By on February 28, 2017

2017 Volkswagen Passat V6 rear - Image: © Timothy Cain

2017 Volkswagen Passat V6 SEL Premium V6

3.6-liter V6, DOHC (280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm; 258 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm)

Six-speed dual-clutch automatic, front-wheel drive

20 city / 28 highway / 23 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

11.9 city / 8.5 highway / 10.4 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

25.3 mpg [9.3 L/100 km] (Observed)

Base Price: $23,260 (U.S) / $27,540 (Canada)

As Tested: $34,815 (U.S.) / $40,890 (Canada)

Prices include $820 destination charge in the United States and $1,795 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada.

Time flies. 2017 is the sixth model year for the Chattanooga, Tennessee-built Volkswagen Passat, the Americanized family sedan that aimed for the heart of the market so routinely missed by its forerunners.

The other Passat, the Passat designed more for Europe’s tastes than yours, has since launched in new, eighth-generation form. Yet having lost all of the momentum created by Tennessee’s Passat in 2012, Volkswagen of America forges on with one particularly American cue: displacement.

An optional V6 engine is not entirely outside the midsize norm. In fact, the three best-selling midsize cars in America all currently offer a V6 powerplant. But it has become increasingly normal for competitors to skip the V6 in favor of turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplants. That’s how Chevrolet, Hyundai, Kia, and (until recently) Ford play the game.

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat’s V6 is a 3.6-liter unit with 280 enthusiastic horsepower. All 280 ponies burble melodically at idle, as if to contradict the sober invisibility of the exterior design while heaping shame on the childish intake rasp of competitors’ four-pots.

Horsepower is undeniably intoxicating.

This new Passat, however, even with 280 intoxicating horsepower, is not a new car. And these 3,597 CCs cost a minimum of eight bucks per unit, or nearly ten bucks per CC in the case of our tester.

Unfortunately, there’s no replacement for displacement is only a valid statement if you’re willing to supplement your payment.

America’s perception of Volkswagen was a problem even before the diesel emissions scandal erupted in August 2015. Indeed, the way in which the Passat was perceived prior to the scandal was a problem, as well. Through the first three-quarters of 2015, U.S. Passat volume was down 15 percent, having fallen 11 percent during the same period one year earlier.

It appeared as though there were more people who wanted an affordable Americanized German sedan than there were people who wanted a less affordable German sedan, but maybe not as many members of the former group as originally hoped for.

2017 Volkswagen Passat V6 - Image: © Timothy Cain

That’s relevant background, to be sure. But separate that information, if only for the next couple of minutes, from the way in which this car must be judged as a car. Not as a Volkswagen or as a Passat, but as just another midsize sedan competing for your, ahem, $34,815; $3,000 more than the Passat SEL Premium sans V6. (There’s also a Passat V6 in SEL trim at $30,115.)

In numerous ways, the Passat balances its European roots with its traditional middle-America intentions. Ride quality is firm, but only firm enough to compose the 3,571-pounder, never firm enough for wheel impacts to be a bother. In fact, there are moments, thankfully brief, in which a hint of front-end float was evidenced after a mid-corner elevation change.

The steering, too, weights up nicely as it ought to, but only after a broad and disconcerting dead zone is exhibited on the straightahead. It’s as if the current Passat is willing to please the owners of previous Passats, but only after providing a level of familiarity to past owners of Buick LeSabres.

2017 Volkswagen Passat V6 - Image: © Timothy Cain

The 3.6-liter V6 quite capably gets its power to the pavement with little fuss, and Volkswagen’s direct-shift gearbox maximizes the available power with sudden shifts. Acceleration figures are comparable to those achieved by V6-engined Camrys and Accords, but the degree of enthusiasm for making hasty progress is distinct in the Passat. Sliding the shifter from D to S clarifies just how keen on making forward progress the Passat really is. Low gears are held, and held, and held, seemingly in anticipation of maximum torque potentially, maybe, possibly being required.

The Passat’s lusty engine isn’t matched by sterling sports sedan dynamics. Granted, having approached the Passat with proper family sedan expectations, you won’t be let down. Nor will you soon be convinced the Passat V6 is a bona fide Audi A4 rival. It isn’t.

There’s too much body roll, lifeless steering on-center, and no significant amount of willingness to suddenly change the direction of nearly 3,600 pounds of metal. Though always on the lookout for an opportunity to go faster in a straight line, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is not easily confused with a nimble Honda Accord or agile Mazda 6.

