Driving Notes

2017 Volkswagen Passat R-Line

October 19, 2016

by Thi Dao - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

The 2017 Passat R-Line mid-size sedan, which was redesigned for 2016, adds more features to lower trims. Forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking are now standard across all trims, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert is now standard on both R-Line and SE trims.

The Passat R-Line features a 1.8L turbo four-cylinder engine that delivers 170 hp and is offered with a 6-speed automatic transmission. In terms of fuel economy, the vehicle gets 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

The car’s dash had sufficient features without being overwhelming. I found the VW Car-Net App-Connect simple to set up, and it allows drivers to use select apps from their smartphone on the touchscreen display. I appreciated the vehicle’s blind spot monitoring and rear-view camera — perfect for backing in and out of tight parking spots. I was pleasantly surprised by the reminder on the touch-screen display, after I had turned off the car: “Please do not forget your cell phone.” That saved me a couple of trips back to the car, since the area where I had put my phone was not very visible.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

The vehicle features a luxurious interior and plenty of space. My backseat passenger reported sufficient leg room, and my front passenger was pleased with the seat warmers and the smooth ride. The trunk appeared standard for a vehicle of this size.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the vehicle an overall crash-test rating of five stars.

The mid-level trim, the R-Line, has a starting MSRP of $23,975. Other trims include the S, starting at $22,440, and the SE, starting at $25,495.  In comparison to the S, the R-Line comes with sporty front and rear bumpers, 19-inch alloy wheels, and Car-Net App-Connect.

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Amy Winter-Hercher

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