Used 2014 Volkswagen Passat Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2014 Volkswagen Passat Review

2014 Volkswagen Passat

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2014 Volkswagen Passat

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • Set apart by its European-style refinement, roomy interior and fuel-efficient diesel engine option, the 2014 Volkswagen Passat is a solid choice for a family sedan.

  • Pros

    High-quality cabin with above-average passenger and cargo space; refined and quiet ride; fuel-efficient diesel engine; strong V6; top safety scores.

  • Cons

    Below-average acceleration with 2.5 and TDI engines; touchscreen electronics interface in SEL models is slow to respond.

  • What's New for 2014

    A more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine replaces the 2.5-liter five-cylinder on the 2014 Volkswagen Passat SEL model and will gradually be phased in on other trim levels. VW's Car-Net telematics interface also debuts this year, and most trims, including this year's new Sport trim level, now have a standard rearview camera.

    2014 Volkswagen Passat Video Review

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2014 Volkswagen Passat

What's New for 2014

A more fuel-efficient 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine replaces the 2.5-liter five-cylinder on the 2014 Volkswagen Passat SEL model and will gradually be phased in on other trim levels. VW's Car-Net telematics interface also debuts this year, and most trims, including this year's new Sport trim level, now have a standard rearview camera.


One of the more interesting options for a midsize sedan is the 2014 Volkswagen Passat. It's the only European car in the family sedan segment, and that heritage is evident in its clean styling, tidy, down-to-business interior design and solid, composed highway ride. It's also the only sedan in this class that offers a diesel engine option, and that power plant returns impressive fuel economy on par with hybrid sedans. However, there's plenty of North American influence in VW's family sedan as well, and indeed the Passat's greatest attribute is the vast amount of space it offers for passengers and cargo.

This spaciousness is no accident, of course, as the Volkswagen Passat is built in Tennessee expressly for the American market. Not only is this midsize VW sufficiently comfortable and serene for long road trips on U.S. highways, but you can even get it with a potent 3.6-liter V6 engine. Most Passat buyers end up with one of the more sensible engine options, of course, and to be honest we've never been thrilled with the base 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine's below-average fuel economy and slightly gruff power delivery. The good news is that Volkswagen is phasing in a new, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine for the 2014 model year. It doesn't make any more horsepower than the 2.5 engine, but there's more torque for passing maneuvers and the 1.8T engine returns better gas mileage to boot. Initially, only SEL models will have the new engine as standard, but as the 2014 model year progresses, you can expect to see the 1.8T on all VW Passats. Still, if you're really serious about fuel economy, the extra cost of the diesel engine on the TDI models will probably be worth it to you.

Although there's much to like about the 2014 Volkswagen Passat, we can say the same about many of its competitors and you'll certainly want to check a few of them out before making a decision. The 2014 Nissan Altima and 2014 Honda Accord are two of our favorites in this class: Their base four-cylinder gasoline engines are more fuel-efficient than the Passat's 1.8T and 2.5 engines, and the Altima has some of the richest cabin furnishings in this price range. We're also fond of the Mazda 6, which has the sportiest handling in this class, and the stylish 2014 Ford Fusion, whose eco-themed counterpart, the Fusion Hybrid, is a compelling alternative to a diesel Passat.

Even in the face of so many competent rivals, though, the 2014 Volkswagen Passat comes highly recommended, especially with the 1.8T and TDI engines.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Volkswagen Passat sedan is offered in four broad models broken down by engine (2.5L, 1.8T, TDI and V6), which are further subdivided into a quintet of different trim levels (S, Wolfsburg, SE, Sport and SEL).

The lineup starts with the "S" base model, which comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a six-way manual driver seat with lumbar adjustment, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, audio controls on the steering wheel, cruise control, a trip computer, Bluetooth with streaming audio and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input.

The Wolfsburg Edition includes the features of the S model and adds unique 16-inch alloy wheels, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a six-way power driver seat, heated front seats, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface and VW's Car-Net telematics system.

Move up to the SE trim level and you get 17-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors and windshield washer nozzles, a rearview camera, rear-seat air vents, a sliding front armrest, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, upgraded gauges and displays, and an eight-speaker sound system with a touchscreen audio interface.

