VW adds GT V6 Sports Sedan to 2018 Passat line and its affordable

The 2018 Passat GT V6 mid-size sport sedan – new to the Passat line – offers plenty of punch, a sporty ride with a very large and comfortable interior plus technology and convenience amenities, all with a difference.  The difference?  Its affordable – just $29,995 delivered.

2018 VW Passat GT

Interestingly, as the story goes, the new Passat GT V6 – VW and therefore German by heritage – is wholly a product of good old-fashioned American product planning and design by the VW team in Chattanooga, TN.  It seems they thought they could give VW a credible, yet affordable, sport sedan using the best of what they had to work with locally.

The plan was very simple. With the U.S. market as a target, they took their solid mid-size sedan already available locally (Passat), added the VR6 powertrain and then dressed it up with some sport styling cues and performance elements from R-Line and GTI vehicles.  Keeping their focus on basic and affordable, they have been able to deliver the U.S. market the 2018 VW Passat GT V6 sport sedan for under $30,000.

2018 VW Passat GT
2018 VW Passat GT V6

This newest Passat looks ‘GT’ from the get-go, comes in four colors Pure White, Reflex Silver, Platinum Gray and Deep Black – all found typically on competing sport sedans.  Unique GT elements include distinctive 19-inch “Tornado” aluminum-alloy wheels and red brake calipers, R-Line bumpers, GTI-like front red accent line, black grille with red surround that outlines the LED headlamps and a blacked-out roof, spoiler, mirrors and window trims.

On the Inside the 2018 Passat GT features unique two-tone leatherette-trimmed sport seats, contrasting stitching and carbon-look dash inserts along with stainless steel pedal caps and GT door sill plates.

2018 Passat GT
Powertrain 

The 3.6L VR6 in the Passat GT is the same engine already available in the SEL Premium.  It delivers 280 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm.    When powered with premium fuel, gives it some seriously palpable pop.    To get that power most effectively to the road in the GT, VW mated the VR6 to their standard six-speed DSG Tiptronic automatic transmission with a Sports Mode and paddle shifters.

We have used the word ‘pop’ a couple of time in talking about the Passat GT V6 powertrain.  This combination responded beyond our expectation.  From a stop sign, launching onto the expressway or accelerating at speed to safely transit passing lanes on highways, we found the DSG dual clutch transmission  delivered plenty of responsive to the throttle.

2018 VW Passat GT

We gave the Sport Mode a couple of runs and found it to be heavily geared to the low end – needing considerable speed to get it to automatically shift to the higher ranges.  For a first time in our experience, we did not prefer to use an available Sport Mode in a sport sedan.

Did we mention the ‘tuned’ dual exhaust?  You will like this one.  Not too much rumble, just enough to – not only feel like a sports sedan – but to sound like one too.

We mentioned premium fuel preference.   We found the GT V6 runs with little or no perceptible difference on regular fuel as well.   The fuel economy rating is 19/28 mpg city/highway.  Putting a couple of hundred mixed miles during our test drive, we got just over 25 mpg.

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2018_Passat_GT--
Running Gear

The Passat GT V6 suspension is slightly lower (0.6-inch) from the other trims plus features sport-tuned shocks and stabilizers front and rear that stiffen the ride to somewhere between family comfort and a sporty handling sedan.  The electro-mechanical power steering appeared to be well-balanced to support both highway and around town driving.  Braking around town was crisp and firm with highway braking solid and appropriate for a mid-size sedan.  Running on 235/40 R19 Continental ContiProContact all season tires, we found road contact and cornering to be good with very little road noise.

2018 VW Passat GT
Infotainment 

The VW MIB II infotainment system is standard across the Passat line.  The GT V6 uses the VW MIB II infotainment platform with their Composition Media unit and a bright 6.3-inch capacitive touchscreen display.  Though we usually pan smaller displays, we found this one to do the job nicely.

Fitted with six-speakers, it includes AM/FM/HD radio, USB and aux-in connectivity, CD player, Bluetooth Connectivity (including SMS text) and SiriusXM satellite radio. The standard VW Car-Net App-Connect smartphone integration for compatible devices allows users access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus other selected smartphone apps.

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Driver Assistance & Safety

Our Passat GT V6 offered a standard rearview camera and number of available driver assistance systems including Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Tire Pressure Monitoring, Automatic Post-Collision Braking and the VW Intelligent Crash Response System.

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As Tested

Our test 2018 Passat GT V6 was in the Pure White with Black Roof (including Power Sunroof) and the bold Red and Black accents.  The Interior was Black with the Moonrock leatherette inserts.

In addition to the unique GT features, it was equipped with a mid-level assortment of Passat standard features including Automatic Headlights, LED Headlamps, LED Daytime Running Lights and LED Taillights, Heated Power Adjustable Side Mirrors, Heated Front Seats and Keyless Access with Push Button Start.

2018_Passat_GT

SPECIAL MENTION is due the Dual Zone Climate Control in the Passat GT V6. Temperatures were over 100 degrees every day of our weeklong test of the Passat here in Central Texas.   The AC unit – hands down – was beyond impressive.  At mid afternoon in a HEB parking lot, from engine start to leaving the exit driveway, our GT V6 was comfortably cool every time.  We have driven luxury cars with price points triple the GT V6 and never had one this good.  KUDOS Passat GT V6.

2018_Passat_GT

The choice and use of materials for interior surfaces and accents is notable.  The GT carbon fiber-like dash trim accents are combined with a well-chosen variety of hard surface textures around the resto of the cabin.  Highlighted with matte metal elements, piano black and chrome trims – the bland structured interior styling typical of VW – give it a much more premium look than we expected.

The instrument cluster is not digital, the display screen is not the size of a tablet and the cabin is not loaded with ‘cubbies’ and plug-ins on every surface.  But everything needed in a mid-size sedan by a middle-income family or casual sports sedan driver was there.  And well located too, we would add.

2018_Passat_GT

Navigation was not available. A growing number of drivers (including us) are resorting to smartphone applications like GoogleMaps for navigation assistance – so we did not see that as an issue.

Overall, setting the awesome AC aside, the Passat GT V6 is a well crafted and nice performing sports sedan with most of what you would need to haul, with pop, a crew of five plus all of their gear – in the trunk.

Priced at just $29,995 – in my garage – sign me up.

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2018 Passat Lineup

The VW Passat lineup for 2018 offers six trim levels.  All are front-wheel drive and seat five.  The new 2.0L Turbo (174 hp & 184 lb.-ft. of torque) equipped with a 6-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, powers the following models:  

  • S MSRP $22,995
  • R-Line MSRP $24,995
  • SE     MSRP $26,295
  • SE w/Technology MSRP $29,595
  • SEL Premium MSRP $31,650.

The more powerful V6 powertrain drives the GT V6 MSRP $29,145 and a SEL Premium V6 MSRP $34,650.

2018 Passat GT

All 2018 VW Passat models come with the VW People First Warranty – a six-year or 72,000-mile bumper to bumper Limited Warranty which can be transferred to subsequent owners.

Find out more about 2018 VW Passat sedans at:  http://www.vw.com/models/passat/section/colors/