2018 Passat New Car Test Drive
The Volkswagen Passat is easily overlooked because it's not flashy, just efficient. It doesn't do anything to any extreme, it just works, all the time. Smoothly and easily. Just good, solid, German engineering. It's hard to find a car like that.
Passat features a new engine for 2018, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TSI powerplant to replace the 1.8-liter engine. It's the most advanced 2.0-liter engine Volkswagen has ever made (as it should be), with more horsepower and better fuel mileage. In the front-wheel-drive Passat it makes 174 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, mated to a smooth 6-speed automatic transmission.
A 3.6-liter V6 making 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mated to a 6-speed clutchless manual automatic transmission called the DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox), also front-wheel drive, is available on the Passat SEL and standard on the Passat GT. If the four-cylinder doesn't move along the 3300-pound sedan quickly enough for you, this V6 certainly will. But there's a price to pay at the fuel pump, as the 2.0-liter gets an EPA Combined 29 miles per gallon, while the 3.6-liter gets just 22 mpg.
The Passat GT model is new for 2018, boasting 19-inch aluminum wheels, sport suspension, a custom-tuned double exhaust, GTI-inspired front red accent line, red brake calipers, carbon-fiber interior trim and a black roof, spoiler, mirrors and window trim.
Automatic emergency braking is an option with every model, and the Passat scores well in crash-testing.
The 2018 Volkswagen Passat comes standard with a 2.0-liter engine ($22,995). Passat SE retails for $26,295, the SE with the Technology package is $29,595, the SEL Premium is $31,650, the R-Line $24,995. The SEL with the V6 models is $34,650. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination fee.)
All models but the S get Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Also, new for 2018, all Passats come with the People First Warranty, a six-year or 72,000-mile (whichever occurs first) bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty, which is transferable to a new owner if the car is sold. New for 2018, the S model will have an available Driver's Assistance Package, with Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist) and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert.