Volkswagen has used an advertising slogan in the past in markets around the world that said, "If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen." If any model personifies that slogan, it has to be the 2019 VW Passat. The Passat is a midsize sedan that does everything you want and nothing you don’t want or need it to do. When you see the Passat at a car dealer like the VW dealership in Bakersfield, you’ll be impressed with its huge interior, long list of active safety technology, high-quality cabin, comfortable ride and excellent infotainment system.
As a new generation is on the horizon in the not-too-distant future, Volkswagen has reduced the 2019 VW Passat lineup down to just two models. When buyers head off to a Bakersfield car dealership today, they'll find the Passat available in Wolfsburg and SE R-Line trim levels, with starting MSRPs of $25,295 and $29,995, respectively.
Both versions have the same powertrain, which is a 2.0-liter turbo-four that develops 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to the front wheels through a standard six-speed automatic transmission. The engine is smooth and quiet, and the ride is confident and composed. That useful amount of torque the turbocharger helps to deliver provides plenty of power for passing on the highway.
The entry-level Passat Wolfsburg feels anything but entry-level, thanks to a list of standard features that includes automatic emergency braking, a 6.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, stylish and durable synthetic leather upholstery, keyless ignition, air conditioning and blind-spot monitors. It's a pretty comprehensive array of features, and about the only options available are an upgrade to 18-inch alloy wheels from the standard 17-inch alloys and a moonroof.
Moving up to the SE R-Line gives the 2019 VW Passat a sportier look, with LED headlights and standard 18-inch alloy wheels. Other upgrades on the Wolfsburg trim include a larger 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Fender-branded speakers for the audio system, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and a trunk lid that can be opened by simply waving your foot underneath the rear bumper. The manual air conditioning system of the Wolfsburg is also upgraded to dual-zone climate control in the SE R-Line.
A nice list of safety technology features comes standard with both 2019 VW Passat trim levels, which helps the Passat get a full five-star rating from the NHTSA. Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors, a rearview camera, a full complement of airbags, tire pressure monitors, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-pressure distribution and hydraulic brake assist.
The 2019 VW Passat offers really good fuel economy for such a spacious midsize sedan, but the official ratings are only part of the good news in this area. The EPA rates the Passat at 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, but anecdotal evidence suggests real-world fuel economy is even better.*
* All vehicle mileage based on 2019 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.