2018 Volkswagen Passat GT Test Drive

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT

This week we are looking at a new entry from VW that is just arriving at dealerships, the 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT.  This flagship Volkswagen is a limited edition model, but we don’t yet know the exact number that will be produced.

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT

The Passat GT looks very sporty with 19” alloy wheels, red brake calipers, a rear spoiler, a black painted roof, and a new honeycomb grill with a red stripe running all around it.

The GT also has a firmer suspension than the other Passat models and with that suspension, the GT sits slightly lower.

Under the hood, we’ve got a 3.6-liter V6 engine that is putting out 280-horses and generates 258-pound feet of torque.  It only comes with a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that you can shift from steering wheel paddles or the shifter in the center console.

As you open the door, you see a nice interior…nothing really special other than two-tone leatherette seats.  Before you ask, leatherette is man-made leather and is actually cheaper, yet more durable, but you don’t get that leather smell.

The seats are comfortable and have slight bolsters on the side to hold you in place in turns.  The gauges are somewhat plain, and the configurable driver info center is black and white, not color like most cars today.

The center screen is pretty small at 6.3” but is simple to operate and responsive to your touch.  The screen operates the sound system, which has HD radio, a CD player, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth, voice recognition, Apple Carplay and Android Auto. 

Below the screen are knobs for the climate-controlled air conditioning system, and that, too, is easy to operate.  The center console houses the shifter, a couple of USB ports, and something I haven’t seen in a while, a manually controlled emergency brake, most today are electronic.

The Passat has a lot of headroom, legroom, and a massive back seat and a very large trunk.

It is important to note that this car does not have a single option, everything comes as standard equipment, and the list is pretty extensive.

You get pushbutton start, keyless entry, heated power driver’s seat, a power moon roof, forward collision warning with brake assist, blind spot monitoring, rear camera, and LED lights. Note:  my tester does not have navigation system.

Performance and Value

The Passat GT has a surprising amount of power and even more surprising, this car’s exhaust sounds great at low speeds, and even better as you head toward the red line of the tachometer.

Handling is fine, the steering could be a little tighter for me, and it does have a smooth ride.  If I have a complaint, it’s that this VW has a little more road noise than I like.

One real plus of this car is the warranty.  New for 2018, all VWs come with a six-year, 72,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, which is terrific.

Fuel economy is pretty good at 19 in town and 28 out on the highway.

VW cut some corners, especially on the interior, but this is a good-looking car, it’s roomy and is certainly priced right with an MSRP of $29,995.

2018 Volkswagen Passat GT

  • What I liked most:  The value and the performance. 
  • What I would change: I think the interior could be nicer.        
  • MSRP: Base price $29,145 as equipped $29,995 with freight.
  • Fuel Economy:  Rated at 19 city/28 highway/22 combined.
  • Official Color: Pure White exterior/Titan Black and Moonroock interior.
  • Odometer reading when tested: 1700 miles.
  • Weight: 3571 pounds.
  • Spare Tire: Compact temporary.
  • Length-Width-Height: 191.9” long/72.2” wide/58” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity:  18.5 gallons with the filler on the passenger side. 
  • Towing Capacity: 1000 pounds.
  • 2018 Passat GT in a few words:  Great looking sedan, very good value.
  • Warranty:  7-year/100,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 3-years of roadside assistance. 
  • Final Assembly Location: Chattanooga, TN.                   
  • Manufacturers website: www.vw.com
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