Calm, collected, competent? Always. But the Passat V6 is a sprinter that’s much happier in the arrow-straight 100 m than taking the turn in the 200 m.

2017 Volkswagen Passat Highline V6 interior - Image: © Timothy Cain

Thankfully, regardless of the rate at which I overcooked a corner, our tester was equipped with nicely bolstered sport seats that hugged my hips and firmly cushioned my backside. Front seat comfort and visibility is excellent.

The Volkswagen user interface looks like an old system and often operates like an old system, but it’s certainly not complicated. Shuffling through sub-menus for driver assistance settings in the instrument cluster with a button on the end of the signal stalk, on the other hand, is an unnecessarily convoluted task.

To the rear, space for back seat passengers is undeniably expansive. Hopping in to install child seats is a breeze, and once installed, those child seats don’t inhibit space for front occupants. Trunk volume bests the Camry, Accord, and Altima, and access is broad enough for us to slide in an awkwardly-shaped Stiga GT Snowracer with ease.

Nowhere in the cabin is there an overriding sense of Volkswagen’s alleged Americanized decontenting. Buttons and switches work as intended, material quality is up to par, armrests are soft, Fender audio is acceptable.

Apart from some winter-tire hum from the Gislaved NordFrost5 quartet, the Passat is quiet, too, though moments intermittently arise on our rough, winter-beaten, oceanfront roads when the Passat’s structure doesn’t feel quite as stiff as you’d expect. It may be a sensation exacerbated by recent drives in the all-new Honda CR-V and a Cadillac CT6.

2017 Volkswagen Passat V6 - Image: © Timothy Cain

It’s not reasonable to expect a car launched in 2011 to feel as profoundly modern as a vehicle launched in 2017. But the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is about to be faced with even stiffer competition from segment stalwarts. The new Toyota Camry, already a beneficiary of immense built-in loyalty, is likely to further highlight any Passat shortcomings. Expect a new Honda Accord shortly, as well.

Those nameplates are at least partially responsible for dramatically reducing Passat demand. Volkswagen’s hope that Chattanooga would meet annual demand for more than 150,000 midsize buyers was initially met with excitement, but production slowdowns had already taken hold by mid-2013.

Today, just as in the 2011 launch period, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat attempts to do more than one thing. First, the Passat endeavors to wear its European heritage on its sleeve. Second, the Passat wants to cater to non-European demands. Third, it must complete the first two tasks without causing the inherent conflict to be too obvious.

Car buyers and car reviewers can’t help but notice the conflict. We can’t simply observe the Volkswagen Passat as an anonymous midsize car. It must also be considered as a Volkswagen. As a Volkswagen Passat.

It’s a difficult rock-and-hard-place situation for Volkswagen of America. To non-believers, the Passat may be more acceptable than previous Passats, but it’s still a Volkswagen. On the other hand, for fans of past Passats, the latest car is a fine vehicle, but it’s not a great Passat.

Refined, immensely spacious, and luxurious and hilariously powerful in V6 SEL Premium form, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is far from a disappointment. Nevertheless, the Passat lacks a compelling reason for a midsize buyer to step outside the box, an issue that becomes all the more glaring when the nondescript Passat is painted grey and examined on the greyest of grey days.

[Images: © 2017 Timothy Cain]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook. The Passat was supplied by Volkswagen Canada in fully-optioned “Highline” trim, equivalent to the V6 SEL Premium.

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56 Comments on “2017 Volkswagen Passat V6 Review – Lower Saxony’s Tennessee Sedan Volunteers For Family Sedan Duty...”


  • avatar
    seth1065

    I test drove a Passat se when looking to replace my since bought back TDI wagon and it was ok, just ok, if you need a roomy car for a good price it may be worth it but if i was buying a mid size/ large sedan I would make my way to the honda store. Maybe coming from a wagon to a big sedan was asking to much from the passat but it seem vw has to update this asap.

  • avatar
    threeer

    My boss just turned in his two-year old Passat TDI and sorely misses it. Granted, he didn’t fall far from the fold in buying a new Q7 and is currently looking at a new GTI as a DD (given the massive incentives they are throwing his way). He loved the mileage and ease at which it went about its business, plus the space and comfort were pretty impressive. I think the exterior styling is clean, while some may call it boring. But I agree is has an unenviable task in attempting to be a good mid-sizer AND a good VW…

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Das McVW.

