Boasting more horsepower, better fuel efficiency and impressive roominess, the 2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI continues to be a compelling midsize sedan. Besides graceful styling, a comfortable cabin, and composed handling, the Passat is also the only car in its segment available with a thrifty diesel (TDI) engine.
Thanks to one of the roomiest interiors in its class with a surprisingly voluminous back seat, and plentiful cargo space, the American made Passat seamlessly adapts to the needs of American families. In fact, Volkswagen builds the Passat in Tennessee tailored specifically for the American market. With a variety of engines to choose from, buyers are sure to find a Passat thoroughly suited to them.
Another front runner in the class, the quality of interior materials gives the cabin an overall high-class feel. Especially comfortable seating comes with lumbar and eight-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat, even on the base model.
All trims, (except the base S model), have VW Car-Net connected services and available rearview cameras. The arrangement of controls and gauges is simple and competent. The SE models include a navigation system with a small touchscreen display, but a valuably larger screen can be had on upgraded trim levels.
Standard features include 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat (with two-way manual lumbar adjustment), a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, cloth upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
Options and elevated trim packages can add alloy wheels, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery, heated front seats, satellite radio, an iPod interface, a rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry, eight-speaker sound system with a touchscreen interface, among other choices.
The 2015 VW Passat is front-wheel drive and offers drivers a choice of three distinctly different engines. All trim levels, except the TDI, employ a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. With Sport and S trims you can choose either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic, and the Wolfsburg, SE and SEL Premium come only with the automatic.
The TDI, (available in SE and SEL Premium versions), offers a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine with 150 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Estimated EPA fuel economy is an inspiring 30 miles per gallon city and 42 highway for the automatic, and 30 city, 44 highway from the manual.
If you’re looking for the strongest engine available on the Passat, choose the 3.6-liter V6, generating 280 horsepower with 258 lb-ft of torque. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 20 city and 28 highway.
Volkswagen has engineered the Passat to deliver dynamic, involved handling with precise steering. The front suspension integrates Volkswagens proven blueprint of damper struts with lower control arms, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar. A clever four-link independent layout with telescopic dampers and anti-roll bar at the rear ensures precision and performance.
Standard safety features for the 2015 Volkswagen Passat include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is standard on SE, Sport and SEL trims. VW's Car-Net telematics system, standard from the Wolfsburg model on up, includes automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location and geo-fencing (allowing parents to set restrictions for teen drivers). A Car-Net smartphone app lets owners control many functions on the go.
In government crash testing, the Passat scored a perfect five stars overall, with five for frontal impact protection and five for side crash protection. Similarly, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Passat its top score of "Good" for frontal moderate-overlap, side-impact and roof-strength tests. It received the institute's second-highest rating of "Acceptable" in the small-overlap frontal-offset crash test. The Passat's seat and head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.