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2019 Volkswagen Passat Variant R-Line Edition

2019 Volkswagen Passat Variant R-Line Edition

An estate that is trying hard to convince you that it is not merely a family hauler

Less than a month after the company launched the facelifted version, Volkswagen is all set to launch the sporty variant of the Passat Estate at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The Passat Variant R-Line Edition comes with a lot of new goodies and will certainly induce the younger folks’ interest. The company has announced that the R-Line edition will be limited to just 2,000 units!

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2018 Volkswagen Passat GT - Driven

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT - Driven

For 2018, Volkswagen is introducing a new Passat GT model. The GT introduces some sporty touches to the Passat line. The Passat has mostly been about sensible family transportation until now, excluding the 2003-2004 Passat W8 perhaps. It would have been very easy for Volkswagen to come up with a sporty version of the Passat but they instead have gone for more luxurious models. It looks like Volkswagen is finally dipping their toes into the sports sedan waters to judge the public’s reaction with the Passat GT.

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2019 Volkswagen Passat

2019 Volkswagen Passat

The European version of the Volkswagen Passat is set to get a facelift for the 2019 model year, bringing it more in line with the new look of the new Volkswagen Arteon and maybe even bring some new updated engines and technology into play as well. It was recently spotted being put through the general testing phase, so it’s time to get the speculation mill running at full speed.

Updated 12/06/2018: The Volkswagen Passat is inching closer to production status and we’ve just updated the gallery below with the latest spy shots.

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2018 Volkswagen Passat GT

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT

The closest thing to a Passat GTI!

Launched all the way back in 1973, the Passat is one of Volkswagen’s most iconic models, up there with the Golf and the Beetle. But unlike the Golf, the midsize has yet to gain a higher performance GTI version. Even the tiny Polo got the infamous red stripe, but for some reason, VW kept the Passat away from this badge. It doesn’t really seem as this would change anytime soon, but Volkswagen just introduced something similar in the United States. Developed based on extensive feedback from U.S. customers and dealers, the Passat GT is pretty much a GTI model without the massive power and the chassis upgrades.

Visually, the GT is heavily based on the Golf GTI. Not only it sports the iconic red stripe on its front grille, but it also has a number of blacked-up out features that give it a more menacing look. The interior was upgraded too and received quite a few extra standard features. Things aren’t as spectacular under the hood, where we can find the same VR6 engine as in the regular range-topping model, but the Passat GT benefits from a retuned suspension for a sportier ride. Based on the R-Line version, the Passat GT is a limited-run model, but Volkswagen had nothing to say about production figures. Let’s find out more about it below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Passat GT.

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2017 Volkswagen Passat R-Line – Driven

2017 Volkswagen Passat R-Line – Driven

A minimalist’s idea of family transportation

Crossovers and SUVs might be the hot-ticket item these days, but sedans still hold an extremely important part in the automotive landscape. Mid-size sedans, especially, continue to post impressive sales numbers. Back for the 2011 model year, Volkswagen decided it needed a bigger slice of the American pie, so it introduced a version of its popular Passat build especially for the U.S. market. A refresh for 2016 brought sharpened body lines, a more chiseled face, and a slightly reworked interior. Now, a year later, the 2017 Passat soldiers on with nary a change. But, is this mid-size sedan got what it takes to rival the segment stalwarts, namely the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord?

To find out, I recently spent three weeks behind the wheel of a Passat R-Line. What’s the R-Line, you ask? It boils down to a dolled-up version of the base Passat. It comes with larger wheels, a more up-scale front fascia, and the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Better yet, the swankier trim doesn’t come with a massive price tag. It’s only $1,535 more than the base Passat S and retails for $23,875. And thanks to its 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and FWD, it’s frugal at the pump, too, returning an EPA-estimated 34 mpg on the highway. Nevertheless, both the Camry and Accord are completely new for 2018 and will be stiff competition for this Tennessee-built car with German roots.

Continue reading for more on the Volkswagen Passat R-Line.

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2016 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T – Driven

2016 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T – Driven

The affordable Audi

Family sedans might not be the hottest thing on the market, having given that spot to crossovers and SUVs, but the humble four-door is certainly not down and out. Volkswagen set out to capture more of this market with the revised 2016 Passat. It wears an updated face, has a new rear end, and even sees some updated bits on the dashboard. Volkswagen even says it redesigned the 2016 Passat to appeal towards American buyers who want muscular lines and upscale interiors.

