2012 Volkswagen Passat SE: Review notes

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2012 Volkswagen Passat car review
The five-cylinder engine in the 2012 Volkswagen Passat is rated at 170 hp.

By: Roger Hart on 12/19/2011

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EXECUTIVE EDITOR ROGER HART: This Passat is the car Volkswagen hopes determination get the state by storm. Well, additional accurately, it's the bottom car (although not the bottom trim level) existence form liberally at the company's new bazillion-dollar mega-plant in Tennessee. And VW is pinning its hopes on the Passat not merely to create the plant winning but too to assist the corporation produce its similar in North America. And as I said, petroleum is the bottom model, by means of the entry-level powerplant. If present is no substance which to complain concerning in petroleum car, construct overall is a solid piece, it is the old 2.5-liter five-cylinder so as to for the the majority fraction has person's name approximately for a pair of decades. The additional engine choices, a 3.6-liter V6 and a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four, are better. But contain are pricier, too.

The car was intended in Germany for North America. The seats are a bit wider, and there's a small additional center space. A Big Gulp cup determination fit in the center-console cupholder. And a lot of cost was in use out in arrange to cost the bottom Passat (in S trim) at $19,995, with no creation the car seem cheap. We're not certain how a lot of of persons contain determination sell, but petroleum car, by means of the six-speed auto, has a polite sound scheme and leather seats. And at $25K, it is a lot of car.

I similar to the car a lot. Well, not petroleum exacting car, since of the engine, but the Passat in general. The 2.5-liter lacks any low-end grunt to get off the line, and freeway passing, say, as of 60 to 80 mph, is slow. Filled by means of passengers and gear, the car mechanically still additional sluggish.

It's the correct size, it handles healthy for a front-driver, and the interior, still although it has a few additional hard-plastic bits supposed come again? you counting discover in an Audi, is motionless healthy designed, attention high-quality and functions well.

Put the turbodiesel eager on this, or still the six-cylinder, and add the Fender up-level audio, and you've got a terrific each day driver.

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: I've exhausted two existence now thinking concerning come again? to mark concerning petroleum 2012 Volkswagen Passat SE, and therein may lie a clue. It inspires no mellifluous prose, but petroleum new, bigger, blander Passat is a actually high-quality midsize sedan.

Consider come again? the standard sedan purchaser attention for in a car: room, comfort, quietness and a solid heavy feel. The Passat stay far above the ground marks for each.

Inside, the Passat SE we tested has extraordinary back legroom and a simple, open, airy cabin by means of polite materials. They're not come again? you'd stay for in an Audi, but they're perfectly on par by means of the relax of the class. The stem is huge, and all of the controls are laid out on the dash in logical style by means of no mysterious symbols.

The five-cylinder powerplant is dreary for sure, but so are the majority bottom four-cylinders by means of automatics as of the competition. I in fact similar to the five-pot's odd exhaust note (Subaru-esque is the merely way I can explain it), and I establish its torque individuality at approximately 1,500 to 3,000 rpm to be actually healthy suited for the Tiptronic gearbox throughout stop-and-go freeway driving--what a lot of Passat owners determination probable use a pale bit of completely occasion doing.

Ride and handling now outstanding, by means of the Passat delivering a perfectly unremarkable freeway experience. It was healthy damped, smooth and quiet, by means of a linear brake-pedal feel. The steering was a small overboosted for a VW, but it become paler in nature by means of the dimension of the car. My overall impression was so as to petroleum is a well-thought-out, well-executed midsize competitor.

If VW can get its excellence reputation out of the toilet and get clientele to think the brand, the Passat may bring a breakout hit.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: I pulled the sticker on petroleum car since I establish it firm to consider so as to all of petroleum gear and all of as,at the same occasion as considerate extras approach normal for fewer supposed $26,000. Sure, it's the old five-pot 2.5-liter, so so as to saves a number of money, as fake structure it in the United States to get rid of the exchange-rate upcharge. Even by means of all of that, the car is amazingly healthy equipped, by means of vented and heated leatherette seats, a premium audio scheme by means of a big touch screen, redundant steering-wheel controls and routine climate control, the distance end to end of by means of nice satin trim surfaces and soft-touch resources lining each small cubby, still the small pouch on the rear of the back middle console and the storage space bin in,within the back pull-down armrest. That type of notice to feature is too frequently lacking, usually in the attention of saving a few pennies per unit. Not so by means of petroleum Passat.

