The VW Passat is one of the most successful family sedans ever as it was first introduced way back in the early 1970s, but its future is as uncertain as it ever was. According to VW, the new Passat sedan is not going to make the market in 2024 as its place is now going to be occupied by the comparably more stylish VW Arteon.
The VW Passat estate is going to continue production, but VW decided that SUVs, EVs, and crossovers are much more important to the company than keeping the Passat sedan alive. Either way, in its 5 decade-long histories, there have been many surprising facts about VW Passat, and we are going to tell you the most surprising ones.
It’s The Most Successful Mid-size Car in History
With more than 30 million VW Passats sold, the Passat is the most successful mid-size car ever, and one of the most successful cars in general. The reason why the Passat has such an amazing history is that it truly is one of the best sedans you can think of. For starters, it does not cost as much as its more premium Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, or Mercedes E-Class competitors.
Secondly, it offers more space and more overall practicality than either of these while also being a lot more affordable to live with. It gets all the technology you’d ever want, it’s immensely safe, comfortable, and easy to drive. It really is a full package by any means, it’s a bit sad that it is going away, but the Passat could make a comeback eventually.
Standard Equipment is Good Throughout the Range
Another fairly surprising thing about the VW Passat is that it comes with a surprising amount of standard equipment in the NA market, so much so that it beats its more premium German trio in many regards. For starters, all Passat models come with LED headlights, dual-zone climate controls with rear-seat vents, forward collision warning and front assist on all models.
This is not something you can get with its more expensive and premium Audi A6. Also, the larger infotainment system in the new VW Passat is standard in all VW Passat models which further makes it incredibly competitive for its price.
The Diesel 2.0L BiTDI Engine Is a Marvel
This one is for our European readers only as the 2.0L BiTDI isn’t available in NA. This is one of, if not the most impressive 2.0L 4-cylinder diesel engines to ever come out as it offers 240hp and almost 400lb-ft of torque. This is an immense number for a small 2.0L diesel engine and this engine is more powerful than any of the 4-cylinder diesel engines you’d find in any BMW, Audi, or Mercedes from this era.
This enables the Passat to reach 60mph from a standstill in little over 6 seconds while also returning an equally impressive 50MPG UK. This means that a 240hp, AWD, dual-clutch 2.0L BiTDI Passat with a full 66L 14.5-gallon tank can last for more than 710 miles before needing to refuel.
The Steering Wheel is Offset
Another fact you probably never heard of is that the NA VW Passat has an almost 1-inch offset wheel to the right which is because the B8 Passat is heavily based on the B7 which is a comparably narrower car. Even though a 1-inch does not make a massive difference, it is noticeable once you are aware of it.
Unless you don’t know about this, you are never likely to nice it. So, if you own a Passat, you are probably not going to be able to unsee it from now on.
The Passat R36
Back in the late 2000s, Volkswagen came out with the Passat R36 which was a special performance edition of the Passat with was also the last time the R36 Passat came to be. It features a 3.6L V6 engine that offers 300hp, a VW 4MOTION AWD system, and is capable of reaching 60mph from a standstill in just 5 seconds.
As a spot of context, the 2008 BMW M5 needed a second less to reach 60mph from a standstill which isn’t too big of a time difference considering that the BMW has more than 500hp and a massive naturally aspirated V10 engine. The V10-powered 2008 Audi A6 with a Lamborghini-derived engine needed almost half a second more to reach 60mph compared to the R36.
What is Good About the Volkswagen Passat?
There are many good things about the VW Passat, so much so that it is difficult to cram so many benefits into a single article. For starters, the Passat is one of the best-priced mid-size sedans out there as it bridges the much-needed gap between normal economy sedans and more premium German sedans while also leaning more toward the premium end of the market.
Secondly, the VW Passat is known to be cheap to run, very economical, and immensely spacious which makes it a perfect family car. It is really difficult to buy a better family sedan than the Passat if you don’t have an unlimited budget. Lastly, the VW Passat’s design has always been on track with time and its infotainment system is in many ways more advanced than the one you’d find in an A6 from before 2019.
What is Bad About the Volkswagen Passat?
Many people believe that the VW Passat is so clinical, so good, that it becomes boring, and I tend to agree. The Passat is more of a tool than it is an impressive piece of machinery that plays on your heartstrings. It does everything so well that it does not leave you needing to think about anything. On the other hand, the BMW 5-Series for example has many flaws, but many of those flaws add character.
The Passat doesn’t get any special engines anymore either, all of them are quiet, sophisticated, and efficient, but also rather lifeless and boring. Lastly, the VW Passat just gives you sensible midlife male vibes, as if it’s a car that does not how to wear anything besides a checkered shirt. It’s so bland that only the most highly equipped R-Line models can attract some attention from VW enthusiasts only.