Here is a review of the American made, 2012 VW Passat that will hit the market in the summer of 2011.
WHAT’S NEW — 2012 VW Passat: All-new for 2012, the VW Passat offers a more spacious cabin but keeps the luxurious interior and affordable German engineering that car shoppers expect from Volkswagen. The mid-size sedan, which debuted at the 2011 North American International Auto Show, will be built in America at VW’s new Chattanooga assembly plant. New features include a TDI Clean Diesel engine option, an Integrated Crash Response System (ICRS), available remote start and, on certain models, the available Fender Premium Audio System – a nine-speaker sound system that gives you the power to share your favorite song with just about everyone in the neighborhood. Or at the stop light.
2.5L 170-hp engine, 31 mpg highway and 573 miles/tank
3.6L 280-hp engine, 28 mpg highway and 518 miles/tank
2.0L TDI Clean Diesel, 43 mpg highway and 795 miles/tank
Figures are manufacturer estimates. 1
SAFETY RATING: Not yet tested
WARRANTY: 12-year/unlimited mileage limited warranty against corrosion perforation; 5-year/60,000-mile (whichever occurs first) powertrain limited warranty; 3-year/36,000-mile (whichever occurs first) New Vehicle Limited Warranty; 3-year/36,000-mile (whichever occurs first) ††
MAINTENANCE: No Charge Carefree Maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles 2
GALLERY: 2012 VW Passat — First Look
FACEBOOK: Read what our fans are saying
TDI CLEAN DIESEL: Clean Diesel vs. Gasoline
UNDER THE HOOD: Sure, you love the interior materials. And the way the door closes with an authoritative “thunk” when you climb inside. But that’s not why you buy a VW – not really. It’s that German engineering thing that just seems to get you every time you slip behind the wheel. The way the steering wheel feels in your hands as you pilot down the road, the grip of the tires, and the way the suspension makes the car behave like a car ought to behave on a winding road. That’s called engineering – affordable engineering – and it’s what people expect from VW. For the all-new 2012 Passat, that hasn’t changed one bit. Buyers can expect 12.3 inch disc brakes on all four corners, for example, and a multi-link suspension in back. They can also expect to choose between three engine choices and four transmissions: A 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that makes 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft. of torque mated to a 6-speed automatic or manual transmission. There’s also the 3.6-liter V6 engine (280 horsepower, 258 lb-ft. torque) with VW’s popular DSG® transmission. That’s DSG, as inone of the best features about VWs. Also known as a two-clutch transmission, the DSG helps reduce lag between shifts, making driving more fun and efficient.* And of course, there’s the diesel – or TDI Clean Diesel – with rocks green lights with 236 lb-ft. of torque and puts out 140 horsepower. The TDI engine is mated to either manual or DSG transmission.
Steering comes courtesy of two different systems: Passats with the 2.5-liter engine get hydraulic steering assist, while TDI and V6 models come with electronic steering. Safety features include a new steering column designed to help protect the driver during a frontal collision, reinforced door panels to guard against side impact, front and side curtain airbags and VW’s Integrated Crash Response System (ICRS), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Anti-lock brakes (ABS), and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).**
TDI CLEAN DIESEL: We know what you’re thinking. Diesel used to be smelly, loud and nasty, and as a result got a bad rap in the states thanks to big trucks and long-ago mistakes by automakers. It’s just not true anymore, so – get over it. Today’s diesel is clean, thanks to the fuel and engine technology that VW uses to help improve efficiency and boost performance.† Fact is, TDI Clean Diesel models are arguably better and more efficient than their gasoline-powered siblings. There’s also the feel-good angle: the 2012 VW Passat TDI meets BIN5/LEV2 emissions standards, courtesy of a computer-controlled injection system that sprays fuel directly into the combustion chamber. At high pressure, this helps to promote more complete combustion. In addition, Passat TDI models use a special catalyst and urea-injection system that reduces NOx emissions by up to 95 percent. Filled by a 4.9 gallon tank located inside the trunk, the injection system delivers a range of approximately 15,500 miles. Service is handled at your local VW dealership and is covered by the Passat model’s no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program. ††
TECHNOLOGY: The all-new 2012 VW Passat wouldn’t be a VW without some seriously cool tech on board. This is the stuff that makes life with the Passat a fun ride down the interstate, warms up cold mornings and equips you with a well-earned smugness when you roll through the neighborhood. It starts with music, of course: Passat buyers choose between several entertainment systems, starting with the RCD 310 – a two color display unit with AM/FM radio and CD player. That’s standard on the Passat S, while the Passat SE gets either the RCD 510 and its full color touch screen display, six disc CD changer, SD card reader, and an MP3 player, or the optional RNS 315, which adds a navigation system, a 5” color display and touch screen and Media Device Interface (MDI) for MP3 players. SEL buyers upgrade to the RNS 510 and its navigation system with a 6.5” color display and touch screen, 30 GB hard drive and simultaneous route guidance. Also available is Sirius Satellite Radio® with a three-month free trial, and, best of all, the Fender® Premium Audio System, consisting of nine speakers (including subwoofer). Fender Premium Audiois available on certain trims.
The Passat also features available keyless entry and push button start as well as remote start, a new feature for the Passat that allows you to heat up the car from outside the vehicle. Just press the lock button once followed by the remote start button twice and the engine starts, returning the car to the temperature last set in the vehicle. Remote start is offered on select trim lines with automatic transmission.
INTERIOR HIGHLIGHTS: The all-new 2012 VW Passat upholds VW’s reputation as the maker of refined and comfortable interiors. It’s also spacious – especially when it comes to rear leg room – thanks to a wheelbase that measures 3 inches longer than the previous Passat. Add to this increased elbow room a smartly designed interior that places a premium on ergonomics and convenience. From the center console to the armrests, glovebox and cupholders, the Passat is roomy, comfortable and built with quality materials. Colors include Titan Black, Moonrock Gray and Cornsilk Beige.
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1Range based on highway mpg manufacturer’s estimate and an 18.5-gallon tank. Your mileage will vary. Fuel economy values are based on manufacturer’s preliminary testing. EPA estimates not available at time of posting.
2 The Volkswagen Carefree Maintenance Program covers the vehicle’s scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first on all 2009 or newer models. Coverage during the term of the new vehicle limited warranty at no additional charge. Some limitations apply. See dealer or vehicle maintenance program booklet for details.
**Airbags are supplemental restraints only and will not deploy under all crash circumstances. Always use safety belts and seat children only in the rear, using restraint systems appropriate for their size and age.
†† The Volkswagen Carefree Maintenance Program covers the vehicle’s scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first on all 2009 or newer models. Coverage during the term of the new vehicle limited warranty at no additional charge. Some limitations apply. See dealer or vehicle maintenance program booklet for details.
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