Auto review New VW Passat ready to challenge midsize leaders NWautos — Volkswagen Passat (North America)

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Volkswagen Passat (North America)

Auto review: New VW Passat to challenge midsize leaders

The Passat has a neutral look people will neither nor hate. (Volkswagen)

T he redesigned, 2012 Volkswagen Passat has and appears to be a solid entry in the segment, ready to challenge the of the longtime leaders in the class, the Camry and Honda Accord.

isn’t exactly groundbreaking, as Volkswagen deliberately made the American version of the Passat neutral to match the noncontroversial of its key competitors.

The goal is to have a car appeals to the widest audience rather than one that to the point where people love it or hate it. Leaving out the ground eliminates a whole of potential buyers, and Volkswagen no can afford to do that if it wants to win its to become the world’s largest

We’ll only see the U.S.-built in North America; Europeans and around the world will get a version that is a bit fancier and stylish, and costs more as

2012 Volkswagen Passat

The package: Midsize, four-door, four-, five- or six-cylinder, or diesel-powered, front-wheel-drive sedan.

Volkswagen’s new U.S.-built Passat for 2012, bigger and roomier and expensive than the model it It comes with a variety of amenities and trim levels, and is a competitor to the leading models in the class.

Negatives: Styling and interior are in comparison with Passat of the past, a concession to the new version’s to become a mass-market product to the Toyota Camry and Honda

Engine: 2.5-liter inline (gasoline); 2.0-liter inline turbocharged (TDI diesel); V-6 (gasoline).

Transmission: Five-speed (five-cylinder gasoline models); manual (TDI); six-speed (available, all models; standard the V-6).

Power/torque: 170 HP/177 (2.5, gas); 140 HP/236 (TDI); 280 HP/258 foot-pounds

Length: 191.6 inches.

weight range: 3,166-3,459

Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, all models.

Trunk volume: cubic feet.

Side air Front seat-mounted, roof-mounted for both rows, standard.

stability control: Standard.

capacity/type: 18.5 gallons/unleaded (gasoline models); low-sulfur (TDI).

EPA fuel economy: 22 mpg highway (2.5, manual); (2.5, automatic); 20/28 31/43 (TDI, manual); (TDI, automatic).

Major Honda Accord, Toyota Toyota Avalon, Nissan Nissan Maxima, Chevrolet Chevrolet Impala, Ford Ford Taurus, Mazda6, Sonata, Hyundai Azera, Kia Subaru Legacy, Chrysler Chrysler 300, Dodge Dodge Charger, Volvo

Base price range: plus $770 freight.

Price as tested: $33,720, freight (3.6 SEL).

On the rating: 8.7 (of a possible 10).

shown are manufacturer’s suggested actual selling price may

Prices begin at $19,995 $770 freight) for the base with a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine and run as high as $32,950 for the SEL Premium model with a V-6 gasoline engine and leather In between is a diesel-powered model offers the best fuel up to 31 mpg city/43 highway.

After a in the Passat 3.6 SEL model, I can tell you at least at this level, haven’t been any significant to the mass market, however. car is as well-equipped and elegant as some sedans that cost of dollars more, and the road is still driver-oriented, a Volkswagen

The new Passat is 191.6 inches which is 4 inches longer the 2010 Passat (there was no model) and 1.5 inches longer the Camry. It has a 110.4-inch wheelbase.

Its panel was patterned after of the 2011 VW Touareg sport vehicle, with chrome-trimmed around a digital multifunction

The cabin is roomier than any sedans I’ve tested with enough rear-seat to accommodate just about any including those who are close to all legs.

Even with the front positioned back as far as they go on their tracks, there no complaints from my rear kids or adults.

Volkswagen the Passat has the most legroom in the

Oddly, although it feels the Passat has 4 cubic feet passenger space overall the 2012 Accord. It’s half a cubic foot than the Camry inside.

The and wide trunk is bigger those of the Camry and Accord cubic feet for the Passat with 15 for the Camry and 14.7 for the

Only a sedan version of the is offered, at least for now. No version is planned, the carmaker

The Passat, the compact Jetta last year) and the Beetle, is all new for 2012 as well, are the keys to an plan to increase Volkswagen’s U.S. sales to 800,000 by 2018, from last 256,830, which was the company’s showing since 2003.

Volkswagen Passat (North America)

The new must sell much than its predecessor in the U.S. if Volkswagen is to reach that VW sold just 10,168 of the sedan in calendar year versus 327,804 for the Camry and for the Accord.

This year, the Altima has moved into place, between the Camry and the

While the Chattanooga plant has a of 150,000 of the Passat annually, it be expanded quickly if necessary, says. But the midsize-sedan market is crowded, and other new models, redesigned Hyundai Sonata and Kia models from South will offer even competition.

Volkswagen says the Passat was »developed as a larger with premium features and characteristics that will match it with the tastes and of Americans.»

There are three levels: the base S model, SE and top-of-the-line SEL, and there are 16 configurations, based on engine/transmission and standard amenities.

Standard in the S is the five-cylinder engine, which 170 horsepower and 177 foot-pounds of torque. connected to a five-speed manual or automatic transmission.

Optional is the four-cylinder clean-diesel engine also is available in the compact sedan and Golf hatchback. VW it has a highway range of up to 800 miles on a tank of fuel. It’s at 140 horsepower and 236 foot-pounds of torque.

EPA for the diesel are 31 mpg city/43 highway a six-speed manual and 30/40 the six-speed automatic.

Our tester, the 3.6 SEL had the V-6 engine, cranking out an impressive 280 and 258 foot-pounds of torque. There was power here than I needed, even during a family trip that some mountain driving.

We also encountered some and the car handled well on the slick even through some shallow) standing water and there.

EPA ratings for the V-6 are 20 city/28 with the six-speed automatic which has an automatic dual-clutch that gives the feel of a gearbox. The manual transmission is not with the V-6, however.

at the $19,995 base price, the comes with such features as automatic climate an eight-way adjustable driver’s with lumbar support, and hands-free phone connectivity.

standard features include windows, insulated glass, clock, cruise control, temperature display with warning, and a radio-CD system with an external audio

Among the safety features is Intelligent Crash Response which automatically shuts off the supply and electronic equipment impact, while also the doors and disconnecting the battery the alternator. The hazard lights switch on.

Also included are a monitoring system, electronic control, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake hill-climb assist (with the transmission), six air bags and a rigid structure.

Sixteen-inch wheels are but 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels are

The higher-priced trim levels such extras as eight-way front seats with leather upholstery and steering a touch-screen satellite radio; a of two navigation systems; fog lights static cornering lights; wood trim; ambience and keyless entry with start.

Also available is a Fender audio system, designed for Volkswagen.

Everything that can be to the Passat, except for a sunroof, was on our 3.6 SEL Premium model, including the spoke wheels, leather and steering wheel, wood-grain trim with chrome keyless entry and start, audio (wow!), fog lights and for the driver’s seat.

No options added to our vehicle, which the final sticker price including freight.

Volkswagen Passat (North America)
Volkswagen Passat (North America)
Volkswagen Passat (North America)
Volkswagen Passat (North America)


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