2015 Volk­swa­gen Pas­sat

The Washington Post Sunday - - COVER -

Bot­tom line: The Volk­swa­gen Pas­sat, diesel or ga­so­line, is a car to con­sider se­ri­ously when shop­ping for a mid­size fam­ily sedan. It ef­fec­tively hits all of the marks — safety, com­fort, fit-and-fin­ish qual­ity, util­ity and fuel ef­fi­ciency. Ride, ac­cel­er­a­tion and

han­dling: It gets good marks in all three. The car is high­way-com­pe­tent. It has guts climb­ing moun­tain roads.

Head-turn­ing quo­tient: It se­ri­ously re­minds me of a con­vent or priest’s rec­tory. That is not nec­es­sar­ily a bad thing.

Body style/lay­out: The Volk­swa­gen Pas­sat is a fron­tengine, front- wheel- drive, mid­size fam­ily car with four side doors and a tra­di­tional notch­back trunk. There are five ga­so­line mod­els — S, Wolfs­burg, Lim­ited Edi­tion. SE and SEL Pre­mium. There are two diesel mod­els — SE and SEL Pre­mium.

En­gine/trans­mis­sion: The 2015 VW Pas­sat TDI SEL Pre­mium comes stan­dard with a 2- liter, in­line four- cylin­der, 16valve, di­rect- in­jec­tion, com­mon­rail diesel en­gine de­liv­er­ing a max­i­mum 150 horse­power and 236 pound- feet of torque. The en­gine is mated to a six- speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion that also can be shifted man­u­ally.

Ca­pac­i­ties: Seat­ing is for five peo­ple. Trunk cargo ca­pac­ity is 15.9 cu­bic feet. The fuel tank holds 18.5 gal­lons of re­quired ul­tra- low sul­fur diesel ( 15 parts sul­fur per mil­lion) now avail­able at many U. S. fu­el­ing sta­tions.

Mileage: I av­er­aged 42 miles per gallon in high­way driv­ing.

Safety: Stan­dard equip­ment in­cludes four- wheel disc brakes ( ven­ti­lated front/ solid rear); four­wheel an­tilock brake pro­tec­tion; elec­tronic trac­tion and sta­bil­ity con­trol; post- col­li­sion safety sys­tem; side-mounted and head air bags; and day­time run­ning lights.

Pric­ing: The 2015 Pas­sat TDI SEL Pre­mium sedan with on­board nav­i­ga­tion starts at $ 33,925 with a dealer’s in­voice price of $ 32,534. Price as tested is $ 36,155 in­clud­ing $ 1,410 in op­tions ( mostly cos­metic trim such as spe­cial 18- inch di­am­e­ter wheels) and an $ 820 fac­tory-to-dealer ship­ment charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $34,509.

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