In reality, you’d have to be a Volkswagen enthusiast to spot the differences without a side-by-side comparison photo (which we have in the Exterior section below.) Nevertheless, the changes are apparent and the Passat feels more mature and less bulbous for it.

The changes inside are equally minimal but no less important. A slight change in the dashboard’s shape and trim piece are all that’s new for 2016. However, the modest update gives the dash a more angular appearance, which mirrors the Passat’s fresh face.

To see how these changes impacted the Passat, I spent a week driving a 2016 model like I would if I owned it. Trips to the grocery store, the Lacrosse field, preschool, and even date night at the movie theater were all taken. My four-year-old’s car seat was buckled in the back seat and the trunk was filled with everyday items. This is a departure from [my last experience with the 2016 Passat. Volkswagen had flown me to Vermont in 2015 to experience the car when it first launched, so I knew what to expect. This time the car was on my home turf in Central Florida. So how’d it do? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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2016 Volkswagen Passat GT Concept

2016 Volkswagen Passat GT Concept

A GT version of the Passat with some styling cues from the Golf GTI

In the land of high-horsepower tuning potential and luscious sporty design, the Volkswagen Passat has never really had a home. Even when it was introduced back in the 70’s as a funky looking hatchback, it wasn’t exactly a car you looked to if you wanted sporty handling or a quick sprint to 60 mph. Fast forward to today, and the current Passat, which was introduced in 2011, is sportier than ever and can be had with a V-6, but it’s still nothing more than a cheaper family car with a somewhat interesting design. VW could be looking to change all of that as it begins to focus on its North American presence, and it’s slowly becoming evident with the announcement of this Passat GT Concept. Featuring at least 20 different design changes compared to the current model, this GT Concept could very well become a real production model. And, it could be sooner than later, as the Passat is due for a facelift in the very near future.

“The Passat GT is an early example of how the new Volkswagen North American Region will meet the needs and desires of American customers going forward,” said Dr. Matthias Erb, Chief Engineering Officer, North American Region, Volkswagen. “We have the freedom and the responsibility to shape future North American vehicles here in the U.S., combining engineering resources from around the world with our unique perspective and talented local team.”

So, will the public give the Passat GT concept the warm welcome it needs to find its way into production when it debuts in Los Angeles? It’s too early to tell just yet, but for VW fans, it could very well be the Passat model they’ve been begging for all along. Let’s take a good look at it and what it brings to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Passat GT Concept.

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2016 Volkswagen Passat - Driven

2016 Volkswagen Passat - Driven

Volkswagen’s approach to the modern automobile is much like Apple’s approach to hardware design. Clean lines, crisp angles, purposeful details, and ease of use are commonalities shared by both. Like the MacBook I’m writing on, Volkswagen cars are beautifully simple in appearance with no frivolous extras cluttering the aesthetics.

This holds true with VW’s mid-cycle refresh of its popular Passat. For 2016, the simple lines continue, changed only slightly from 2015, but with an eye on the American market. VW designers say the refresh is targeted towards U.S. buyers. They even went so far as to include a “power dome” in the hood.

Slight as they might be, the changes are there. The interior receives a similarly understated redo, with the dashboard and infotainment system constituting the bulk of the changes. Even the powertrain lineup is relatively unchanged – and that’s only if you count the current absence of a TDI model.

Like Apple, small changes make big waves for Volkswagen, and the 2016 Passat is no different. So much so, in fact, VW flew me to Vermont for some seat time. Twisty roads over mountains and through rock-strewn valleys dotted with farmlands provided the perfect setting for testing Germany’s latest take on an American sedan.

Continue reading for the full driven review

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2016 Volkswagen Passat

2016 Volkswagen Passat

The reasons to be suspicious of the new Volkswagen Passat start right in the first sentence of the press release, where it is stated that the car was “designed for the American lifestyle.” This is troubling because, for many years, the most compelling reason to buy a Passat instead of a Honda Accord was that it offered a bit of German-ness for less than the cost of an Audi. A good chunk of that went away in 2012, when VW announced a U.S.-specific version of the car that came in at a much lower price point, but at the expense of the things that had made the car special.

The U.S. Passat has effectively been a different model from the one the rest of the world gets ever since then, a bit bigger and a bit cheaper. With the 2016 model, Volkswagen has made an effort to make the Passat more similar to the European B8 2015 Volkswagen Passat, which has been sold there for nearly a year at this point. This has largely been successful, and it will probably sell quite well, assuming that Volkswagen ever recovers from the Dieselgate scandal. Because as dull as it was, the previous generation of the Passat was a huge sales hit.

