Entry Price: $25,295
Price as tested: $30,890
This week it’s Volkswagen’s 2019 Passat we review, sporting SE R-Line trim with technology and safety packages included as standard fare. Built by an American-based workforce in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Passat is one of Volkswagen’s top offerings that date all the way back to 1973 and evolvement through eight generations.
Volkswagen promotes the Passat as a midsize alternate next to its new, two-inch longer wheelbase 2019 Arteon, the latter a more expensive model. Arteon takes the place of the discontinued Volkswagen CC as top tier on the auto giant’s pecking order.
Not to be overshadowed by the Arteon, Passat currently awaits its new ninth generation model that will hit dealer showrooms later this year as a 2020 model. It’s a nice upgrade, but for those seeking greater value the 2019 Passat might be the better buy thanks to more incentives the closer the new Passat comes to introduction.
Additionally, although the 2020 Passat will feature distinct style enhancements, it certainly won’t make the 2019 model obsolete. Both Passats look great and the designers have not swayed much from the model’s year-to-year successful overall pattern.
Two Passat trims are available for ’19 with the nicely equipped Wolfsburg Edition starting at $25,295 or the top level SE R-Line that starts at $29,995. Both feature VW’s new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder coupled to VW’s six-speed Sport Mode Tiptronic automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Our Passat delivered good acceleration and surprisingly good fuel mileage. The V6 powered GT Passat has been discontinued for 2019.
Specifically, expect Passat to deliver 25 city and 36 highway EPA estimates, which are better than past 1.8-liter engine applications of 23 city and 34 highway on older Passat models. Although the 2.0-liter turbo four produces just 174 horses and 184 pounds of torque, don’t discount the acceleration capabilities once the turbo kicks in.
Our tester’s bottom line sticker came in at a final tally $30,890 including an $895 delivery fee. Our “no options” model comes thanks to R-Line’s standard features that include 19-inch tires on nice alloy wheels, push button start, Auto Connect features for Android and Apple smartphones, Discover Media navigation with touch screen, Sirius/XM satellite, Fender stereo system, CD player, SD memory card reader, and much more.
R-Line also comes standard with all the modern safety features like forward collision warning, emergency braking, lane keep assist, remote start, rear camera system, rear traffic alert, intelligent crash response, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, adaptive smart cruise, and more. Other notable safety items include four-wheel ABS disc brakes, all the airbags, and the modern day traction controls and electronic brake assists.
Passat’s exterior offers solid good looks and is comparable to others in the VW family. The front grille has the large VW logo while the rear deck is graceful and nicely done. It’s a tasteful design that portrays VW opulence in a more discreet package and the R-Line also includes a power sunroof as standard equipment.
Inside, Passat’s cabin features leatherette heated seating, excellent rear legroom, dual zone climate control, ambient RE-Line foot well and interior lighting, carbon fiber trim, and a nice gauge and dashboard layout. Notable is VW’s traditional comfortable with excellent side-to-side support. Split rear seats with center armrest, a trunk pass-through, Halogen fog lights, and much more make the Passat a competent, well-equipped midsize competitor. Overall, when you select the R-Line model, you’ll receive just about everything VW has to offer as standard fare.
Underneath, Passat’s suspension follows its corporate VW/Porsche/Audi ideology of great handling automobiles, offering excellent cornering behavior while also delivering a cozy, soothing freeway motoring experience. The independent suspension features MacPherson struts up front and a four-link rear that allows steadiness regardless of road in front of you.
Important is an upgraded Passat new car warranty, which has been expanded from the former 3-year/36,000 overall and powertrain 5-year/60,000 miles to a new, bumper-to-bumper 6-year/72,000 mile deal that debuted in 2018 and carries over to 2019 and beyond. This is one of the very best bumper-to-bumper warranties out there and is also transferable at no cost to the second owner.
Important numbers include a wheelbase of 110-inches, 3,274 lb. curb weight, 18.5 gallon fuel tank, 36.4 ft. turn radius, 15.9 cu. ft. of trunk space and a 5.4 inch ground clearance.
Passat has been on the receiving end of numerous automotive citations over the years, including Consumer Reports magazine’s “Best Overall Midsize” nod in both its 2018 and 2019 Buying Guide editions. In ending, the 2019 Passat may be in its last year before a new generation arrives, but crafty shoppers will appreciate dealer incentives and additional leftover discounts that will surely come into play.
Likes: More power, more MPG, better warranty, classy looks.
Dislikes: Wolfsburg does not offer some higher tech safety options, but it’s still a beauty, too.
Greg Zyla writes weekly on cars for More Content Now and GateHouse Media.