The iconic Volkswagen Passat has been cruising the roads since the 1970s. Of course, for a nameplate that’s been around for so long, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that the vehicle has seen its fair share of changes. This also means the model has endured a number of generational changes. Well, if you’ve been targeting a used version of this vehicle, the B6 generation (which ran from 2005 through 2009) may be a logical option.
The vehicle first made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2005, and it hit dealership lots soon after. The vehicle was touted for its technological amenities, but the nameplate truly made a name for itself due to the incredible engine specs. While the model didn’t see a whole lot of changes between 2005 and 2009, each of the individual offerings are still logical targets for those seeking a used car.
Below, we’ve explored the major changes to each of these individual model years. That way, when you begin searching for a used Volkswagen Passat, you’ll already know what specific model you want to pursue…
The B6 generation first made its way to dealership lots with the release of the 2005 model of the nameplate. While the brand specifically focused on technological amenities, they actually made a name for themselves thanks to their vast selection of engine offerings. Ultimately, customers had the chance to choose from three different options, which each of these selections managing to crank out a whole lot of power.
The 1.8-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine was the nameplate’s smallest offering, but that doesn’t mean the car wasn’t capable of cranking out a whole lot of power. Drivers could still expect an impressive 170 horsepower from the unit, a particularly notable number for the mid-2000s. The next step up was the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine, which delivered an incredible 247 pound-feet of torque and 134 horsepower. Finally, the 2.8-liter V6 engine is for those seeking the most muscle from their ride, as drivers can ultimately anticipate 190 horsepower. In other words, regardless of which offering you choose, you’d surely be able to keep up with your fellow drivers on the highway. Even if you pursue a used version of the Volkswagen Passat, you can still expect that these power specs wouldn’t have compromised due to age.
In regards to comfort, engineers included heated seats and a power sunroof, allowing drivers to escape the cold or appreciate the heat. Of course, thanks to the inclusion of the automatic climate control system, occupants can expect to remain comfortable throughout their journey. The already-impressive safety functions had also been improved, with engineers including amenities like electronic stability control, traction control, and an extensive airbag unit. In other words, these technological amenities will improve your commute and keep your safe, only emphasizing why this is an ideal used target.
Ultimately, the 2005 variation proved to be the most impressive variation of the nameplate up to that point. Of course, the brand still had a whole lot up their sleeve for the following years…
That 2.0-liter turbocharged engine was somehow made even more impressive in time for the 2006 model year, as the vehicle’s 2.0-liter engine was now capable of cranking out an unmatched 200 horsepower. To help accommodate all of this power, the brand allowed consumers to choose from the six-speed manual transmission or the six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, thus providing drivers with optimal control. A 3.6-liter engine was also available with this model year, and drivers could expect an astonishing 280 horsepower from that specific offering.
The 2.0T trim added several notable amenities, highlighted by the inclusion of 16-inch alloy wheels (with all-season tires), revamped interior lighting, and a striking chrome exterior trim. The 3.6-liter trim boosted those interior amenities to a whole new level, as the brand added a new stereo system (with MP3 capabilities) and accompanying satellite radio. In other words, this version of the nameplate proved to be the ultimate road-trip offering.
After two years of notable changes, the Volkswagen Passat remained pretty much the same for the 2007 model year. Of course, this wasn’t a bad thing, as the vehicle was still one of the most impressive offerings for that respective model year. This sentiment applied to the safety functions, as drivers could anticipate offerings like a tire-pressure monitoring system and a security unit. If you were targeting a used vehicle that would accommodate your family, then this is an ideal target.
Similar to the 2007 model of the nameplate, customers couldn’t expect a whole lot of changes to the 2008 variation of the Volkswagen Passat. Engineers did include a 12-way power driver seat, which optimizes convenience (especially if you’re going to be sharing the car with another driver). To boost opulence, designers also added leather shift knobs and steering wheels, as well as new sunshades.
Nowadays, this specific version of the nameplate is pushing 10-years-old. However, when you consider everything the car offers, you certainly won’t feel like you’re traveling in an aging ride. Rather, the 2008 Volkswagen Passat holds its own against several 2017 offerings.
If anything, the brand seemed to reduce the offerings on this model year of the Volkswagen Passat. In an attempt to simplify their offerings, the brand eliminated some of the trim options that customers could choose from. Of course, this didn’t compromise the vehicle in anyway. Rather, the vehicle was still equipped with the same powerful engines and the same, elegant amenities. In other words, the 2009 version of the Volkswagen Passat would still make for a perfectly logical target.
While five years is not a substantial stretch of time when it comes to a car that has been on the market in 1973, it is still plenty of time for the B7 generation to have undergone some impressive changes and improvements. As a matter of fact, The Volkswagen Passat underwent quite a few changes from 2010 to 2015 – perhaps the most significant though is the move from offering one single engine option in 2010 to three distinct engine choices in 2015. In 2010, the Volkswagen Passat was powered only by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that got an extremely respectable 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. The 2010 Passat offered drivers a fun, nippy driving experience while still offering superior fuel efficiency to many of the other sedans in its class. Drive the 2010 Volkswagen Passat, and you’ll be getting 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway – the 2010 Passat is certainly not a gas guzzler by any means.