Updated 10/19/2015: Volkswagen announced full pricing details on the 2016 Passat which will be put on sale later this fall. Prices will range from $22,440 for the base version and up to $36,835 for the V6 SEL Premium one. The model will be produced at the company’s factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Volkswagen Passat.

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2016 Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

2016 Volkswagen Passat Alltrack

The Volkswagen Passat has occupied VW’s mid-sized sedan segment since 1973. In the 42 years since, the Passat has become one of the company’s go-to models, evolving through eight design generations and a handful of other names in various markets — Dasher, Santana, Quantum, Magotan, Corsar and Carat — to retain its place in the Volkswagen hierarchy. Until recently, the Passat was built exclusively as a sedan, but recent trends in the industry gave VW the opportunity to shed the Passat’s sedan skin to build other body types. One such model that was born out of this transformation is the Passat Alltrack, a high-riding, four-wheel-drive wagon that bridges the gap between the standard Passat Estate and an SUV like the 2012 Volkswagen Tiguan.

The Passat Alltrack is in its second generation, and while it may look the part of a wagon, it functions like a true off-roader, thanks in large part to a raised ride height, permanent 4Motion all-wheel drive, and electronic differential lock. It also has a total of four engines: a turbocharged gas mill and three turbodiesels, all of which carry enough power to handle road conditions that standard wagons would have a hard time dealing with.

The Passat Alltrack is an interesting car that might command a following if Volkswagen makes it available in the U.S. Unfortunately, there are no plans for that, which is a shame considering that a vehicle like this could be a hit among American customers looking to hit two birds, or in this case, car types, with one stone.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack.

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2015 Volkswagen Passat Rockstar Energy Drink / Nitto Tire

2015 Volkswagen Passat Rockstar Energy Drink / Nitto Tire

After a five-year break from drifting, Tanner Foust will return to the sport that jumpstarted his career, making his Formula D homecoming behind the wheel of this 2015 Passat. With a competition debut this weekend at the Long Beach Grand Prix, the four-door grocery-getter is extensively modified and purpose-built for sideways combat, including a conversion to RWD and a 900-horsepower V-8 transplant.

The two-time drift champion says he’s excited to be back in the smoke, especially with a car as insane as this particular VW: "One of the things I have always loved about drifting in the United States is how inventive you can get with the car builds. You can put a high-horsepower V-8 into a Volkswagen Passat to make something completely unique," Foust says in a press release. "You don’t see that in another series in the word."

The Passat, which Foust says was a similar build to his previous Scion drifter, is the latest from Tanner Foust Racing, also responsible for the RAUH-Welt Begriff Volkswagen Beetle that debuted at SEMA last year.

"At the heart of it, I’m an enthusiast," Foust said. "Having the chance to dream up something incredible and then work with a team to modify and build and make it real is incredibly rewarding."

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Passat Rockstar Energy Drink / Nitto Tire.

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2015 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition

2015 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition

The recent success of the Volkswagen Passat has a lot to do with its North American production, which allowed the sedan to become more competitive in price while also receiving a region-specific design that best caters to buyers. By moving vehicle assembly to Chattanooga, TN, VW was able to lower the price of the 2012 Passat by thousands of dollars over the outgoing 2010 model, and VW has even more value-laden plans in store for the 2015 model year.

Unlike its name suggests, the 2015 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition is not actually a limited-production model. Instead, it simultaneously replaces both the Wolfsburg Edition and SE trims by bundling together a bunch of the Passat’s popular equipment, and it does so with a much lower starting price. The Passat S is still positioned below the Limited Edition as the entry-level trim level on the Passat 1.8T, while the SEL Premium continues to be the top trim for the Passat across the full range (1.8T, TDI and V-6).

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition.

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2015 Volkswagen Passat GTE Police Car

2015 Volkswagen Passat GTE Police Car

Although we have to wait for it until 2016, the eighth-generation Volkswagen Passat is ready to hit the roads in Germany, with the Euro-spec version being launched back in July 2014. Redesigned inside and out and dressed in a more stylish suit, the Passat no longer seems like the dull-looking people’s car we got used to over the last few decades. The new Passat is gorgeous to look at, but what makes the eighth-gen vehicle a lot more special is that it is now available with a hybrid drivetrain. Revealed in September, the Passat GTE is the first PHEV to wear the famed badge and borrows its powertrain components from the Golf GTE.

We already know everything there is to know about the Passat GTE, except some of the technical details Volkswagen has yet to unveil of course, and all we have to do is wait for a couple more years to find this plug-in hybrid in U.S. dealerships. Meanwhile, the Passat GTE is slated to hit European street in 2015 in both civilian and police guises. Yes, you read that correct, this German hybrid has just signed up for a police career in Heligoland, an archipelago of islands located in the North Sea.