I similar to the center mixture of satin finishes, cream-colored plastics and seats and black dashboard, and the center space is huge. Even by means of the front seat moved all the way to the rear of its travel, there's motionless abundance of back-seat ground and knee room. In general, the car earth spacious inside. On the additional hand, as,at the same time as I discover the front-end styling bold and intriguing, the relax of the exterior earth to become paler eager on vagueness. There's not a lot to create it place out.

This 2.5-liter engine isn't the the majority excellent VW has to offer, but it fake the job in a sensible style and with no sounding too unrefined and rough, and the six-speed routine is smooth and responsive, particularly in the additional nimble game mode. The handling, still in petroleum replica ready by means of quite mundane rubber and 17-inch wheels, earth able and sharp--almost glow and tossable. It certain doesn't sense similar to a front-heavy front-driver. I seem forward to sampling the diesel and VR6 models, the distance end to end of by means of the DSG transmission. (And how concerning the small turbo four?)

The best time to learn about BMW is before you're in the thick of things. Wise readers will keep reading to earn some valuable BMW experience while it's still free.

It all tells me so as to VW has a lot on foot on petroleum Passat, and it doesn't desire no substance which odd or out of put to spoil the party. At petroleum cost tip and as equipped, the Passat is finally very spirited in the U.S. midsize-car market. Bravo, VW.

ROAD TEST EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: The clandestine to advertising truckload following truckload of midsize sedans in the United States is actually fairly simple. Just seem at the perennial the majority excellent sellers genuine as the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord for the formula of one fraction inoffensive styling, one fraction spacious cabin, a pair of engine options and a well-damped ride by means of standard handling, and boom, you contain physically a contender in the U.S. midsize-sedan market.

One obsession Toyota and Honda contain leaving for not any is tremendous make loyalty. A big proportion of populace who own genuine dull vehicles as the Camry and the Accord determination now put back completely old cars by means of a new account of come again? they've by now got. They be acquainted with the populace at completely restricted dealership service section and are healthy acclimated to the existence of existence form a Toyota or Honda owner.

Trying to converse populace eager on straying as of a at ease custom is Volkswagen's main hurdle (and so as to of each additional car company) at what time it moderator to creation a big dent in petroleum space. One obsession is for sure: The new Passat hits all of the significant points. Boring design? Check. Roomy cabin? Check. Different engine options? Check again. Acceptable ride soothe and handling? Indeed.

Like the Jetta, the Passat surely doesn't twist heads. Is it ugly? No. Does it seem good? No. It's now OK and acceptable. Call it bland, but nobody hates the way it looks. It doesn't inspire physically powerful feelings for or after that to it. It's now there, blending in by means of the crowd, and that's a high-quality obsession in petroleum segment.

The cabin is evenly uninspiring. It's just laid out, it's liberally as of respectable materials, it rapidly abundance of space in together front and back, and it is now OK overall.

As the route contain mentioned, the inline five-cylinder is not the engine I counting desire in a Passat. Personally, I counting spring for the diesel for the torque and variety abilities, but petroleum I5 by means of its 170 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque motivates the Passat the distance end to end of fine. It's coarse-sounding, construct is astonishing for an inline engine. The six-speed gearbox is smooth, though. And the combo yielded respectable petroleum monetary system throughout my few nights by means of the car, 27 mpg in varied driving.

This Passat's chassis is surely additional dialed-in supposed persons of the Camry and the Accord. As in the majority VW products, the steering is overboosted, by means of hardly any weight, but it certain is responsive. The ride is sure and composed as the car rolls smoothly downward the expressway, and the way it handles bumps and potholes is impressive. It corners well, by means of a number of lean at what time rolling on the not-so-sticky all-season rubber. So it handles improved supposed the Toyota and the Honda, but it isn't as sporty as the Mazda 6 and the Kia Optima. It falls in the middle.

It determination be interesting to see if VW can create a dent by means of the Passat. The manufactured goods delivers on the significant stuff so as to the characteristic customer in petroleum marketplace attention for. Now let's see if the clientele determination come.

2012 Volkswagen Passat SE

Base Price: $25,595

As-Tested Price: $25,595

Drivetrain: 2.5-liter I5; FWD, six-speed automatic

Output: 170 hp @ 5,700 rpm, 177 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,221 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 25/27.0 mpg

Options: None

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