As the first front-drive Volkswagen sold in America, the large four-door Passat, known as the Dasher in the U.S., helped revitalize the struggling auto-maker during the early 1970s. Up to this point, Volkswagen’s early designs had become rather stale and unimpressive. So once the Passat came around, things started to look up for Volkswagen. By far, the biggest hit for car enthusiasts came a full quarter century after its inception with the celebrated 1998 midsize model.
Delivering a respectable 150-hp and powered by a 1.8-liter turbo four that broke zero to 60 mph in eight seconds, the 2001 Passat provides a roomy, stylish interior, and sleek sophisticated exterior design. With a name that’s derived from one of our planetary wind systems, it takes its unique title from the German word for ""trade winds.""
Body Styles: sedans and wagons
Engines: 1.8-liter four-cylinder, 2.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8T, Volkswagen Passat GLS V6, Volkswagen Passat GLX V6, Volkswagen Passat GLS V6 4Motion, Volkswagen Passat GLX V6 4Motion
The 2001 Volkswagen Passat receives no significant changes, but by mid-year, the auto maker did make a few alterations: a revised/reinforced nose, elegant chrome exterior trim, an updated interior cabin, 20 additional horsepower (for a total of 170) to the 1.8-liter, four-cylinder, turbo engine, standard front and rear side curtain airbags, optional steering wheel controls for the audio functions, cruise control for GLS that's standard on the GLX, and a standard trunk entrapment release button.
The 2001 Volkswagen Passat enjoys a stronger, audacious exterior design that’s a bit closer to the Audi: a bolder chrome-trimmed front grille, better-integrated front bumper and vertically stacked round new clear-lens headlamps/taillight groupings, integrated fog lights, and a cluster of backup lights under a clear outer lens. Volkswagen also upgraded its chassis for a significantly stiffer structure that’s designed to give the car a more structurally rigid body, which will yield greater crashworthiness, better handling, and tighter exterior panel fits overall.
The 2001 Volkswagen Passat offers up a nice selection of high-end material trim matched with plenty of welcomed amenities. Throughout the cabin, passengers are treated to ample chrome-trimmed gauges, a telescoping steering wheel, an updated center console/dashboard area with a wider front cabin armrest, dual integrated cup holders and a compartmentalized storage area with the back cabin enjoying the same. Standard features on the base GLS include AC, cruise control, power windows and doors, remote keyless entry, while the GLX trim give buyers more for their money with a sturdy V-6 engine, sunroof, and heated front seats.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 Volkswagen Passat comes with two engine choices: a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder turbo good for 170 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque on base trims, while the 2.8-liter V-6 brings in 190 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque that's optional on the GLS and standard on the GLX. Overall, it delivers an excellent driving experience, exemplary steering, handling, braking, and acceleration abilities.
The 2001 VW Passat includes standard safety features such as four-wheel anti-lock brakes, seat-mounted side airbags for the front seat passengers, side curtain airbags for the front/rear cabin, traction control, front/rear headrests, an anti-theft alarm system, and child seat anchors.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volkswagen Passat 1.8-liter: 20/29 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat 2.8-liter V-6: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Passat 2.8-liter V-6 (AWD): 15/22 mpg city/highway
- Peppy ride
- Roomy interior
- Excellent build quality
You Won't Like
- Price rises fast with options added
A great mid-size vehicle regardless of the competition.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A4
- BMW 325
- Volvo V40
- Subaru Outback