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2017 Volkswagen Passat Review

A quiet cabin, spacious back seats, and a smooth ride are all hallmarks of the 2017 Volkswagen Passat. Unfortunately, it has a poor predicted reliability rating, a shorter list of standard features than most rivals, and a small infotainment screen. As a result, it finishes near the bottom of our midsize car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Hushed cabin
  • Spacious rear seats
  • Quick acceleration with V6 engine
  • Low predicted reliability rating
  • Small infotainment screen
  • Fewer standard features than some rivals

New for 2017

  • Forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking became standard




Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Volkswagen Passat Overview

Is the 2017 Volkswagen Passat a Good Used Car?

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat is a decent sedan with a spacious interior, comfortable ride, and potent acceleration from its available V6 engine. However, its drawbacks stop it from having a competitive hold on the midsize car class. The Passat's low predicted reliability rating drags it to near the bottom of our rankings, and its tiny infotainment system and limited standard features list doesn't help.

Why You Can Trust Us

To give you a complete overview of the 2017 Passat – and make your car-shopping experience easier – we analyzed 61 Volkswagen Passat reviews alongside reliability ratings, safety scores, and more.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our crew has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we do not accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an external company manages the ads on our site.

How Much Is the 2017 Volkswagen Passat?

Based on roughly 1,200 listings on our site for the 2017 Volkswagen Passat, prices range from $14,900 to $22,800. The average list price is $17,300. The price you pay depends on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Volkswagen Passat Cost to Own?

Five-year estimated costs for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2017 Volkswagen Passat are about $25,230 – or $5,050 per year. In comparison, five-year cost estimates for the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta, 2017 Honda Accord, and 2017 Toyota Camry are about $24,100, $23,970, and $23,820, respectively.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Passat?

The 2018 Volkswagen Passat added a turbo-four base engine, a Passat GT model, and a longer warranty than the 2017 Passat had when it was new. The 2017 Passat is cheaper, however, so go for the older model if these updates don't interest you.

Read about the new Volkswagen Passat »

You most likely won't be able to find a new midsize car for around the same price as the 2017 Volkswagen Passat. However, there are a lot of options in the compact car class. Sticking with the Volkswagen brand, the redesigned 2019 Volkswagen Jetta features a roomy cabin and trunk, excellent fuel economy, and a comfortable ride. For vehicles that fare better in our rankings, consider the 2018 Honda Civic and 2018 Ford Focus. The Civic has high fuel economy estimates and plenty of space for passengers and cargo, and the Focus features a budget-friendly price. Both the Civic and the Focus are fun to drive, with agile handling and powerful engines.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Volkswagen Passat Is Best?

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat is part of a generation that spanned the 2012 through 2018 model years. The 2013 Passat gained an available rearview camera, and the 2014 Passat added an available 1.8-liter turbocharged engine. The 2016 Passat received a standard infotainment system, available Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and additional available driver assistance features. For 2017, the Passat gained standard forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking. Older models cost less, but they have fewer standard and available amenities.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Passat »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Volkswagen Passat?

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Passat reliability »

2017 Volkswagen Passat Recalls

At the time of this writing, there is one safety recall for 2017 Volkswagen Passat. Brake fluid may leak out of some of the brake line connections, which could reduce braking power and increase the risk of a crash. Make sure these recalls are addressed before purchasing the 2017 Passat.

See more information on Volkswagen Passat safety recalls »

Which Used Volkswagen Passat Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat comes in five trim levels: S, R-Line, SE, SE w/Technology, and SEL Premium. The base S comes with a turbo-four engine, cloth upholstery, a 5-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB port, and dual-zone automatic climate control. All models also feature a rearview camera, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.

Although the Passat has a decent amount of standard features, consider the R-Line trim if your budget allows it. It adds features like a larger 6.3-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio, satellite radio, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, leatherette upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

The higher trims add more technology and convenience features that some shoppers may be interested in, such as a sunroof and push-button start in the SE trim, adaptive cruise control and remote start in the SE w/Technology trim, and leather seats and lane departure warning in the SEL trim. When it was new, the Passat was also available with additional packages and a V6 engine in select models.

