The 2018 Volkswagen Passat gets a new GT trim for V-6-equipped cars that comes with a sport suspension, R-Line bumpers and grille, 19-inch alloy wheels, dual exhausts with unique tuning, and red brake calipers. A new 2.0-liter turbo-four replaces the old 1.8-liter turbo-four as the new base engine.
The 2018 Volkswagen Passat is a front-drive midsize sedan that slots above the compact Jetta and below the upcoming, near-luxury Arteon. Two engines are available in the 2018 Passat including a 2.0-liter turbo-four that is estimated to have 174 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque or a 3.6-liter V-6 with 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard on the base 2.0-liter turbo-four while the V-6 comes with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. EPA fuel economy ratings are 25/36 mpg city/highway for the four-cylinder and 20/28 mpg with the V-6. Trunk space is 15.9 cubic feet and can be expanded via the standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats.
Standard features on the base S trim include automatic headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, a rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, a 5.0-inch touchscreen, and cloth upholstery. The R-Line trim adds unique bumpers, 19-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot warning, heated front seats, power driver’s seats, blind-spot warning, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and leatherette upholstery.
On the SE trim, it gets 17-inch alloy wheels, sunroof, a 6.3-inch touchscreen, and keyless entry/start.
The Technology package for the SE trim adds navigation, adaptive cruise control and park assist while the Lighting package adds LED headlights and taillights.
SEL Premium models get LED headlights, power-folding side mirrors, 18-inch alloy wheels, a Fender premium audio system, leather upholstery, navigation and heated rear seats.
The 2018 Volkswagen Passat’s cabin looks good and features some quality materials. However, it also has some hard plastics that prevent the cabin from ranking as one of the best in the class.
The seats are terrific; the front seats offer all-day support, and the rear seats are extremely spacious.
The Passat’s trunk is among the largest in the class. There’s not much to complain about regarding the tech features, but many rivals’ offerings feel more modern.
The 2018 Volkswagen Passat received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). Although the IIHS has yet to test the 2018 model, the 2017 Passat received a Good score on all crash tests and Poor on the headlights test (Good is the highest possible score).
In the front crash prevention test, the 2017 Passat received an Advanced rating after it avoided a 12-mph collision but didn’t reduce the speed at all in a 25 mph test (Superior is the highest rating for front crash prevention). As a result, it was able to get the Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS.
Standard on all 2018 Passats is forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Higher trim levels can be had with blind-spot warning, lane keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and parking assist.