The interesting thing about the B7 generation of Volkswagen Passats is that even the oldest model year of that generation is still equipped with extremely modern and cutting-edge technology. While the 2010 Volkswagen Passat was only offered in one trim type, buyers who choose to shop for a 2010 Passat will still be pleased to find that the vehicle will most likely be equipped with air-conditioning, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, foglights, heated front seats, a power driver seats, an auxiliary jack, a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an iPod adapter, a touchscreen navigation system, a USB port, 20 GB for digital music storage and finally – the feature that never goes out of style – a sunroof. Despite the fact that it was offered in just the singular trim level, the 2010 Volkswagen Passat packed in an abundance of great features. In fact, there’s really not a tremendous amount of difference to be found in the 2010 Volkswagen Passat as compared to many of the base model sedans and SUVs on the market today.
While the most significant changes are highlighted by comparing the oldest model in the B7 generation – the 2010 Volkswagen Passat to the newest 2015 Volkswagen Passat – there are still plenty of fantastic reasons to consider purchasing one of the 2011-2014 model years. For example, the 2011 Volkswagen Passat offered drivers advanced safety features such as autonomous braking if the car detected a hazard approaching (such as another car), and radar-activated cruise control. The 2011 Passat also incorporated hands-free trunk entry, allowing drivers to access their cargo hold simply by waving their foot under the bumper. The 2012 Volkswagen Passat was such a well-designed car that it was named MotorTrend’s Car of the Year, the 2013 Volkswagen Passat was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the 2014 Volkswagen Passat offered drivers the opportunity to own the new Sports model, equipped with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. Volkswagen did not let a year slip by that there wasn’t a substantial improvement to the Passat, so don’t hold back on scoping out any of the B7 generation model years – the highlights aren’t just confined to the 2010 and 2015 years, although the 2015 certainly does wrap up the B7 generation and all of its highlights nicely.
By the end of the B7 generation, Volkswagen expanded its available engines to include either a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine, or finally 3.6-liter V6. The 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gets 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder gets 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque while the most powerful engine – the V6, gets an impressive 280 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Not all engines are available on each trim level, so remember to check the engine and model configuration as you shop for your used Volkswagen Passat.
Of course, as Volkswagen improved their engine offerings, the fuel efficiency of the cars also steadily improved. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder has an EPA estimate of 24 miles per gallon in the city and 36 on the highway, while the 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel gets an extremely impressive 30 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway. Finally, the V6, which can go zero to 60 mph in just 6.4 seconds, rounds out the fuel-efficient trifecta with an EPA estimate of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. No matter which B7 generation model year Passat you choose to drive, you can always feel confident that you are getting extremely decent fuel economy.
While all of the B7 generation family of Passat’s are well-equipped, it is worth looking at the amenities packed into the 2015 model, just to get an idea of how each model year differs and improves upon its already solid foundations. The 2015 Volkswagen Passat can be found packed with features such as wood grain interior trim, keyless ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, an upgraded navigation system, heated front seats, driver memory functions, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a touchscreen display, leather upholstery and HD radio. The 2015 Volkswagen Passat is offered in a choice of six trim levels: the base level S, the Wolfsburg, the Limited Edition, the SE, the Sport and the SEL Premium, although many features and amenities were also sold as stand-alone options, so you may be able to find a customized trim that someone decided to jazz up with one or two little additional features.
The 2010-2015 model years of the Volkswagen Passat weren’t just great vintages because of the great technology and features packed into the sedans – they were great because you could also pack plenty of your own things into the vehicles. The cabin of the B7 generation Passat is extremely roomy and upscale, and backseat passengers will have plenty of room to stretch out – in fact, they’ll have more room in the rear than in almost any other car in the midsize sedan class. And just as the powertrain and amenities underwent minor improvements over the five-year span of the B7 generation, so did the cargo hold. Originally measuring in at 14.2 cubic feet in the 2010’s trunk, by 2015 it had grown to 15.9 cubic feet, which is excellent for the class.
Just as used car shoppers worry that their previous generation vehicles will be outdated when it comes to performance and interior amenities, many shoppers are also concerned that buying a used vehicle may mean that they’ll have to sacrifice on the safety of their sedan. However, you can push those worries aside if you are shopping for a member of the B7 generation of Volkswagen Passats. No matter if you decide to opt for the oldest of the family – the 2010 model, or the newest – the 2015 model, you can pride yourself on knowing that you’re driving a vehicle that was not only given a top score of Good by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety but was also given the prestigious title of Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. And in case you need a little more reassurance, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also gave the 2015 a perfect five star overall safety rating – and it most likely would have done the same for the 2010, but the NHTSA did not test that model year, so don’t let the lack of a rating from them hold you back from buying what is a very safe sedan.