A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volkswagen Passat

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.

Key Features

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.

Available Models

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.

Major Recalls

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.

Common Issues

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.

volkswagen passat 2012 interior


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19 years of experience
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Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
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Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

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Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
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