By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.0
The Volkswagen Passat for 2014 faces a number of well-received competitors including the new Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Chevrolet Impala. To stay a step ahead, VW has loaded its base model with features most consumers want, and then added a robust line of trims, engines and options to help satisfy a wide variety of shoppers. Although the Passat doesn't offer a hybrid or pure electric model, it does offer a diesel engine that, until the Mazda6 comes online, remains the only family sedan in the segment to do so. You can also get a manual transmission on a number of Passat trims, another olive branch to the driving enthusiast who needs to trade up to a more family-friendly ride. This roomy German sedan is so good, you'll find it on our list of the 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000 for 2014.
If you're in the market for midsize sedan, but the budget demands the price remain competitive and the fuel economy high, VV's Passat for 2014 is worth a look. It offers a number of engine and transmission choices as well as European road manners and the latest in electronic innovation.
While the Passat does have a low base price, adding popular options can quickly move this midsize sedan into premium luxury-car territory. From a styling point of view, the Passat may be a bit too generic for some, especially when parked next to the Kia Optima or Chevy Impala.
For 2014, the VW Passat sees a number of improvements. A new 1.8-liter turbocharged engine will gradually replace the 2.5-liter unit as the base engine. VW's Car-Net connected services will be offered on select trims, and a rearview camera is now standard on SE and higher trim levels.
Driving Impressions Volkswagen upsized the Passat a few years back, a move intended to make it more appealing to Americans. However, despite its added size, the 2014 VW Passat has lost none...... of its appeal, both from a driver's standpoint and a quality perspective. A 4-link independent rear suspension helps the car eliminate most road imperfections while still allowing the big sedan to hustle through twisting turns without drama. The new 1.8-liter turbo is a strong performer, offering the same horsepower as the outgoing 2.5-liter unit while providing more torque at a lower rpm. The 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine, however, is our pick for performance and fuel economy, with enough low-end torque to shame some V6s. Beyond its numerous engine choices the Passat offers a comfortable, quiet interior built of high-quality materials and assembled to perfection. Segment-leading rear-seat legroom should make adults relegated to the back seat a bit happier about their station.
FENDER SOUND SYSTEM
VW's choice of electric guitar icon Fender is appropriate, given the company's long history perfecting the art of sound reproduction. The Passat's available 9-speaker 400-watt system, developed in conjunction with Panasonic, is one of the best we've heard.
If you're looking for power and fuel economy, VW is hard to beat. Whether it's the high-mileage, high-torque TDI clean diesel, the economical 1.8-liter gasoline turbo or the potent V6, the Passat wants for nothing in the powertrain department.
The 2014 VW Passat isn't flashy inside. Think clean lines and tasteful – but not overdone – chrome highlights. Lower-end Passats can look vanilla, but moving up to the Premium level adds an Autumn Nut Burl wood-trim detail that brings some visual interest to the cabin. Base S models come with standard cloth seating surfaces while Wolfsburg and SE models get V-Tex Leatherette, and SEL models receive the full leather treatment with suede-like "Dinamica" inserts. And on the subject of seats, thanks to the Passat's longer wheelbase, rear-seat passengers now enjoy more legroom than in any other current midsize sedan.Exterior
The 2014 Volkswagen Passat may not be as distinctive-looking as the Passats that came before it, but its clean styling should serve it well over time. It is sleek and subtly angular in appearance, sporting a 3-bar horizontal grille and pronounced side crease lines that draw attention to the sedan's increased length. This length also allows for a more sizable trunk – with 15.9 cubic feet of space, it's nearly a cubic foot larger than the trunk in the Honda Accord, which the EPA classifies as a large car.
For just under $22,000, a 2014 Volkswagen Passat S sedan comes equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission, hill-hold control, cloth seating, automatic dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a 3-year/36,000-mile maintenance program. Hoping for a USB port to plug your mobile device into? You'll have to move up to the top SEL trim to get it.
