What's New for 2015:
- Improved fuel economy for 1.8T model
- New engine for TDI Clean Diesel model
- New Technology package for S and Wolfsburg Edition trim levels adds a reversing camera and upgraded touch-screen infotainment system with a reversing camera
- New option package for SE trim level adds navigation, push-button starting, sunroof, comfort sport seats, upgraded trim, and 18-in. wheels
- Rain-sensing wipers added to SEL Premium trim level
The 2015 Volkswagen Passat is a midsize 4-door sedan. Key competitors include the Chevrolet Malibu, Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Nissan Altima, Mazda 6, Subaru Legacy, and Toyota Camry.
Models and Features
Volkswagen offers the 2015 Passat in 1.8T, TDI Clean Diesel, and V6 model series. Depending on the series, trim levels include S, Wolfsburg Edition, SE, Sport Edition, and SEL Premium.
Under the Hood
A turbocharged, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard in the Passat 1.8T. It makes 170 horsepower and is available with a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The Passat TDI Clean Diesel model gets a new turbocharged, 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder diesel engine for 2015, one rated to make 150 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque, with maximum torque available from 1,750 rpm. The clean diesel engine is paired with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automated manual transmission, the latter designed to operate just like an automatic transmission from the driver's perspective.
The Passat V6 is equipped with a 280-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine and a 6-speed DSG.
According to the EPA, the Passat 1.8T model's fuel economy ranges from a low of 24 mpg in the city to a high of 36 mpg on the highway, depending on transmission choice. Volkswagen installs new low-rolling-resistance tires on the 2015 Passat 1.8T in a bid to improve fuel economy, and the result is a 1-mpg increase on the highway for both transmissions.
Passat TDI Clean Diesel fuel-economy ratings range from a low of 30 mpg in the city to a high of 44 mpg on the highway, and Volkswagen says the new, higher highway figure gives this model a range of more than 800 miles.
The Passat V6 is rated to return 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Safety and Technology
Every 2015 Passat is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity with music-streaming capability, and all models except for the basic Passat S are equipped with Volkswagen Car-Net smartphone pairing and services technology.
Highlights of Car-Net include safety features such as automatic crash notification and Manual Emergency Call, as well as the ability to access various vehicle features remotely from a smartphone. You can even use a Last Parked Location function to find the Passat if you've forgotten where you left it. Car-Net also provides speed alert and boundary alert features, which are useful in households where teen drivers might access the family car.
Additional technology highlights include a reversing camera, touch-screen infotainment system with HD Radio, a navigation system, premium audio system, and keyless access with push-button engine starting.