2012 Volkswagen Passat — Volkswagen Passat sedan II

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2012 VW Passat 3.6 SEL

09/08/2012

relegated to a tiny slice of the midsize family sedan Volkswagen has marked the US as a prime for its ambitious expansion plans. As a the compact Jetta and the midsize have both been to match their American and competition. Volkswagen’s new assembly in Chattanooga now allows VW to price the competitively with the best-selling sedans.

VW offers the Passat in S, SE and SEL with a choice of inline-5, or V-6 powerplants. The turbodiesel Passat TDI is in SE and SEL trim levels. Manual or transmissions are available with the gas and 2.0L TDI powerplants, but the 3.6L V-6 is equipped with a 6-speed DSG We tested a 2012 Passat SEL V6 with no additional options. price was $32,950, plus the destination charge for a total of 2013 Passats start at (Passat S) and range up to $33,525 for the V6 SEL

The Passat is assembled with typical attention to detail. quality materials and tight fits distinguish this VW most other affordable sedans. The upper dash is grained plastic, the armrests are padded, and leather covers the wheel and shift knob. The plastic center console and wood on the dash, doors, and console are expected from expensive sedans, but for a Passat costs over $33K, wood veneer is expected.

The steering wheel has convenient on the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. Controls for the phone, and trip computer are on the spokes. Gauges consist of an RPM tachometer and a 160-MPH speedometer smaller fuel and coolant gauges inset within. A display shows vehicle and trip computer information. the standard key is an engine start/stop on the center console next to the shift lever. Clearly climate control buttons and require minimal effort to use driving. Dual cupholders are under a flip-out door on the console. Under the center is a storage bin with a 12V power and an iPod adapter. The satellite system’s voice directions easy to follow and provided route instructions. Although the interface is intuitive and straightforward, the map detail and dated graphics unfavorably to current portable GPS

Replacing the leatherette-covered seats in Passats, the SEL gets leather simulated suede inserts. the 8-way power front sacrifice some lateral they proved comfortable and during a 300-mile road Front headroom is acceptable for tall passengers, even the standard sunroof. Rear will appreciate the spacious seat and ample legroom.

though the new Passat is significantly than the previous model, its interior volume of 102.0 cu. ft. it just under the Toyota (102.7 cu. ft.) and Honda (102-106 cu. ft.). The Passat’s capacity of 15.9 cu. ft. exceeds the by 0.5 cu. ft. but the curved decklid hinges from usable space. have tended to be heavier their Japanese and American but the Passat SEL weighs in at 3,446 97 lbs. less than the V-6 (3,543 lbs.), and almost 400 lighter than the Buick However, both the Camry XLE V-6 lbs.) and new Altima 3.5 SL (3,355 undercut the Passat, but not by much.

The Passat SEL is available with a of the 2.5L inline-5 or the 3.6L VR6 Although most other in this segment are all-aluminum, VR6 is an iron-block and aluminum head The narrow-angle V-6 cranks out an impressive @ 6,200 RPM; torque is a substantial 258 lb.-ft. from RPM. Note that the VR6 premium unleaded in return for its power. Unsurprisingly, the Passat’s punch ensure stress-free passing. At full throttle, a faint thrum penetrates the as the Passat accelerates with authority. Despite its muscular output, the VR6 is completely docile in driving. At idle, the VR6 clicks and more than other sixes, but the racket quickly once warmed up. In our mostly driving miles, we averaged MPG, essentially mirroring the EPA of 28 MPG. City mileage is at 20 MPG. VW limits the Passat to 130 a non-issue for American roads.

The standard DSG transmission is a dual-clutch gearbox that shifts the liquid smoothness of a conventional converter automatic. Dual shifters on the steering column manual shifting when The shift programming delays throttle downshifts a few seconds the DSG drops down a couple of Using the paddle shifters or the sport mode allows downshifts when desired.

The front suspension consists of the MacPherson struts, coil lower control arms, and anti-roll bar. At the rear is a layout with coil dampers, and anti-roll bar. alloy wheels are standard, with 235/45R18 Hankook tires. Vented front and rear disc brakes ABS and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) are

The Passat’s rack-and-pinion steering a nearly ideal combination of feedback and effort. Around the hydraulically-assisted steering is light, but at speed effort is dialed significantly. The Hankook tires constant steering corrections, and constant understeer discourages the Passat’s handling limits.


Traditionally, Volkswagen’s suspension leans toward the comfort-oriented end of the but with typical Germanic damping to control body With the new Passat, VW has softened up the to appeal to a larger swath of sedan buyers. Ironically, the 18-inch wheels and tires over sharp bumps, yet the floats over gentle Around curves, the Passat’s body roll is on par with midsize sedans in its class. anti-roll bars would improve handling, but the Volkswagen’s ride would suffer. and wind noise on most are subdued, but on concrete-surfaced highways hiss is especially noticeable. of the Passat’s handling flaws are to the 18-inch wheels and Hankook We subsequently drove a Passat 2.5 SE with 17-inch wheels and tires, which proved to be superior in both ride and

As a midsize sedan equally at the daily commute or extended trips, the Passat is a superb to its Japanese and American competition. traditionalists may be disappointed by the dilution of the Germanic heritage, VW knows Americans expect family to be spacious, comfortable, and affordable. The Passat 3.6 SEL may be too expensive for most budgets, but the midrange Passat 2.5 SE is a less expensive alternative. is serious about expanding its the midsize sedan market, and the is proof that VW is finally Americans what they

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