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2014 Volkswagen Passat Preview

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Pros: Despite being more American than ever (it's built in the U.S., too), the 2014 Volkswagen Passat remains one of the most compelling midsize sedans on the market. It's longer, wider, and roomier not only for passengers but also their luggage. The dashboard is very clean and ergonomic. What's more, Volkswagen offers a nice selection of engines including a fuel-efficient turbodiesel.

Cons: Sure, the Passat is larger, but it's also cheaper. With a lower base price comes a significant amount of plastic inside. However, designers managed to tie it all together in a refined way, so interior fit and finish looks and feels more upscale than the Jetta's. Some reliability issues remain.

Volkswagen Passat

2014 Volkswagen Passat Price: There are six trim levels to choose from this year, ranging from the base Passat Trendline at $23,975 all the way to the top-of-the-line Passat Highline TDI at $33,475.

2014 Volkswagen Passat Fuel Economy: The 5-cylinder engine burns 10.1L and 6.5L/100km (city/highway) with the manual transmission and 9.6/6.7L/100km with the automatic. When choosing the 4-cylinder TDI, these numbers drop to 6.8/4.4L/100km and 6.9/4.9L/100km, respectively. As for the V6, expect 10.9/7.4L/100km.

Improvements and Changes: Not much beyond a new back-up camera and navigation system for Highline models. All-wheel drive is no longer available.

2014 Volkswagen Passat Powertrain: The German automaker offers 3 different engines with the 2014 Passat. The base 2.5L inline 5-cylinder produces 170 horsepower through a 5-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic with manual mode. Next is a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbodiesel unit whose modest 140 horsepower are backed by 236 lb-ft of torque. Finally, the 3.6L V6 engine generates up to 280 horsepower by way of a 6-speed direct-shift gearbox (DSG).

2014 Volkswagen Passat
Photo: Volkswagen

Cargo Capacity: The Passat's trunk can hold up to 430 litres of cargo. Folding the rear seats obviously increases that number.

Safety: ABS, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution, stability control, and traction control all come standard. In the event of a collision, the Intelligent Crash Response System and 6 airbags will protect Passat occupants.

Comparing the 2014 Volkswagen Passat: Interested in buying an entry-level midsize sedan like the Passat? Plenty of alternatives exist out there including the Chevrolet Malibu, Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda6, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Suzuki Kizashi, and Toyota Camry.