Redesigned for American buyers, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat is roomier, has more standard features, and costs less than previous models. All that, and you still get everything you look for in a German-built sedan, including the on-road dynamics, power, and torque. Basically, it has the style and feel of a VW with the price tag of a Toyota.
The base model Passat comes with dual-zone climate control, a 3-year/36,000-mile maintenance program, Bluetooth connectivity, and audio controls mounted on the steering wheel. When you move up to the next trim level, you’ll get a USB port in the audio system and an optional Fender sound system. That’s right, the famed guitar and amplifier company is now stepping into the world of automotive sound with a 400-watt, nine-speaker system for the 2012 Volkswagen Passat.
Changes for 2012
Everything about the 2012 Volkswagen Passat has been redesigned for North American car buyers, and they’re even manufactured in North America, as well.
What We Like
We really like the low price and roominess of this mid-size sedan, and the standard features are a big selling point, too. At this price point, you don’t usually find cars with dual-zone climate control or automatic headlights.
What Concerns Us
Additional options do drive the price of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat up, and it’s not the most visually appealing mid-size sedan on the road. We have a feeling resale values on these won’t be as great as we might hope.
Whichever trim level you choose, you can get a 2012 Volkswagen Passat with one of three engines – a 2.5-liter five-cylinder, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel, or a 3.6-liter V6. The base model engine has 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. You’ll lose a bit of horsepower but gain a large amount of torque with the turbo-diesel, and it has the best fuel economy of the three with a rating of 43 MPG on the highway. The V6 has a full 280 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, but it’s also the least fuel efficient of the three.
There have been three major recalls on some 2012 Volkswagen Passat models, including issues with the airbag clock spring, loss of low-beam headlights, and problems with the diesel fuel filter element.
In general, 2012 Volkswagen Passat owners have been more than satisfied with their cars, though some have complained about erratic idling and sudden, unintended accelerations.