In 2014, the North American spec Volkswagen Passat received a new 1.8 L turbocharged inline four-cylinder, which replaced the old under performing and gas guzzling 2.5 L inline five cylinder engine. The current Passat is designed and built in America for Americans. The North American Passat differs from its European cousin in size, design, technology, suspension tuning, performance, and especially price.
In this review, we will be checking out the base 2015 Volkswagen Passat S with the 1.8 L turbocharged petrol engine. So, let’s find out how much bang for the buck will this Passat deliver.
As it is usually the case with all base model vehicles, the interior of the Volkswagen Passat S is very spartan and does not feature a lot of creature comforts.
The front seats are 6-way manually adjustable and are wrapped in cloth upholstery. However, the driver’s seat also features manually adjustable lumbar support. Underneath the front center armrest, there is a hidden storage compartment, which is spacious enough to store a big water bottle, a large purse, or any other important item that you don’t want others to see.
The Passat has the largest trunk in the mid-size family sedan segment, but if you have a longer item to haul, then the rear seat backs can be split 60/40 to accommodate these items. So, carrying a new 50 inch flat screen TV should not be an issue in the Passat.
The 2015 Volkswagen Passat S features a single-zone Climatic climate control system with pollen filter and rear passenger ventilation in the center console. Another convenient feature you will find inside the Passat’s cabin is a multi-function steering wheel with tilting and telescoping steering column. The steering column also features blinker control stalk with lane change feature and cruise control.
All windows are powered and come with pinch protection, but the front windows include automatic 1-touch feature, which is operable from the driver’s side.
The Passat also includes three 12 volt power outlets, two outlets are in the front and rear center console and the third outlet can be found in the trunk.
Additional convenience features found in the Passat include dual illuminated vanity mirrors, which are found when the front visors are flipped. At night, the front occupants also have access to dual reading lights.
Unlike the higher trim Passats, the base model does not feature keyless entry and push button start. Instead, the car has two radio-frequency remote transmitter key fobs which lock, unlock, releases the trunk, and activates the panic alarm.
The heart of the Passat is a new 1.8 L turbocharged/intercooled inline 4 cylinder engine which produces 170 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 184 lb.ft. torque between 1500 and 4750 rpm.
Standard transmission is a five-speed manual gearbox, but my tester was fitted with an optional six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode, which costs an additional $1100. Like most mid-size sedans, power is sent only to the front wheels.
Around town and on the highway, the Passat is easy to drive thanks in part to its rack and pinion steering system with electric power assist. The steering feel is a bit numb as the column does not channel the road condition felt by the front wheels to the driver.
Suspension is strut-type with lower control arms, coil springs, telescoping dampers, and anti-roll bar up front and multilink with coil springs, telescopic dampers, and anti-roll bars at back. Overall ride quality in the Passat is very smooth as it rides over many minor road imperfections. The car’s chassis and suspension is only shaken when it encounters a massive pot hole or severe road damage.
Stopping the Volkswagen Passat is a breeze thanks in part to its massive discs on all four corners. But, I have to mention that the brake pedal felt a bit mushy at the first application point, but when pushed a bit further, the pads did a good job of biting on the rotors and stopped the car without any drama. The brakes are power assisted, dual circuit system with 12.3 x 1.0 in vented front rotors and 10.7 x 0.4 in solid rear rotors. ABS is standard on all four wheels with three channels and electronic brake pressure.
Wheels are 16 x 6.5 in steel wheels and are wrapped with 215/60 R 16 all-season tires. These rubbers provide enough grip for daily driving, but if you are someone who likes to drive a bit enthusiastically, then I would recommend that you either upgrade to wider rims or buy high-performance summer tires.
The EPA rates the fuel efficiency of the 2015 Volkswagen Passat 1.8 T at 24 mpg city and 36 mpg on the highway with the automatic transmission.
The base Passat may lack some creature comfort and convenience features, but when it comes to safety, the car is fully loaded.
Active safety features include ABS, Anti Slip Regulation (ASR), Brake Override System, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Electronic Brake pressure Distribution (EBD), Engine Brake Assist (EBA), and Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA).
Passive safety features include Anti-intrusion side door beams, Automatic Locking Retractors (ALR), Crash Optimized front end and pedal controls, Side Curtain Head Airbags, Height Adjustable Front Seat Belts with pretensioners and load limiters, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat anchor points, passenger occupant detection, safety belt emergency locking retractors (ELR), 3-point safety belts and more.
Additional safety features in the Volkswagen Passat include child safety locks on rear doors, anti-theft alarm with immobilizer theft deterrent system, front airbags with side airbags, Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS), and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
The 2015 Volkswagen Passat S with the 1.8 T engine has a starting price of $22,160. The only package available in this model is the Technology Package ($695) which includes backup camera, touchscreen infotainment system with HD Radio, MP3 Player, WMA compatible CD player, 8 speakers, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
A fully loaded Volkswagen Passat S with 1.8 T and automatic transmission tops out at $23,955 and this also includes the $820 destination fee.
Overall, the 2015 Volkswagen Passat S s a good bang for the buck car.
With the new 1.8 L turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, the Passat is a fun car to drive and has good fuel efficiency ratings. If you are someone who likes to have a bit of fun behind the wheel and save an additional $1100, then the Passat S with the five-speed manual transmission is the car for you.
However, if you are someone who is looking for a well-engineered mid-size sedan that has enough room for the family and cargo, is easy to maintain, and does not have a mountain of optional features, then the Volkswagen Passat S with the 1.8 T engine and automatic transmission is the car for you.
Image Source: Google Images and Volkswagen USA
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