Introduced for 2012, Volkswagen's midsized sedan was redesigned and optimized for the American market. In other words, it grew larger than most of its competitors, lost some of that crisp European driving feel and became less expensive. Since then, continual changes have tweaked and honed the Passat.
Alerts
There are 7 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
NA
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard; available in rear side from 2006. Head protection air bags standard from 2001. ESC available from 2002, standard from 2006.
Road Test

Introduced for 2012, Volkswagen's midsized sedan was redesigned and optimized for the American market. In other words, it grew larger than most of its competitors, lost some of that crisp European driving feel and became less expensive.

Since then, continual changes have tweaked and honed the Passat. For 2014, VW replaced the unrefined and thirsty five-cylinder engine with a smooth and responsive 170-hp, 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. This new engine provides readily available power and achieves 28 mpg overall -- very commendable for such a large sedan. The six-speed automatic transmission works well enough, but isn't quite as refined as the better ones in this category. Buyers willing to sacrifice fuel economy for speed can go for the 3.6-liter V6. Acceleration is swift and it got 23 mpg in our tests.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Sequential
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 1.8-liter 4 turbo (170 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbodiesel (150 hp)
  • 3.6-liter V6 (280 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 Volkswagen Passat owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"The back up camera failed to work all the time and the Service Department indicated that they replaced the computer"

Anonymous, NV (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Screen for backup system was very dark - had to get the backup camera replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The RNS 510 takes 15 seconds to turn on the backup camera after starting the car. This is my 5th car with a camera and not 1 has taken more than a few seconds...AT MOST! VW said the 15-20 seconds is withing their engineering specs and won't fix it"

Kirk P., WA (2015 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The system, which includes the radio and rearview camera are very delayed and take long periods of time before becoming active. After igniting the engine and changing gears to reverse, I am able to reverse out of my garage and driveway and drive do"

Anonymous, TX (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"When trying to activate Bluetooth it does not always respond and the screen freezes up"

Steven R., IL (2015 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Freezing and slow response are normal for the horrible "upgraded" infotainment system known as the RNS510"

Kirk P., WA (2015 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Gps froze up. Mechanic self test indicated a failure. System replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, OK (2015 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The nav system is very slow to start; has given us routes which put us into a repeating loop; has given us routes which repeatedly sent us in the wrong direction, especially in the Los Angeles area. (Am using an after-market Garmin when in LA)"

Dorothy G., CA (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The system is not smart enough to recognize alternate routes and sometimes gives erroneous directions. Not as smart as the TomTom GPS"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"About 1 in 20 times the Bluetooth does not connect. ((% It connects if I turn off the engine and restart the car. Even though have this minor problem my VW Bluetooth works 100% better than my wife's Cadillac, SRX Bluetooth"

Ed L., NY (2015 Volkswagen Passat SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Speakers

"Front left speaker rattles with bass tones. Needs replacement, defective since purchase of vehicle"

Anonymous, MD (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The sound from satellite radio and from bluetooth phone music is odd"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Display screen difficult to see

"Back up screen was dark when used with the back up camera"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Display screen goes blank

"Sometimes we put the car in reverse and the screen that should show the backup camera just stays blank"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Steering wheel controls

"Bluetooth does not always recognize voice commands"

Steven R., IL (2015 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Voice control commands

"Voice recognition is very unreliable and at times simply does not work"

Anonymous, TX (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"The voice dial functionality stops working apropo of nothing and doesnt"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen Passat SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Recall for False reporting of emission standards"

Anonymous, AZ (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Problem with fraudulent reporting of emission control as per class action suits"

Anonymous, ON (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"It's a TDI. Currently have completed phase one of the "repair" option for the recall"

Anonymous, AZ (2015 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Engine light came on. Two problems were identified. One was a problem with the Ad Blue line which had to be replaced"

Anonymous, ON (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Fuel gauge/sender

"Took me awhile to note that the gas guage. Has never registered full"

Anonymous, FL (2015 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Fuel gauge sending unit had to be replaced"

Anonymous, AZ (2015 Volkswagen Passat SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)
Fuel pump

"Fuel pump failed and had to be replaced"

Anonymous, ID (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Wind noise

"at 65+ mph drivers window,"

Jimmy M., TX (2015 Volkswagen Passat Wolfsburg Edition 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Wind noise was not terrible but noticeable under certain windy days or some highway speeds. Mentioned to the dealer on oil change visit and they changed the seal under warranty. Very satisfied with the repair and reduction of wind noise"

Anonymous, OH (2015 Volkswagen Passat S 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"too much wind and road noise when driving without radio playing. true at any speed over 30 mph. Also stering wheel is not centered for the driver...it sits at an angle but I am getting used to it"

Anonymous, FL (2015 Volkswagen Passat Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Squeaks or rattles

"Within 30 days of getting my car it developed a rattle from dash area. It took two trips to the dealership to get resolved. They put insulation around the passenger side dash speaker"

Sean H., CO (2015 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"The bolt attaching the door to the body came loose creating a lot of noise and would have eventually caused bigger problems. Volkswagan Service -----needed to set up appointment......Local service station fixed in minutes with the right allen wrench"

Terry B., NJ (2015 Volkswagen Passat Unsure 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"passenger door hard to open, due to a broken piston inside the door panel"

William C., MA (2015 Volkswagen Passat Wolfsburg Edition 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Windows

"Front passager side window developed a rattle and did not function correctly"

Anonymous, PA (2015 Volkswagen Passat SEL 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Turbo or supercharger

"Solenoid for the waste-gate went bad causing the Turbo to fail to operate correctly"

Anonymous, NV (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

"Car experienced a serious acceleration lag or hesitation which was between 1-2 seconds. Software was update at VW. This fixed about 95% of the problem but it still shows up randomly once in a while which is very disconcerting as you enter traffic. O"

Ricardo R., FL (2015 Volkswagen Passat SE 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"Upon new car delivery - alignment was off"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Tire pressure monitor

"temperature sensitive & does not show slow leak"

Jimmy M., TX (2015 Volkswagen Passat Wolfsburg Edition 1.8-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Gear selector or linkage

"Difficult to engage first gear after stopping"

Anonymous, NY (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Blower (fan) motor

"Blowing hot and cold at same time. Then worked okay. Then engine light came on. Work order seems to say both coolant fan control module and fan replaced"

Anonymous, ON (2015 Volkswagen Passat TDI 2.0-L 4 Cyl diesel)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

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