- One of the few midsize sedans with a diesel option
- New turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder, replaces outgoing 2.5-liter five-cylinder
- Cars.com’s Car of the Year in 2012
The 2014 Volkswagen Passat midsize sedan adds a new, fuel efficient turbo four-cylinder engine for 2014 giving it another leg-up on some stiff competition.
Although it looks similar to the compact Jetta sedan, equating the two would be selling the Passat short – it really is the much better of the two. Standard 16-inch wheels (17- and 18-inch wheels are optional) ride underneath a subtle outer shell that is handsome without being loud. The feature that stands out the most are the creases on the hood, which dive down and feed into the grille and two inlets below the front bumper where optional fog lights sit. Otherwise, the Passat presents itself in a symmetrical, dignified package that blends in without being boring, a subtle distinction that makes a world of difference.
Under the hood, the Passat offers the most diverse array of drivetrains found in any midsize car, including a turbo-diesel that delivers excellent fuel economy. The former base engine, a 170-hp, 2.5-liter five-cylinder, will be available at the beginning of the year until the new turbocharged mill replaces it level by level. The new engine is a 170-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder that makes equal horsepower to the five-cylinder, but is more fuel efficient. For those who want more grunt the old fashioned way, a 280-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 is optional. Rounding out the powertrain options is a 140-hp, turbo-diesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 236 pounds-feet of torque.
The new engine beats the old base engine by two mpg in both city and highway driving, clocking at 24/34 mpg respectively. The best fuel economy is found in the diesel, which tops out at 31/43 mpg city/highway.
Inside, the 2014 Passat offers excellent build quality and plenty of space for passengers, whether they are sitting in the front or rear. Air conditioning, cruise control, one-touch up/down power windows, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 60/40-split folding rear seat are standard. There are also plenty of available tech options, including dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system, push-button start, and Volkswagen’s new Car-Net communication system. Car-Net connects to your smartphone and offers access to services like roadside assistance, crash notifications, stolen vehicle location assistance, and speed/boundary alerts for parents with teens. Leather seating and heated seats are also available for enhanced comfort. Out back, 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space waits in the trunk to swallow suitcases or other objects.
On top of all that, the Passat is also one of the safest cars on the road, earning not only a full five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, but a coveted Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS for acing their latest crash test as well. Antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, and side-impact and side curtain airbags are all standard.