The 2014 Volkswagen Passat is an American-built mid-size sedan with the space and comfort of many full-size models, offering remarkable, best-in-class, stretch-out rear-seat legroom and trunk space to match.
The Passat TDI® version—the only clean diesel option in the segment—delivers an EPA estimated 43 miles per gallon on the highway with the manual transmission, giving a range of almost 800 miles. Recently, using special, highly efficient driving techniques and tires, a similarly equipped Passat TDI set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® achievement for the “lowest fuel consumption—48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car” category with a stellar 77.99 mpg—more than 10 mpg better than the previous mark of 67.9 mpg. The achievement also beats the hybrid vehicle record of 64.6 mpg by more than 13 mpg.
Under hood, the 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine will be gradually replaced by a brand new 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder engine, carrying the designation EA888 Gen 3. The engine makes 170 horsepower (the same as the 2.5L) and 184 pound-feet of torque (7 lb-ft more, delivered lower in the rev range). The manual transmission model also has an EPA estimated fuel economy figure of 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, an improvement of 3 mpg over the outgoing 2.5-liter engine’s highway figure.
VW engineers also made some other significant mechanical improvements for 2014. On the cars fitted with the 1.8T engine, the hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering has been replaced by an electric-assist system.
Finally, Volkswagen will introduce its VW Car-Net™ connected services this fall on the Passat lineup, beginning with the Wolfsburg trim. VW Car-Net—which has a six-month no-charge trial period—offers a wealth of security and convenience features, including Automatic Crash Notification, roadside assistance services, and stolen vehicle location assistance. In addition, VW Car-Net adds: remote vehicle access; boundary and speed alerts; a vehicle health report; and an enhanced POI service on vehicles equipped with a navigation system. Many of the features can be administered through a handy smartphone app (iPhone only, Android coming soon).
The Passat’s balanced proportions give it elegant and timeless styling, reflecting the new Volkswagen Design DNA developed by Walter de Silva, the Italian design chief for the Volkswagen Group, and Klaus Bischoff, the German design leader for the Volkswagen Brand.
The clean design, with a predominance of horizontal body elements, reinforces the Passat’s position as the sophisticated choice in the mid-size segment.
The key identifying feature of a strong brand is the styling of its front end. Here the Passat displays the horizontal brand face, with the three-blade grille and headlights forming a single unit. The Passat’s grille is sculpted in a three-dimensional shape and makes a distinctive and elegant impression because of its strict geometry. Beneath the front bumper is a large, lower intake with a striking honeycomb surface and available foglights housed at each end.
From the side profile, the muscular ridge in the sill area creates a lively interplay of light reflections. Powerfully sculpted wheelarches emphasize the dynamic properties of the Passat. To emphasize the aerodynamic styling of the Passat, the roof lines flow toward the back with a nearly coupe-like cut of the rear window. Three side windows create luxury-class style with a long, extended glass surface.
The rear section is also dominated by horizontal lines. The lines of the large taillights rise toward the sides, underscoring the dynamics of the elegant rear styling. Another unique feature here is the design of the two-part taillights that are integrated in the rear fender and trunk lid.
This is a generously-proportioned four-door sedan and the largest Passat ever. Nose to tail it measures 191.6 inches and features a stretched 110.4-inch wheelbase and 72.2-inch width, which allows such exceptional rear seat space.
The Passat was designed and specifically tailored for American tastes and American lifestyles. So the cabin of the 2014 Passat delivers space, and plenty of it. There’s room for five adults to really stretch out in comfort. And with four large, wide-opening doors, getting in and out is a breeze.
There’s also a true elegance and simplicity about the layout. Nothing here is trendy or over-done. The lines flow in a style that’s easy on the eye, complimented by high-quality materials applied with attention to detail.
The instrument panel is similar to that of Volkswagen’s flagship model, the Touareg. Available chrome-trimmed gauges surround a digital multifunction display. A high-end chrome look is also applied to the air vents in the cockpit, and to the surrounds of the radio, navigation system, and the climate control panels. The rotary light switch and parking brake handle button are also treated in chrome.