This year's new Passat Sport is similar to the SE but has 19-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles (with the automatic transmission) and special exterior and interior styling details.

Options on SE models include a sunroof or the sunroof bundled with a navigation system. On TDI SE models, 18-inch alloy wheels are also added if the sunroof is equipped, and if you equip both the sunroof and the nav system, you get foglights as well. Navigation is not available on V6 SE models, but on the upside, a nine-speaker Fender audio system is included with the optional sunroof.

The SEL models include all of the above items, including an upgraded navigation system with a larger screen, hard-drive music storage and traffic updates. You also get keyless ignition/entry, remote ignition, eight-way power front seats with driver memory functions, partial leather upholstery, wood-grain interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, HD radio and a separate ski pass-through for the 60/40 rear seat.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 VW Passat is front-wheel drive and comes with a choice of four distinctly different engines. The S, SE and Wolfsburg models come with a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine rated at 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. You can have a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission on S and SE models, while the Wolfsburg is automatic only. In Edmunds performance testing, an automatic-equipped Passat 2.5 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 9 seconds, which is slower than average for the class. The EPA's estimated fuel economy for manual-shift Passat 2.5 models is 26 mpg combined (22 mpg city/32 mpg highway), while the automatic drops to 25 mpg combined (22 mpg city/31 mpg highway). These figures are below average among midsize sedans.

Volkswagen is beginning to phase the 2.5-liter engine out of the lineup in favor of a new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is also rated at 170 hp but makes a more substantial 184 lb-ft of torque. Currently, the 1.8T is standard only on the Sport and SEL models. Eventually, though, it will be the base engine on all Passats, and consumers are likely to encounter both engines in 2014 models at dealerships. A six-speed automatic is standard on the SEL 1.8T, but VW will also offer the five-speed manual on the Sport and on S and SE models with the 1.8T engine. In Edmunds performance testing, the Passat 1.8T SEL went from zero to 60 mph in a quick 7.7 seconds. Fuel economy estimates are 28 mpg combined (24 mpg city/34 mpg highway) with the automatic and 28 mpg combined (24 mpg city/35 mpg highway) with the manual: good numbers for a four-cylinder midsize sedan.

Those seeking maximum mpg can opt for Volkswagen's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine, which produces 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque on SE and SEL models. Called the TDI, this diesel engine comes with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automated manual transmission (known as DSG), which takes the place of a conventional automatic. In Edmunds performance testing, the Passat TDI went from zero to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds. The EPA-estimated fuel economy is an excellent 35 mpg combined (31 mpg city/43 mpg highway) for the manual and 34 mpg combined (30 mpg city/40 mpg highway) with the DSG. In extensive Edmunds fuel economy testing, we've found that the diesel VW Passat can easily surpass these numbers by 8-10 mpg.

The strongest engine available on the Passat is a 3.6-liter V6, which churns out 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It's optional on the SE and SEL, and the DSG automated manual transmission is standard. In Edmunds testing, a Passat 3.6 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds -- quick for this class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg combined (20 mpg city/28 mpg highway).


Standard safety features for the 2014 Volkswagen Passat include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, and front and rear side curtain airbags. In the event of a crash, the onboard computer automatically cuts off the fuel supply, unlocks the doors and turns on the hazard flashers. A rearview camera is standard on SE and SEL models. VW's new Car-Net telematics system, standard from the Wolfsburg model on up, includes automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers). A Car-Net smartphone app lets owners control many of these functions on the go.

In government crash testing, the Passat scored a perfect five out of five stars overall, with five stars for frontal impact protection and five stars for side crash protection. Similarly, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Passat its top score of "Good" for frontal moderate-overlap, side-impact and roof-strength tests. The Passat received the Institute's second-highest rating of "Acceptable" in the small-overlap frontal-offset crash test.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Passat 3.6 SEL came to a stop from 60 mph in about 130 feet, which is longer than average. However, a 2.5 SE and a 1.8 SEL both stopped in a class-average 123 feet, while a TDI SEL needed 124 feet.

