Review - 2023 Volkswagen Passat

By Alexi Falson on 04 Nov 2023
image for Review - 2023 Volkswagen Passat
OnlineAuto Rating
out of 10
  • Comfortable, well-mannered driving experience
  • Immense practicality, especially in the wagon
  • Generous equipment lists
  • Saying goodbye to the Australian market at the end of 2023
  • Dual-clutch transmission has occasional laggy moments
  • Technology package shows some signs of age
    • 66L
    • 186
    • 4500 / 1500
    • 5 star
    • Automatic
There are few that can match the Germans when it comes to a comfortable and versatile family-friendly sedan and wagon, which is where the Volkswagen Passat enters the equation.

Designed to give Australian buyers a slice of premium, European motoring for less than its major rivals, the VW Passat stands as one of the best on-paper options for those in the market for a large and practical sedan or wagon.

Unfortunately, though, Volkswagen has confirmed that the Passat will make an exit from the Australian market by the end of 2023, so let’s uncover whether it’s time to pounce before it’s too late.

VW Passat Competition

VW Passat

Skoda Superb
Mazda 6
Toyota Camry
Genesis G80
Hyundai Sonata

Starting Price: $51,390

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How Much Does It Cost?

Prices for the Volkswagen Passat range in 2023 kick off from $51,390 for the Passat Alltrack 162TSI, with prices rising up to $57,790 for the Passat 162TSI Elegance and up to $63,390 for the Passat Alltrack 162TSI Premium.

Finally, the range-topping Passat 206TSI R-Line is priced at $68,390.

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, do not include on-road costs and availability is limited as the Passat reaches a sales conclusion in Australia.

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Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, our car sourcing specialists can help you find the best value model for you.

Volkswagen Passat - ALLTRACK 162TSI (RESTR FEAT) Specifications

Model Date 2023
Transmission 7 SP AUTO DIRECT SHI
Drive AWD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 1984
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 4500 / 1500
Cylinders T4
Torque 350
KW 162
Fuel tank size 66.0
Fuel usage specs 8.1 / 0
CO2 186
ANCAP security rating 5

What Features Does the Volkswagen Passat Have?

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.

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 

  • LED headlights

  • Reversing camera with front and rear sensors 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

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

  • 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)

Is the Volkswagen Passat Comfortable to Drive?

Designed to give Australian buyers a slice of more premium European motoring, the Volkswagen Passat range is impressively refined, even on Australian roads, making for a very versatile driving package.

Power comes supplied by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine producing 162kW of power and 350Nm of torque in the 162TSI, with outputs rising to a hearty 206kW of power and 350Nm of torque in the 206TSI.

Power is thrown to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, with acceleration varying from steady in the base model to far more lively in the 206TSI range.

Where the Passat shines bright is while driving around town, with the lightweight steering rack lending itself to effortless piloting through traffic and into car parks.

The suspension package hiding underneath offers a more European approach to ride comfort, far preferring the smooth city streets where the Passat glides more easily, though it can handle some moderate bumps when country roads start doing their thing.

It might be firmer than you’re used to, however, this also translates to some more agile handling than some of its peers, and some serious high-speed stability thanks to its European design.

As a complete package, the Passat feels great, particularly when you’re sticking to the confines of the urban jungle, and makes for a truly comfortable urban runaround.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Volkswagen’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder returns fuel economy figures between 6.4L - 8.1L/100km on a combined cycle, making it reasonably fuel efficient for a large sedan package.

The base 140TSI is rated at 6.4L/100km, while the 162TSI increases fuel economy figures up to 6.9L/100km (7.2L/100km in the wagon) and up to 8.1L/100km in the 162TSI.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

The Passat has long been a great option when it comes to accommodating growing families, with the large sedan and wagon platform remaining a heavy hitter when it comes to space and practicality.

Up front, the driver and front passenger are treated to a well-appointed interior that will be familiar to fans of VW and first-timers alike, thanks to its user-friendly and straightforward layout.

The Passat is an absolute beast when it comes to accommodating tall drivers, with the seating position offering a tonne of headroom and great visibility that makes the cabin feel spacious.

The driver and front passenger are separated by a substantial centre console that houses a small storage tray beneath the dash, a retractable area housing cup holders, and large door bins on either side of the cabin.

Move to the second row of the cabin and there are acres of legroom and enough width for three-abreast seating in the rear, making for a truly family-friendly package with no issues for tall rear passengers.

Rear amenities include dedicated air vents, USB ports, a folding armrest with cup holders inside, large door bins, a pair of ISOFIX anchors and top tether mounts to help accommodate child seats.

Finally, the uber-practical package is rounded out with a large 586L boot in the Passat sedan, increasing to a mammoth 650L in the Passat wagon, expanding to 1152L and 1780L, respectively, with the rear seats folded for sports equipment and bulky cargo.

Is it Safe?

The Volkswagen Passat has picked up a five-star ANCAP safety rating, and comes reasonably well-equipped with active safety equipment.

All members of the VW Passat family pick up autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, driver attention monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts and blind-spot monitoring as standard.

Our Verdict: Is the Volkswagen Passat Worth it?

We think Volkswagen’s move to remove the Passat from the Australian market at the end of the year is a shame, considering just how rock-solid of a family-friendly package it is.

There’s little not to like about the Passat, particularly if you’re a family buyer looking for a more refined driving experience and equipment list, that doesn’t necessarily break the bank, so if you can - jump on the opportunity before it’s too late.

On that note, if you’re tossing up your best options in the wide world of family-friendly sedans and wagons, be sure to reach out to one of our Car Buying Specialists who can help find you the best price.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty 

  2. 6.4 - 8.1L/100km combined fuel economy figures 

  3. Five-star ANCAP safety rating 

  4. 586 - 650L boot space (sedan & wagon) 

  5. 12-month/15,000km service intervals 


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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