If the 2018 Volkswagen Passat looks a little familiar, well, that's not surprising.
This is basically the same car that we've seen since 2012 and now here we are six years later and it's competing with a classful of very heavy hitters.
So, does the Passat prove that with age comes wisdom, or is it just a little bit too long in the tooth to be a player?
Now, that's not to say that there aren't any new goodies in the 2018 Passat, that old 1.8 liter turbo charged engine has been replaced by a two liter turbo charged and there's a new trim at the GT with the sport suspension, but for this review we're focused at the top trim SVL premium with the V6 engine.
Now that V6 puts out 280 horsepower and 258 pound feet of torque and that's made it to a Is six speed and dual clutch automatic transmission.
So let's look at some competition, the Honda Accord can get almost the same numbers, not quite as high but almost out of a two liter turbo that you can get with a ten speed automatic transmission or even in six speed manual if that's your jam, whereas the Toyota Camry, that V6 puts out over 300 horsepower, I mean it's 301 but hey, winning is winning
Of course, it takes more than just raw power to turn my head.
I mean, the Mazda six is my favorite car in this segment and that is way down in power.
But the Passat just doesn't have the handling to put it up to the top of the class.
I mean there's a lot of body roll, the ride is Is really soft, and this steering is just way too light and vague for my liking.
There is a sport mode on the Passat, but all it really does is change up the transmission mapping.
So engage it, and you've got this roly-poly car that is suddenly holding Gears longer, kind of out of nowhere.
It really doesn't do anything to make the car any more fun.
I mean, all told the Passat is not the car for spirity drivers, but not everyone wants to take their family sedan out to the back road on an early Sunday morning.
I don't know why, but a lot of people don't.
What the Passat lacks in driving dynamics, it more that makes up for in comfort and roomy This rear seat is huge.
The front seats are really comfortable and there's a healthy 15.9 cubic feet of space in the trunk.
So maybe the Passat is better suited to those that have to drive long distances.
Well, let's look at the fuel ratings.
This gets an EPA combined rating of 22 miles combined.
If you look at the optional larger engine Engines in the Mazda 6, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord, those are all 26 miles per gallon combined, plus the Accord and the Camry are offered in a hybrid with even more fuel economy so this is just bringing the Passat further and further down the line, this top of the line trim does have all of the driver Things that I would want like blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and autonomous emergency braking.
But I've been a little disappointed by the adaptive cruise control.
It's great to have the Passat lock onto a lead car in stop and go traffic, but this system it disengages under 15 miles an hour.
So in the most stressful traffic situations when I want to use it the most Adaptive Cruise Control doesn't even work.
The 2018 Volkswagen Passat starts at just under $23,000, but this top-of-the-line SEL Premium is about $35,500 after destination.
Now, if you've got your heart dead-set on buying a Volkswagon, I suggest leaving the Passat on the table and taking a look at the Jetta.
Sure, it's a little bit smaller but it's all new for 2018 and it offers great value.
Otherwise, the Passat is just a meddling choice in a very crowded field.