Interior Design and Special Features

Spaciousness is the operative word when describing the Passat's cabin. Space up front is good; however, the driver seat only adjusts in six ways (minus lumbar), and it lacks the seat-bottom tilt found in most competitors. In back, the Passat verges on full-size sedan dimensions, as even good-sized adults will have room to stretch out their legs. The seatback cushion is too upright, however, which can result in taller occupants' heads grazing the roof. The spacious trunk can swallow 15.9 cubic feet of cargo -- a number that bests many competitors -- and a large pass-through gives you plenty of room to haul bulkier items when the 60/40 seats are folded.

The quality of the VW Passat's interior materials is among the best in the class. The overall cabin design is decidedly upscale, while the layout of gauges and controls is refreshingly simple. The premium Fender audio system has been tuned to the acoustics of the interior and will please even hard-core audiophiles. Our only significant complaint relates to the optional navigation systems. The SE models have a lower-cost navigation unit with a small touchscreen display. You get a usefully larger screen in the SEL, but we've found this higher-end interface slower to process commands whether you're changing a radio station or entering a destination.

Driving Impressions

The 2014 Volkswagen Passat's character depends a great deal on which engine is under the hood. Although performance from the 2.5-liter five-cylinder is fully adequate, we think most buyers will appreciate the new 1.8T engine's smoother power delivery, increased fuel economy and extra thrust for passing. It's also quicker than the TDI, but that turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel boasts lively low-end power and returns truly extraordinary fuel economy and fuel range. For those who care more about power than mpg, the 3.6-liter V6 engine delivers much more enthusiastic acceleration.

The DSG automated manual transmission that's available with the TDI engine and standard with the V6 generally feels like a regular automatic transmission and, in some cases, it's better -- it provides quick downshifts in highway passing situations. One negative is the lackadaisical throttle response on DSG-equipped Passats and on 2.5 models with the regular automatic transmission: There's a noticeable delay between the time the pedal is pressed and when the engine actually responds. Most owners get used to this behavior in time, but if it bothers you, the automatic-equipped Passat 1.8T is worth a try.

On the highway, all 2014 Volkswagen Passats are impressively quiet and comfortable, snuffing out bumps large and small. Around turns, the steering is reasonably precise, although there's not much feel for the road and some drivers find it a tad heavy at low speeds. Overall, though, the Passat earns high marks for its relaxed, refined demeanor in everyday driving.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 31 reviews) Write a Review

Most reliable vehicle

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Vehicle: 2014 Volkswagen Passat V6 SE 4dr Sedan w/Sunroof (3.6L 6cyl 6AM)

I have owned my 2014 Passat for almost two years. I took a step down from the CC which I miss very much and the only reason for some 4 stars is comparing to the CC in performance which is to be expected as the CC is a high performance vehicle. I have had no problems with the Passat. It is the utmost reliable vehicle I have ever owned and for that reason, I am holding onto her. I am a high mileage driver and plan to keep her for at least 100K although the VW's are strong vehicles that I know they go way over 100K (I should have kept my CC as I was spoilt with performance but at 100k, I chicken a little bit as a single parent. My highest recommendations go to the Passat on looks, reliability and price.

Worst vehicle i've ever had

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Vehicle: 2014 Volkswagen Passat S 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

The NAV is not user friendly. When you enter the car, the media plays whatever it wants to even if your apps aren't open. The display changes from whatever setting you've selected to show that you're making a call and to whom you're calling; so if you had it set on the speed you have to change it back after starting or ending the call. As soon as the a/c was out of warranty the compressor went out. I have had it replaced less than a week and it's gone out again. Besides the fact that my TDI has no value because of the lies the company told, the car is a piece of crap.