As you might have already guessed, this is only an initial trial for the Passat GTE as a patrol car, with its duties to be extended should it complete its task successfully in the small archipelago that’s home to roughly 1,100 people. While hiring hybrids for police duty isn’t exactly a premier, it is indeed a first for the Passat, who now joins the fleet of Golf GTE plug-ins the same community received in the summer of 2014. Check out the full details below.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Passat GTE Police Car.

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2015 - 2017 Volkswagen Passat GTE

2015 - 2017 Volkswagen Passat GTE

The highly anticipated Passat Hybrid is here.

It took the Volkswagen Passat about 40 years to become the vehicle we all know today. It all started when the Germans introduced the Dasher in the U.S. in 1974. Although named differently and equipped with some additional safety and emission-reducing features, the Dasher was the same as the Euro-spec Passat. The name was changed to Quantum in 1982, eight years before the Passat nameplate finally arrive in North America. 2014 brought the eighth-generation Passat in Europe, a vehicle that rides on the company’s new MQB platform and boasts a redesigned exterior and interior. Set to find its way Stateside in 2016, the new Passat also marks the introduction of a hybrid model, the first for the popular moniker.

Dubbed Passat GTE, the plug-in hybrid borrows the same powertrain launched with the Golf GTE, although output has been increased to cope with the increased curb weight of a midsize sedan and wagon. The bad news is the U.S. isn’t getting the GTE anytime soon, but the launch that’s set to take place at the 2014 Paris Motor Show is a good preview of what we’ll be getting in a few years.

Update 08-01-2016: Volkswagen has announced U.K. Pricing for the Volkswagen Passat GTE. Check out the Prices section below for all the details.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Passat GTE.

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2015 Volkswagen Passat

2015 Volkswagen Passat

The Volkswagen Passat has been around since 1973 under one of six other names. For 2015, the Passat finally entered its eighth generation for 2015, which is actually the sixth generation here in the U.S. The most important thing to come out of this generational shift is that is rides on the new MQB platform that is used in everything from the Audi A3 MK3 to the Volkswagen Golf, to the Volkswagen Tiguan. On the outside, the Passat got a more aggressive front end with narrower headlamps and grille, Audi-like taillights, a muscular rear fascia, and a lower stance. Inside, the Passat offers up plenty of premium quality without being too flashy or overbearing. A new Active Information Display replaces the old instrument cluster, and there is a rear-seat infotainment system. As a global car, the Passat is offered with a long list of gasoline and diesel engines, depending on the given market. Of all of this, the most important drivetrain news comes in the form of a new hybrid powertrain that combines a 154-horsepower engine and a 107-horsepower electric motor.

All told, the new Passat is a pretty big evolution from the previous generation. But, that evolution is exactly what Volkswagen needed to keep the Passat competitive with models like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, to name just a couple. With the premium-feeling interior and the reliability of German engineering, the new-generation Passat promises some pretty strong competition in its respective market. That said, there is still a lot about the new Passat that we haven’t talked about, so read about all the details in our full review below.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Passat

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2017 Volkswagen Passat

2017 Volkswagen Passat

The Volkswagen Passat may be one of the company’s most popular offerings in America, but, despite being slightly larger and cheaper than its rivals, the midsize sedan is far behind the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord in terms of sales.

Aware that in order to become the world’s biggest automaker by 2018 they have to be more than just a niche player in the U.S., the Germans are struggling to up the ante with new or refreshed products such as the 2015 Jetta. Vehicles aside, they’ve also appointed Michael Horn as the new CEO for Volkswagen of America.

As it usually happens, a change in leadership is set to cause some strategy adjustments, but it’s a bit too early to draw any conclusions. However, when Mr. Horn sat down for a chat with the folks over at Motor Trend in New York last week, he revealed that the Volkswagen Passat is in for a major refresh for the 2016 model year.

The executive, who has already seen some of the facelift’s developments, claims the 2016 Passat will represent "a big step" in the sedan’s recent history. Specifically, while referring to the newly-unveiled Jetta, he stressed that VW’s design team is taking things up a notch for a "very strong" end result.

Well, I do hope Mr. Horn knows what he’s talking about, because the Passat has been America’s boring midsize sedan for quite some time now. Maybe not exactly as dull as the Toyota Camry, but the Japanese came up with a much more attractive design for 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Volkswagen Passat.

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