2014 Volkswagen Passat: What's Changed


  • Most significant changes: New turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder replaces five- cylinder
  • Price change: TBD
  • On sale: Early August
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? The new engine is a compelling reason to wait for the 2014s, but without pricing, it's a tough call.

When Volkswagen's largest sedan was redesigned for 2012, it got a style overhaul as well as significantly larger dimensions. For 2014, the Passat again sees some big changes, and chief among them is a new engine.

A new turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder replaces the Passat's 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine in SEL models and above; VW says it's gradually phasing out the 2.5-liter unit altogether. The 3.6-liter V-6 and 2.0-liter diesel carry over to 2014 models, as do the five-speed manual, six-speed manual, six-speed automatic and six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

The new engine is good for 170 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque. Compared to the 2.5-liter, horsepower is the same, but the 1.8 offers a bit more torque. Fuel-economy figures haven't been released, but the "new engine is expected to offer significant highway fuel mileage gains over the 2.5-liter unit," Volkswagen said in a statement.

By Jennifer Geiger | July 10, 2013 | Comments (6)

Volkswagen Improves Fuel Economy With New Engine

Volkswagen's turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder engines are no strangers to the automaker's high-performance vehicles, including the GTI, Jetta GLI and Beetle Turbo. For 2014, more mainstream versions of the Jetta, Passat and Beetle gain this engine technology; a new turbocharged, direct-injected 1.8-liter four-cylinder is joining the lineup. It will deliver better gas mileage and performance than the current non-turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder.

The automaker estimates the new 1.8-liter improves highway gas mileage by 16% compared to the Jetta's current five-cylinder while the Passat's fuel economy jumps 9% and the Beetle's highway mileage goes up 17%. By our calculations, that could take a Jetta's 31 mpg EPA highway rating with an automatic transmission to 36 mpg and the Beetle's from 29 mpg to 34 mpg; the Passat's 9% gain means an increase to 33 or 34 mpg. Volkswagen says the new engine runs on regular gasoline as opposed to the premium fuel some automakers recommend for small turbocharged engines.

By Joe Bruzek | July 10, 2013 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen Passat Sets Guinness Record for U.S. Mileage


If you go on a road trip with Wayne Gerdes, be sure to hit the restroom before you leave. He won't be stopping off for gas a lot — and he has a world record to prove it.

Gerdes (pictured, far left), a veteran practitioner of "hypermiling," this week added another mileage milestone to his list of more than 100 when he and his co-pilot, Bob Winger (pictured, middle, with Guinness World Records adjudicator Philip Robertson to the right), broke the Guinness World Record in the "lowest fuel consumption — 48 U.S. states for a non-hybrid car" category, driving a Volkswagen Passat TDI diesel sedan. The Passat averaged 77.99 mpg on the 8,122-mile trip, more than 10 mpg better than the previous non-hybrid record, and more than 13 mpg better than the record for a hybrid, according to Volkswagen.

Gerdes, founder of Cleanmpg.com and primary driver in the attempt, and Winger, an electronics engineer, embarked on their long drive on June 7 from Herndon, Va., with their tires touching every one of the contiguous 48 states before they made it back on Monday. They used less than 105 gallons of diesel fuel during the entire trip.

By Matt Schmitz | June 27, 2013 | Comments (9)

VW Passat Lineup Gets Wolfsburg Edition

Hoping to shore up weak Passat sales, Volkswagen is adding a new model to the sedan's lineup. VW says the Passat Wolfsburg Edition "offers a number of additional convenience features for a competitive price."

The Wolfsburg Edition will slot between the base S ($21,640) and the midlevel SE ($24,740) trims and go on sale in mid-2013 starting at $24,290; all prices include a $795 destination fee. To the S model — which comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, Bluetooth connectivity, a steering wheel with audio and phone controls, automatic headlights, power exterior mirrors and driver's seat lumbar support — the Wolfsburg Edition adds 16-inch alloy wheels, perforated V-Tex leatherette seats, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, satellite radio and a Media Device-Interface with iPod cable.

Sales of VW's midsize sedan, which is built in its Chattanooga, Tenn., plant, were down 5% in March compared to last March, and the automaker recently announced plans to lay off 500 workers at the facility.

Research the 2013 Volkswagen Passat
2013 Volkswagen Passat: What's Changed
More Volkswagen News

By Jennifer Geiger | April 24, 2013 | Comments (2)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week


There was no movement this week atop our list of most-read reviews, as the 2014 Subaru Forester maintained its commanding lead in the top spot and the 2013 Toyota RAV4 hung tough in second. Further down the ranks, however, the list hosted an encore appearance from one car and the debuts of two others. The 2014 Chevrolet Impala returned this week with a vengeance, rocketing straight up to No. 3, while newcomers the 2013 BMW 3 Series and 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI bowed at Nos. 6 and 9, respectively.