My first vw - 2014 passat 1.8l t

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Vehicle: 2014 Volkswagen Passat Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 1/14 (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I have test drove several used or certified VW vehicles in last month (Passat diesel 2.0L, Passat 2.5 L Manual, Passat 2.5L Auto, and Jetta 2.5 L Auto). I was able to test drive the 1.8L Turbo automatic - and I was sold as soon has I hit the gas pedal. It has great acceleration. After my first week of driving I was able to drive +400 miles for city and some highway driving. I filled up with 1/4 tank of gas and it cost me less than $24.00. The electronics (cluster, radio, and Hvac are decent). I picked the VW becuase of the simple styling. I chose the Passat over the Jetta due to additional space. I am very happy with my purchase. I hope to be a VW consumer for a long time. :)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Car to catch

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Vehicle: 2014 Volkswagen Passat S PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

I travel a lot and rent a lot this is the best car i have ever driven and i have driven some of the best makes and model

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 time passat offender

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Vehicle: 2014 Volkswagen Passat Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I have many years and miles of Volkswagen ownership under my belt. I simply like the feel behind the wheel of the Volkswagens; firm ride, tight cornering and firm comfortable seats. My experience with the brand is nearly 100% positive. I do take an interest understanding key maintenance issues as recommended by my independent VW mechanic. Keys to successful ownership include using synthetic oil, Top Tier gas brands and ethanol free fuel if you are really committed. The Passat 1.8 TSI engine coupled with the smooth shifting 6 speed automatic transmission is an impressive combination. The engines ability to hit pick torque at very low RPM's got me over my believe I would never settle for anything less than a V6 engine. The 1.8 TSI engine delivers brisk acceleration and excellent gas mileage. The option to manually shift plus the sport mode give the extra driver engagement I enjoy in the brand. In suburban driving I average around 28 MPG. I have gone as high as 39 MPG on an 800 mile freeway trip with cruise set between 70 and 80 MPH. One observation is that at 45 miles per hour the transmission goes into 6th gear taking the engine down to 1200 RPM. This low engine speed can cause the engine to lug. I generally do not worry about it. An option to avoid the lugging is to run in sport mode if you are spending a good deal of time at 45 MPH. I love the subtle look of the spacious interior. I like the classy exterior but I find it a little boring. I am not the type who craves extra attention. The Wolfsburg addition is the second least equipped version of the Passat but it has the modern essentials including heated faux leather driver and passenger seats (power seat for the driver) and steering wheel controls for the radio. I love Volkswagen's trip computer system. Those who desire more electronic engagement in their cars will find the radio system inadequate at least in Wolfsburg addition. Stepping up to the SE level solves some of the short coming with the electronics like a navigation option and backup camera. Had I been able to find a nice deal on an SE, I would have stepped up to the next level. One other note, the Hankook tires that came from the factory are a poor option. I expect when I switch to my preferred brand (Toyo), the ride, handling and cabin noise will be even better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

As good as a bmw - but half the price

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Vehicle: 2014 Volkswagen Passat S PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

I am used to driving BMW's and Jaguars for the last 25 years. I bought this car after having a Jetta for a year and I loved it but wanted a bigger, heavier car with more bells and whistles so I traded it for this PASSAT. I LOVE THIS CAR! I am tall and long legged and It's extremely comfortable, has all I could ask for except leather and a sunroof, but with rear camera, bluetooth, MP3 and iPod, heated seats and it performs beautifully and extremely reliably EVERY DAY and gets great gas mileage and needs NOTHING and the warranty and included service at the dealerships are great. This car just works flawlessly and is a great performer on the road. It's never needed to go into the dealership for anything except scheduled maintenance and I have several dealerships to go to and they are all EXCELLENT AND TAKE FANTASTIC CARE OF YOU. Customer service is as good as my BMW's and Jaguars. Aside from whatever diesel scandal VW had they have designed, built and taken great care of a really solid, well made and VERY stable car on the road. Loved my BMW's but this gives me everything for less than HALF the cost of a comparable BMW. I bought this a as a preowned dealer car with only 7,000 miles and included the VW 60,000 mile warranty. I saved about $7,500 buying it pre-owned and it is exactly like a brand new car. I will never buy a new car again. (I bought my last Jaguar convertible less than a year old with factory extended warranty and saved $30,000 over the cost of the exact same car brand new) Let someone else take the first year hit on depreciation.

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Gas Mileage


  • 24
  • cty
  • 34
  • highway
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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Volkswagen Passat in VA is:

$55.42 per month*

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