With its reputation as a spacious, fun-loving midsize sedan, the pre-owned Volkswagen Passat is an excellent option for modern drivers. Shopping for a pre-owned sedan can be complicated, however, especially if you’re looking for a model with specific features. To help you out, we’re here with our pre-owned VW Passat buying guide, designed to offer a better understanding of how these midsize sedans have evolved over the past few generations.
Fourth Generation: 2012-current model
After skipping the 2011 model year altogether, the Volkswagen Passat reappeared for 2012 completely redesigned. These Passats are specially designed for North American drivers, assembled on Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee assembly line.
These models were still bigger than that of the previous generation, especially in the rear seat and cargo departments. The fourth-generation Passat also offers three engine options: a 2.5-liter inline-5, 2.0-liter inline-4 diesel engine, and the 3.6-liter V6 engine.
Be on the lookout for a few changes throughout this generation:
- For the 2014 model year, Volkswagen replaced the five-cylinder engine with a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
- The diesel engine was dropped after the 2015 model year.
- The 2016 Passat received several updates, including a redesigned exterior and a new dashboard layout. Full leather seating became available for top trim models. Also, Volkswagen added a few safety aids to the lineup: blind-spot monitoring, frontal collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.
- The V6 engine was no longer available after the 2018 model year.
- For 2020, Volkswagen gave the Passat a significant makeover, with sleek new styling inside and out. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine (now the only available engine) was retooled for more power, producing 174 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque.
Third Generation: 2006-2010
You’ll love the third-generation pre-owned VW Passat, a midsize sedan (or wagon) that’s spacious, comfortable, and fun to drive.
Compared to previous generations, these Passats reclaimed a Volkswagen chassis (the prior generation rode on an Audi platform). Third-generation models are also 3 inches longer and 3 inches wider than previous models, increasing passenger space for a friendlier everyday drive.
These Passats were available as sedan or wagon models. And shoppers could also choose between a 200-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V6. At the outset, third-generation trim models were the Value Edition, 2.0T, 3.6 and 3.6 4Motion.
Some changes you should know about:
- The wagon model debuted for the 2007 model year, along with a new trim model, the 2.0T Wolfsburg edition.
- Also new for 2007 was an adaptive cruise control system, technology that automatically adjusts speed to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of the Passat.
- For 2008, the trim levels were renamed as the Turbo, Komfort, Lux, and VR6. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive system became standard on VR6 (formerly known as 3.6) models.
- The 2009 Passat significantly slimmed down driver options. This model year offered only one trim model, the front-wheel-drive Komfort with the base turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
- Still only available as the Komfort model, the 2010 Passat replaced the conventional automatic transmission with a DSG dual-clutch automated manual transmission.