    I’m sure that VW is much more willing to deal post scandal but what I remember from a few years ago when I was taking a peek at the entire V6 family sedan segment is that VW seemed to have the highest upcharge for the V6 and the highest advertised prices for the V6 version.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Tim also pointed out that the same V6 can be had for $30k in lower trim level; that’s not too bad.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      This used to be true. Up through MY2016 VW only had a single trim level for the Passat V6, and IIRC the MSRP was about $38k. Now they have the sub $30k SE w/Tech and $36k SEL trims, putting their fully tricked out 2017 V6 model at a lower price than the 2016.

      But one major change for 2017 is that both the SE w/Tech and the SEL trims come with all of the driver assistance assistance systems (radar cruise control, emergency braking, lane departure warnings, backup radar with cross-traffic alert, etc). It’s a very comprehensive package for the price, and if you equipped any Camry/Accord V6 similarly you’d be right in the same ballpark.

      But then we’re talking about MSRP, and I’ve seen the SE w/Tech V6 listed for around $27k, and presumably you could score an SEL V6 for something in the $33k range. In my opinion that’s tremendous value if you’re looking for a V6 family sedan. I test drove one when I was considering replacing my TDI with another VW. I was absolutely sold on the car, even though I was very much on the fence regarding the brand. As long as you recognize that it’s a powerful family sedan rather than a European sport sedan then it’s an outstanding option.

      In the end I went with a different brand. Having been burned on the TDI scandal and then having to go through the cluster that was the buyback approval process, I decided to vote with my dollars. Sometimes I still regret it.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        What did you purchase instead?

        • 0 avatar
          notwhoithink

          Ford Fusion Titanium. I really like it, but I think that the fit and finish on the VW was still a bit better.

          I thought long and hard about the Sport model, but couldn’t justify paying the premium to get a lot of extra power that I’d almost never be able to make use of.

          • 0 avatar
            PeriSoft

            How long have you had the Fusion? Fusions were on my list before I bought my Sonata, and still were as a replacement, but two different Fusion Titanium rentals have somewhat soured me on them. Lots of little stuff wrong – dim headlights, trim pieces causing wind noise, rattly trunks with huge panel gaps, engine sounding like it was full of cooing pigeons under low-RPM throttle…

            Then again, the poor things may have been horribly abused by 20k miles. I’m curious about what real owners’ experiences are.

          • 0 avatar
            notwhoithink

            @Perisoft:

            We’ve gone too deep for me to reply directly, but I’ve only had mine for about 4000 miles. So far I haven’t had any of the issues that you mentioned, but then mine wasn’t used as a rental. It’s also a 2017 and has the full LED lighting package, which is insanely bright.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Nice car, it goes down the road in a more “Germanic” fashion than the VW and the interior is nice enough to require no apologies. The recent refresh was tasteful and subtle as well and I prefer its styling to the Passat. The only drawback I see is the powertrain, the 2.0T is certainly adequate but the Toyota and Honda V6s are excessively good for the segment. Can’t have it all.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This car is a far better car and better value than my former 02 Passat V6.

    That car’s drive-by-wire was sluggish to the point of being dangerous to merge into traffic, and it had many other issues that turned me off to VW. The last straw was high oil consumption from its 5-valve engine, so I traded it before the 3-year warranty expired.

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    This might sound stupid, but I can think of at least one reason to consider this midsizer of the rest of the pack: interior refinement. Before we settled on a MKVI Sportwagen, my wife exhaustively tested offerings from just about every make out there (yes, even Mazda) and found their interiors spanning from mediocre to downright abysmal. Sure, we know Volkswagens aren’t premium per se, but they feel like it. When you sit in that vehicle with full-cloth pillar covers, soft dash pad, V-TEX padded arm rests and all the little thoughtful touches, it makes you feel like you really got a deal.

    The next runner up was the current Honda Accord. We really wanted to like it as it had plenty of space, was economical and was certainly a good value in its own right, but the interior quality and suspension left us cold. We did our research and bought what has been a reliable Volkswagen so far and really can’t complain. Timothy is right, though, each maker has their guaranteed slice of the pie and Volkswagen has an uphill battle. They tend to attract outliers like me and my wife who are willing to take a chance on something that feels different.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      ” my wife exhaustively tested offerings from just about every make out there (yes, even Mazda) and found their interiors spanning from mediocre to downright abysmal. ”

      I don’t know if you looked at the current Mazda6, but the interior there leaves absolutely nothing to complain about. I think it’s as good as anything I’ve driven, and better than most. That NVH, on the other hand…

      • 0 avatar
        GermanReliabilityMyth

        We definitely liked Mazda’s offerings (I am/was particularly fond of the 3 hatch) in terms of styling, fuel economy and driving dynamics. The main problem was that the styling made babying hard, what with the sloping rear roof and smaller points of entry. She’s 5′ 11″ and I’m 6′ 3″ and found Volkwagen’s more square portals easier for ingress and egress. The other main complaint my wife had with the Mazdas we tested were the road and wind noise, which is a deal-killer for her.

