2017 Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen is German (so I’m told) for “The People’s Car”.  And I can’t think of a more “People’s car” than the Volkswagen Passat.  The Passat it self isn’t exactly a pretty car, nor is it particularly ugly.  It is the most common ground car in the world.  They even make a sporty R-Line for cool looks and a reasonable MSRP.

There isn’t much to say about the Passat; If your friend pulled in your driveway with their new 2017 Volkswagen Passat, you might just nod and say, “Oh…Nice”.  It’s not a bad thing at all, but it’s not really impressive.

Passat means Trade Wind in German…Which is completely useless information and I can’t tell how that ties in with the car itself.

The Exterior:

2017 Volkswagen Passat

It doesn’t really have an angry face, but it has some squinty-ness to it.  There are a couple veins in the hood, but nothing over powering.  It seems like this Passat took a more Toyota Camry approach to its style than the actual redesigned Toyota Camry did.  The Passat then is a four door sedan that will do exactly what you need it to, and not much more.  If you’re into that sort of thing, no problem!

2018 Volkswagen Passat rear

You get the same thing in the back.  Cool, athletic features done in a conservative way.  Dual exhaust tips, sharp LED tail lights and a nice complete design in a plain fashion.  The previous generation Passat’s tail lights had a bit more eye to them, and were a little more curvy.  These new set of lights are sharper and edgier, which I like.  This is the guy that wears khaki pants and a short sleeve button up sitting quietly in the cubicle.  It’s funny really, there are cars that say nothing about you and cars that say you don’t care what you drive, and then there’s the Passat.  It says you slightly care about what you drive and you do have a personality, but you like to keep to yourself mostly.

The Interior:

2018 Volkswagen Passat

I do appreciate a well thought out interior.  And after talking about how vanilla the outside is, I can report the interior is different.  Volkswagen as a brand is definitely more on the vanilla side in the grand scheme of things.  They’re the peoples car!  This also means that the interior of the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is purely functional and practical.  Looking at this set up; You have the steering wheel, shifter, infotainment screen, gauges, air vents, a clock and some buttons.  It’s pure functionality.

I’m also impressed that even with the simple  scheme, the interior is visually appealing.  I love the way the lines of the upper dashboard go perfectly with the flaps and adjustment of the air vents.  Everything is very linear and easy to comprehend.  Plus, you get Volkswagen’s cool information screen inside of the instrument cluster for navigation and vehicle/trim info.

2018 Volkswagen Passat

It’s not ground breaking, because it doesn’t have to be.  The 2017 Volkswagen Passat’s interior is just right.

The Performance and Tech: 

There are seven trim levels to the Volkswagen Passat, which makes it just as complicated as the Porsche Cayenne.  The trims are separated by what engine option you chose.  The 1.8 L turbocharged four cylinder engine has the S, SE, SE + tech and SEL trims.   Separately, but still with the 1.8 L  turbo, there is the R-Line.  The V6 engine has SE and SEL Premium trim levels, the more premium options.  If you think it’s odd that Volkswagen only offers the R-Line for the 1.8 L turbo and not the V6, I’m right there with you.

The 1.8 L engine produces 170 HP and 184 lb-ft. of torque.  While the V6 option produces 280 HP and 274 lb-ft. of torque out of 3.6 liters.  Volkswagen knows that the buyers of the Passat aren’t concerned with a huge host of menus to pick options from, which is the reason for those seven trim levels.  They make it nice and easy for you to pick the perfect commuter.

The technology you’ll find on the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is just the same as you’ll find on any high-end vehicle.  Lane-keep assist, navigation, dual zone climate control standard, adaptive cruise control, Park Pilot and a host of leather goodies.  The Passat also starts around $22,000 with a manual 6-speed transmission (7-speed automatic optional) and can carry up to around $40,00 with all the equipment you can pack in.

2017 Volkswagen Passat – Specs:

Vehicle Type: Midsize Sedan
Powertrain: 1.8 L turbo 4 cyl, 3.6 L V6 (Est)
Gearbox: 6-speed manual , 7-speed automatic (est.)
Power: 180 – 280 HP (est.)
MPG: Up to 34 Highway, 23 City (est.)
Torque: 184 – 258 Lb-Ft. (est.)
Length: 192 Inches (4.87 Meters) (est.)
Width: 72 Inches (1.82 Meters) (est.)
Height: 59 Inches (1.49 Meters) (est.)
Wheelbase: 110.4 Inches (2.8 Meters) (est.)
Top Speed: 128 MPH (205 KPH) (est.)
Seating: 5 adults
0-60 MPH (0-120 KPH): 3.9 Sec. – 3.4 (est.)
Base Price: $23,000 (est.)


Sum It Up:

While the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is the embodiment of a peoples car, I do like it as an enthusiast.  It fills a great gap in the automotive world, and once the whole Dieselgate thing clears up, I’m sure it’ll give the Toyota Camry a run for it’s money.  They’re already one of the most reliable cars on the road, too.  So there’s just one more thing the Passat needs to do reputation wise before it is in commuter car heaven…A good diesel engine.


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