Forty years of Passat dependability

9:55 AM, Sep 5, 2013   |    comments
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Volkswagen's longest-running model celebrates its 40th birthday this year. As it started as a hatchback and morphed into a wagon and sedan, this German Passat has gained popularity over the years, with more than 20 million manufactured.

VW offered the first-generation Passat in 1973 and it was sold until 1980. The second-generation model - the B2 - was produced from 1980 to 1987 and in China until 2012. It became synonymous with turbo-diesel engines. The B3 generation was manufactured until 1993 and looked more like the Passat we recognize today. The B4 was manufactured until 1997, and boasted safety improvements. Quality improved with the B5 - made from 1996 to 2005 - which offered four-, five-, six- and eight-cylinder engine options. The double-clutch transmission debuted during B6.

The current B7 was released in 2010. The 2014 Passat boasts a 1.8-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine to replace its former 2.5-liter five-cylinder. Turbodiesel and V6 models are also available.

With the standard five-speed manual transmission, it returns 25 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway; the six-speed automatic is virtually the same.

The base Passat 1.8T has Bluetooth and a six-speaker audio system with auxiliary input, a trip computer and 16-inch steel wheels. Upgrade to the 1.8T SE and get 17-inch alloy wheels; leatherette upholstery; heated front seats; an auto-dimming rearview mirror; heated exterior mirrors; an eight-speaker audio system and six-CD changer; and SD-card reader and five-inch touch screen with rearview camera.

The 2014 Passat passed safety tests with flying colors, scoring a perfect five stars in frontal, side and overall crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Passat the highest rating in every category.

Test drive a Passat today at Brookdale VW.

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