- Repair & Care
The redesigned 2012 Passat reflects Volkswagen's bigger and bolder styling direction, which consumers may also recognize in the new Jetta. They look similar, but the Passat is larger than the Jetta and has a larger footprint than the previous Passat. It competes with midsize sedans like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Kia Optima.
Shoppers will immediately notice the lower starting price, chopped from 2010's $27,195 to around $20,000, according to Volkswagen. Some of the Passat's previously standard features are lost with the redesign, however.
VW says the redesign includes a "predominance of horizontal body elements." The outside has sharp lines from front to back, replacing the somewhat soft lines of the previous Passat. It's an all-new look also seen on the Jetta, and elements like the grille used in the Golf and new Touareg SUV.
The 2012 Passat is 191.7 inches long, 4 inches longer than the outgoing Passat. The wheelbase has also been increased about 4 inches.
There's more room on the inside of the Passat for 2012. The additional overall length and wheelbase help increase backseat room.
Some standard features from the 2010 Passat, such as a sunroof and leatherette seating, are no longer standard. Like the rest of the segment, these features are now optional. That doesn't mean the Passat is completely stripped down; automatic climate control is standard in base S models, a feature typically optional in the class.
Upper SE and SEL trim levels include features like 17- and 18-inch wheels, power seats, leather seating, touch-screen satellite radio and navigation system.
Under the Hood
The turbocharged engine previously standard in the Passat is replaced by a less powerful five-cylinder engine making 170 horsepower and 177 pounds-feet of torque. This engine comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission and an optional six-speed automatic.
Those looking for more variety can choose a fuel-efficient diesel option with an estimated highway rating of 43 mpg, or a 280-hp gasoline six-cylinder paired to VW's DSG dual-clutch automated manual transmission. Diesel models come with a manual transmission standard and available DSG transmission.
Standard safety features include six airbags and the required electronic stability system and antilock brakes. On manual transmissions, a hill start assist feature prevents the car from rolling back on a hill.
Select up to three models to compare with the 2012 Volkswagen Passat.