For those who prefer to fly under the radar, VW’s latest Passat is a stealth fighter. With styling we have grown to love, our weekly test car arrived directly from the factory, which is not in Germany. The Passat is assembled at the world’s only LEED-certified plant in Chattanooga.Tennesseans are known for music and bourbon, so how do they handle a midsize sedan to be sold around the world?
You might recall the turbo Beetle convertible from a few weeks ago. It was powered by the same 1.8 liter TSI engine as the Passat. Making 184 lb-ft of torque and 170 horsepower at full boost, it is a nice alternative to a naturally aspirated V6. The Passat is built in six trim levels, with the top model offering 90 more horses from a 3.6 liter. But our car is decked out with a rating of 38 mpg (highway).Impressive mileage from a midsize luxury sedan is made possible by deep overdrives in 5th and 6th gear along with a 3.87 differential. This means that it runs through the gears quickly in order to reach 6th, and that’s where it wants you to stay.
We find no fault in this logic for running errands, but you shouldn’t challenge anyone to a drag race. Passat is a joy to drive in a daily commute, as it offers great visibility along with a quiet cockpit. Safety is a major concern for VW, so the car is extremely solid. Despite a curb weight of only 3,200 lbs, it makes use of high strength steel to achieve a 5-star safety rating. Strength translates into a nimble chassis that stays composed over broken pavement. Our only disparaging remark must be the all-season tires. We run Summer tires year round in the Sunshine State, so it’s fun to hear the screams of all season rubber when pressed to perform. If you intend on pushing your Passat outside of its comfort zone, invest in performance brake pads. The factory compound loses its composure after a few hot laps.
In comparison its A4 sibling, the Passat is more relaxed in the corners. Loaded with Fender Audio and all the latest technology, the Passat SEL Premium has a price tag of $35,090. It does without flashy looks or thrilling acceleration to provide you a safe & solid (American built) sedan. Our dealers have great leases available, so stay with us for more VW reviews!.