Volkswagen would like for you to believe that the “newly redesigned exterior” makes the 2012 VW Passat one of the most awe-inspiring, head-turning vehicles on the road today. However, that simply is not the case, as far as the exterior goes. The rear deck and side paneling are rather bland in appearance and the front and grill are only slightly spiffed up. The foglights however, are very innovative and will begin to turn the second you begin to turn the wheel, allowing you to see that hidden deer on the road around the corner, before normal lights would allow you to do so. The keyless entry and ignition are also new from Volkswagen and with your keys in your pocket or purse, the door will automatically unlock when you touch the door handle. Then, once inside the cabin, there is a keyless push-button ignition, so you can keep you keys stashed away without ever locking them in the car.
Speaking of inside the cabin, the seating in the Volkswagen Passat has an incredibly luxurious and comfortable feel. These 8-way power seats come in V-Tex leatherette, made to last and provide a comfortable ride. Or, if that doesn’t satisfy you, VW also offers a seating upgrade with leather-trimmed seating that comes with Dinamica padded comfort inserts. The rear legroom of the VW Passat is best-in-class of any mid-size sedan, including the Honda Accord, beating it by nearly 2 inches of room. For those long road trips, the backseats fold in a 60/40 split, allowing for more carrying capacity and the adjustable sunroof will ensure that you soak up that Vitamin D. The dual zone climate control will help settle temperature disputes between the driver and front passenger, allowing each to adjust their climate to their own personal preference.
When you put on some Jimi Hendrix over the sound system, you may just feel like you’re at a live show back in the 60’s. The Fender Premium audio system disperses 400 watts through 9 different speakers in the car. The touchscreen, GPS navigation system will ensure that the driver never gets lost – or if they do, that at least they’ll be able to find their way to the destination. The 2012 Volkswagen Passat also comes with a free trial of Sirius XM satellite radio. Bluetooth capabilities make sure that the full attention of the driver stays on the road, even when talking to another person through the speakers in the car.
As far as performance goes, the VW Passat comes with 3 engine choices. First, consumers can stick with the standard 2.5-liter, 5-cylinder engine that gets 32 MPG on the highway and 22 in city limits. Or, they can choose a 2.0-liter, turbodiesel engine that provides an amazing 43 MPG highway and boasts a 795-mile range between fill-ups at the pump. The third engine option is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that has 280 ponies in the “stables.” The 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic allows drivers to get the best of both worlds of a manual and an automatic. Volkswagen was able to provide an incredibly smooth ride, with an independent suspension system for each wheel, not just the pairs of rear and front wheels. Unfortunately, the braking distance of the VW is far below average, according to test drivers. The throttle acceleration is also considered to be sub-par.
With all that said, for an MSRP price of $19,995, consumers should feel confident and secure in buying a 2012 Volkswagen Passat. It’s a quality vehicle that has been designed in Germany, but manufactured and sold in America, so you’ll know that you’re helping out the American economy, even when buying a German vehicle.