The Volkswagen Passat is worth a look for those searching for a nice four-door sedan with German engineering at reasonable cost. The base price is only $23,000; the pictured car is an upgraded Redline version at $25,000. This includes a long list of standard equipment such as dual climate controls, heated mirrors, 19-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, power windows/locks, and satellite radio to name a few. The only option was an LED headlight package at a pricey $1,195. Still, the tab was only $27,040 and that includes a six-year/70,000-mile factory warranty.
Under the hood is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 174 horsepower, hooked to a six-speed automatic gearbox. The fuel economy is listed at 25/36 mpg. We drove this car for 500 miles in one week to get the real-world economy. Our highway trips averaged 34 mpg, which was impressive.
The 18.5-gallon fuel tank gives a cruising range of more than 600 miles, which is more impressive. The cabin is nothing fancy, but materials are very solid, and workmanship is very nice. All of the controls are simple and easy to use. The fake leather trim actually looks and feels nice, so who cares if it’s not real?
Driving the Passat is a real pleasure. The steering is quick enough, the handling on tight corners is brisk enough, and the ride comfortable enough. The brakes bring the vehicle to a halt with no fade. The seats are comfortable. This car would be a good choice for long trips.
These expensive LED headlights do a great job of illuminating the pavement. Even past 300 feet, the spread is wide and road signs are easy to see. The only drawback is these are very expensive to replace, so don’t break them.
Overall, the new Passat is an impressive sedan. The price is low and driving pleasure is high. The new extended warranty should bring peace of mind for long-term ownership as well.