The seats are exceptionally comfortable, with an emphasis on providing extra thigh support for long-distance road trips. Even in the base version, the driver’s seat adjusts eight ways, including lumbar, while most models feature eight-way power adjustment. Inviting cloth trim is offered with the base S model, while the Wolfsburg and higher trims feature Volkswagen’s characteristic perforated V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces. Two-tone seating is offered on SE models, and SEL models move up to leather seating surfaces.
For 2014, all trims, with the exception of the base S model, receive VW Car-Net connected services, and rearview cameras are now found in SE and above trims.
There is no shortage of entertainment system options with the Passat—but the most exciting is the Fender® Premium Audio System, which was designed to bring the raw emotion of a live music performance to the driving experience.
The system was developed through collaboration between Fender, the legendary music amplification experts, who also make some of the coolest guitars for the rock star elite, and Panasonic®. It cranks out 400 watts of power played through nine speakers, including a trunk-mounted subwoofer.
And the same cool, chromed Fender logo that has graced the guitar ‘amps’ of some of the world’s music legends is featured on the Passat’s Fender system.
The 2014 Passat line-up will feature four engine options, including the gasoline 2.5-liter inline five cylinder, the new 1.8-liter TSI® turbocharged four cylinder, the 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel, and a powerful 3.6-liter VR6®.
The refined 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine features chain-driven double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and practically maintenance-free hydraulic lifters. It makes 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque and is available with a five-speed manual gearbox as standard or with an optional six-speed automatic.
Volkswagen pioneered the use of small displacement, highly efficient direct-injection and turbocharged engines in the U.S., starting with the EA113 engine in the 2006 GTI and Jetta GLI. Now, beginning with the SEL Premium trim, the 2014 Passat will feature a new EA888 Gen 3 turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder engine that is made in Silao, Mexico. This 1.8-liter engine will produce 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque—the same power, but seven pound-feet more torque, delivered lower in the engine speed range than the 2.5-liter five-cylinder used in the current Passat. The EPA estimated fuel economy is 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway when equipped with the five-speed manual transmission, and 24 mpg city and 34 mpg on the highway with the six-speed automatic.
The 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel inline four-cylinder engine produces 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. It delivers an EPA estimated fuel economy of 43 mpg on the highway when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, giving a range of 795 miles on one tank of ultra-low-sulfur clean diesel. The TDI engine is equipped with a Selective Catalytic Reduction System (SCR) that fulfills emissions requirements in all 50 states.
Optional on the Passat TDI Clean Diesel is Volkswagen’s DSG® six-speed automatic. This dual-clutch transmission is considered one the most-efficient automatics in the world. It incorporates a dual-clutch system that instantly engages and disengages gears without the need for a clutch pedal. With a special computer controlling the process, one clutch is engaged on the next gear, while the clutch from the previous gear is released.
The results are crisp, quick shifts, without the loss of power that is experienced with a traditional manual gearbox. It’s the perfect choice for drivers who want the performance of a traditional manual transmission with the precision of an automatic.
The 3.6 liter VR6 makes the 2014 Passat a top-flight sport sedan. Producing an impressive 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, it offers power and luxury-class driving comfort, with European-type restraint in its fuel consumption—the EPA highway estimate is 28 mpg. Shifting on the Passat VR6 model is handled by a standard six-speed DSG.
The Passat has been designed to feature the kind of dynamic, involved handling and precise steering that drivers have come to expect of a Volkswagen. The 2014 Passat may be a big car, but it drives small.
Its front suspension features the proven Volkswagen formula of damper struts with robust lower control arms, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar. At the rear, there’s a sophisticated four-link independent layout with telescopic dampers and an anti-roll bar.
The new electro-mechanical power steering is perfectly weighted to provide a balance between precision at highway speeds, and lower steering weight at parking speeds. Swinging into that tight, mall parking spot is easy, thanks to the Passat’s 36.4-foot turning radius and three turns lock-to-lock.
Safety is not on the options list at Volkswagen, which is why every Passat comes with a comprehensive suite of active and passive safety features.
