2018 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T SEL Premium

If you like conservative styling, the Volkswagen Passat is probably the most conservative sedan in the world. Some might call it boring, but the Passat’s styling does project an air of luxury.

There are five trim levels. Our review car is the 2.0T SEL Premium.

Premium is the best word to describe the interior, too. The wood trim might be fake, but there’s real leather covering excellent seats. The whole layout is no-nonsense and gimmick-free, especially the simple climate controls. A six-speed dual clutch automatic is a no-extra-cost option. A six-speed manual is standard.

Electronic driver aids like emergency braking are standard, while cross-traffic alert, lane departure, and even automated parallel parking are available.

The room in row two is simply outstanding. In the SEL Premium, row 2 seats are heated, too. That roominess extends to the trunk with one of the largest cargo holds in the class.

The base engine is still a turbo four, but it’s bigger now – a 2.0 liter compared to last year’s 1.8. Horsepower is 174. A V6 is available.

With excellent crash test scores, the Passat is front-wheel-drive. All-wheel drive is not available. Precise steering, good balance, and a quiet ride round out the package.

So for the 2018 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T SEL Premium, I say thumbs up to the roominess, comfort and value; thumbs down to the boring styling.

I averaged about 29 miles per gallon. The as-tested sticker price is $32,500.

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