Review - Volkswagen Passat

By Alexi Falson on 04 Oct 2021
image for Review - Volkswagen Passat If comfort and space are the main priority while you’re shopping around for a new car, it’s time you let the Volkswagen Passat introduce itself. The Passat name has been around for a long time now, giving Volkswagen a chance to fine-tune its recipe, which is a good thing, considering the Passat has some serious competition in the family sedan segment.

It goes up against cars like the Mazda 6, Kia Optima, Toyota Camry and the new Hyundai i30 sedan, as well as some of its European rivals, however prices for those rivals are considerably more than the competition from Korea and Japan. The latest generation Passat is said to add even more interior space, practicality, entertainment and safety features to the mix, so with all these recent additions, is it about time you upgraded to a Passat? 

Let’s find out how it will meet your needs. 

Starting Price: $46,590

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Volkswagen Passat (140TSI BUSINESS) Specifications

Model Date 2021
Series 3C MY21
Transmission 7 SP AUTO DIRECT SHI
Drive FWD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 1984
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 4200 / 1450
Cylinders T4
Torque 320
KW 140
Fuel tank size 66.0
Fuel usage specs 6.4 / 0.0
CO2 147
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Volkswagen Passat car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Volkswagen Passat range kicks off in the form of the entry-level 140TSI, which is priced from $46,590, and steps up to the Passat 162TSI which is priced from $46,990. Moving to the 162TSI Elegance sedan comes with a price tag of $51,790, while the wagon variant is priced at $53,790. Moving to the Passat Alltrack 162TSI Premium brings the price to $58,790, while the Passat range tops-out in the form of the 206TSI R-Line Wagon, which is priced from $63,790. Keep in mind that these prices do not include on-road costs. 

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You? 

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you. 

What Features Does the Volkswagen Passat Have?

The Volkswagen Passat comes in four main variants, which offer more premium and even sporting elements the higher up the trim grades you go. As standard, Volkswagen’s entry-level Passat, the 140TSI comes riding on a set of 18-inch alloys, and receives LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, semi-autonomous parking assistance, cloth upholstery finish, a reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors, three-zone climate control and an 8.0-inch infotainment system packed with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Opting for the 140TSI Business adds a seat of heated, power-adjustable front seats with massaging functions, and a leather finish for the interior. 

Stepping up to the Passat 162TSI Elegance upgrades the infotainment system to a 9.2-inch display, as well as adding a digital driver’s display, Matrix LED headlights, panoramic sunroof, surround-view camera, a powered boot lift, heated and ventilated front seats, Nappa leather upholstery and a premium sound system from Harman Kardon. 

Finally, Volkswagen’s flagship 206TSI R-Line receives a number of sporty touches, including 19-inch alloy wheels, an R-Line exterior styling package with more aggressive bodywork, a rear spoiler, privacy glass and a set of stainless steel pedals for the driver. 

Range Features: 

  • 18-inch alloys 

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 

  • LED headlights 

  • Reversing camera with front and rear sensors 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Leather upholstery (140TSI Business) 

  • Heated seats with massaging function (140TSI Business) 

  • 9.2-inch infotainment system (162TSI Elegance)

  • Digital driver’s display (162TSI Elegance)

  • Matrix LED headlights (162TSI Elegance)

  • Panoramic sunroof (162TSI Elegance)

  • Nappa leather upholstery (162TSI Elegance)

  • Harman Kardon premium sound system (162TSI Elegance)

  • 19-inch alloys (206TSI R-Line)

  • R-Line exterior styling enhancements (206TSI R-Line)

Volkswagen Passat Colours

Pure White Pyrite Silver Metallic
Manganese Grey Metallic Aquamarine Blue Metallic
Deep Black Pearl Effect

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

The Volkswagen Passat is a car that embodies almost everything we’ve come to expect from one of Germany’s most accomplished manufacturers. It provides an exceptional level of driving refinement and quality for an impressive cost, especially once you start comparing the Passat to some of its European rivals. The Passat’s high degree of driving quality comes down to three simple ingredients: a smooth, motivated engine, a comfortable suspension platform and a lightweight steering rack that makes piloting the Passat around town feel like you’re driving a much smaller VW Golf. 

Up first, the engine lineup. Volkswagen offers the Passat with a choice of three engines, producing 140kW/320Nm in the entry-level 140TSI model, 162kW/350Nm in the 162TSI and 206kW/350Nm in the range-topping 206TSI. The entry-level 140TSI comes with enough power for everyone’s needs, while the higher-spec models mean that the Passat has some serious push when taking off from a standstill. Power is sent to the front wheels via a dual-clutch transmission which takes care of quick, seamless gear shifts, but this type of transmission is known for some low-speed lurching. As a package, though, the engine and transmission combination offers smooth, seamless power delivery and makes the Passat a pleasure to drive. 

While it might be riding on a set of 18-inch alloys, the ride quality on offer in the VW Passat is absolutely outstanding, giving the driver and passengers a driving aesthetic akin to driving around town on a pile of marshmallows. On the smooth, forgiving street of Australian towns and cities, the Passat provides perhaps the best and most comfortable ride quality of the segment. When the road surfaces become rough and unforgiving, however, the Passat still does a great job in ironing out the bumps that would otherwise upset the chassis, and keeps its passengers comfortable. This is an important area of concern, too, considering that Hyundai and Kia invest millions each to test their vehicles specifically for Australian roads, which the Passat manages to not only match, but excel over the competition in a number of areas. 

