Let me start by saying I hold Volkswagen near and dear to my heart. There is something special about the way the company manages to keep its cars up to date while retaining the simplicity the brand has always been known for. This continues with the 2022 VW Passat — or in my case, the 2022 VW Passat R-Line.
For a week, I got the opportunity to test out the 2022 VW Passat R-Line — the final year of production for the 2022 Passat in the U.S. — and here’s what I think of it.
2022 Volkswagen Passat: Exterior
There’s not a lot to say about the 2022 Passat’s exterior. Redesigned way back in 2012 and given light tweaks since, this remains one of the more basic and clean designs on the market.
The R-Line adds a little to this simple design with a unique bumper featuring gloss-black C-signature air intakes in gloss black and vertical chrome stripes ton the grille. Down the sides, the R-line features badging on the front fender and black window surrounds. Around back, this sportier model features a rear diffuser and rear spoiler.
At the corners, the R-Line polishes things off with 19-inch, two-tone, five-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in 235/40R19 rubber.
Overall, the 2022 Passat is a basic sedan with little to set it apart, and the R-Line adds a very mild touch of sportiness. If you’re looking to blend in, this is the sedan for you.
2022 Volswagen Passat: Interior
Inside, the VW Passat has an equally timid design, but VW did a little bit to class things up with the wood-trimmed dash and tasteful use of gloss-black inserts. The flat-bottom steering wheel is also a nice touch, but wholly out of place in such a bland sedan.
The seats are also not overly comfortable, though there is 39.1 inches of rear legroom to accommodate teens and adults. That said, long distances on these relatively hard seats could give your backside something to complain about.
If you’re looking for trunk space, though, the Passat has you covered with a massive 15.9-cubic foot cargo hold.
Tech is OK inside but unspectacular inside the 2022 Passat. It comes standard with a tiny-for-today 6.3-inch touchscreen, but it does include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It also has a USB-A port for data and a pair of USB-C ports for charging. The R-Line I had upgraded the system to the Discover Media setups, which adds HD radio and 2.5D Navigation. Still, nothing to write home about.
2022 Volkswagen Passat: Powertrain
Under every 2022 Passat’s hood is the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder TSI engine that injects 174 horsepower and 206 pound-feet of torque. This power flows through a six-speed auto transmission and out to the front wheels.
The 206 lb-ft of torque gives it crisp off-the-line acceleration, but the tires can’t handle it and spin freely before letting you take off. If you’re gentle on the throttle, though, you will get a nice takeoff and good acceleration up to about 30 mph. From there, the Passat gets quite sluggish.
The one great thing about the Passat is it’s whisper quiet. Almost no engine noise, a smooth ride, and good noise-reducing glass.
As for fuel economy, the Jetta is about average, getting 24 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined.
2022 Volkswagen Passat: Safety and Driver Assist Features
Standard on all 2022 Passat models is automatic emergency braking with forward collision warning and pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and more. For buyers seeking more assistance and safety features, you can opt for park assist, parking distance monitors, and light assist.
Overall, these features all worked as intended with no complaints from me. Some vehicles’ assist features are overly sensitive, but the Passat’s are nicely balanced.
2022 Volkswagen Passat: Final Thoughts
Look, there’s a reason VW is discontinuing the Passat in the U.S. It’s simply not up to snuff against more stylish and better-performing models like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, or Hyundai Sonata. It’s great for someone seeking a basic sedan with no frills and little style, but that’s not for most car buyers these days.
With an MSRP starting at $27,295, it’s not doing itself any favors. We suggest skipping this model. In fact, it’ll likely be gone before you even get a chase to consider buying it.