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2015 Volkswagen Passat Review

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat finishes in the lower third of our competitive midsize car rankings. It’s adequate in most ways, but it simply can’t compete with rivals that have more standard and available features and better reliability ratings.

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of back-seat legroom
  • Generous trunk space
  • Stylish cabin with upscale materials
  • Few standard and available features
  • Available navigation system can be problematic
  • Below-average fuel economy




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.9
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Volkswagen Passat Overview

Is the 2015 Volkswagen Passat a Good Used Car?

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat is a good car, but there are better options in the midsize car class. This sedan has spacious back seats, a large trunk, a high-end cabin design, and good engine power. On the downside, the Passat doesn’t have as many innovative features as its rivals, and its available navigation system is a hassle to use. You also won’t get good fuel economy or impressive handling with this VW.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 52 Volkswagen Passat reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Volkswagen Passat?

Our site has roughly 2,100 listings for the 2015 VW Passat, with an average list price of $15,200. Prices range from $11,600 to $19,000, and vary depending on the vehicle’s trim, mileage, location, condition, and features.

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How Much Does the 2015 Volkswagen Passat Cost to Own?

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat’s five-year estimated costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs come to about $24,720.  

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Volkswagen Passat?

The 2019 Volkswagen Passat has a starting price of $25,295, which is $10,000 more than the average price of a 2015 model. However, that extra money buys quite a bit. The 2019 model has a turbocharged four-cylinder base engine and more standard features than the 2015 model, including an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. You’ll get more with a new Passat, but it’s not a great value. Stick with the 2015.

Read about the new Volkswagen Passat »

There are no new midsize sedans that are comparable in price to a 2015 Passat. However, you can step down to the compact car class and check out the 2019 Kia Soul, which is a hatchback that starts at $16,490. The Soul has a roomy interior and 8.3 cubic feet more cargo room behind its back seats than the Passat’s trunk space. It also has a long powertrain warranty and a powerful available engine.

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Which Model Year of the Volkswagen Passat Is Best?

The 2015 Passat is part of a generation that began for 2012 and includes the 2019 model. The 2016 and 2017 models received the most noteworthy additions. If you want a standard infotainment system with available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, buy the 2016 Volkswagen Passat. The 2017 model gained standard forward collision warning and autonomous automatic emergency braking.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Passat »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Volkswagen Passat?

The 2015 VW Passat earned a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power. That’s below average for the midsize car class, but it’s about average for the industry.

Read more about Passat reliability »

2015 Volkswagen Passat Recalls

As of this writing, the 2015 Volkswagen Passat has four reported recalls. They concern issues with a loose left rear brake line, fuel leaking into the engine compartment, loss of power brakes because of a camshaft lobe fracture, and possible movement of a seatback. Be sure these issues have been resolved before purchasing a 2015 Passat.

See more information on Volkswagen Passat safety recalls »

Which Used Volkswagen Passat Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Passat is available in five trim levels: S, Wolfsburg, SE, Sport, and SEL Premium. Each comes with a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

The S trim has basic features like a manual transmission, air conditioning, a radio and CD player with six speakers, an auxiliary input, Bluetooth, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. Most shoppers would prefer the features of the Passat Wolfsburg trim. It adds a six-speed automatic transmission, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio, and a media device interface with an iPod cable.

The Passat SE adds a rearview camera, rear-passenger air vents, an auto-dimming rear mirror, and a touch screen. The Sport trim includes a rear spoiler and aluminum sport pedals, while the SEL Premium adds navigation, a premium Fender audio system, remote start, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The 3.6-liter V6 engine is available only in the SEL Premium trim.

The 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engine is available with the SE and SEL Premium trims. This engine was affected by Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal, and it may have been modified to meet EPA standards. If you’re shopping for a used TDI model, be mindful that these repairs can alter the Passat’s performance and fuel economy estimates.

