS
1 OF 5
2015 Volkswagen Passat: Angularfront
RATINGS

Editors Overall Rating

What is this?
This rating is provided by our team of editors based on their extensive professional expertise on Trucks, SUVs, Vans, and Wagons.
We liked
  • Roomy
  • Rare Midsize Diesel
  • Affordable
We disliked
  • A Touch Austere
  • Due for Upgrade
  • Lazy DSG Shifting
PRICING Fair Market Pricing
What is this?
Fair Market Price is an estimate of a “fair” price that any given new vehicle can be purchased for. This national estimate, updated monthly, reflects recent market conditions (supply and demand) plus a reasonable dealer markup.
$19,354
Finance
Estimated monthly
payment:
Lease
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payment:
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MSRP
$21,340
MPG
24 / 35
City/Hwy
ENGINE
1.8L I4
HORSE POWER
170 hp
@ 4,800 rpm
TORQUE
184 ft lb
of torque @ 1,500 rpm
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
Volkswagen builds the generously midsized Passat for the U.S. market and, in many ways it’s a unique offering—especially when diesel powered. There simply aren’t many other competitors with the same combination of generous size, affordability, and diesel power. All-new in 2012, the Passat is due for another major upgrade in 2016. However, for now, the sedan’s 2.0L TDI has gained 10 hp (as it has in all other VWs), and it remains a large, comfy family car. With a diesel under the hood there’s also the attraction of 30 city/42 highway/34 combined mileage ratings coupled with relaxed, torquey thrust. There’s even a choice of a traditional manual gearbox—another rarity in the midsize sedan market—or the DSG automatic.

REVIEW

Vehicle evaluations don’t always go as planned. Sometimes you test a vehicle more thoroughly than you ever expected, as we did during this quarter with our long term Passat. In fact, the best test for a vehicle is one we try to avoid at all costs, although sometimes ineffectively. It was on Southern California’s notorious 405 freeway (I-405) that we were rear-ended in stop-and-go traffic.
While we do our best to prevent collisions, being involved in one does give us a unique opportunity to evaluate a vehicle in a very different manner. In the case of our Passat, we had a chance to evaluate the car’s safety, structure, and even the process of getting it repaired. Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident and, despite a fairly hard hit, the VW only showed signs of minor scuffing on the rear bumper, something we can’t say about the undriveable Toyota Solara that hit us.
Photo 2/4   |   After being rear-ended by a Toyota Solara, we were left with a damaged rear bumper.
After the incident, we got in touch with VW and our contact asked that we make sure the vehicle was repaired according to the VW Certified Collision Repair Facility program. The program ensures specially trained and certified technicians, using only genuine VW parts, repair your Volkswagen properly. Finding a certified shop was only as difficult as firing up our web browser. For our repair, we chose nearby Caliber Collision in Huntington Beach, California.
As it turned out, there was no structural damage to the Passat, and our long-termer only required a new bumper cover, paint, and some trim to bring it back to factory-fresh condition. We were incredibly impressed with the professionalism of Caliber Collision, as well as the quality of work done. The paint match was near perfect in color, tint, and flake, rendering our mishap unnoticeable to anyone not aware of the accident.
With the repairs complete and the Passat back on the road, our testers wasted no time eating up the miles -- spinning the odometer to the tune of 8,169 miles during this report. Despite more commuting and less road trips this quarter, we were still able to increase the car’s average fuel economy to 36.5 mpg, which is an improvement of nearly 1.5 mpg since the last report (April ’14). The logbook also noted that the buzzy dash trim replaced under warranty last time was about 90 percent cured.
Photo 3/4   |   Thanks to the experts at Carriage Collision in Huntington Beach, California, and VW’s Certified Collision Repair Facility program, we enjoyed a near-perfect repair.
Over the course of this test and with more than 20,000 miles behind the wheel, we really have grown to appreciate the versatility of the Passat. It has big car comfort with commuter car efficiency. It also has a gutsy little 2.0L diesel engine that only requires service every 10,000 miles. Because we were a hair late on our previous service, the car didn’t require a trip to the dealer during this report, but we’ll make sure it goes in soon.
If there is any knock on the Passat, it is the conservative styling, inside and out. However, if understated luxury and blending in with the crowd are more your style, you’ll feel right at home in this VW. This is the perfect car for those who value comfort over flashy, and it happens to be a great tool for those cross-country interstate jaunts during which being noticed is counter to the mission of rolling a lot of miles in the shortest amount of time.
With one more report before the Passat heads back to Volkswagen, we are determined to top 800 miles of range on a single tank, besting our current record of 717 miles. We’ll also be enjoying our last few months with one of the best diesel cars on the market today.
Photo 4/4   |   With a range in excess of 600 miles, visits to the local refueling station were infrequent.

