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2014 Volkswagen Passat Review

The Volkswagen Passat has a roomy interior, a smooth ride, and potent engine options. However, it ranks near the back of the midsize car class because of its higher-than-average ownership costs and low reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Muscular engine options
  • Fuel-efficient diesel model
  • Large rear seat
  • Slow navigation system
  • Few advanced safety features

New for 2014

  • 1.8-liter turbocharged engine made available (mid-2014)
  • Rearview camera became standard on SE and higher trims




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Volkswagen Passat Overview

Is the 2014 Volkswagen Passat a Good Used Car?

The Passat isn’t a great option for a used midsize sedan. It has a pleasant ride quality and spacious cabin, but it trails rivals like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in reliability. The Passat also lacks a number of advanced safety features that have become common in its class, such as forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring. Shop around before considering this VW.

Used 2014 Volkswagen Passat Performance and Interior

The 2014 Passat is available with four engine options. The Passat 2.5L has a five-cylinder engine, and the Passat 1.8T has a turbocharged four-cylinder. Both provide 170 horsepower, but the 1.8T feels much stronger. It hustles the sedan up to speed confidently and yields better fuel economy – up to 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. A five-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive are standard; a six-speed automatic is available.

The Passat TDI has a 140-horsepower turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, and the Passat 3.6 has a 280-horsepower V6. Both provide brisk acceleration and robust passing power, but the V6 is rather thirsty (20/28 mpg city/highway). In contrast, the diesel earns an excellent 30/40 mpg city/highway. The TDI is offered with a six-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; the V6 is paired only with the automatic. The dual-clutch automatic feels fairly refined, though it can occasionally hesitate to shift at low speeds.

The Passat delivers a supple ride regardless of engine choice. The suspension sops up bumps and dips in the road without fuss and manages to keep the sedan stable through turns. The power steering feels heavy but responsive, and the brakes provide strong stopping power.

Read more about Passat performance »

The Volkswagen Passat seats five in a cabin that remains hushed even at highway speeds. The front seats are soft, but they’re somewhat short on lumbar and lateral support. The rear seats are very roomy; even tall passengers should find ample head- and legroom. There are two full sets of LATCH child-seat connectors. The Passat has a sizable 15.9 cubic feet of trunk space, which can expand to fit larger items thanks to the 60/40-split-folding rear seats and wide pass-through compartment.

The Passat’s interior has high-quality dashboard materials, and it’s easy to find the knob or button you’re looking for on the center stack. Volkswagen equips all models with a CD player and Bluetooth. Available features include three touch-screen infotainment system variations, a navigation system, satellite radio, and a crisp Fender sound system. The touch-screen systems are fairly easy to use, but the navigation functions tend to respond slowly to inputs.

Read more about Passat interior »

Used 2014 Volkswagen Passat Prices

The price of a used 2014 Passat sedan ranges from about $10,600 for a 2.5L S model to around $17,600 for a V6 SEL. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 44 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve researched 44 reviews of the VW Passat, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars for a decade, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to giving helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse gifts and trips from car companies, and the advertising on our site is handled by an outside team.

How Reliable Is the 2014 Volkswagen Passat?

The Volkswagen Passat has a below-average reliability score of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Passat reliability »

How Safe Is the Passat?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Passat a 2014 Top Safety Pick and gave the sedan a Good rating, the highest it offers, in four out of five areas tested. The Passat received an Acceptable rating, the second-highest offered, for small overlap front crash safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Passat a perfect five-star rating for overall, front, and side impact safety, as well as four stars for its rollover crash test.

The Passat lacks many advanced safety features found in class competitors, such as forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring. A rearview camera is standard in SE, Sport, and SEL trims.

See Passat safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Passat?

The Passat was fully redesigned for 2012, and the addition of a rearview camera was the only major change for 2013. Updates for 2014 were more significant. In mid-2014, Volkswagen replaced the five-cylinder engine in the 2.5L model with a peppier, more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter four-cylinder. This model became known as the 1.8T. If these changes are not important to you, you may want to consider a 2012 or 2013 Passat to save money.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Passat »

Which Used Volkswagen Passat Is Right for Me?

The 2014 Passat comes in five trims: S, Wolfsburg Edition, SE, Sport, and SEL Premium. Each is available with different engine options, which are noted in parentheses. The Volkswagen Passat S (1.8T and 2.5L) has cloth upholstery, air conditioning, Bluetooth, an AM/FM radio, an auxiliary audio input, and a CD player.

The Volkswagen Passat Wolfsburg Edition (1.8T and 2.5L) adds leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, and satellite radio. The Volkswagen Passat SE (1.8T, 2.5L, TDI, and V6) adds a rearview camera and a 6.5-inch touch screen. SE trims are also available with a sunroof, a 5-inch touch-screen navigation system, and keyless entry with push-button start. The Passat Sport (1.8T only) adds shift paddles. The Passat SEL Premium (1.8T, TDI, and V6) adds leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, a 6.5-inch touch-screen navigation system, Fender audio, and remote start.

It's worth noting that the TDI engine is affected by Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal and will require modifications to meet EPA standards. Shoppers looking for used TDI models should be cautious, as these modifications may alter performance and fuel economy.

You may also want to consider a certified pre-owned Passat. Volkswagen provides a two-year/24,000-mile limited warranty on all of its certified pre-owned vehicles. Each CPO Volkswagen must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Volkswagen warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Volkswagen certified pre-owned program »

2014 Volkswagen Passat and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Volkswagen Passat or 2014 Volkswagen Jetta?

The compact 2014 VW Jetta and midsize Passat both emphasize ride comfort and offer generous front and rear seating space. The Passat’s interior materials feel higher-quality than the Jetta’s; then again, used Passat models are typically a bit pricier. Ultimately, neither is a great used car option due to their high projected ownership costs.

Which Is Better: 2014 Volkswagen Passat or 2014 Volkswagen CC?

The Volkswagen CC is the Passat’s luxury midsize sibling. The CC has tighter rear seats and typically costs more than the Passat. However, it also packs more standard features, offers luxuries like a massaging driver’s seat, and can be equipped with all-wheel drive. In the end, neither of these Volkswagens rank very high in their respective classes, and each is short on advanced safety features.

Compare the Passat, Jetta, and CC »

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