2018 Volkswagen Passat GT: The American Dream Sedan

volkswagen passat gt

The late 1990s and early 2000s were a golden era for American cars. They were spacious, had massive trunks, and boasted sporty looks, a comfortable suspension, and powerful V6 engines. The Volkswagen Passat GT takes inspiration from that era and brings it to the present day.

The Passat GT: A Blast from the Past

Priced at just under $30,000, the Passat GT is a nostalgic reminder of what family cars used to be. However, it also highlights how much the mid-size sedan segment has evolved. While it may not be as sharp, enjoyable to drive, or well-equipped as its modern competitors like the Honda Accord, Mazda6, or Toyota Camry, the Passat GT still holds its own.

Starting at $29,995, the Passat GT is competitively priced compared to its Japanese rivals with similar power. The Honda Accord Sport with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and a 10-speed automatic starts at $30,310, while the V6-powered Toyota Camry requires $34,400.

A Sedan That Blends In

The Passat GT boasts a sedan-like design that stays true to Volkswagen’s minimalist aesthetic. However, the GT trim adds some unique features to enhance its overall appeal. The standard 19-inch wheels, LED running lights, subtle lip spoiler, black roof, and red grille surrounds give the Passat GT a distinctive look.

Inside the cabin, the Passat GT offers a comfortable experience. The leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters and two-tone leatherette seats are the main sporty touches. However, the overall interior design is similar to other Passat models, lacking the excitement and refinement found in the Accord or Mazda6.

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Space for Everyone and Everything

One thing the Passat GT excels at is space. It provides ample room for both passengers and cargo, making it an ideal choice for long drives or family outings. The rear seats offer generous legroom, comparable to most large sedans.

With 15.9 cubic feet of cargo space, the Passat GT can accommodate your weekend adventures or grocery runs with ease. Whether you need to transport camping gear, gardening supplies, or even a small furniture haul, the Passat GT has got you covered.

Mixed Material Quality

Unfortunately, the Passat GT falls short when it comes to material quality. While there are some nice touches like the piano black accents, metal accents on the shifter, and the two-tone leatherette seats, the cabin primarily consists of plastic. The combination of soft-touch sections on the dash and poorly designed trim that tries to imitate carbon fiber gives it a less-than-premium feel.

Moreover, the Passat GT lacks some of Volkswagen’s latest technological features. The infotainment system, though equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, features a outdated 6.3-inch touchscreen display. Additionally, it misses out on the impressive 400-watt Fender audio system available in higher trims and the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit.

Strong Performance, Smooth Ride

Under the hood, the Passat GT is powered by Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter VR6 engine. With 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, this engine delivers a smooth and predictable power delivery. The Passat GT boasts a charming V6 engine sound, offering a welcome contrast to the buzzier four-cylinders of today.

The six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, while slow to downshift in everyday driving, performs quite well in Sport mode. The paddle shifters and console shifter allow for quick upshifts, enhancing the driving experience. However, the soft suspension prioritizes ride comfort over handling, resulting in a car that rolls through bends and lacks feedback.

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Safety and Efficiency

In terms of safety, the Passat GT comes equipped with forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, as well as blind-spot monitoring. However, more advanced features like adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning are not available. Nevertheless, the Passat GT boasts a five-star overall crash rating from NHTSA.

When it comes to fuel efficiency, the Passat GT falls behind some of its turbocharged rivals. It achieves an EPA-estimated 19 miles per gallon in the city, 28 on the highway, and 22 combined. While these numbers may not be as impressive as the Mazda6 or the Honda Accord, the Passat GT still offers good performance at a reasonable price.

A Value Proposition

At $29,145, the Passat GT presents excellent value for money. It offers a more affordable alternative to its competitors, especially the V6-powered Toyota Camry, which starts at over $34,000. Although the Camry offers more advanced safety features, the Passat GT stands out with its sporty touches and a compelling driving experience.

If you’re looking for a well-rounded sedan that provides space, power, and a touch of nostalgia, the Volkswagen Passat GT is worth considering.


Q: Does the Passat GT have advanced safety features?

A: While the Passat GT comes with some basic safety features like forward collision warning and blind-spot monitoring, more advanced features like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning are not available.

Q: How does the Passat GT compare to its competitors in terms of price?

A: The Passat GT offers a competitive price starting at $29,145. It is more affordable than its similarly powered rivals such as the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry.

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Q: Is the Passat GT fuel-efficient?

A: The Passat GT achieves an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. While its fuel efficiency may not be class-leading, it provides a good balance between performance and efficiency.


The 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT offers a nostalgic throwback to the American cars of the late 1990s and early 2000s. With its spacious interior, powerful V6 engine, and sporty touches, it caters to those who long for the days of comfortable family sedans. While it may not be as refined or well-equipped as some of its competitors, the Passat GT provides great value for money. If you’re in the market for a sedan that offers both practicality and a hint of nostalgia, the Passat GT is worth a closer look.