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$11,625 - $19,951 $21,340 - $35,995

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 9.5
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Volkswagen Passat Review

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat ranks low among midsize cars – a highly competitive class – owing mainly to its poor reliability rating and slightly higher total ownership cost. Still, it's fairly spacious and luxurious inside, and there's lots of trunk room.

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of legroom in the back seat
  • Generous trunk space
  • Stylish cabin with upscale materials
  • Available navigation system can be problematic
  • Below-average fuel economy

2015 Volkswagen Passat Overview

Is the 2015 Volkswagen Passat a Good Used Car?

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat is a good enough car in most cases, but it faces stiff competition from rivals that offer more features, superior engine power and handling, better fuel economy, and stronger safety and reliability ratings. However, if you want an upscale cabin with plenty of back-seat and trunk space, the Passat may work for you.

Used 2015 Volkswagen Passat Performance and Interior

The 2015 Passat comes with a turbocharged, 170-horsepower four-cylinder engine that produces highway-ready acceleration. A turbocharged, 280-horsepower V6 is available. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic transmission is available. With the base engine and five-speed manual transmission, the Passat's EPA fuel economy estimates reach 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway – poor numbers for the class. The Passat’s agile handling and accurate steering make it a bit more fun to drive than some other sedans, but it can't compete with sporty competitors like the Mazda6 and Nissan Altima.

Read more about Passat performance »

The five-seat 2015 Passat boasts upscale cabin materials and elegant yet simple styling. Space isn't a concern in the back seats, as the Passat offers more rear legroom than most other midsize sedans. The front seats, however, have less head- and legroom than rivals' seats. There are two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats, and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. At 15.9 cubic feet, the Passat has one of the larger trunks in the class.

The VW Passat offers few standard features: an auxiliary jack and Bluetooth. Available features include a touch-screen display and push-button start. The available navigation system can be difficult to use and slow to respond.

Read more about Passat interior »

Used 2015 Volkswagen Passat Prices

Prices range from about $13,600 for a used 2015 Passat 1.8T S (the base model) with a manual transmission to around $23,400 for the Passat 3.6 SEL Premium with a six-speed automatic transmission and a more powerful V6 engine. However, your final price will depend on the car's condition, mileage, equipment, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 48 Reviews Analyzed

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of other professional automotive reviews, as well as information like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched and analyzed 48 reviews on the Volkswagen Passat to give you an idea of its pros and cons.

Why You Can Trust Us

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars for 10 years, and our staff has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and the advertising on our site is handled by an outside team.

How Reliable Is the 2015 Volkswagen Passat?

On J.D. Power and Associates' five-point predicted reliability scale, the 2015 VW Passat has a score of 2.5. That's considered below average for the automotive industry.

Read more about Passat reliability »

How Safe Is the Passat?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the 2015 Passat a Top Safety Pick. In four out of five IIHS evaluations, the Passat received the highest rating of Good. The Passat earned a perfect five stars for overall safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The Passat has few active safety features. The Volkswagen Intelligent Crash Response System is standard; it automatically unlocks the doors, deactivates the fuel pump, and turns on the hazard lights after a crash. A rearview camera is available. Most competing sedans offer much more, like adaptive cruise control and automatic braking. 

See Passat safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Passat?

The Volkswagen Passat's fifth generation began with the 2012 model year and continues through 2017. There are very few differences between the 2014 and 2015 models. The most notable is a modest increase of 10 horsepower with the 2015’s four-cylinder engine. If you’re happy without this extra power, consider the otherwise similar but less expensive 2014 model.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Passat »

Which Used Volkswagen Passat Is Right for Me?

The Passat comes in six trims: S, Wolfsburg, Limited, SE, Sport, and SEL Premium. Each of these come with a 1.8-liter turbo-four engine.

The S trim has air conditioning, a radio and CD player with six speakers, an aux input, Bluetooth, and a 60/40-split rear seat.

The Wolfsburg model adds a six-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment, 16-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio, and a media device interface with an iPod cable. The SE adds a rearview camera, rear-passenger air vents, an auto-dimming rear mirror, and a touch-screen radio. The Sport trim adds a rear spoiler and aluminum sport pedals, while the SEL Premium adds navigation, a premium Fender audio system, remote start, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and an eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat.

The 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel engine is available with the SE and SEL Premium trims. However, the TDI engine is affected by Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal and will require modifications 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. The 3.6-liter V6 is available only in the SEL Premium trim.

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 »

2015 Volkswagen Passat and Other Vehicles to Consider        

Which Is Better: 2015 Volkswagen Passat or 2015 Honda Accord?

The Honda Accord is the better all-around car. Its base engine is powerful and fuel-efficient, and it has a fairly composed ride. The Accord also comes with more standard features than the Passat, including an infotainment system with an 8-inch screen. Additionally, the Accord has an attractive cabin with plenty of front-seat space.

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

If you prefer a car with an engaging performance, the Nissan Altima is the one to get. Among midsize sedans, it offers some of the best driving dynamics, including sharp steering and great cornering ability. The Altima has an upscale interior with some of the cushiest front seats in the class. It also has a strong base engine that delivers excellent fuel economy; additional engines are available.

Which Is Better: 2015 Volkswagen Passat or 2015 Toyota Camry?

The Toyota Camry has a balanced performance, delivering both agile handling and a comfortable ride. It’s also quiet and attractive inside, making it a great option for daily driving. Its standard infotainment system and dashboard controls are user-friendly, and it comes standard with a rearview camera. The Camry is also more affordable, so it's a more well-rounded option overall.

Compare the Passat, Accord, and Altima »

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