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Volkswagen Passat remains a quality family sedan


Volkswagen Passat reputation: More luxurious than counterparts

Roseville, CA,- Thanks in part to its proud German heritage, the Volkswagen Passat manages to stand out among a long list of credible midsize family sedans that provide transportation for the masses.

The Passat is the only European-made vehicle in a class that is dominated by American, Japanese and Korean manufacturers. Note that the current line of Passats are built in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Blood line alone is not the solitary reason the Passat is unique. It's gained a reputation as a bit more luxurious than its counterparts, bridging the gap between the average midsize sedan and luxury brands that are overall superior to the Passat and also much pricier.

2017 Volkswagen Passat

* Performance: turbocharged 1.8-liter, four cylinder, 170 horsepower; 3.6-liter V6, 280 horsepower
* Mileage estimate: 23-34 mpg; 23-28 mpg
* Price estimate: $23,500 to $37,800
* Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/36,000 miles; corrosion: 12 years/unlimited miles

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat hasn't changed much in five years. That's both a criticism and a compliment. It hasn't changed considerably, yet still matches up to many rivals. Aside from a modest refreshing a year ago, the Passat is basically the same sedan that went through a redesign in 2012. The five-year gap has left the Passat a tad behind technology wise.

One area of change the Passat has made is the price department. Terrific news; it's been lowered. Criticized for its previously high price tag, today's Passat is more affordable. The base model can be driven off the lot for a little over $23,000. Note that the cost-cutting has also come with reduction of some niceties.

One thing that hasn't changed regarding the Passat is its expansive interior design. It continues to be a class leader in this area and is known for its spacious back seat that can accommodate even large individuals. Legroom is fantastic in the back seat and there's considerable comfort as well.

Folks residing in the front seat will also experience comfort and room to spare. The cargo space is very sizable as well - 15.9 cubic feet.

We applaud Volkswagen for its use of good interior materials and avoiding any hard surface. The Passat's interior layout is nothing fancy, something one might expect from German engineers - a logical and simple design. What's not so cool is a small 6.3-inch screen with average resolution.

The 2017 Passat features two engine choices. The first one is a front-wheel-drive, turbocharged 1.8-liter, four cylinder that produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It's pretty quick, reportedly going 0-60 in 7.7 seconds and gets 23-34 mpg.

The other engine is a powerful 3.6-liter, V6 that generates 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It's much quicker than the turbo model, going 0-60 in 6.4 seconds. Of course, the gas mileage isn't nearly as good (20-28 mpg).

The Passat receives high marks for its driving acumen. We loved the smooth, quiet ride that was mostly devoid of any road or wind noise. It features precise steering, good handling, and was very accommodating driving around town and providing a refined highway ride.

Although the Volkswagen Passat is due for a redesign to upgrade some of its technology, there's nothing wrong with the 2017 model. It comes at a very reasonable price for a sedan that has a lot of fine qualities.

About Weidel on Wheels

Weidel on Wheels author Jeffrey Weidel is an award-winning writer from the Sacramento region who has reviewed automobiles for more than two decades. He can be reached at

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