KURT NIEBUHR: Here we have the 2018 Passat GT. What makes a Passat GT a GT? Well, Volkswagen of America decided that they want a Passat that looked a little bit more sportier than the regular Passat, something that would kind of remind you that they do make a GTI, just not a Passat version. Most importantly, they put the 3.6-liter v-6 engine under the hood.That makes it kind of a sport sedan. Maybe we should go to the track and see if it is a sport sedan. All right. Well, we’re here. We’re going to make a key-up run for acceleration. Once again, key-up run is basically, as the car comes, you turn the car on, you put the car in drive or in first gear, whatever. This is just drive. There it is. E-brake’s off. Let’s go. Oh. Lights the tires up. Kicked in the traction control. But that v-6 sounds good. This car’s hustling. I like that. I like that. I like that. Not a slouch. Most Passats come with a four-cylinder engine, and they don’t sound like that. I am a little worried about the traction control light, though, because there is no way to shut traction off in this car. All right, sport mode on the transmission. There is no sport mode in the car. There are no drive modes in this car at all. So out of the box, that’s what you get. That’s what you’ve got to run.Yeah, I’m not gonna do throttle brake overlap. I think that just makes the tires break loose that much sooner, and this car’s got to be feathered carefully. It takes a gentle touch. Traction control. I’m looking at you, buddy. Downshifts well on the brakes. Kind of cool. Automatic downshift, and rev matching. It is not a slow sedan. The key is just not triggering that traction control. But I really wish you could shut it off in this car. I actually wish this car had all-wheel drive, and I wish it was a manual, and I wish it was a wagon. What are you gonna do. Performance-wise, it’s not that much different from any other Passat that they sell. In the suspension department, it sits a little bit lower. And that’s it.Luckily for Volkswagen, your basic Passat is pretty solid. It has a good chassis, it responds well. And when you put this big 3.6-liter engine in it, you can really move out. But the tires are the limiting factor with this car by far. You’ll hear right up here the tires don’t really like that. And I think that’s kind of a shame with this car, even more so than the fact that you can’t shut off the stability control, which is a real bummer,
because the car feels playful. You can brake kind of late like this, and you can throw the car in and it responds well. It does want to rotate on the brakes, and that’s OK. You can tuck the nose on the throttle, and off the throttle. I don’t think Volkswagen markets the Passat GT as a sport sedan, per se.I think they just market it as a sportier Passat. And I think they’re right on. With the v-6 engine in it, with the slightly lower ride height, I think it is a sportier Passat. To really be a true sport sedan, it would have to have better tires and better brakes. Not that the brakes are bad, but they just don’t have the capacity that I think a real sport sedan buyer would want to see out of their brakes. But that engine’s good. It’s hard not to want to drive this car because it sounds like this. It sounds fantastic. Kudos to Volkswagen for making a car this big kind of playful and fun. All right, well we’re inside that 2018 Passat GT, and it’s just like sitting in any other Passat, which isn’t exactly a bad thing. We’ve always liked how clean and orderly the inside of these cars are. I like them quite a bit. I’m a fan of modernism, so having everything laid out in a very clean and simple way makes me happy. The main changes to a Passat GT over regular Passat are basically their two-tone moonrock gray and black, and they also have contrasting stitching. The wheel, it’s a flat-bottom wheel. I think flat-bottom wheels have jumped the shark. I don’t think we need to see them anymore, especially in a regular-sized car with a lot of room.But Volkswagen does make some of the best wheels, I think, in the business. My hands fit on it really well. The leather is very nice. And it also has this contrasting stitching here. It’s also got this carbon fiber-ish trim here, but other than that, it is a Passat. That isn’t a bad thing. So I’ve got the seat right where I want it, and I’m just over six feet tall. Now, that might not really matter to you right now, but in a moment, you’ll see why that’s important. I’m sitting behind myself. The front seat is right where I’m comfortable sitting, and now I’m in the backseat. And I can cross my leg in the back seat of a Passat. This amount of leg room is this car’s party trick. And it’s the only car in its class that has this much leg room.This is almost like S-class leg room. It’s obscene back here. But it also reminds me of one of the other traits of
Volkswagen Passats. And that is sometimes they don’t have the highest quality plastics in them, like here on the side. That’s really hard. Almost every surface in this car has a lot of hard plastic on it. That might bother you, it might not. But it is something to keep in mind. So let’s fire it up. You can hear that Volkswagen has modified the mufflers on this car. They actually have fewer perforations to give the car a sportier sound. That’s the 3.6-liter, 280-horsepower v-6 engine, what’s going to make this car more of a sport sedan than a regular Passat. So is the Passat GT a sport sedan? Kind of sort of. It certainly has the motor. Handling could be a little bit better. But if you’re in the market for a mid-sized to full-sized sedan to take care of your family and haul it around, it’s probably a good replacement for the Volkswagen GTI that you sold in the first place. You shouldn’t have sold the GTI. For more videos like this, hit Subscribe. .