        Probably just as well. Our Mazda dealer in town was attached to one of two Ford lots and you could tell they didn’t care about the product at all. Luckily we passed, because they folded that part of their dealership group about 6 months later.

  • avatar
    Dan

    The up engine has always made a cheap family car more pleasant but now that CAFE compliance has relegated them to the profit padding trims and a $3,000 upcharge beside they no longer make any sense. Who wants a $30,000 Passat?

    There are 13,000 new Passats on cars.com nationwide and only 100 of them have the V6, so even in this suckers’ market the answer is nobody.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Great point about the V6.

      As for the price, I think the average transaction price for a car is about $33k, so $30k doesn’t seem out of line for a Passat. People spend that on a Camry without hesitation.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      You have to wonder why they even bother or how it could be profitable (even at $3k upcharge) to offer the V6 when the costs are spread over so few units?

      VW seems to do this with other cars as well – on paper they offer an AWD CC but if you look for real world inventory they are as rare as hen’s teeth.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      “Who wants a $30,000 Passat?”

      That $30k is MSRP, actual transaction prices are several thousand dollars lower. I’m seeing the MSRP $36k SEL V6 that I test drove is being advertised at $30,681. I’m seeing several SE V6 w/Tech models being offered under $28k. Do you know of any other V6-powered midsize sedans that have all of the high tech driver assistance packages that you could get for under $28k without negotiating?

      Granted, you might find that the 1.8T model is more appealing if you can shave $2k off of the price in a similar trim. But you’ll always pay more for a V6.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    That interior is gorgeous!

    I don’t know that I could live with the vague steering though, even after patronage of an online coilover vendor. This is a big girl.

    Truthfully, “compacts” have grown to the point where they could probably get away with V6s. This motor (and interior color combo) in a Jetta sounds way more interesting.

    In the broader sense though, the Passat is completely without identity and deserves to continue to lose. The Atlas or whatever it’s called will be the nail in its coffin. Passat has always had a tough time after the end of the transformative B5.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      “This motor (and interior color combo) in a Jetta sounds way more interesting.”

      And since it’s actually a VR6 design it might well fit.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The 2.8-liter VR6 in my Mk3 Jetta, even with fresh motor mounts, always felt like it was going to shoot forth from the engine bay. It was way over-motored.

        Of course, it was also smaller than the current Jetta, which now borders on mid-sized in its own right. But when the MK.6 Jetta’s volume engine has shrank in size from 2.5-liters to 1.4-liters—and when no one *but* Volkswagen was making V6 compacts in any sizable quantity—don’t expect a V6 Jetta, well, ever again…

  • avatar
    syncro87

    Test drove a Passat, but it had a weird steering wheel/column to driver’s seat feel. Wheel felt like it was off center too much in relationship to the driver.

    • 0 avatar
      tylanner

      As astounding as this accusation is for a production car…I can attest that this is in fact the case.

      I drive a VW everyday and my 2016 Passat rental felt askew…and not by a little bit.

      I had to cuddle up next to the middle console just to get centered. Very odd and really mind boggling to me…I am with you, could never consider one based on this odd alignment alone.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      It actually *is* off-center, and much more in-ward than the seat. I suspect that’s because the Passat is on a modified PQ35 (Mk.5 / Mk.6) Golf platform, and so while they did widen the structure for use in the Passat, they probably did it at the edges, rather than in the center. So the steering wheel remains in the same place as on the Golf, relative to the car’s center line, with more space to the left of the wheel than in the Golf.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        you can move the steering wheel without altering the architecture. there are one or two Cardan joints in the steering shaft. The location of the steering column is down to the design of the instrument panel.

  • avatar
    MPAVictoria

    I still think this generation of Passat is one of the handsomest cars in its class. That said it just doesn’t make sense at this price point.

