The Volkswagen Passat is a midsize sedan designed to compete with the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Ford Fusion. “Das Auto” takes a different route than its competitors, offering unique German touches in the drivetrain, suspension and interior. On Mojo Motors, the most Followed type of Passat is the sixth generation, launched in 2011. While it is currently only available as a sedan, the previous generation offered a wagon. With 13 different trims available, shoppers can find a used Passat for sale that can be a cheap and basic economical transportation or a spec’d out to a near luxury family hauler.
Fifth-Gen Passat Wagon
Passat Engine and MPG
Volkswagen offers a lot of variety under the sixth-gen Passat’s hood, which is a refreshing change in this segment. The base model S trim starts the lineup with a 1.8 liter turbo four cylinder offering 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. This engine is a carryover from the previous generation, and initially seems to be a bit of a throwback, as it is made of heavy cast iron. Pop the hood and you will see why: the base model Passat sports a turbocharger and the iron block is more durable than aluminum. The turbo 1.8 gets 24/35 MPG, city and highway, respectively. The previous generation also had a US-only 2.5 liter 5 cylinder engine with 170 horsepower. It fits between the 4 and 6 cylinder in MPG, but only has 4 cylinder power.
The next step up is the 2.0 liter TDI Clean diesel four cylinder. This engine does cost a premium over the gas engine, even on the used market, but the fuel savings are worth it. The TDI achieves 31 MPG city, and hybrid-like 43 MPG highway. The top-of-the-line engine available in this model Passat is the 3.6 liter VR6. This V6 offers an impressive 280 horsepower, one of the most powerful engines in the class. This power does come with a mileage penalty, as the V6 Passat achieves 20 MPG city, and 28 MPG highway. It also needs premium fuel, something the 1.8T does not require.
The sixth generation Passat has a handsome interior from the traditional conservative German playbook. This means the leather and wood grain are high quality, but the layout of the interior is not as flashy and slick as some competitors, such as the Honda Accord. If you can live with a more sedate interior design, it really does have some nice pluses. Yes, the Passat offers a huge sunroof, and iPod compatible Media Device Interface, but so does the competition.
VW changes things up with available paddle shifters (just try and find those on newer Malibus!) and a very impressive Fender premium audio system. Of course, all of this is integrated into the overall interior design, a difference you can truly feel in the ergonomics.
Although there are a multitude of options available, the Passat needs them all to fend off the massive horde of midsize competitors. This is the largest car market segment in the US, with the leading Toyota Camry selling over 400,000 units in 2013. Each competitor brings something different to the table. The Mazda 6 and Ford Fusion offer attractive exteriors and sporty handling. The Camry and Accord are rock-solid and reliable, and even the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima have evolved to become worthy competitors in this class. However, if you are looking for a quiet, polished interior, with smooth driving dynamics, consider the Volkswagen Passat.
Written by Andy Jensen