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2019 Volkswagen Passat Overview

The current generation of Volkswagen Passat is a vastly different today than it was when it first arrived in 2012. Since its introduction, it’s seen an overhauled engine lineup, a comprehensive refresh, and a redesigned technology stack. Volkswagen offers a simplified lineup for 2019.

The previously available V6 option is no more. All Passats this year benefit from a single engine, in the form of a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with 174 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The sedan will likely feel faster than it is because all that torque is available as low as 1,600 rpm. Power goes to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission, and fuel economy stands at 25 mpg city, 36 highway, and 29 combined.

2019 pares down the six trims from last year to just two: the Wolfsburg Edition and the SE R-Line. The good news is that the Wolfsburg Edition features more standard content than the S trim it replaces: 17-inch alloy wheels, a 6.3-inch touchscreen, keyless access and start, leatherette, a leather steering wheel, heated front seats, and heated side mirrors. With the optional Wheel & Roof package, you’ll get 18-inch alloy wheels and a power sunroof.

Meanwhile the SE R-Line trim keeps the same sportier interior and exterior elements as last year’s R-Line, while throwing in additional content to top out the lineup. Standard features include 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, LED daytime-running lights, LED taillights, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, ambient lighting, and Fender premium audio.

Despite its age, Volkswagen includes a competitive set of standard and optional safety features on the Passat. Every model gets forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking below 18 mph, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, post-collision braking, and a crash-response system. That last feature shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights after certain types of collisions. Opt for the SE R-Line and you’ll get adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and front and rear parking sensors. The Passat received good scores in most categories during its last round of crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The Volkswagen Passat has always been an attractive, well-styled, and spacious midsize sedan with room for five. And while there’s no doubt that the simplified 2019 model is better than before, it has stiff competition from the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry. However, one area in which the Volkswagen definitely excels is the 6-year/72,000-mile full warranty it introduced in 2018, which carries forward into this year.


Kyree has always been fascinated with the automotive world, especially when it comes to premium European cars. But regardless of the vehicle—whether it's an efficient hybrid or the latest luxury sled—he's always ready to dispense information and advice. These days, he enjoys doing that here at CarGurus.

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