Earning the highest safety rating from IIHS, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat delivers on a number of fronts including safety, elegance and spaciousness. Upon first glance of the exterior and when you first step foot in the cabin you will see the attention to detail that has made the Passat a top seller all these years.
ENGINE & DRIVE
The 2017 VW Passat can be equipped with one of two different engines – a 1.8L turbo charged four cylinder outputting 170hp or a 3.6L six cylinder outputting 280hp. The diesel engine option is gone for 2017 Passat models, most likely while VW reconsiders how to approach that market due to the recent lawsuits regarding emissions testing. It’s also unfortunate that there’s no hybrid option for the 2017 Passat since many of its competitors offer a hybrid model.
Having had the pleasure to test the 2017 Volkswagen Passat equipped with the V6 engine, I can tell you with no doubt in my mind that the complete driving experience was one that was refined and exhilarating at the same time. There’s no lack of power whatsoever, even with a full load, leading to fast and powerful accelerations. The raw power is harnessed throughout the six speed automatic transmission to deliver a smooth and consistent acceleration pushing the 2017 VW Passat from 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds. All this power is reined in by a refinement I can only attribute to the Passat’s German engineering standards.
The overall drive of the 2017 Passat is quiet, smooth and comfortable for all passengers. Minimal road noise penetrates through to the cabin and even when accelerating the engine noise is minimal.
The driver of the 2017 Passat is rewarded with panoramic visibility and great manoeuvrability. Despite the cavernous interior hinting at a massive exterior size, the Passat is surprisingly agile and easy to navigate into tight spaces. Another great feature are the adaptive headlights which makes cornering at night much safer by lighting the way around corners as you turn.
As one might guess, the one downside to this full sized sedan with a near 300hp is the fuel economy. With a posted combined fuel economy of 12.3 L/100km, our 150km test drive (with majority city driving) yielded a consumption rate of 13.2 L/100km.
INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
The Passat’s exterior has always been conservative which is why it doesn’t appear dated as the years go on. Rather than the bold lines and curves typically seen in modern design, such as the Nissan Maxima, the 2017 VW Passat continues its tradition with an understated yet elegant exterior. The conservative lines combine with chrome highlights and a quality build to provide a sophisticated look of luxury. There are also some subtle cues that hint at the performance lurking beneath the hood, like the dual exhaust, shark fin antenna, LED head and tail lights and a wide, planted stance. The overall shape is quite pleasing because of the satisfying proportions.
Stepping inside the 2017 Volkswagen Passat’s cavernous interior immediately draws your attention to the full length panoramic sunroof, large infotainment touch screen display and the high quality materials used throughout the cabin. The very spacious interior provides a generous amount of leg and headroom for all passengers front and rear, despite the smaller appearance from the outside. The enormously spacious trunk also offers many options for hauling a large amount of cargo.
The dash is well laid out and intuitive but lacks a bit of inspiration in the design. Rather than having a curvaceous dash to create a bold design, the 2017 Passat uses a beautiful mix of high quality materials to highlight various areas of the interior and create a sophisticated look. I particularly like the rich two tone leather used for the seats and doors and found that it really brings the interior into a superior category of its own.
When considering the purchase of a large sedan, you won’t find a higher quality build or all round elegant and timeless design in the 2017 Passat’s category. With top safety ratings, lots of options and a simplified choice of two engines, the 2017 Passat’s entry level pricing is quite attractive. I suggest taking a look at one in person to see if doesn’t resonate with you!