    /One with the base 1.8 Turbo would be on my shopping list if I were looking for a car now.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    Sales did improve when the Passat was “Americanized.” However, they have now fallen lower than they were circa 2000 when the Passat was viewed as a poor man’s Audi. Now they are going to market as a rich man’s Camry and maybe not even that. I understand the desire that automakers have to go for the heart of the market but sometimes there’s value in staying just outside the mainstream. When you’re offering pretty much the same thing as Honda, Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, etc. you’re going to be in fierce competition and face some pricing pressure as well. If you offer something a little less mainstream, you might have a segment of the market all to yourself.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Denver

      The problem for VW is (as the #1 mfr in the world) that they see themselves as a volume mfr and not a niche player so they were aiming for a car that would be directly competitive with the Malibu and the Camry. If you are Subaru then selling 6,000 Legacies/month is a fine little niche but for VW that is used to being #1 in their market it sucks.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I’d opt for the 1.8T and the R-line trim, personally…at $35,000 this isn’t much of a buy.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      “at $35,000 this isn’t much of a buy.”

      How about at $30k?

      • 0 avatar
        Der_Kommissar

        I think the V6 SE/W tech around 28k is a pretty good price point. Assuming you can find any, since VW inventory is determined by chipmunks throwing dice.

        • 0 avatar
          notwhoithink

          Agree about the inventory issues, and that was one of my complaints to the dealer when I test drove the SEL V6. Incidentally, they have the SEL V6 that I tested listed for something like $30.5k right now, and I’ve seen a few of the V6 SE w/Tech for under $38k.

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      There are plenty of 1.8 SE’s that sticker for around $27k advertised for $22k and change in my area; these seem like a much better value than the V6.

      • 0 avatar
        notwhoithink

        Unless you want the power of the V6, you’re right. The SEL V6 MSRPs at around $36k, and the SEL 1.8T MSRPs about $8k below that. The SE w/Tech even lower, and when you actually talk transaction prices everything is even lower. There is tremendous value in the Passat line right now, but if V6 power is a requirement then it is what it is.

  • avatar
    Jack Denver

    1. I want the $2 Canadian base version – what a deal!

    2. When you take a $23K sedan and option it up to $34K, it still looks and feels like a $23K sedan with a bigger engine and nicer seats. If you are going to lay out $34K for a sedan, wouldn’t you be better off starting with something more premium – say a base model Genesis G80?

    3. Most midsize non-luxury sedans have sort of a vague generic identity but the Passat is particularly rootless. What is it? Is it particularly cheap? Particularly reliable? Sporty? AWD? Appealing to buyers with bad credit? A rental fleet queen? None of the above. It’s sort of lost in the middle of the Atlantic, neither here nor there, appealing to no one in particular.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I know the V6 Camry and Accord are more rational and intelligent buys in a market segment that really should be entered only when you need something rational and intelligent, but that black Passat with delightful two-tone interior is classy and elegant in a way that the overdone Camry and chrome-bangled Accord simply are not. I don’t care about infotainment, so the VW interior blows both of them away. The chassis may quiver a bit more, and it may not turn in as sharply as the Honda and Toyota, but this is couched within the confines of FWD family sedan. None of them will handle like a 3 series.

    This Passat is far more appealing than the two best sellers, but I just don’t know if I could deal with the additional depreciation and likely reliability issues in such a practical segment.

    • 0 avatar
      nels0300

      Pretty much how I feel as well about all VWs.

      I love the GTI, GLI, and that Passat is sharp.

      I could deal with the depreciation, but I’m a worry-wart and perfectionist, so VWs are a no-go.

      It’s really frustrating, because I’ve wanted a VW since the MKIV Jetta and Golf.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        It’s a no win, isn’t it? Keep the VW long enough to minimize the resale gap and you run into potential long-term reliability issues. Sell it at 5 years to avoid reliability and resale will get you. Lease every 3 to avoid both and you’ve chosen a fairly expensive way to drive a mainstream car unless you really got a good deal. Which you won’t on this loaded V6 Passat that seems to exist only in the press fleet.

        I will say that I was willing to risk it for a GTI with an anticipated 7-year ownership period, even without the bonkers post-diesel scandal discounts. It’s that good and my 2010 VW went 7 years without issue. Only a complete shift in the class of vehicle we needed prevented me from doing so.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I have had a 328i Comfort rental and several Accord LX loaners over the last couple of weeks. Within those trims I’d say the Accord is a match. Its low speed damping and bushing stiffness in particular is a better match…. maneuvers that pleasantly surprised me in the Accord prompted alarm and disappointment in the 328i. So much uncontrolled movement….

