2018 Volkswagen Passat Review

Volkswagen Passat Handsfree Trunk Feature

Largely unchanged since its 2016 refresh, the 2018 Volkswagen Passat remains the nicest Passat ever offered. The most affordable German mid-size sedan on offer in the United States also remains a singularly attractive proposition.


Designed specifically to appeal to American sensibilities, and built in a state of the art factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, 2016's refinements included mild exterior styling enhancements, an updated center stack, and the availability of leather upholstery on topline models. A rearview camera became standard equipment, and portable media devices got a standard USB interface—rather than the VW-specifc one previously employed.

The 2018 Passat's upscale interior accommodations, in addition to being generously spacious, are decidedly cutting edge. Available comfort, convenience and safety equipment includes lane departure warning, frontal collision warning with automatic braking, dual zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights, a rearview camera, keyless entry with pushbutton start, and hands free trunk opening with a foot sensor. Other nice touches include heated seats and exterior side-view mirrors, smart cruise control, remote ignition, automated parking, and a Fender audio system.


Controls are laid out in a thoroughly intuitive fashion, as befits a car designed with the unlimited speeds of the autobahn in mind. While the front seats are wonderfully supportive and nicely bolstered, all seating positions offer exceptional comfort. In fact, the Passat’s interior is so spacious; it could easily qualify for full-size status. Further, the back seat is one of the roomiest on the market. The trunk is capable of containing some 15.9 cubic feet of cargo, and the rear seatbacks fold to permit longer items to be extended through the trunk into the passenger compartment.

The 1.8-liter base engine has been replaced by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four good for 174 horsepower, 184 ft-lbs of torque, and 29 mpg combined. A six-speed automatic transmission is teamed with this engine. The upgrade is a 3.6-liter V6, capable of 280 horsepower, 258 ft-lbs of torque, and 23 mpg combined. It gets VW’s six-speed automated manual direct shift gearbox. Our test car was fitted with the V6 and the six-speed automatic.

Summing up the 2018 Volkswagen Passat; it’s refined, quiet, comfortable, smooth, and more than adequately powered, Keeping it 100 though, I would appreciate a bit more feel from the steering system, and a somewhat firmer brake pedal although both function quite adequately.


All in all, VW has delivered a solid contender in the hotly contested mid-size sedan class.


Pricing starts at $22,995.


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