Great Qualities in a Sleek Package
The Volkswagen Passat comes with a lot of interior space, a quiet ride, and responsive heading. These qualities make it an extremely competitive midsize sedan. This energetic car features a 6-speed automatic transmission and 1.8-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine that is upgraded to a 3.6-liter V6 engine in its high-end trims. The 1.8-liter turbo engine’s economy makes this vehicle ideal for buyers wanting a great car with excellent fuel efficiency.
The front seats of the Volkswagen Passat are comfortable, and second-row passengers will appreciate the space that they are given. This space doesn’t sacrifice the amount of room in the trunk though, making the Passat a great car for commuting or for a road trip.
What's Changed on the 2018 Passat?
The biggest change for the 2018 Volkswagen Passat comes under the hood. The midsized sedan now comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers 174 horsepower. Afraid that’s going to negatively affect the fuel efficiency in the Passat? Don’t be. Volkswagen’s new standard engine for the 2018 Passat maintains great MPG whether you’re driving on the city or on the highway.
You can take your pick from six different trim levels in the 2018 Passat lineup: S, R-Line, SE, SE with Technology, SEL Premium, and V6 SEL Premium. All of these trims come loaded up with an incredible amount of standard features and tech options. There’s even a comprehensive suite of driver assistance features available that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Assist, and Rear Traffic Alert.
My 72 Hour Test Drive with the 2018 Passat
I had the opportunity to take an extended “test drive” with the 2018 Volkswagen Passat. When I say extended, I’m not exaggerating either. I was able to keep the Passat for three full days to see how it performed. I think more test drives should be like this, as it’s impossible to know whether you’ll really like a car when you only have about 20-30 minutes on a typical test drive.
Anyway, after multiple trips to and from work on the Ventura Freeway, a few pickups at Buena High School to get my kid, and a few more journeys - I feel pretty qualified to give you my take on the Passat. I’m covering three major areas: Interior Comfort, Technology, and Fuel Efficiency. Why these three specifically? Well, these are the three things I personally look for in a car if I’m trying decide whether I want to buy it or not.
The 2018 Passat is technically classified as a four-door midsized sedan. I drove the “SE with Technology” model of the Passat which I understood to be on the higher end of the trim packages available. The nterior of the Passat is nice - actually very nice. All the controls are well placed and within easy reach of the driver. My son was pleasantly surprised to realize that the heated seat feature was also available in the rear of the vehicle. I felt very comfortable and in control in the driver’s seat. The leather wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob is a nice touch, as well.
This was the focal point that my son and I were most interested in. The technology hub in the 2018 Passat is the large touchscreen located in the center dash. Volkswagen lists the size of it as 6.3-inches and that seemed large enough for me. I synched up my smartphone with the touchscreen in a matter of minutes. That’s a big plus for the Passat. I’ve heard horror stories from friends all over the coast who have bought new cars and had nightmares getting their phones hooked up to them.
We used the navigation system to route us to get a bite to eat at Brophy Brothers and the route was solid without any odd “why is it taking us that way?” moments. There’s also a couple of USB ports in the Passat (one in front and one in back) to help keep devices charged up. Messing around with the touchscreen, I noticed it also offers SiriusXM satellite radio, the usual terrestrial radio stations, and MP3 playback capability. All in all, it’s an easy to use system with the right amount of features and no extra fluff to make it difficult to operate.
I’m not looking to go full electric or anything, but I do want a car that delivers decent gas mileage. According to Volkswagen, the 2018 Passat has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that’s capable of generating up to 174 horsepower. They also claim 36 MPG on the highway.
I didn’t maintain any kind of personal calculations and with all the stop and go on the freeway, it’s hard to know if we were close to hitting that. I do know, however, that we only used a little over a half a tank of gas after three days of heavy driving around Ventura, Oxnard, and El Rio. That’s a win in my book.
My Vote on the 2018 Passat
I really like this car. It’s comfortable, rides well, and all the tech features are easy to use. This was my first opportunity to spend any extended time in the Passat and I can definitely see myself driving one on a permanent basis. Volkswagen has actually enhanced the warranty on the 2018 Passat so that it now offers bumper to bumper protection for 6 years or 72,000 miles (whichever comes first). That’s definitely an added bonus.
If the 2018 Passat sounds like it might be a good fit for you, then check out the inventory availability at Ventura Volkswagen. They are always running specials on their new vehicles, and I’m sure there is some kind of promotional offer available on the 2018 Passat. Everyone is different and this is only my personal experience. I’d recommend spending some time in the Passat to see if hits the sweet spot for you.