2019 Volkswagen Passat

Performance


#8 out of 11 in Midsize Cars

MSRP
$25,295
U.S. News Best Price Program

2019 Volkswagen Passat Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.3

The 2019 Volkswagen Passat offers a comfortable ride. Though VW discontinued the V6 engine offered in 2018 models, the turbo-four provides enough power for most driving situations. Many class rivals are more agile, however.

  • "There's an undeniable sporty side to the 2018 Volkswagen Passat personality, but comfort takes precedence in this sizable sedan. The ride is smooth and its spacious interior is quiet, even on the highway, where wind and road noise are kept out of the cabin. Visibility is excellent, and the light steering and brakes are responsive. Overall, it's a sophisticated drive. The Passat is also playful, and when the situation calls for it this Volkswagen shows an athletic side." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • The Passat's punchy turbocharged four-cylinder engine should appeal to any midsize sedan shopper looking for their car to provide a good, solid kick in the back side. Sadly, other performance elements that come into play in everyday driving are subpar." -- Edmunds (2018)

Acceleration and Power

Both the Wolfsburg Edition and the Passat SE R-Line feature a 174-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-four engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine delivers decent bursts of acceleration, but there are stronger options in the class. Still, you’ll have little trouble zipping around town or merging on the freeway.

The Passat gets fuel economy estimates of 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Those figures are typical for the class.

  • The 4-cylinder engine seems a bit overwhelmed by the Passat's large size. Still, it offers strong fuel economy and a fairly smooth transmission, so it's probably best to look past the average acceleration." -- Autotrader
  • "For 2018, the Passat introduces an upgraded four-cylinder engine. [It provides] … just average mpg for a midsize sedan, but what the Passat lacks in fuel efficiency, it makes up for with lively performance and pickup." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • The standard 2.0-liter 4-cylinder offers excellent power, providing lively acceleration from a dead stop or when you're at speed. The 6-speed automatic transmission is bit dated compared to the transmission in some of the Passat's competition, but it's well-tuned and well-geared." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Handling and Braking

The VW Passat opts for comfort over athletics. This family sedan cruises over rough roads, and driving it along the highway and through town is a breeze. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is not available.

  • This midsize sedan prioritizes comfort over performance or style, offering decent outward vision, a supple ride … and predictable, yet dull, handling." -- Autotrader
  • You won't be wowed by the handling if you're used to a sports car or even a RWD sport sedan, but you'll find no bad surprises carving your way around a fast sweeper. There's a bit of roll and then the car takes a set, though it must be said that the steering is operating above its pay grade—this is where a bit more feedback would build confidence and add a few mph." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)
  • … the Passat is quiet and comfortable around town and on the highway. Steering is generally precise, but this isn't the car we'd recommend if you're looking for a sporty driving experience. It's a bit more relaxed and reserved, which may or may not be your preference." -- Edmunds (2017)
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