      Given VW’s vague steering I’d probably give the nod to an Accord Sport over the TSI R-Line too. Especially considering the Accord is available with a manual transmission while the sporty Passat isn’t. Plus while that 1.8 TSI is pretty godly the Accord’s 2.4L gets the job done too.

      As I said up above though that 2 tone interior is gorgeous. Jogging my brain quickly, probably the best in class. If I were looking for a car completely free of any dynamic requirements I’d definitely give this a long look.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I’m a broken record at this point:

    I’d argue the 1.8TSI SE w/Tech package is the real win value-wise (street price of about $20-23k depending on incentives). 1.8T motor is fantastic in terms of response, smoothness, and particularly fuel economy (in stark contrast to the Fusion’s 1.6EB). Interior feels like something out of an entry level luxury car IMO, especially with the adaptive cruise, heated leatherette seats, and some other neat interior touches and overall design. I can’t recall another midsizer that feels quite as “special” and loaded up for the price.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      “(in stark contrast to the Fusion’s 1.6EB)”

      The Fusion doesn’t offer a 1.6EB. Either it’s 1.5EB, 2.0EB, 2.7EB or 2.5L Duratec. Anyone who opts for the 1.5EB needs their head checked, as it performs more or less identically to the 2.5L while adding complexity and reducing fuel economy. The 2.0EB is a pretty reasonable option, though fuel economy is worse than Ford’s old Duratec V6s. Then of course there’s the 2.7L EB in the Sport. But if you’re considering that one then it’s a whole different ball of wax.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Smart money would pass up all of the flavors of four cylindered disappointment that Ford offers and move up to the Lincoln edition instead.

        https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/691288628/overview/

        • 0 avatar
          notwhoithink

          Yes, a used or CPO MKZ with the 3.7L can definitely be had for less than a new Fusion. I just couldn’t get past the touch-sensitive interior controls for audio and climate. If I could have found a CPO 2017 MKZ in a V6 config for $30k or less I would have been all over it. But this was several months ago, and they were thin on the ground.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I’m comparing specifically to a 1.6EB rental that I had.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        The current Fusion is a really nice car in search of better engine choices and a crash diet. Yes the 2.7EB is a screamer but at over 4,000 LBS with required AWD it’s a porker and a thirsty one. The base 2.5 leaves me cold with too much noise, not enough power and mediocre mileage. One 2014 Rental SE 2.5 got the exact same mileage as my 300 HP W-body V6 Impala or 20-21 around town and 31-32 on the open road. It did have the appearance package with the larger 18″ tires which may have hurt mileage a little but was a nice enough car otherwise.

        Have not driven either the 1.5 or 1.6EB motors but from what others have said it’s not much better on any count than the base 2.5 and certainly not worth the $900.00 Ford charges for it. The 2.0T feels noticeably quicker and is more refined but is V6 thirsty and the cost to get into one goes up quite a bit.

        Ford needs to find a way to take some weight out and make one new basic 4 cylinder engine in the 185-190 range to replace both the 2.5 and 1.5T with less NVH and better MPG.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Yup. Local dealer has one marked down to $21K. Sticker is $28K. That more than pays for the delta in resale value at 5 years vs. an Accord. I’d probably go for it, but wouldn’t without incentives that bring TCO close to the Accord. And right there is VW’s problem.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    “lifeless steering on center”

    I’ve driven two MuricaPassats, both pre-refresh rental-spec S units with the old 2.5, and both of them had some of the deadest steering I’ve ever experienced. It was bad enough to ruin the rest of the car for me.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The Passat has never been an appealing car to me. Even when I go to the big car shows and I visit the VW area, I go straight to the Golf and the wagon (when they have one.) The Golf has always been marginally appealing, especially when it was a so-called 3-door, but the Passat has been nothing but a staid, boring, “Hi, I’m a manager” car.

    For the moment, VW has nothing in the US that is truly appealing to me or my wife, though the Golf Sportwagon had our attention last fall. We bought a Jeep Renegade instead.

  • avatar
    SPPPP

    The photographs look pretty good considering the lighting. The exposure is obviously blasted in the snowy areas, but it’s not surprising.

    I am curious – are these cameraphone pics? IPhone or Samsung Galaxy?

    If you can shoot in RAW format, you might be able to compensate the exposure somewhat.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Yowch, the V6 adds about 300 pounds to the Passat. I wonder how much better it behaves without the extra tonnage over the front wheels?

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