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2018 Volkswagen Passat KBB Expert Review

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KBB Expert Rating 8.2 / 10
This Car - 2018 Volkswagen Passat
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Consumer Rating 8.6 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Scott Oldham -- Contributing Editor

Built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the 2018 VW Passat is a spacious, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive midsize with high safety ratings. Volkswagen’s largest and most powerful sedan is offered in seven trim levels including the new Passat GT that gets sport trim, a lower sport suspension, 19-inch wheels and a 280-horsepower V6 engine, which is also standard on the top Passat V6 SEL Premium. Also new is a longer warranty which covers the sedan for six years or 72,000 miles. That’s longer than the warranties on competitors like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion. Prices start just under $24,000 for the Passat S, which gets a 174-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. It’s a smooth and responsive combination, which is also used in the Passat SE, SE Technology, SEL and R Line trim levels, and it’s rated an impressive 36 mpg on the highway.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2018 VW Passat is perfect for families because it offers one of the largest back seats in the midsize-sedan class and a spacious 15.9-cubic-foot trunk. It’s also available with long list of active and passive safety systems, and it’s rated a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for an all-wheel-drive midsize sedan, look elsewhere; all 2018 VW Passats are front-wheel drive. In this class only the Ford Fusion and Subaru Legacy offer AWD. Also, VW does not offer a Passat hybrid. For an electrified midsize, shop the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion.

What's New for 2018

For 2018 the new VW Passat gets a new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that is more powerful and more fuel-efficient than the 1.8-liter it replaces. The sedan’s longer 6-year or 72,000-mile warranty is also new. And there’s a new Passat GT model with a lower sport suspension, 19-inch wheels and 280-horsepower V6 engine.

Driving It Driving Impressions

There’s an undeniable sporty side to the 2018 Volkswagen Passat personality, but comfort takes precedence in this sizable sedan. The ride is smooth and its spacious interior is quiet, even on the highway, where wind and road noise are kept out of the cabin. Visibility is excellent, and the light steering and brakes are responsive. Overall, it’s a sophisticated drive. The Passat is also playful, and when the situation calls for it this Volkswagen shows an athletic side. The standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder offers excellent power, providing lively acceleration from a dead stop or when you're at speed. The 6-speed automatic transmission is bit dated compared to the transmission in some of the Passat’s competition, but it’s well-tuned and well-geared. Although the available V6 is expensive and much less fuel-efficient, its additional power gives the Passat a luxury-sedan feel. The dual-clutch automatic transmission which comes with paddles shifters is fun to control manually.

Favorite Features

Optional on the Passat S and standard on all other 2018 VW Passat models, this package adds Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert as well as Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking, which will apply the brakes for you in the event of a probable accident.

Standard on the top-of-the-line Passat SEL Premium, this system takes all the stress out of parking. Activate the system with the push of a button and Park Assist will steer the sedan into any parallel or perpendicular parking space while you control the accelerator, brake and gear selection.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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