- - Friday, February 3, 2017

It’s a German mid-size sedan that meets the American standard of an easy price tag with plenty of bells and whistles. The 2017 Volkswagen Passat delivers a large trunk for hauling, plenty of room inside for all the passengers and a quiet, easy ride.

Not much has changed on the 2017 model, one of the trim was discontinued. Otherwise you get the same midsize familiarity with a dependable and tasteful experience.

Competition in this class includes the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata and the Mazda 6. Several of these competitors have been updated in various areas, but none spells cozy comfort quite like the tried and true 2017 Volkswagen Passat.

There are four trims on this Volkswagen from the S to the R-Line, SE and SEL Premium.

The S comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, power accessories, rearview camera, height-adjustable front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seats, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with cruise control and cloth interior. There is also Bluetooth phone and audio, collision mitigation and automatic braking with a five-inch touch screen and a USB port and auxiliary audio jack.

Up one trim and you get the R-Line with 19-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats and side mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-way power driver seat, faux leather upholstery and a 6.3-inch touch screen. The technology goodies include HD and satellite radio, the Car-Net smartphone integration and for safety the blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

On the SE you get all the R-Line standard features with 17-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, sunroof, keyless entry and ignition and air vents in the back seat.

If you want to add more technology to this trim level you can opt for the Technology package and that increases the wheels to 18 inches and well as adding LED headlights and taillights, fog lights, automatic wipers and a hands-free trunk opener that has a foot sensor. There is also an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a remote ignition mechanism. In addition to the front heated seated this package allows for rear heated seats and front and rear parking sensors too.

The top-of-the-line SEL Premium has the SE standard features coupled with the Technology package and gives you additional power folding mirrors, driver memory settings and 60/40-split rear seats.

For additional trim packages the R-Line and SE has an optional Lighting Package offering fog lights as well as LED headlights and taillights.

Under the hood the 2017 Volkswagen Passat comes with two engine choices. Both are front-wheel-drive whether it is the turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic transmission or the 3.6-liter V6 engine with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Should you choose the turbocharged engine that comes available on all the trim levels with 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The V6 comes on both the SE and SEL Premium trims with 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side and front and rear side curtain airbags, a rearview camera and forward collision control. You also get blind-spot monitoring as well as lane departure and cross-traffic alert warning.

The Volkswagen Car-Net function, which is optional adds automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access and stolen vehicle location information.

Inside the 2017 Volkswagen Passat it is a refined feel and while there are bells and whistles, the vehicle is all about functional styling. The cabin is comfortable for the driver and passengers in both the front and back seats, but the luxury feeling is definitely couples with a German vibe.

The touch screen feature and the knobs and dials are easy to figure out. Another plus, the smartphone integrations are user friendly.

There is 15.9 cubic-feet of truck space, plenty large for hauling. If that still doesn’t work the 60/40 split in the back seat means even more room if needed.

Overall, the driving experience is a strong contender for best in show compared to any in this class. It’s a fine looking vehicle with plenty of room, a comfortable ride/drive and you never have to doubt you’re in good hands with efficient steering and plenty of pep in the step.

Should You Need to Know: Not bad for zero to 60 miles per hour scores with 7.7 for the four-cylinder engine and around 6.5 for the V6 engine.

Miles: The gas mileage in the 2017 Volkswagen Passat is 23 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway in the turbocharged. For the V6 you get a tad less at 20 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: On the 2017 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T R-Line I drove the price tag was $24,795.

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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