See 2015 Volkswagen Passat trims and specs »

What Does Volkswagen's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Volkswagen offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles seven years old or less and with fewer than 75,000 miles. You receive the balance of the new-car warranty when you purchase a CPO model. Depending on your car’s model year, you get a limited comprehensive warranty that takes effect once the new-car warranty has expired or on the sale date of the CPO VW vehicle. For 2018 and newer VWs, the limited comprehensive warranty is good for one year or 12,000 miles. The length of the warranty increases to two years or 24,000 miles for 2017-and-older gas, hybrid, and electric vehicles. Finally, 2016 and older TDI vehicles get a two-year/unlimited miles warranty.

VW CPO vehicles must pass a 100-plus-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing, a Carfax vehicle history report, a three-month SiriusXM All-Access satellite radio trial subscription, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Volkswagen warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Volkswagen’s CPO program is the least robust of all auto manufacturers.

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How Safe Is the Passat?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 VW Passat an overall rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the frontal crash and side crash tests, and four stars in the rollover test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Passat a 2015 Top Safety Pick, which is the institute’s second-highest honor. It earned the agency’s top rating of Good in four crash tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the driver-side small overlap front evaluation.

The Volkswagen Intelligent Crash Response System is standard in the 2015 Passat. It automatically unlocks the doors, deactivates the fuel pump, and turns on the hazard lights in the event of a crash. A rearview camera is available. Most cars in the class are available with many more advanced safety features, such as blind spot monitoring and rear parking sensors.

See Passat safety scores »

2015 Volkswagen Passat Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Volkswagen Passat or 2015 Nissan Altima?

For a sportier sedan, choose the 2015 Nissan Altima, which has some of the liveliest handling and strongest engines in the midsize car class. The Altima has a fuel-efficient base engine and a well-made cabin with a more user-friendly navigation system than what you’ll find in the Passat. While the Passat’s front seats are rather cramped, the Altima’s are some of the most comfortable in the class. Stick with the Altima.

Which Is Better: 2015 Volkswagen Passat or 2015 Hyundai Sonata?

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata outshines the Passat in a number of ways, making it the better sedan for most shoppers. Hyundai fully redesigned the 2015 Sonata, and it features a quiet cabin with top-notch materials. It also has more standard and available technology features than the Passat, and they’re easier to use. Additionally, the Hyundai has a comfortable ride and a higher reliability rating than the VW.

Compare the Passat, Altima, and Sonata »

2015 Volkswagen Passat Performance

How Does the 2015 Volkswagen Passat Drive?

The Passat’s athletic handling and precise steering make it a little more enjoyable to drive than some rivals. However, it doesn’t hold a candle to lively handlers like the 2015 Mazda6 and 2015 Nissan Altima.  

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat sedan is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower. It delivers rapid acceleration for highway driving. A 280-horsepower turbocharged V6 is available. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard, and a six-speed automatic transmission is available.

Does the 2015 Volkswagen Passat Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Passat returns poor fuel economy estimates for the class, at 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway with the base engine and automatic transmission.

Read more about Passat performance »

2015 Volkswagen Passat Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Volkswagen Passat Seat?

The five-seat 2015 Volkswagen Passat is built with rich cabin materials laid out in a tasteful, simple style. The back row provides plenty of legroom, which is what more than most rivals have. However, the front seats have less head- and legroom than competitors.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Volkswagen Passat?

There are two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats, and an upper tether anchor on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system its highest rating of Good for ease of use.

2015 Volkswagen Passat Features

The Passat has few standard features: an auxiliary input jack and Bluetooth. Upgrades include a touch screen, push-button start, remote start, satellite radio, a media device interface with an iPod cable, navigation, and a premium Fender audio system. The available navigation system can be hard to operate and sluggish to respond to adjustments.

See 2015 Volkswagen Passat specs »

Read more about Passat interior »

2015 Volkswagen Passat Dimensions

Volkswagen Passat Cargo Space

The Volkswagen Passat has one of the biggest trunks in the midsize car class. It has 15.9 cubic feet of space.

2015 Passat Length and Weight

The 2015 Passat measures just under 16 feet from bumper to bumper.

Where Was the 2015 Volkswagen Passat Built?

Volkswagen assembled the 2015 Passat in Tennessee.

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