Finally, Volkswagen’s steering calibration means that the car feels quick and agile to maneuver at low speeds, making the process of parking and navigating car parks a simple task, while offering the driver feedback as the speed picks up. Overall, Volkswagen has done a great job ensuring the Passat feels like quality, European offering, while remaining user-friendly and around town. In terms of its driving competency and all-round comfort levels, the Passat is a genuinely difficult car to fault. 

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

The front cabin of the Passat receives a relatively understated interior design, but the benefit of this is a straight-forward approach to where the instruments sit and the storage options on offer. Up front, you’ll find a set of door bins, a set of cupholders hidden underneath a sliding cover, a small storage area under the adjustable armrest, as well as a small compartment for both the driver and front passenger to stash loose items. Each of these admittedly small elements receives a well-engineered touch from Volkswagen, and combines in an interior package that welcomes Australian families and their belongings. 

In terms of space, the driver and front passenger are treated to a set of comfortable seats with side bolsters, with a wide cabin offering more than enough room to stretch out and even get a massage. There’s a heap of visibility in the front of the cabin, giving the Passat a much-needed sense of colour and air in the predominantly black interior. Those in the rear of the cabin are treated to a comfortable bench seat, with a large amount of both head and leg room. Full-sized adults will not have a problem getting comfortable in the rear of the Passat, even on longer journeys, which makes it a great option for a growing family. The rear of the cabin also receives their own climate control setting, as well as USB ports for smartphone charging, and the ability to fold the armrest down and access items in the boot without the need to stop the car entirely. The ISOFIX anchor points and top tether mounts are easy to access, with two mounts in the rear of the cabin that can accommodate even the largest and bulkiest of child seats. 

To make things even better, the Passat is incredibly practical when you move to the rear of the car and open up its boot. Officially, there’s 586L of cargo storage in the sedan variant’s boot, while the wagon variant offers a huge 650L of space, which extends to 1,152L in the sedan and 1,780L in the wagon. This is more than enough space for an Australian family, and rivals the amount of storage you’ll find on even mid-sized SUVs while matching them in terms of price and features.  The sheer amount of space in the boot is made even more impressive by the fact that the Passat is packaged with a full-sized spare tyre, which means you’ll be prepared in the event of a flat, and won’t need to rush to get a repair like in other European cars that often receive a space-saver spare or even a tyre repair kit.  

All up, then, the Passat is a genuine performer when it comes to practicality, rivaling the amount of space, comfort and cargo-moving that you’ll find in a medium-sized SUV, packaged into a spacious and comfortable cabin that will keep every Australian family happy on long trips. 

Is it Safe? 

The Volkswagen Passat has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, receiving an overall score of 35.89 out of a possible 37. Volkswagen is also packaging all Passat models with active safety features like autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic and lane-keep assist, blind-spot management and driver attention monitoring. This means that the Passat matches its competitors when it comes to its ANCAP safety rating and the amount of safety features you’ll find packaged on even the entry-level variant. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

With three different engines available, the Passat lineup offers three different economy figures. These numbers range from 6.4L per 100km in the entry-level 140TSI, and jump to 6.9L per 100km for the 162TSI sedan and 7.2L per 100km in the 162TSI wagon variant. Finally, Volkswagen’s flagship 206TSI and Alltrack variants are rated at 8.1L per 100km. This means that the entry-level Passat variant offers seriously impressive economy figures, while the more powerful variants still return modest fuel economy figures compared to their competitors, and when put into context of how much power they’re producing. 

Our Verdict: Is the Volkswagen Passat Worth it? 

The Volkswagen Passat is a wonderful family sedan that offers a number of premium, European touches at a price that doesn’t break the bank. In many ways, this is a trademark of Volkswagen’s approach to producing vehicles, undercutting its more premium rivals like BMW, Mercedes and Audi while still delivering a product that can challenge theirs. As a result, the Passat is a no-brainer for your shortlist of spacious family sedans, and the wagon variants rival significantly larger SUVs when it comes to space and practicality. If it’s not already, make sure the Passat has a spot on your shortlist, and on that note, if you are planning to buy a car online in Australia, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited KM warranty 

  2. Five star ANCAP safety rating 

  3. 586L of boot space in sedan, 650L in wagon variant 

  4. 6.4L/100km best economy on offer in entry-level 140TSI

  5. Updated MIB3 infotainment system offers wireless smartphone connectivity  


  • Spacious and practical cabin design 

  • Massive amount of boot space 

  • Smooth engine and transmission combination 

  • Soft, comfortable suspension design 


  • Infotainment system and gesture controls can prove unintuitive 

  • Uninspiring interior design 

  • No DAB+ digital radio 

  • DSG transmission can lurch at low speeds 

OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10

Volkswagen Passat Competition

Volkswagen Passat

SKODA Octavia
Volkswagen Golf
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
SKODA Superb
Volvo V60
Mercedes-Benz C300


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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