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Sel Premium
REPORT: 3 OF 4
Previous report(S):November 2013, April 2014
Base price: $33,710
Price as tested: $33,710
LONG-TERM NUMBERS
Miles to date: 21,072
Miles since last report: 8,169
Average mpg (this report): 36.58
Test best tank (mpg): 45.38
Test worst tank (mpg): 31.44
MAINTENANCE:
None
PROBLEM AREAS:
None
FAST LOOK
We like: Solid structure, don’t have to hypermile to get great fuel economy
We’d change: Styling might be too conservative for some
We say: One of the best buys in diesel power
LOGBOOK QUOTES:
“This car reminds me of my favorite pair of jeans. It’s familiar, comfortable, and is appropriate for most occasions.”

“The EPA combined mileage is 34 mpg. I regularly kill that number without even trying.”

“I love when the trip computer shows 300 miles of range, even after driving 300 miles.”

“The replaced dash trim still buzzes on occasion but is much improved.”

“The styling is growing on me. It’s just a nice, clean design.”

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2015 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$21,340
24 / 35
1.8L I4
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications

2014 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$20,995
22 / 32
1.8L I4
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
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2014 Volkswagen Passat Sport Long-Term Update 5
Does Our Passat Have All the Latest In-Demand Tech?
Emiliana SandovalApr 10, 2015
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2014 Volkswagen Passat Sport Long-Term Update 4
Will It Ikea? Why Yes, It Will
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To Sport or Not to Sport?
Emiliana SandovalDec 30, 2014
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It's Time to Navigate My Life
Emiliana SandovalNov 7, 2014
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2014 Volkswagen Passat Sport Long-Term Update 1
Getting Comfortable, With a Disabled Honk and a Secret Key
Emiliana SandovalAug 12, 2014
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2014 Volkswagen Passat Sport Long-Term Arrival
Sporty Passat Makes a Promising First Impression
Emiliana SandovalJun 13, 2014
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2014 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T Sport First Test
Less Engine, More Power
Rory JurneckaFeb 4, 2014

2013 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$20,845
22 / 32
2.5L I5
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Diesel Power truck reviews
2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Sel Premium Long-Term Report
The Passat has big car comfort with commuter car efficiency. It also has a gutsy little 2.0L diesel engine that only requires service every 10,000 miles.
Sean P. HolmanAug 15, 2014
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2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI SEL Premium Long Term Report 2
Delivering on the diesel promise
Sean P. HolmanMar 19, 2014
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Diesel Power’s First Long-Termer Hits The Road
Sean P. HolmanOct 18, 2013
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August 2013 Pilot Injection
The Race To Denver
Sean P. HolmanJul 4, 2013
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2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Achieves World Record Fuel Economy
77.99 mpg? Yup, that's good for a Guinness World Record.
Monica GondermanJun 25, 2013
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2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI - Road Test
A real car with no compromise
Sean P. HolmanMar 1, 2013

