Review and Test Drive: 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT

By Paul Riegler on 7 November 2018
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I’ve always had a soft spot for the Volkswagen that was first introduced in the United States as the Dasher in 1974.It was mechanically identical to the Audi 80, while the five-door Passat wagon was in America as the Audi Fox.

One of the things that attracted me to the Passat was its identity crisis. The sedan version of the second-generation Passat was sold as the Santana in Europe and as the Quantum in the United States. Did I mention it was also sold as the Corsar (Mexico) and the Carat (Argentina)?

Today, the Passat sold in the United States is a U.S.-specific model introduced in 2011 and built in the United States; the only other market it’s sold in is China. The rest of the world has a smaller model that was introduced in 2015.


The current Passat was given an extensive facelift for 2016. Everything from the A-pillar forward is completely new. This includes slimmer headlights (LEDs are optional), light-alloy wheels, side mirrors, bumpers, fascia, and grille, which now exhibits more depth. The all-new hood has a powerdome that catches the eye, although there is no longer a TDI (i.e. diesel) option available under it.

As the Passat approaches the inevitable, Volkswagen has spiced things up a bit with the addition of a GT variant, offering tighter handling and a sporty and more powerful V6 powerplant.

To spice things up a bit, the GT inherited the R-Line’s more aggressive bumpers, and grille inserts, with red line accents GTI style and good-looking 19” Tornado-style wheels. The black-painted roof and side mirrors complete the look and fooled some onlookers into thinking they were looking at an upcoming Passat model.

Click here to continue to Page 2Inside the 2018 VW Passat GTI

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