2012 Volkswagen Passat review and test drive

9 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2012 Volkswagen Passat review and test drive

A Passat built for — and by Americans

Mid-size sedans are big here in the States. By Volkswagen’s we bought 2.9 million of them in — and of that number, about 40,000 were VW is tired of being a small in a giant pond, so for 2012 designed a Passat especially for the American market.

The all-new Volkswagen Passat is bigger, affordable, and infused with subtle Germanness that Volkswagens apart — at that’s what the PR hacks me at the press preview. So is this new really right for America? on.

First Glance: Passat a new mission

The Passat has around a lot than most people Volkswagen has been selling a version of their European-market sedan since the 70s, as the Dasher, then the Quantum, finally as the Passat. The Passat has been sportier and more than its mid-size rivals Japan and the States, but it was also and more expensive, which sales.

For 2012, the US (along with Mexico, and, believe it or China) will get a unique of the Passat. Not only is it significantly than the European-market Passat, but also less expensive $20,765 (including destination which puts it in the same as the big sellers in the segment (Toyota Honda Accord and Ford ) — and that price all routine maintenance for the first 3 or 36,000 miles.

As a demonstration of commitment to the US market, VW is building the in a brand-new $1 billion plant in Tennessee.

It’s hard to get excited the design of the new Passat. There are rather nice details in the Volkswagen is particularly fond of the crease that runs headlight to taillight, which is a thing to build correctly should give collision-repair fits). Still, it does like the designers sketched out the shape with the intent to in the details later, then to lunch, had a couple of martinis, and all about it.

Simple, elegant can be a beautiful thing — the Kia is a great example — but the needs more detail

Passat’s dashboard is admirable for its but like the interior it’s in style. This is the mid-level SE, with aluminum trim on the and an optional navigation system

Photo #169; Aaron

In the Driver’s Seat: Promises

When Volkswagen said were making the new Passat they weren’t kidding. of the extra space went to the seat (link goes to which has a full-length cushion provides excellent thigh and enough legroom to fit Kareem even with Wilt ahead of him in the driver’s seat. On the Passat offers a massive more rear legroom the formerly-class-leading Honda Accord.

The is not the biggest, but it’s more adequate at 15.9 cubic

Up front, the new Passat maintains the feel of the outgoing Passat high-quality materials and a soft-touch The cabin of the base-level S model solid, if a bit stoic; the mid-level SE is up with aluminum trim and seats. The SEL features wood and the top-of-the-line SEL Premium adds upholstery.

The control layout is admirable for its but like the exterior, the shape and of the dash is a bit dull — it the wow-factor of the Hyundai Sonata or the hipness of the Kia Optima. and even the Toyota Camry has more than the Passat.

Volkswagen has the number of stand-alone options for the new like the Honda Accord, is largely determined by trim Though the S model is a good compared to the competition (it includes climate control and Bluetooth connectivity as standard), SE and SEL models a couple grand more comparably-equipped rivals. The range-topping 3.6 SEL Premium lists for $33,720, a thousand dollars more a top-of-the-line Honda Accord V6.

On the Road: Choices, choices,

2.0 liter TDI turbodiesel is my favorite of the three engines

Photo Aaron Gold

The new Passat is with 3 engines, starting the 170 hp 2.5 liter 5-cylinder from the I sampled this engine a 6-speed automatic transmission, and from an annoying hesitation pulling away from a it does the job well enough. said, it doesn’t do the job any better the 4-cylinder engines in its rivals, and its EPA economy aren’t as good (22 highway for the automatic, 21/32 for the stick).

The fantastic 2.0T the old Passat is gone, sadly, but the 280 hp 3.6 V6 remains; VW has paired it with 6-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic. improves fuel economy to 20 MPG MPG highway.

Handling is a traditional VW strong I didn’t get a chance to press the very hard, but I found good grip, excellent control, and tires that a warning as the limits of traction all combined with a comfortable and quiet ride. 5-cylinder get traditional hydraulic power and the feel is quite good; from the electric power (EPS) in TDI and V6 cars feels a tad but notably better than the EPS in the Sonata and Kia Optima. Underpinning in the Passat is a feel of solidity that Germanness that automakers try so hard to imitate.

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