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2014 Kia Optima, Snow White Pearl, 6 mi., $22,740
Review of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat
IntroductionThe Volkswagen Passat has been around in the U.S for more than 37 years now and the Volkswagen Passat gets better and better with its age. The 2012 Volkswagen Passat has been fully redesigned. The all-new mid-size sedan is now available at a lower price, a roomier interior and a power packed new turbo diesel engine. The 2012 Volkswagen Passat is the first vehicle to roll out from the VW's brand-new assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The 2012 Volkswagen Passat sedan is offered in three broad models in three engines 2.5L, TDI and 3.6L and further subdivided in three different trims levels such as S, SE and SEL.
Exterior Design and Special FeaturesThe 2012 Volkswagen Passat sedan is offered in three different trims (S, SE and SEL) and a host of three different engines (2.5L, TDI and 3.6L). The base "S" model (2.5 L) comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, full power accessories, automatic dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, an eight-way manual driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, steering wheel audio controls, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input. An available Appearance package adds a six-speed automatic transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels and a rear-seat center armrest. The next in line SE trim level gets 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim, a six-way power driver seat, heated front seats, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, a sliding front armrest and a touchscreen audio interface. The SE optional package includes a sunroof and a navigation system. The optional package in TDI SE includes 18-inch alloy wheels and foglights. The 3.6L SE comes standard with these options, except the navigation system, which remains optional. A nine-speaker Fender audio system is also included. The 2.5L SEL adds upgraded front seats, the Fender sound system and an upgraded navigation system. The SEL Premium package adds keyless ignition/entry, remote ignition, foglights, a power passenger seat, driver memory functions and leather/faux suede upholstery. You can have both the TDI and 3.6L in SEL but with Premium package.
EngineThe 2012 Volkswagen Passat is now available in a choice of three engines. A 2.5-liter inline-5 that pumps out 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque which again is paired with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen's estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway with the automatic and 21/32 with the manual. There is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel TDI also on the offer for those looking for maximum miles per gallon and better acceleration. This engine produces 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque and is paired with either the six-speed manual or a six-speed automated manual transmission (known as DSG). The EPA-estimated fuel economy is an excellent 31 mpg city/43 mpg highway/35 mpg combined regardless of transmission. The 3.6L's 3.6-liter V6, the most powerful engine of all mentioned above pumps out 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission is standard. VW's fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway.
SafetyThe 2012 Volkswagen Passat comes with a host safety features such as antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. In the event of a crash, a new feature called Intelligent Crash Response automatically cuts off the fuel supply, unlocks the doors and turns on the hazard flashers.