2018 Volkswagen PassatShould you buy? Well, it depends..
What's New for 2018?
New on the 2018 Volkswagen Passat is a high-powered 2.0-L turbo-4 engine, which replaces the 1.8-L turbo-4. There is also a new GT trim that has a spunky V6 engine with a sports-tuned suspension, which should satisfy drivers looking for something sporty. The new GT trim also comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, a snazzy new grille, R-line bumpers, red brake calipers, and dual exhausts.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Volkswagen Passat – The Pros
1. A Quiet Cabin
Regardless of which trim you buy, you will get a quiet ride from the 2018 Volkswagen Passat. Whether you're taking it slow and steady in the city or getting up-to-speed on the highway, the cabin is so well-insulated that you won't get much road or wind noise. Also, there isn't much engine noise to speak of, even at higher speeds.
2. Plenty of Space
There is plenty of space to be found throughout the Passat's cabin. Front and rear passengers both have sufficient wiggle room. Even taller passengers in the rear seat will not feel too cramped with how much leg, shoulder, and headroom is available.
3. Easy-to-Use Infotainment System
VW's infotainment system is probably one of the more user-friendly set-ups on the market today. Everything is clearly displayed and well-organized, so non-tech-savvy drivers won't have to fidget around too much with the settings and controls. Features seem to be fully functional and not prone to technical glitches.
4. Two Good Engine Options
Both engine options are good choices. The brand-new 2.0-L turbo-4 gets about 174 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, which is definitely adequate for this class. The 3.6-L V6, however, massively outperforms the 2.0-L by generating 20 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The base engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission while the V6 is paired with a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. Either way, you can't go wrong with these engines.
5. A Standard Rearview Camera
While some automakers have decided to keep rearview cameras for their higher trim levels, VW makes it a standard piece of equipment across the 2018 Volkswagen Passat lineup. Although you should get a good amount of rear visibility from your spot in the driver's seat, the rearview camera can really come in handy in tight urban parking lots.
6. Blind Spot Monitoring On All But the Base Trim
While the base S trim does not have blind spot monitoring, every trim level (the R-Line, SE, and SEL Premium) come equipped with it. Blind spot monitoring is often left as a high-priced add-on option or is relegated to only the highest trims on many of VW's competitors.
7. Excellent Safety Ratings
The 2018 Volkswagen Passat has earned an overall safety rating of five stars from the NHTSA, which is the best score achievable by their standards. It is expected that the Passat will score high on the IIHS safety tests, as it did for 2017. In fact, the 2017 Passat was labeled as one of the IIHS's Top Safety Picks for that year.
8. Many Active Safety Features
The Passat features many active safety features. Automatic emergency braking and a forward collision warning system come standard on every Passat. Higher-levels trims include lane keep assist, parking assist, a rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control, just to name a few features.
9. Handles Well
The Passat is known for its ability to handle various road surfaces and weather conditions. While it might not feel as sporty as some of its competitors, the handling on the 2018 Volkswagen Passat gives the driver plenty of assurance and insight into how the vehicle is performing on the road.
10. Smooth Steering
The Passat has a refined steering ability that inspires driver confidence. Drivers can easily steer the Passat through heavy traffic flows on slow-speed main roads or on the highway. Steering is responsive and provides the right amount of feedback to the driver.
Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Volkswagen Passat – The Cons
1. The Dash Design
Some aspects of the center stack seem well-thought-out, but the lowered placement of the infotainment screen is pretty awkward. Most automakers will place the screen toward the top of the console so that it is easier for drivers and passengers to view. This placement will have you turning your head down more than you would probably like.
2. The Exterior Looks Outdated
While the interior looks well-designed and chic, the exterior just isn't that eye-catching. It looks a bit dated and simply not as athletic as some of its competitors. Of course, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but this might cause some customers to check out sportier-looking options.
3. The 6.3-Inch Touchscreen
If you upgrade from the standard 5-inch touchscreen, the best you're going to get is a 6.3-inch screen. This doesn't really make sense, as most automakers will put in, at the very least, a 7-inch touchscreen display on higher trim levels. This shouldn't be a dealbreaker, but given the screen's size and location, it seems like a bad design choice by VW.
How it stacks up to the competition:
2018 Volkswagen Passat vs. 2018 Mazda6
The 2018 Mazda6 provides a sportier performance than the 2018 Volkswagen Passat, but it only offers one engine option. The engine option is fairly adequate for most drivers, but some drivers will want different options.
2018 Volkswagen Passat vs. 2018 Honda Accord
Whereas the Mazda6 offers only one option and the Passat offers two, the 2018 Honda Accord offers multiple engine options, all of which provide a surprisingly good amount of power. The Accord also offers some of the best fuel economy in the midsize sedan class.
Overall, the 2018 Volkswagen Passat has a lot to offer, especially if you are looking for a safe vehicle to drive. While the Passat has a few minor drawbacks, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. It makes for a durable daily driver and is loaded with features that make it worth its price.
• Why buy a 2017 Volkswagen Passat? w/ pros vs cons