Safety starts with a specially-reinforced safety cage, complete with anti-intrusion side beams and forged steel roof B-pillars. Behind the sleek nose, there is a crash-optimized front-end featuring integrated impact-absorbing elements that help minimize the collision energy.
Naturally, every 2014 Passat comes with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) that helps compensate for oversteer or understeer by applying individual corrective forces to each of the wheels. Also standard is an Anti-lock Braking System, Hydraulic Brake Assist, Tire Pressure Monitoring, and Volkswagen’s acclaimed Intelligent Crash Response System. In the event of a collision it automatically unlocks the doors, shuts off the fuel pump, and even turns on the hazard warning lights.
The six standard airbags include front and side thorax airbags for the front-seat occupants, together with Side Curtain Protection® airbags front and rear.
Peace of mind in owning a new Passat comes from Volkswagen’s no-charge Carefree Maintenance® Program. It covers scheduled maintenance for two years or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
The Passat is offered in four trim levels, S, Wolfsburg Edition, SE and SEL, with a total of 12 equipment levels. All offer first-class safety and comfort.
With pricing starting at $20,845 for the five-speed manual transmission model, its key features include: air-conditioning; hill hold control (manual transmission only); multifunction steering wheel with audio and phone controls; powered exterior mirrors; automatic headlights with “coming home” function; trip computer; RCD 310 radio with CD player and six speakers; aux-in; Bluetooth® technology; 60/40 split rear seat; lumbar for driver seat. The S is also available with a six-speed automatic transmission for $21,945.
Priced from $23,495, the Wolfsburg Edition adds a six-speed automatic transmission; 16-inch “San Jose” alloy wheels with all-season tires; heated front seats; V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, power driver seat with power lumbar; VW Car-Net™ connected services; leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake; SiriusXM® Satellite Radio; and a Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod® cable.
Starting at $25,045, this trim, equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, builds on the features already offered in the Wolfsburg Edition with:17-inch “Sonoma” aluminum-alloy wheels with all-season tires; rearview camera; power driver seat and lumbar; highline instrumentation cluster with multifunction display; rear passenger air vents; leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with audio and phone controls; auto-dimming rearview mirror; power and heated exterior side mirrors; heated front washer nozzles; leather-wrapped hand brake and shift knob; Premium VIII touchscreen radio with six-CD in-dash changer and eight speakers. The SE with Sunroof ($25,845) adds a six-speed automatic transmission, 18-inch “Bristol” alloy wheels, and a power tilt and slide sunroof; the SE with Sunroof and Nav ($26,995) incorporates the RNS 315 navigation system and Keyless access with push-button start. A 2.5SE is also available with a six-speed automatic transmission for $25,045.
With a starting price of $30,895, this adds RNS 510 navigation; Fender Premium Audio System; remote start; partial leather seating surfaces; front foglights; rear seat pass-through; driver seat memory; and eight-way power passenger seat.
Opens at $26,295 and features a six-speed manual transmission; 17-inch “Sonoma” aluminum-alloy wheels; V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces; eight-way power driver seat; heated front seats; Premium VIII touchscreen radio; rearview camera; multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel; VW Car-Net; sliding front center armrest; and rear passenger air vents. The SE with Sunroof ($28,295) adds a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, 18-inch “Bristol” wheels, and a power tilt and slide sunroof. The SE with Sunroof and Nav ($29,995) includes: side moldings with chrome accents, the RNS 315 navigation system, Keyless access with push-button start, and front foglights.
This adds leather seating surfaces; comfort sport seats; RNS 510 navigation; Fender Premium Audio System; driver seat memory; wood grain interior trim; and an eight-way power passenger seat. Starts at $32,995.
Standard features on this model ($29,295) above the basic SE equipment previously listed include: six-speed DSG automatic transmission; 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; eight-way power driver seat; Premium VIII touchscreen radio; Fender premium audio system; an MDI with iPod cable; chrome dual exhaust; and foglights.
This flagship model starts at $33,895 and adds partial leather seating surfaces; Keyless entry with push-button start; RNS 510 navigation; driver seat memory; wood grain interior décor; eight-way power passenger seat; and interior chrome accents.