2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan
- Big, easily loaded trunk
- Roomy backseat even for a midsize sedan
- Refined highway ride
- quiet cabin
- Less engaging driving experience than many rivals
- Transmission's sluggish responses
- Small infotainment touchscreens
2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan pricingin Ashburn, VA
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2017 Volkswagen Passat is a bit like the wise, elder statesman of the midsize sedan class. Indeed, VW has been selling the current-generation Passat since the 2012 model year, and every rival sedan has been redesigned in that time. Still, the Passat gets a lot right, particularly for the things that most shoppers are looking for.
True, this is a sedan to get if you're not interested in flash and flare. With reserved but classy styling, the Passat has a pretty timeless look to it. But it's a comfortable family shuttle thanks to its roomy backseat, big trunk and easy-to-drive nature. Highway manners are excellent, too. It rides smoothly, the cabin keeps out most of the wind and road noise, and the front seats should keep you comfy on a long road trip. VW gives you a solid set of features for the money, too.
The Passat shows its age in some areas, however. Its fuel economy and infotainment systems, in particular, aren't as good as what you'll find in rival sedans. For example, check out the 2017 Ford Fusion and the 2017 Honda Accord. Both have powerful optional engines and are more fun to drive but are still quite comfortable and fuel-efficient. We're also fond of the sporty-looking Mazda 6 and the well-rounded Hyundai Sonata. Still, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat, grayed at the temples as it may be, is a likable choice, particularly if comfort is a priority.
Standard safety features for the 2017 Volkswagen Passat include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, a rearview camera, front side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags, and a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking. Optional safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a lane departure warning system.
VW's optional Car-Net telematics system includes automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location, speed alerts and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers).
In government crash testing, the Passat scored five out of five stars overall, with four stars for front-impact protection and five for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Passat its top score of Good in all tests, including the small-overlap and moderate-overlap front-impact, side-impact, roof strength and seat/head restraint (whiplash protection) tests.
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 1.8 SEL stopped in a class average 123 feet.
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan is offered in four main trim levels: S, R-Line, SE and SEL Premium.
The base S comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, full power accessories, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, height-adjustable front seats (with two-way manual lumbar adjustment for the driver), 60/40-split folding rear seats, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a collision mitigation system with automating braking, a 5-inch touchscreen, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack.
The R-Line adds 19-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel (with shift paddles), an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), heated front seats, imitation-leather upholstery, a 6.3-inch touchscreen, HD and satellite radio, VW's Car-Net smartphone integration (includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink), blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and unique R-Line styling elements.
The SE adds the features from the R-Line (minus R-specific styling and the large wheels) and further adds 17-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, a sliding front armrest, rear air vents and added Car-Net functionality. The SE's optional Technology package gets you 18-inch wheels, LED headlights and taillights, foglights, automatic wipers, a hands-free trunk opener with foot sensor, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, front and rear parking sensors, remote ignition, heated rear seats, a navigation system, an eight-speaker sound system and an upgraded version of Car-Net.
The SEL Premium takes the features from the SE with Technology package and adds power-folding mirrors, an eight-way power passenger seat (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), driver memory settings, an automated parallel-parking feature, leather upholstery, a premium Fender audio system, a separate ski pass-through for the 60/40-split rear seats and a lane departure warning system.
A Lighting Package is optional for the R-Line and SE and comes standard on the SE with Technology and SEL Premium. It includes the foglights and LED headlights and taillights.
The 2017 Volkswagen Passat is front-wheel-drive and is available with one of two engines: a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.6-liter V6. The four-cylinder is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission, and the V6 is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic (known as DSG).
All trim levels come standard with the turbocharged four-cylinder, which is rated at 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, a Passat with this engine accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a relatively quick 7.7 seconds. EPA fuel economy estimates for the 1.8-liter stand at 27 mpg combined combined (23 city/34 highway), which is a bit behind the segment average.
The 3.6-liter V6 is available on the SE and SEL Premium trim levels, and it produces 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. In Edmunds testing, a Passat with the 3.6-liter V6 made the sprint from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. It's rated at 23 mpg in combined driving (20 city/28 highway).
Though both available engines in the 2017 Volkswagen Passat are worth considering, most people will be satisfied with the standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder. It's quick compared to rivals and offers decent fuel economy. Unfortunately, the gas pedal's responsiveness is sluggish in the default setting. You can switch to Sport mode, but then it feels too jumpy. The 3.6-liter V6 makes for better acceleration, but fuel economy falls behind class leaders. Its transmission has delayed shift responses, too, and it's a bit clunky with gear choice at slow speeds.
Regardless of engine choice, the Passat is quiet and comfortable around town and on the highway. Steering is generally precise, but this isn't the car we'd recommend if you're looking for a sporty driving experience. It's a bit more relaxed and reserved, which may or may not be your preference.
One of the most inviting parts of the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is its reserved yet classy interior. Cabin materials are excellent, and the cabin layout is, as you'd expect from the German automaker, logical and simple. Competition is stiff in the family sedan segment, but the Passat still retains a vibe of simplicity and functionality that borders on luxurious. In contrast to that upscale interior feel, though, are the infotainment screens. Neither the base unit nor the upgraded 6.3-inch screen is very big, and graphics resolution isn't going to wow you. Still, they're easy to operate, and the robust suite of smartphone integration is certainly welcome.
We like the Passat's front seats, finding them properly bolstered and comfortable for almost any driver. Legroom is generous in the backseat, which means a comfortable fit for most adults and plenty of room for rear-facing child safety seats. The Passat is about tied with class leaders for trunk space at 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space. The trunk opening is large, and the 60/40-split rear seats mean plenty of space for larger items.
2017 Volkswagen Passat video
BRYN MACKINNON: I'm Bryn MacKinnon from Edmunds, and this is an Edmunds Expert Rundown of the 2017 Volkswagen Passat. Regardless of how plain it might look from the outside, the Passat is still a strong choice when it comes to mid-size sedans. The current Passat has been around for about five years, and this year's model hasn't changed much either, but that isn't a huge knock for this VW. For years now, the Passat has offered a big, comfy back seat, a big trunk, and excellent interior materials. On the highway, the Passat gets up to speed quickly, thanks to one of two engines, a turbocharged four-cylinder or a non-turbocharged V6. Both are likeable engines with decent acceleration for the segment, but mileage is behind class leaders. Once you're up to speed, the Passat it is quiet and refined and makes for really easy commutes or road trips. It isn't as engaging to drive quickly, but all the midsize sedan basics are pretty much covered. Once you hop inside the Passat, you'll definitely notice how big the back seat is, a plus for Lyft drivers and parents with car seats. But up front, things aren't very modern. Volkswagen has gone with a function over form set of touchscreens, it seems, and with the Passat, that makes things feel a bit dated. The optional 6.3 inch touchscreen comes with modern stuff, like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It just isn't as visually pleasing as the systems in some rivals. The bottom line, with the 2017 Volkswagen Passat, is that it's a likeable sedan worth checking out, but you might be happier with a more modern rival. Be sure to check out competitors, like the Honda Accord, the Mazda 6, and the Ford Fusion. For more Expert Rundowns, click the link to subscribe.
2017 Volkswagen Passat Expert Rundown
Looking for a midsize sedan comfy enough for road trips and commuting? The 2017 Volkswagen Passat is a strong choice. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
Features & Specs
2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan for Sale
Although it hasn't undergone a major redesign for several years, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat continues to hold its own against rivals from the U.S. and Japan in the hotly contested midsize-sedan market segment. It may not have the sports appeal or technical sophistication of some competitors, but the Passat's blend of roominess, pleasant styling and a comfortable ride clearly strikes a chord with the steady stream of buyers who have kept the model in production since 1973.
After a minor refresh last year, the Passat has undergone few changes for 2017. The SEL trim level has been axed, and a new V6 SE model has been added to the lineup. All Passats now have standard forward collision warning with automatic braking, and the higher trim levels get new standard equipment that includes Volkswagen's App-Connect with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality.
The Passat's interior is one of the model's strong suits. The design is attractive, the layout functional and the high-quality materials give the impression of a more expensive vehicle. There's also an abundance of space, with plenty of leg-, hip- and shoulder room for front-seat occupants, a rear seat that's one of the largest in its class and a generous trunk size that vacationing families will appreciate. The standard infotainment system, while perhaps not a class-leader, is nevertheless easy to use and features a modestly sized touchscreen display.
The standard powerplant for all trim levels is a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. More power is available on the SE and SEL Premium models in the form of a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 that puts out 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and comes with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
With suspension designed more for comfortable highway cruising and around-town practicality than flat-out cornering, the Passat still provides crisp steering response, and the Sport mode and available paddle shifters can help enhance the driving experience for those interested in a bit more excitement. Performance from the standard four-cylinder engine is likely to be more than adequate for most drivers, although the V6 cut about 1.3 seconds from the zero-to-60-mph time in Edmunds testing.
Fuel economy for the Passat with the base four-cylinder engine is EPA rated at a combined 27 mpg (23 city/34 highway), while the V6 achieved a combined rating of 23 mpg (20 city/28 highway).
The surprisingly well-equipped Passat S comes with such features as dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera and an infotainment system with USB port. The R-Line model adds a few sporty touches, the SE tacks on more comfort and convenience items, and the top-of-the-line SEL Premium goes all out with details like heated leather seats, more driver-assist devices and a premium sound system. Let Edmunds help you find the best 2017 Volkswagen Passat to suit your needs.
2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan Overview
The 2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan is offered in the following styles: R-Line 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SE w/Technology 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), SEL Premium 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl Turbo 6A), V6 SEL Premium 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6AM), and V6 SE w/Technology 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6AM).
What do people think of the 2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Passat Sedan 4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 Passat Sedan.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 Passat Sedan featuring deep dives into trim levels including R-Line, SE, SE w/Technology, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.Read our full review of the 2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan here.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan?
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which 2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedans are available in my area?
2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan Listings and Inventory
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Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan and all available trim types: S, SE, V6 SEL Premium, etc. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2017 Volkswagen Passat Sedan include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2017 Volkswagen Passat?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.