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2012 VW Passat – An Oversized Jetta

2012 VW Passat

The VW Group has bold plans for the North American market and the company hopes that the Jetta along with the new 2012 Passat will help increase the sales and overtake Toyota as the largest car manufacturer in the world. If you remember the last generation of the Passat you know that it wasn’t a real looker but at least it stood out within VW’s lineup. We cannot say the same thing about the 2012 model as it looks like a Jetta on steroids. It doesn’t have a bad look but it is in fact a longer, wider and taller Jetta. Similar to its sibling, the 2012 Passat will have a significantly lower starting price of about $20,000, in comparison to the outgoing model that has a base price of approximately $28,000. This $8,000 difference will most likely annoy the people that already got the 2011 model, but will attract more customers that were waiting for the new model.

The new generation of the Volkswagen Passat will be available with three engines: a 2.5-liter gasoline, a 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel and a sporty 3.6-liter VR6. The first one produces 170 hp and 177 lb.-ft of torque and is a premiere for a Passat and will be linked to a 5-speed manual gearbox. As an optional feature, customers can choose the more relaxing 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Clean Diesel power unit outputs 140 hp and 236 lb.-ft and according to VW, “has the power of a six cylinder gasoline engine and the fuel economy of a hybrid.” With this power unit, the 2012 VW Passat will do 43 mpg on the highway and will have a range of about 800 miles. The engine features a NOx storage catalytic converter, making it one of the cleanest engines available. The TDI powerplant can be fitted with the 6-speed DSG gearbox as an optional feature.

For those of you that want a sportier Passat, you can get it with the 3.6-liter VR6 engine that produces 280 hp and 258 lb.-ft of torque. With the VR6 power unit, the car will do 28 mpg on the highway which isn’t very bad in our opinion, but we’ve seen better. As standard, the Passat equipped with this engine is linked to the 6-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission.

2012 VW Passat

This new generation of the Passat will be offered in three trim levels: S, SE and SEL, with a grand total of 16 equipment levels. Some of the most important safety features will include the proprietary Intelligent Crash Response Systems, ESP, tire pressure monitoring system, Hill Climb Assist, six airbags, ABS with braking assist. The Intelligent Crash Response System is capable of auto-initiating safety protections if a collision occurs by unlocking the doors, shutting off the fuel supply as well as the high consumption electronic equipment, turning on the hazard lights and disconnecting the battery terminal from the alternator cable.

Some of the most important standard features of the all-new Passat include: automatic climate control, air conditioning, power windows, outside temperature display with frost warning, insulating glass, radio-CD system with MP3 support and external audio input, an analog clock located at the center of the instrument panel, cruise control and Bluetooth support.

As optional features the car can be fitted with one of the following: keyless access with push button start, power passenger seat, memory driver’s seat, new ambiance lighting, wood decor, front fog lights with static cornering lights, touchscreen satellite radio, power seat adjustments, leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel as well as 17- and 18-inch alloy rims.

2012 VW Passat

According to the press release, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat offers a more spacious cabin thanks to the fact that the car measures 191.7 inches and has a wheelbase of 110.4-inches. If you have seen the all-new Touareg, the instrument panel of the Passat is very similar to the one found on the SUV. The digital multifunction display is surrounded by the chrome trimmed gauges. The chrome look was also used for the surrounds of the radio, air vents in the cockpit, climate control panels and navigation system. Only the base version of the Passat will not come with chrome accents on the trunk opening switches, mirror adjustment and on the window. For the S version, the car will feature decorative elements in “Titan” design while the SE trim gets a “Titan Silver Printed” look. In The SEL version the 2012 Passat features wood decor “Aluminum Nut But”. The entry-level model offers an 8-way adjustable driver’s seat as standard with lumbar support which should be enough for a more than comfortable ride.

In my humble opinion, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat offers a pretty good package and with a low starting price it will be a very desirable car. If the looks were a little bit different from the recently released Jetta, the car might have been a little more attractive, but we can’t say that it looks bad, just very familiar.


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