2022 Volkswagen Passat

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2022 Volkswagen Passat Review: Sensibility's Last Hurrah

The Volkswagen Passat is approaching the end of its life in the USA and the 2022 model year will be its final one. Once a nearly premium vehicle in VW's offering, over the last decade, the Passat has been re-packaged and demoted to being one of the also-ran midsize sedans. Unlike Europe, which received an all-new Volkswagen Passat, the US has had its own variation based on the older generation Passat models that have been around since 2012. Fast forward into 2022 and the Passat, with its 174-horsepower, 206-lb-ft 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, spacious interior, and cavernous boot, finds itself among some stiff competition. While VW has been focused on product rationalization with the Passat to maintain a reasonable price, the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, and Mazda 6 have all been overhauled and refreshed to appeal to the hearts of buyers who refuse to cave in to the SUV convention. Against more contemporary rivals, does the 2022 VW Passat still hold up as a value-for-money vehicle of near-luxury status?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2022 Volkswagen Passat Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 Volkswagen Passat?

For 2022, the biggest news is the discontinuation of last year's base S trim and the introduction of a new Limited Edition flagship to mark the Passat's last year on the US market. Only 1973 of these cars will be built - commemorating the year in which the first Passat arrived in the US. Of these cars, 423 units will be finished in a model-specific exclusive new color, Racing Green metallic. The Limited Edition will feature a high equipment level, highlights of which include bespoke two-tone machined 18-inch V-Red alloy wheels, unique exterior styling features, leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a Fender audio system, and standard navigation. It also has references to the Chattanooga plant where Volkswagen USA has been building the Passat for the last decade, such as Limited Edition Chattanooga tags on the seats.

Pros and Cons

  • Turbo engine's torque delivery
  • Spacious interior
  • Good standard safety technology
  • Standard maintenance plan
  • Improved convenience features in R-Line trim
  • Reasonable pricing
  • Standard conveniences are a letdown
  • Only one engine and transmission option
  • Poor gas mileage
  • Dated styling, inside and out

What's the Price of the 2022 Volkswagen Passat?

Volkswagen's aim with the Passat is to keep costs down, and its base price is on par with that of the Toyota Camry. The entry-level SE trim starts at an MSRP of $27,295 and the R-Line will ask $29,295 from your coffers. The new Limited Edition costs $30,295 The price of the Volkswagen Passat excludes tax, registration, licensing, and VW's $995 destination charge.

Best Deals on 2022 Volkswagen Passat

2022 Volkswagen Passat Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Limited Edition
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Volkswagen Passat Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Most reviews of the VW Passat confirm a smooth ride that absorbs all but some road irregularities. Considering the relaxed cruising nature of the car's mechanicals, the ride is firmer and allows bumps to intrude into the cabin when driving at slower speeds. However, the firmness does afford the Passat greater composure than you would expect when negotiating a few bends. The brakes are sensitive and give strong stopping power from cruising speeds.

The absence of steering feedback to the driver will be acceptable to those who would enjoy the Passat's relaxed nature; this is quite on par with the steering feedback offered by competitors too. The steering is light and quick, making it easy to maneuver the Passat into tight spaces and for parking duty.

Verdict: Is the 2022 Volkswagen Passat A Good car?

While it may be perceived as a strong value-for-money offering and one that supports US workers by virtue of its local assembly, its appeal will be limited to those who appreciate the steady-cruising capability, somber interior, big back seat, and spacious trunk. However, there is real value to be had from the Passat's competitors. It may be reliable and spacious, but at its heart, the Passat is old, and its failings are those of an old car. It lacks the refinement, quality materials, and advanced technology of contemporary rivals, and the older platform has various ergonomic flaws that rivals don't fall victim to. It might drive pleasingly well, but it isn't exciting, nor does it thrive at being a mere commuter-mobile, making it hard to truly recommend. If, after a test drive of a more contemporary rival and an objective comparison, your heart is still set on the VW, keep in mind that sales will end with this 2022 model, so 2021 is not the best time to buy one. If you can hold off pulling the trigger a little, you may get a good deal in terms of price, just don't expect a near-luxury experience.

What VW Passat Model Should I Buy?

If the Passat is a candidate for your garage, then it is likely that value is a big factor in your decision-making process. We recommend the SE; this trim has V-Tex leatherette upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and front-seat heating, along with dual-zone climate control, a power tilting/sliding sunroof, and four USB ports. The driver gets keyless access with push-button start and remote start, and lane-keep assist is added on the safety front. If you've got to spend money on a Passat, it doesn't seem worth the extra $2k for the R-Line when the main upgrades are to how it looks, and the quality of the sound system. However, if you want to own a piece of Passat history and you can still get your hands on the Limited Edition, we'd take it in its unique Racing Green.

2022 Volkswagen Passat Comparisons

Honda Accord Honda
Toyota Camry Toyota

2022 Volkswagen Passat vs Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is considered the top pick of the midsize sedans - it's a well-packaged machine, offering a large rear seat and trunk competing with that of the Passat. However, Honda takes it several steps further by giving the driver a vehicle talented in the handling department, with impressive efficiency from smaller turbo engines and a hybrid, and thoughtful comfort and convenience technologies to boot. The base-price LX models have an eight-inch touchscreen integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights, push-button start, and dual-zone automatic air conditioning. Sport configurations in the Accord range have 12-way power adjustment for the driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, keyless entry, and eight-speaker audio systems. Top-end Touring trims add a head-up display, which isn't available to the Passat at all. In IIHS safety testing, the 2021 Accord earned a Top Safety Pick+ award, and 2022 NHTSA reviews were equally positive. Entry-level pricing starts at around $2,300 cheaper than the Passat, but with the luxurious Touring trim topping out over $36k, this is money well spent. We'll take the Honda.

See Honda Accord Review

2022 Volkswagen Passat vs Toyota Camry

The Camry has a history of being the best-selling passenger car in America, and with an affordable price tag, comfy interior, loads of safety tech, and even AWD for adverse weather, it offers a lot over and above the Passat. But, like the Passat, the quality of the Camry's cabin materials is not premium, however, occupants will enjoy the more engaging design. The floating infotainment display is available in seven inches or nine inches, both larger than the Passat's and with greater functionality, including support for Amazon Alexa. When it comes to drivetrain options, the Toyota's offering includes four- and six-cylinder options, and a hybrid, with fuel economy figures that are far better than what the Passat can manage. And, if you want more power, you can consider the 3.5-liter V6 with 301 hp, which is available to the top configurations in the Camry lineup. With pricing not that far off what the Passat asks, it's a no-brainer here - pass up on the VW this time round.

See Toyota Camry Review
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