2017 Volkswagen Passat Review


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2017 Volkswagen Passat Overview

When you think of commuter cars, the Volkswagen Passat probably comes to mind as a pretty safe bet—it's roomy, seats five, gets great gas mileage, and sports a pretty reasonable price tag. What you probably don't realize is the Passat has a bit of a raucous side. Hidden underneath all that sensible German engineering are some pretty cool features sure to make you enjoy driving to work or taking your kids to school a little more. They may even make you ditch school and take the kids for a joyride instead.

Okay, the Passat is probably not going to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up as you push it through the twisties. The bulk of new 2017 Passats sold will be sensible cars with a sensible design for sensible people.

The 2017 Passat will start with the base S trim, which can be had for $22,400. For that, you'll get a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine boasting 170 hp, a 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport mode, dual-zone climate control, a rear-view camera, and a touchscreen sound system. While all this is great, it doesn't sound all that sensible—it sounds a little fun, right? Fear not—Volkswagen thought of this and will provide S buyers with 2 exceedingly sensible features: forward-collision warning and autonomous emergency braking. In breaking with both sensibility and fun, however, the 2017 Passat S will actually have lower official fuel-economy numbers than those of its 2016 predecessor. While engine stats remain the same, the 2017 will only return 23 mpg city/34 highway. These are impressive figures, but disappointing to see after 2016's official figures of 25/38.

Next up from the S will be the SE. Starting at $25,495, the SE will sport the same engine as the S but offer a few more niceties—including a sunroof, keyless entry, push-button start, and a blind-spot monitor. For a slightly more high-tech feel, you'll be able to upgrade to the SE with Technology, which will add (for $2,500) touchscreen navigation, a hands-free Easy Open trunk, and LED headlights. Adding a slightly more luxurious feel to both the SE and SE with Technology will be leatherette seating, an upgrade from the cloth seating of the S. For serious luxury, however, you'll have to look to the SEL Premium. Coming in at $30,995, the SEL Premium is no slouch. Sporting leather seats, a Fender audio system, and 8-way power front seats, it will create the kind of comfy environment that may make your difficult commute less of a hassle.

But what if you do want a Passat that can do a little more than get you from point A to point B in a calm and reasonable manner? Simple: Check out the Passat R-Line. The R-Line will come with the same 1.8-liter engine as the S but dresses itself up a bit to make you feel like you're about to hit the track. Inside, you'll find leatherette seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Outside, the R-Line makes its statement with 19-inch alloy wheels and R-Line front and rear bumpers, which will give the car its sporty appearance. An available R-Line Lighting Package will offer the option of increasing the car's curb appeal. While the R-Line Passat may not actually make the hairs on the back of your neck tingle with its performance, it may be able to accomplish that through its looks. As you push the car through its paces, you can look at it and think you're driving a proper sport sedan while knowing deep down your car is eminently reasonable. To further prove that, the R-Line also sports antilock brakes, front side airbags, and curtain airbags—reasonable safety tech all Passat buyers will find on their cars. Oh, and like other Passats, it can also hold 15.9 cubic feet of cargo in the trunk.

If you're thinking there isn't actually a Passat out there with quite enough oomph for you, you may want to take a look at the V6 SE with Technology and the V6 SEL Premium. Both offer the same goodies found on their 4-cylinder counterparts but tote around a 3.6-liter 6-cylinder engine good for 280 hp. That engine will return mileage of 20/28/23. In order to buy the V6 SE with Technology you'll need to shell out $29,295, while the V6 SEL Premium will set you back $33,995.

On the surface, the Volkswagen Passat appears to be a good-looking daily commuter car. While that is indeed true and most 2017 Passats sold are likely to be commuter and family cars, this particular Wolfsburger can have a bit of a sinister side, if you so desire. With several different trims available, Volkswagen has a wide selection of Passats for the choosing, all of which appear to be sensible choices for people in the market for a midsize family sedan.


Zach is a gearhead and travel junkie who loves to check out cars wherever he goes. Having lived abroad in Germany and Russia, he has grown particularly fond of European cars, but has found nothing able to top his love for his first car: a 2001 Toyota Tacoma.

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Re: Pricing On 2017 Vw Passat Se W/ Technology

I'm trying to gather info to decide what a fair price is for 2017 VW Passat w/ tech. I noticed on your site that you list a MSRP of 25,855 for this car, whereas on VW.com they list the MSRP as 27,99...

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