Test Drive Reviews Volkswagen 

2017 Volkswagen Passat SEL Premium Test Drive Review

When new car shoppers think of a mid-size sedan segment cars like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Mazda6, Nissan Altima, or the Ford Fusion come to mind. However, there is one sedan that is often overlooked – the 2017 Volkswagen Passat. Built right here in the Untied States in Chattanooga Tennessee, the Volkswagen Passat leads the pack with its limo-like rear seat and its smooth ride quality.

While most of the vehicles in this segment do offer quite a long list of features and quality components, the Volkswagen Passat stands out from the crowd with simplicity, a spacious cabin, and comfort. Let’s take a closer look at the 2017 Volkswagen Passat.


The 2017 Volkswagen Passat gets a range of style upgrades that were introduced in the 2016 model year. Significant upgrades include stylish new headlamps, fully chrome four-bar grille, a reworked sculpted hood, and standard chrome window surrounds and trims on the doors. The rear end gets upgraded tail lamps, a chrome strip on the trunk, and a reshaped bumper and trunk.

The 2017 Volkswagen Passat sits on a wheelbase that measures 110 inches with an overall length of 191.9 inches. The overall width comes in at 72.2 inches and the height stands at 58.5 inches.

Style-wise, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is pretty sleek and subtle when compared to competitors. The R-Line package adds a bunch of upgrades that will allow you to go for a more aggressive looking model with a sportier front bumper, a modified rear diffuser, and 19-inch wheel.

Unlike other models in this segment, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat offers an optional Easy Open trunk that allows the driver to simply swipe their foot under the rear bumper to open the boot.


Volkswagen has been known for their quality built interiors and the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is no stranger to quality.

As we pointed out earlier, the rear seat of the Volkswagen Passat is one of its major winning points. Due to the long length of 191.9 inches, rear seat leg room comes in at an extremely impressive 39.1 inches. Front leg room comes in at 42.4 inches and trunk volume comes in at a strong 15.9 cubic feet.

Tech-wise, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat comes impressively equipped with standard features. The new MIB II Volkswagen infotainment is standard and can be had with either a 5 or 6.33-inch touch screen display. USB and Bluetooth connectivity are also standard on all 2017 Passat trim levels. The best part about the new infotainment system is that you don’t have to upgrade to navigation as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available standard. Other standard features include a rearview camera system, multi function steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, and autonomous emergency braking. Going up to the SE model will add a sunroof, keyless entry with push-button start, and blind spot monitoring. The 2017 Volkswagen Passat SE with the Technology Package adds navigation, adaptive cruise control, and parking sensors. Going up to the Passat SEL (like our test model) adds a Fender Audio System, lane departure warning, and leather seating.


The 2017 Volkswagen Passat is available with two engine variants including a 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo or a 3.6-liter V6. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbo model makes a total of 170 horsepower or 184 lb-ft of torque.

Our test model, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat SEL, is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine making 280 horsepower with a maximum torque of 258 lb-ft. Mated to a six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, the Passat SEL averages an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20/28 mpg* (city/highway).

Overall, the ride quality of the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is extremely smooth and comfortable. Its long wheelbase allows it to soak up cracks in the roads and pot holes with no problem.


As mentioned throughout our review, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat comes with a long list of safety features including standard rearview camera, Volkswagen’s automatic braking system and more. Depending on the model you pick, driver assist technologies include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, park distance control, parallel park assist, blind spot monitoring, and more.


With that in mind, the 2017 Volkswagen Passat should not be overlooked as a strong option in the mid-size sedan segment. The Passat comes packed with an impressive list of standard features at every trim level, outstanding rear legroom, and very comfortable ride quality. Prices for the 2017 Volkswagen Passat start at $22,440 for the base S model and $33,995 for the top-level SEL Premium model*. If you’re in the market for a mid-size sedan, make sure you visit your local AutoNation dealer for a test drive today.

*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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