2014 Volkswagen Passat

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23 CITY / 33 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What's New for 2014:
  • 1.8-liter turbocharged engine
  • Electric steering with turbo engine
  • Car-Net connected services
  • Expanded availability of reversing camera

The 2014 Volkswagen Passat is a midsize family sedan designed around American tastes and lifestyles, and is built in Tennessee. Key Passat competitors include the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry.

Models and Features
Volkswagen offers the 2014 Passat in four model series, each with trim levels specific to the series. At the start of the model year, the Passat 2.5 is available in S, Wolfsburg Edition, and SE trim levels. These will be replaced during the course of the year by a new Passat 1.8T model series that is initially available only in SEL Premium trim. Additionally, buyers can choose the Passat TDI Clean Diesel or the Passat 3.6.

Upgrading from the Passat 2.5 S to the Wolfsburg Edition adds an automatic transmission, V-Tex leatherette seats, heated front seats, power driver's seat, Car-Net connected services, satellite radio, Media Device Interface cable, and 16-inch aluminum wheels.

Choose the Passat 2.5 SE and Volkswagen's family sedan is equipped with a choice between a manual or automatic transmission, plus 17-inch aluminum wheels, a reversing camera, rear-seat air vents, heated side mirrors, heated washer nozzles, upgraded instrumentation, and a touch-screen audio system.

Next up is the Passat 1.8T SEL Premium, which adds the new turbocharged, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine plus a Fender premium sound system, navigation system, partial leather seats, power front passenger's seat, memory for the driver's settings, remote engine starting, fog lights, and more.

The Passat TDI Clean Diesel model generally mirrors equipment for the 2.5 and 1.8T models, though the TDI SEL Premium does have different front comfort sport seats and woodgrain interior trim.

The Passat 3.6 SE adds to the 2.5 SE trim with a V-6 engine, Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automated manual transmission, power sunroof, Fender premium sound system, dual exhaust outlets, fog lights, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. The 3.6 SEL Premium increases the standard equipment load with partial leather seats, a power front passenger's seat, memory for the driver's settings, keyless passive entry with push-button starting, navigation system, and woodgrain interior trim.

Options and Packages
An automatic transmission is optional for the Passat 2.5 S and 2.5 SE, while TDI Clean Diesel models can be fitted with a DSG transmission. Additionally, the 2.5 SE can be upgraded with a power sunroof, navigation system, keyless passive entry with push-button starting, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. These options are also offered for the TDI Clean Diesel SE, along with upgraded exterior trim and fog lights. Volkswagen dealers can install additional accessories at the customer's request.

Under the Hood
Four different engines and four different transmissions are available for the 2014 VW Passat.

The Passat 2.5 model series is equipped with a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine. In the 2.5 S and SE models, a 5-speed manual gearbox is standard and a 6-speed automatic transmission is optional. The Wolfsburg Edition includes the automatic as standard equipment. During the course of the 2014 model year, this engine will be phased out in favor of a new, turbocharged 4-cylinder power plant.

The new engine is initially included only in the 2014 Passat 1.8T SEL Premium. It is a turbocharged, direct injection, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. These figures are not far from the output produced by the 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine, but the power is made lower in the rev range, where it is more accessible. This new engine is paired with a standard 6-speed automatic transmission in the SEL Premium model. As VW introduces this engine, the automaker will offer a 5-speed manual transmission. Plus, it is more fuel-efficient than the 5-cylinder engine it replaces.

Still, it can't surpass the gas mileage achieved by the 2.0-liter, turbo-diesel 4-cylinder engine that comes in the TDI Clean Diesel models. Though it makes just 140 horsepower, this engine delivers 236 lb.-ft. of torque low in the rev range. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automated manual transmission optional.

Passat 3.6 models are equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine generating 280 horsepower. It drives the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel Economy
As might be expected, given the Passat's menu of powertrain offerings, fuel-economy ratings are widely variable. Depending on the engine and transmission, this family sedan gets a minimum of 20 mpg in the city with the V-6 engine and a maximum 43 mpg on the highway with the TDI Clean Diesel engine and the manual gearbox.

By the end of 2014, Volkswagen expects the new turbocharged 1.8-liter 4-cylinder will be the most popular engine, and it is rated to get a minimum of 24 mpg in the city and a maximum of 35 mpg on the highway.

Safety Ratings and Technology
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2014 Passat received an overall crash-test rating of 5 stars (out of 5 stars). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had not rated the 2014 Passat as this overview was written.

For 2014, Volkswagen expands availability of the Passat's reversing camera and adds Car-Net services, which includes a free 6-month trial subscription. Car-Net includes Automatic Crash Notification, which alerts authorities if the Passat's air bags deploy and speeds rescuers to the scene of the accident. Car-Net also offers the ability to set vehicle speed and boundary alerts, helping parents to monitor new drivers.


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