*Go straight to our full review HERE.

Overview (Final Score: B-)

In the competitive midsize sedan segment, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat seems to be the quiet wallflower, often overlooked because of its unassuming style. But asking this sedan to dance might make some buyers wonder why they don’t go to the VW slot on dealership row more often.

The 2017 Passat carries a simple style on its exterior and a lot of goodness on its interior, both hidden in decidedly bling-less attire. Flashy is not the VW way, but if the best sellers in the midsize segment have taught us anything, it’s that pretty doesn’t always sell in this market.

What the Passat has is a full coverage of the basics. The boxes for most midsize sedan buyers include a roomy interior, a good highway ride, smart (and achievable) fuel economy and quality workmanship. The VW Passat ticks off these boxes, though it doesn’t lead the pack in any of them. What’s most compelling is how these things are mixed and presented.

2017_passat_5548New for 2017 is the discontinuation of the SEL trim and a subsequent shuffling of content as a result. This adds value to the mid-level trims and the SEL Premium (which remains). There is otherwise no other change to be found between the 2016 model year’s refresh and the 2017 Passat.

What We Love About the 2017 Volkswagen Passat:

  • Big back seat and very useful trunk
  • Quiet and refined on the highway
  • Great engine output without losing fuel economy


What We Don’t Love About the 2017 Volkswagen Passat:

  • Infotainment is below par
  • Not as fun to drive as other VWs
  • A bit cheap-appearing on the interior trim versus rivals



Pricing and Value (7/10)

The base model 2017 Volkswagen Passat is well-priced for the segment and is on par with most of the competition, but few buyers look at base models in the real world. In mid-level packaging, with the 1.8L 4-cylinder, the Passat has a lot going for it. Priced around $25k at mid-point, the 2017 Passat is compelling and just a few thousand more adds in some great technology and safety options.

Jumping to the V6, things get less value-oriented. VW did add the V6 to the SE trim, letting buyers get into the V6 for under $30,000. But just so. The SEL Premium is still the better bet if a V6 is a must.

Most should find that the competent 4-cylinder in the 2017 Passat covers all bases and can stick with that. Buyers should note that resale values for new-generation Passats have been low thanks to the bad reputation the previous generation Passat gave the model. That will take time to remedy.


Total Score and Competitive Comparison (64/80, 80%)

The midsize sedan category is the best-selling category in the United States and the 2017 Volkswagen Passat has a lot of competition because of that. The best-seller is the Toyota Camry, which offers reliability and ergonomics. The Nissan Altima also bests the VW in those regards, but isn’t as interesting to drive.

For those looking for more sport in their midsize sedan, without losing versatility, the Mazda MAZDA6 is an excellent option. Value is best found in the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima, while style is a high point of the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu. Among all of this competition, the Volkswagen Passat is middle of the road in most respects, but delivers everything midsize buyers are likely looking for.

Because of its nice hit at the center of things, we think the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is worth comparing to the leaders of the midsize pack when shopping. Many might find the good pricing and timeless style of the Passat to be what they really want.

You can learn a lot more about the 2017 VW Passat now in the FULL REVIEW.

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