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2014 Volkswagen Passat

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2014 Volkswagen Passat Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.0

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware that this vehicle's diesel engine is involved in a Notice of Violation of the Clean Air Act issued by the EPA to Volkswagen for producing and selling 4-cylinder diesel cars that include a software device that circumvents EPA emissions standards for certain air pollutants. The EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) determined that these diesel cars emit up to 40 times more pollution than emission standards allow. Recalls, investigations and litigation are currently ongoing.

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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2014

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 the Passat
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.

ENGINE LINEUP
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.

2014 Volkswagen Passat Details
Interior

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
2014 Volkswagen Passat photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

2.5-liter inline-5
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)

3.6-liter V6
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)

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