See 2017 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, and depending on your car’s model year, you get a limited comprehensive warranty that takes effect once the new-car warranty has expired. 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.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Passat?

The Insurance Institute for Highway named the 2017 Volkswagen Passat a Top Safety Pick. The IIHS also gave it the highest rating of Good in five crash tests, and the second-lowest rating of Marginal in passenger-side small overlap front test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2017 Passat four stars in frontal and rollover tests and five stars in side crash tests for a five-star overall rating.

Standard advanced safety features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. Some models also feature blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, park assist, and front and rear parking sensors.

See Passat safety scores »

2017 Volkswagen Passat Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Volkswagen Passat or 2017 Volkswagen Jetta?

Choosing between the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta and the Passat comes down to personal preference. The 2017 Jetta is part of the compact car class, but it has nearly as much passenger and cargo space as the Passat, along with better fuel economy and significantly lower operating costs. However, the Jetta’s bland interior styling and hard plastic surfaces are unappealing. The Passat features some hard plastics, but it balances things out with a good amount of quality materials. If you're willing to pay extra for a nicer interior and a little more space, opt for the Passat. If not, stick with the more economical Jetta.

Which Is Better: 2017 Volkswagen Passat or 2017 Honda Accord?

The 2017 Honda Accord is a more well-rounded sedan than the Passat. Like the Passat, the Accord has a comfortable ride, a capable engine lineup, and a quality interior with plenty of room. However, the Accord takes things up a notch with more features (standard and available) and better fuel economy. That said, you'll spend significantly more on the Accord than the Passat – about $5,400 more, on average.

Which Is Better: 2017 Volkswagen Passat or 2017 Toyota Camry?

The 2017 Toyota Camry is one of the most popular sedans on the market. It’s also a better car than the Passat, thanks to its comfortable and spacious cabin, pleasant ride, and outstanding predicted reliability rating. The Camry also costs about the same as the VW. However, both vehicles lack some key standard features that other vehicles offer, including Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a larger touch screen. Additionally, the Camry and the Passat feature mundane infotainment systems and subpar fuel economy ratings compared to the best in the class.

Compare the Passat, Jetta, and Accord »

2017 Passat Performance

How Does the 2017 Volkswagen Passat Drive?

A 170-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine powers the base 2017 Volkswagen Passat. With this engine, the Passat is ready to get moving with its lively acceleration. However, those looking for more power should shop for models with the available 280-horsepower V6 engine. The base four-cylinder is mated to a smooth six-speed automatic transmission, and the V6 is paired with a quick-shifting dual-clutch automatic transmission. All models come with front-wheel drive.

Does the 2017 Volkswagen Passat Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base 2017 Volkswagen Passat delivers 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, which is below average in the class. Passats with the available V6 engine are rated at 20/28 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Passat performance »

2017 Passat Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Passat Seat?

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat seats up to five people in two rows of comfortable, supportive seats. The cabin is attractive, upscale, and quiet. The Passat also has one of the largest passenger areas in the class. Cloth upholstery is standard; some models come with leather upholstery, heated seats, and power-adjustable front seats.  

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Volkswagen Passat?

There are two sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the 2017 Volkswagen Passat's rear outboard seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it the highest rating of Good for ease of use.

2017 Volkswagen Passat Features

Standard features include a 5-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Some models include a larger 6.3-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio, satellite radio, and navigation. The standard infotainment system has a smaller touch screen than many rivals, but it's easy to operate nonetheless.

See 2017 Volkswagen Passat specs »

Read more about Passat interior »

2017 Volkswagen Passat Dimensions

Volkswagen Passat Cargo Space

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat has 15.9 cubic feet of trunk space, which is one of the larger cargo areas among midsize cars. There's also a substantial amount of small-item storage throughout the cabin.

2017 Passat Length and Weight

From end to end, the 2017 Passat is nearly 16 feet. Its curb weight ranges from about 3,260 to 3,570 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Volkswagen Passat Built?

Volkswagen built the 2017 Passat in Tennessee.

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