2012 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$19,995
22 / 32
2.5L I5
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2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE/2.5 SEL Verdict
I was informed by our local VW dealer that from the tire wear, they suspect someone has been drifting our Passat.
Michael FebboJul 5, 2013
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2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL Long-Term Update 6
Outgoing COTY takes a victory lap of the eastern U.S.
Frank MarkusJun 6, 2013
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2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL Long-Term Update 5
Trading diesel/manual character for navi, sunroof and Fender audio
Todd LassaMar 25, 2013
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2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI Long-Term Update 4
Shifting Gears
Michael FebboFeb 13, 2013
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2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL Long-Term Update 4
Road-Trip Season: Plenty of personality, but lacking in sole
Michael FebboOct 26, 2012
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2012 Volkswagen Passat SE TDI Long-Term Update 3
More highway miles for our efficient family sedan
Todd LassaOct 20, 2012
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2012-2013 Midsize Sedan Comparison: Battle of the Best-Sellers
Six Power Players Flex Their Cupholders and Crankshafts in Four-Door Showdown
Arthur St. AntoineOct 1, 2012
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2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL Long-Term Update 3
Application Version 2.0
Michael FebboAug 17, 2012
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2012 Volkswagen Passat SE TDI Long-Term Update 2
Back to High Fuel Mileage Normalcy
Todd LassaAug 10, 2012
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2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL Long-Term Update 2
Engine Rumination
Michael FebboJul 18, 2012
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2012 Volkswagen Passat SE TDI Long-Term Update 1
Don't Let Co-Workers Drive Your New Car
Todd LassaJun 25, 2012
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Der Neue Kinderwagen
Jun 20, 2012
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Living with the Champ
Michael FebboMay 18, 2012
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Detroit Gets the Diesel
Todd LassaApr 25, 2012
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Comparison: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid vs 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE vs. 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE
Family Court, Round 2: Milestones Per Gallon
Ron KiinoOct 24, 2011
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Comparison: 2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS vs. 2012 Toyota Camry LE vs. 2012 Volkswagen Passat SE
Family Court, Round 1: Mainstream of Consciousness
Ron KiinoOct 17, 2011
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First Test: 2012 Volkswagen Passat
Tennessee Made. Wolfsburg Flavored.
Nate MartinezOct 11, 2011
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Is the Six-Cylinder Necessary?
Todd LassaJun 8, 2011
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An American and a German Walk into a Factory in Tennessee...
Michael FebboMay 22, 2011

2010 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$26,995
22 / 31
2.0L I4
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2009 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$28,300
19 / 29
2.0L I4
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
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2008 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$23,990
20 / 29
2.0L I4
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2008 VW Passat Turbo Quick Test
Speed and Grace
Arthur St. AntoineJul 7, 2008
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The Familial and Frugal, Part 2: Family Sedan Comparison
High Stakes: Four-buck gas has turned the humble four-cylinder sedan category into a marquee horse race
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The Familial and Frugal: Four-cylinder Midsize Sedan Comparison
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2007 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$23,180
23 / 32
2.0L I4
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2006 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$22,950
23 / 32
2.0L I4
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Kim ReynoldsMar 22, 2006
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Due Respect: VW's perennial best-selling Passat grows up
Greg N. BrownJan 2, 2006
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2006 Volkswagen Passat First Look
Audi style, Golf DNA
Todd LassaApr 18, 2005

2005 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$22,070
22 / 31
1.8L I4
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Long-Term Test Verdict: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 Sport
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2004 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$21,780
22 / 31
1.8L I4
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A dooza of a Diesel
Ron SessionsDec 7, 2004
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One Year Test Update: 2004 Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion
It's rare that a genuinely new engine configuration comes along. When Volkswagen introduced the Passat W8 in 2002, we wanted to see how this innovative "W" ("double V") powerplant worked under everyday conditions.
Scott MeadMar 29, 2004

2003 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$21,750
22 / 31
1.8L I4
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
See all Photos, Ratings, Pricing and Specifications
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One-Year Test Update: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8
You may recall our Passat's recent joyride at the hands of thieves. After a thorough service, the transmission still wouldn't properly engage.
Neil G. ChiricoOct 7, 2004
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One-Year Test Update: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8
It seems someone wanted to drive our long-term Passat even more than we did, as it disappeared into the night shortly after the last update.
Neil G. ChiricoJul 13, 2004
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Long-Term Test Verdict: 2003 Volkswagen Passat W8 Sport
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Matt StoneNov 1, 2002

2002 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$21,750
22 / 31
1.8L I4
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2001 Detroit Auto Show
Exciting vehicles unveiled in Motor City
Jeff BartlettNov 4, 2002
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2002 Volkswagen Passat W8 First Look
Knocking on BMW' and Mercedes' door?
Matt StoneJun 23, 2001

2001 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$21,750
24 / 31
1.8L I4
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2001 Volkswagen Passat First Drive
It's just a mid-model facelift, and yet, it's so much more.
Oct 29, 2002

2000 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$21,200
24 / 31
1.8L I4
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1999 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$21,200
21 / 31
1.8L I4
VIEW ALL SPECIFICATIONS
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1998 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$20,750
23 / 32
1.8L I4
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1998 Volkswagen Passat GLS First Test
The Reinvention Begins Here
Chris WaltonJan 1, 1998

1997 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$18,490
20 / 29
2.0L I4
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1996 Volkswagen Passat

SPECIFICATIONS
$18,490
20 / 29
2.0L I4
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