With a lot of available options, packages and trim levels, it's easy to equip a 2014 VW Passat the way you want. Noteworthy items include vegan-friendly V-Tex Leatherette seating, a Fender Premium audio system, an iPod interface and the quick-shifting 6-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission. For a little more oomph in your daily drive, a 3.6-liter V6 or the strong but frugal 2.0-liter 4-cylinder clean turbodiesel engine is also on the menu.
The 2014 VW Passat sedan offers four engine choices, which greatly affect the character of the car: a 2.5-liter inline-5 to be phased out over the model year, a new 1.8-liter turbocharged unit to replace the 2.5, a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 diesel (TDI), and a 3.6-liter V6. There are four transmissions available: a 5-speed manual (with the 2.5, 1.8T), a 6-speed manual (TDI), a 6-speed automatic (2.5, 1.8T) and the DSG 6-speed dual-clutch automatic (TDI and 3.6). If how much you spend at the pump is important to you, you'll be interested to know that the TDI can return a class-leading 43 mpg on the highway when matched with the manual transmission. To get comparable fuel economy in any other sedan, you'd have to move down out of the midsize segment.
170 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
177 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 mpg (manual), 22/31 mpg (automatic)
1.8-liter turbocharged inline-4
170 horsepower @ 4,800 rpm
184 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 mpg (manual), 24/34 mpg (automatic)
280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/28 mpg
2.0-liter turbocharged diesel inline-4
140 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/43 mpg (manual), 30/40 mpg (automatic)
A base 2014 Volkswagen Passat S with a manual transmission carries a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $21,600. If you prefer an automatic, add another $1,100 to the bottom line. The TDI turbodiesel Passat spans a range of just over $27,000 (SE) to nearly $34,000 (SEL Premium). A fully loaded SEL Premium climbs past $34,000. The Passat competes in the crowded midsize segment, which includes heavyweights like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, as well as value-oriented rides like the Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata. Check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what local transaction prices are running. In resale value, the Passat falls behind the Camry and Accord but bests the Optima and Sonata over time.
By Passat 2013 Owner on Sunday, March 22, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, quiete and tourquey little diesel."
Cons: "Need to learn to drive manaul ecconomically."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I typically get 47MPG combined hwy /city. Diesel is 10% above unleaded around Colorado. Recently drove to California and averaged 51.1MPG, first leg was 687 miles on 3/4 of a tank. Why go hybrid or electric? Simple diesel lowers driving cost so low it is no longer the expensive part to driving. No service problems in 45K miles. My 30K service was only $400 with service before that paid by VW."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Woody on Tuesday, March 17, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,250overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Quality of construction and ride. Comfort."
Cons: "Poor original tires."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car has a solid feel to its construction and ride. I have the manual 5-speed. It is fun to drive and handles well in corners and over bumps. The interior is quite comfortable. The lumbar support in the driver's seat is excellent. Features include dual climate zones, heated seats, roomy trunk and back seats, automatic headlamps, directional lights on the side view mirrors. etc. This an all-around very good car for the price. The gas mileage has been consistently 25-26 mpg combined. The only negative I experienced with this car was that the original Hankook tires were completely worn at 25,000 miles."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Kelly on Saturday, March 14, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy and great for long trips"
Cons: "Expensive to maintain"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"This vehicle is comfortable to drive, very roomy inside (the backseat area is large). It is nice that a refuel is every 600 miles or so, as well. The problem I am having is that with diesel fuel not that cheap, I am not saving money with driving this diesel vehicle. But the big thing is how expensive it is to maintain - have to go to a smog shop with special equipment, the 40,000 tune-up cost me $800 and the AdBlue additive for the engine is an extra expense. Overall, very nice to drive...but I drove my 2006 Jetta TDI for 100,000 miles and it not only handled better but not one time in 100,000 did I spend anything over and beyond regular tune-ups, a set of new tires, and a couple headlight bulb replacements. More is not always better.....(I still can't force myself to use the back-up camera for reversing, so that really is not a perk for me)"
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful