The Volkswagen Passat is now in its eighth generation. The only German vehicle in the highly competitive midsize family car segment in the United States, the Passat makes a name for itself with its conservative styling, roomy interior and large number of creature conveniences.
What's New in the 2016 Volkswagen Passat?
Updates for the 2016 Volkswagen Passat include some nip-and-tuck action both inside and out, and a slew of new advance technological items.
A new R-Line model also joins this year. It slots above the entry level S and below the well-equipped SE. It comes with most of the features found in the S, then builds on or adds more performance-oriented items like a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear diffuser and exclusive styling cues.
Thus, the full 2016 lineup is made of the Passat S, Passat R-Line, Passat SE and the Passat SEL. The last model further splits into the regular SEL and SEL Premium. All received a perfect five out of five stars in overall safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also gave the Passat high marks in its crash tests. Besides the standard safety equipment like anti-lock disc brakes and side-curtain airbags, the 2016 Passat can be further equipped with the latest advance safety gear like rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot detection.
Volkswagen Passat Engine & Transmission
Virtually every VW Passat comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine underneath the long hood. It's turbo-charged and delivers 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque to the front wheels. Transmission is a six-speed automatic.
The SEL Premium comes with its own exclusive engine, a 3.6-liter V-6. It's paired to a six-speed manumatic called DSG which delivers a jaw-dropping 280 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque to the front wheels.
The diesel TDI engine is currently not available on the Passat.
"Responsive and quick, the Passat accelerates effortlessly even if this car isn't outright fast," notes Cargurus after a test drive. "The 6-speed automatic transmission upshifts rapidly and smoothly under light throttle in order to maximize mileage, but this trait isn't aggravating because of the engine's robust torque curve.
German engineering is evident in the Passat's driving character. Light, accurate steering and excellent roll control make pitching the Passat down a twisty road or around city corners a confidence-inspiring joy, and the car is securely connected to the road when roaring down the freeway. When slogging through traffic, the brake pedal occasionally feels a little sticky and inconsistent, but otherwise this is an engaging if not thrilling car to drive."