Big Man Rides 2015/2016 Volkswagen Passat


One cant mention Volkswagen without mentioning the International
Diesel Scandal. Which effects nearly the entire Volkswagen line  including the Passat.

There are many questions concerning the future of VW and resale values.  Sales for VW through May 2016 is down 13%

Volkswagen is currently the largest automaker in the world, larger than Toyota and General Motors.   Volkswagen is the parent company of Audi (some of the Audi Diesels were included in the scandal), Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Seat and Skoda. The company also builds commercial vehicles and motorcycles.

VW was once a major player in the American market. For years, Volkswagen outsold every foreign automaker.  Today, Subaru sells more cars than VW.

Volkswagen created the current Passat for the American market.  The former generations were smaller and more expensive and the company needed a car to compete in the very competitive mid size segment.    The current model is larger than Passat’s sold in Europe. The current generation Passat has been around since 2012  and built in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The car has been refreshed through the years and there have been several engine changes. From the rough 5 cylinder to the current 1.8 turbo.

A few months ago I rented a 2015 Volkswagen Passat SE (the basic model) and drove over 3300 miles.

11 Day 3300 mile Super Road Trip

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It was driven through mountains, deserts, mud, rain, and back roads, and freeways.  I have driven more miles in the Passat than in my personal car this year.


The 2016 received a much needed technology refresh.

The Good

Despite having an out of balance tire, the  2015 Passat  was a champ. The car feels solid. Being a big/tall man I appreciated the  ample space front and back, I have driven full size trucks with less room. There is more leg room in the mid size Passat, then in the full size Chrysler 300 and Ford Taurus.


Visibility was close to flawless  The fit and finish was good. The trunk is beyond huge.


The Passat is a fun to drive brick (squarish car), the  1.8 turbo had ample reserve power, braking was good and the fuel economy was superior. A V6 is available. The ride was German firm.   It averaged 36 miles per gallon up to 41 miles on the freeways.  The computer promised nearly 700 miles on a tank. I got close to that at 661 miles.  If you have tallish teenagers, or frequently carry big or tall passengers this is your car.  For 2015 the Volkswagen Passat was a top safety pick.

The Bad

While the Passat was designed for the American market, its controls are more German.  If you’ve driven an American, Japanese, or Korean car, its will take a while to adjust to some of the controls,especially the cruise control.


The electronics on the 2015 is dated. Bluetooth which is in nearly every rental car was missing in the Passat  along with the absence of USB ports and Satellite Radio. Speaking of the stereo, the sound is poor at best (again this is the base model)



30 Minutes in the 2016


It’s still a brick, which looks very expensive in Black.  I drove the mid level SEL, which came with Power and heated seats, a very nice sounding Fender head unit with Nav.  For 2016 they have added quite a few USB and charging options. Apple Car Play and Android and a host of safety up dates like Automatic Braking and Frontal Collision packages have brought the car up today.


My 2016 Passat was quieter than the 2015. The materials are a bit better and its the car  your  friends will demand on those long road trips.

The ????

With the exception of the Volkswagen Tiguan . Volkswagen sales across the board is down. So deals are available.   Resale on the gasoline models hasn’t taken a huge hit, reviews on the line has been positive including the refreshed Passat. The diesel scandal doesn’t just effect the US its International.  Volkswagen has had a US presence for nearly seventy years however, if the low sales continue the network may take a hit.


The Passat isn’t swoopy like a  Fusion, Sonata, or Optima, its a brick.  In some colors its bland, in fact it seems bland inside and out.  In other colors it can look like a  Mercedes.  The car is fun to drive, its incredibly  roomy, has a huge trunk and gets very good mileage. If you have growing teenagers or frequently transport four adults there are few cars that compare.


Prices start at $22,500 for the base model and climbs to $35,000

More than generous deals are available on new Passats