Check out what was popular this week:

1. 2014 Subaru Forester
2. 2013 Toyota RAV4
3. 2014 Chevrolet Impala
4. 2013 Ford Escape
5. 2013 Buick Encore

6. 2013 BMW 3 Series
7. 2013 Honda Accord

8. 2014 Mazda CX-5
9. 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI

10. 2013 Toyota Avalon
By Matt Schmitz | April 21, 2013 | Comments (0)

Cars.com Family Reviews the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI


With its roomy backseat, ample trunk and sky-high fuel-economy numbers, the 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI has the makings of a perfect family-friendly sedan. But Cars.com Family reviewer Carrie Kim had some mixed feelings about this clean-diesel car because of its unforgiving six-speed manual transmission. She says to skip the stick and try the dual-clutch automatic transmission instead.

2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI Family Review

By Jennifer Newman | April 15, 2013 | Comments (61)

Cars.com Reviews the 2013 Buick LaCrosse


The 2013 Buick LaCrosse eAssist doesn't offer the Volkswagen Passat TDI's value or the high-end Lexus ES 300h's fuel economy, but Cars.com reviewer Jennifer Geiger says it "pleasantly" splits the difference between practicality and price. The mild hybrid version of Buick's largest sedan improves gas mileage with its lithium-ion battery pack and 15-kilowatt electric motor combined with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine; the result is seamless acceleration and a "pillowy" ride. While the LaCrosse's lush interior draws nearer to "luxury" than "near-luxury" competitors, backseat comfort and cargo space may necessitate hanging on to that hyphen.

2013 Buick LaCrosse Review
By Matt Schmitz | January 22, 2013 | Comments (3)

Volkswagen Passat Performance Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show


  • Looks like: A normal Passat with — really, just a normal Passat
  • Defining characteristics: 250-hp, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, 19-inch wheels, lowered suspension
  • Ridiculous features: Nothing at all
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Possible considering the Passat's popularity

The 2013 Volkswagen Passat is near and dear to us as comfy and spacious and even ultra-efficient in TDI diesel models. Fun to drive doesn’t exactly describe the current Passat, but it looks like Volkswagen is aiming to add a little high-performance flair to the midsize sedan with a Passat Performance Concept at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

More 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Under the hood is a new 250-horsepower, turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that’s not currently available in any U.S.-specific Passats. Volkswagen says the engine is already available — and popular — in the European and Asian markets. The concept’s engine pairs with a six-speed automatic transmission. Even though the current 3.6-liter V-6 makes more horsepower, a turbocharged engine often adds a fun-to-drive factor despite its less power.

By Joe Bruzek | January 11, 2013 | Comments (6)

Why Family Cars Dominated 2012


Jimmy Drew's car shopping list would make you think he was looking for a small SUV. Drew has owned cars from brands as distant as Infiniti and Ford. He trades his ride every couple years, and when the time came to swap out in 2012, he shopped the likes of a Honda CR-V and Acura RDX. But his final choice strayed from SUVs altogether: a 2012 Toyota Camry SE V-6, optioned high with leather seats and a moonroof.

Drew is an unlikely candidate for the Camry, the poster car for burgeoning families. The 66-year-old utilities planner in Del Rey Beach, Fla., wanted the sedan because he has grandkids, and the Camry's 268-horsepower V-6 made easy work of the hourlong drive on Florida's Interstate 95 to see them.

"For the price of the vehicle, and for what you get with it, plus a great interest rate at that time ... I thought it was a hell of a price," Drew says.

By Kelsey Mays | January 8, 2013 | Comments (7)

Honda Shines, Toyota Falls in Latest IIHS Crash Tests


The 2013 Toyota Camry sedan and Prius v hybrid (above, right) failed a new crash test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that simulates a frontal impact overlapping a small portion of the car — say, piling into a tree from your left headlight. IIHS announced today its test of 18 model-year 2013 family cars. It's the largest yet for the so-called "small overlap" frontal test that many luxury brands failed in August 2012.

At the other end, the Honda Accord sedan and nearly-defunct Suzuki Kizashi (above, left) earned IIHS' top score, Good; 11 other cars — including the Accord coupe — earned Acceptable ratings. The IIHS rates cars Good, Acceptable, Marginal or Poor. Of the 18 cars tested, the Toyotas scored Poor, but the Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu and Volkswagen Jetta sedan scored Marginal.

By Kelsey Mays | December 19, 2012 | Comments (7)

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