2021 Volkswagen Passat

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
6 photos

Volkswagen Passat highlights

Customer rating

(not yet rated)


  • Smooth and comfortable ride
  • Roomy back seats and trunk
  • Quality Fender® audio system


  • Sluggish transmission response
  • Tiny infotainment display
  • Some tech and luxury features are missing

Mileage (EPA estimate)

24 city, 36 highway, 28 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

6 photos

The 2021 Volkswagen Passat is showing its age against newer rivals

In an effort to keep up-to-date, most passenger cars undergo a full redesign every seven or eight years. The 2021 Volkswagen Passat, however, has been around since 2012 and its age has been showing for a while. In 2020 a slight refreshening brought updated interior and exterior styling and increased power and added a few features. This time around, there are fewer changes. The previous top SEL trim has been discontinued, leaving the R-Line model as the new range topper.

Despite its age, the Passat remains a solid choice among midsize sedans. It favors comfort over performance and provides ample space for passengers and cargo. It's not very engaging or fun to drive, but in this class, that's likely not a priority. We would suggest checking out its contemporary rivals, though—including the Kia Optima, Honda Accord, and Hyundai Sonata—as they all offer more modern technology and features.

All Volkswagen Passat years

What is new for the 2021 Volkswagen Passat?

  • The SEL trim has been discontinued for 2021.
  • Passat trims have been upgraded with CD Audio as standard equipment this year.
  • Rear Spoiler features are now available as options on select trims.
  • The R-Line trim now comes with Fender Audio and Navigation System as standard equipment.
  • The S trim now comes with Automated Cruise Control as standard equipment.
  • The SE trim now comes with Sunroof(s) as standard equipment.

2021 Volkswagen Passat trims

Curious how Volkswagen Passat trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities




Volkswagen Passat photos

5 reasons to buy the 2021 Volkswagen Passat

What We Like

Smooth ride: The Passat's suspension tuning is on the softer side and will appeal to buyers who prioritize comfort over sporty handling. Despite easily smoothing over broken pavement, it has a stable feel without seeming floaty. Furthermore, the Passat's handling remains composed when taking corners and is largely unaffected by midcorner bumps.

Plenty of passenger and cargo space: The Passat offers a slightly larger interior than the typical midsize sedan in this class and provides enough rear seat space for taller adults thanks to an abundance of headroom and legroom. At 15.9 cubic feet, the trunk capacity is only average, but the wide and deep shape makes loading large items easy.

Fender audio upgrade: Audiophiles and casual users alike will appreciate the power and clarity of the available Fender premium audio system. The bass can thump with gut-punching power and the speakers emit clear tones with no distortion. Whether you're into rock or opera, we think it's worth looking for a Passat with this system.

What Needs Improvement

Slow transmission response: Power delivery is adequate but not at all impressive in the Passat. The transmission doesn't help either, as there's a noticeable delay between the moment you step on the gas and when the car finally starts moving. Once underway, it hurries you into higher gears and makes the Passat feel even more lethargic. You'll also have to plan ahead to pass other cars on the highway.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

The 2021 Volkswagen Passat is not yet rated. Help future customers learn about a car you've owned and write a review.

Above Average

RepairPal gave the Volkswagen Passat an overall reliability rating of 4 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Above Average. This rating ranks Volkswagen Passat 20th out of 28 among Midsize Cars.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen Passat features and specs

S 2WD 4D Sedan

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Automated Cruise Control
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • CD Audio
  • Cloth Seats
  • Cruise Control
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Traction Control
  • Turbo Charged Engine
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Remote Start

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type

Turbo Gas

Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 42.4"/R 39.1"

Head room

F 38.3"/R 37.8"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity


Max towing capacity

100/1000 lbs.



2021 Volkswagen Passat FAQ

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