2012 VW Passat First Drive

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Thread: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

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    2012 VW Passat First Drive

    http://www.insideline.com/volkswagen...rst-drive.html

    "Whatever you do, don't say 'size matters' during your presentation."

    Those were the words of advice a Volkswagen executive gave to Oliver Stefani, just before he introduced the 2012 Volkswagen Passat at Volkswagen's new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the car will be built.

    The tired joke would have been an easy fallback for Stefani, the vehicle's lead designer, who trained at the Art Center of Design in Pasadena, California. After all, Volkswagen is counting on this Passat's increased size to help it attract more American buyers.

    But after spending several hours behind the wheel on the roads between Nashville and Chattanooga, we think there's another reason Americans might like this sedan — simplicity.

    That's because this Passat is like an old-school American sedan. There are no needless displays, funny shifters or hard-to-read buttons. You want lights? Turn a knob. Need to change the station? Turn a knob. More heat? Turn a knob.

    Nothing is complicated and there's room to stretch out. The materials look good and every piece is solidly assembled. It's like a Crown Vic that's been to finishing school.

    It Is Big, Though
    Thankfully, Stefani avoided the obvious cliché, but he wouldn't have been incorrect. The average midsize sedan in the U.S. is huge compared to its European counterparts, so clearly size does matter. It was one reason why the previous Passat never competed well against the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.

    This new Passat is much different. While the European Passat is still the same size after its recent refresh, the Passat built in America is bigger in every direction. The wheelbase, the overall length and, of course, the backseat are all bigger than before. It's now within an inch of the Chrysler 300 in terms of rear head-, shoulder and legroom. Even the trunk is up to 15.9 cubic feet. That's bigger than the cargo bays of the Accord, Camry or Chevrolet Malibu.

    There's a bigger selection of engines, too, starting with the 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder we've come to know and tolerate in the Jetta. From there you can upgrade to Volkswagen's 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder diesel or a 3.6-liter V6. All of them offer some form of six-speed automatic, while the two smaller engines are offered with manual gearboxes as well. According to Volkswagen officials, the manual options are meant to reinforce the Passat's credibility as a driver's car. Good enough reason for us.
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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 rueben44's Avatar
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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    Wow what were they smoking when making this car?
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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    It is kind of like a W-body plus nav.
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    Previous: 09 Pontiac G8 GT (09-12), 06 Buick LaCrosse CXS (06-09), 05 Ford Freestyle SEL (05-09) 02 Hyundai Elantra GT (01-06), 00 VW Jetta (00-05), 85 Mercedes 350 SEL (99-01), 84 BMW 316 (98-99), 90 Mitsubishi Mirage(91-98), 79 Chrysler LeBaron (88-90), 73 Dodge Dart Swinger (87-88).

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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    The car is grossly too big for it's own good.

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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    Is VW going after fleet with this? Police version soon?
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    Previous: 09 Pontiac G8 GT (09-12), 06 Buick LaCrosse CXS (06-09), 05 Ford Freestyle SEL (05-09) 02 Hyundai Elantra GT (01-06), 00 VW Jetta (00-05), 85 Mercedes 350 SEL (99-01), 84 BMW 316 (98-99), 90 Mitsubishi Mirage(91-98), 79 Chrysler LeBaron (88-90), 73 Dodge Dart Swinger (87-88).

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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    This seemed like a very mild review.

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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    I don't understand the negative responses.

    This is a large/midsize car that is absolutely well executed. It's light, it offers THREE engines--including a diesel, it has manual transmission options, it has up-to-date interior technology, it's built in the United States, it looks good inside and out, it's well-priced, and it has plenty of interior and trunk room.

    Could you imagine if this was an Impala-replacement? This site would have people falling all over themselves to congratulate GM on offering such a car.

    If you have a problem with the cost cutting for the base model: don't buy a base model. Problem solved.

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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Buick61 View Post
    I don't understand the negative responses.

    This is a large/midsize car that is absolutely well executed. It's light, it offers THREE engines--including a diesel, it has manual transmission options, it has up-to-date interior technology, it's built in the United States, it looks good inside and out, it's well-priced, and it has plenty of interior and trunk room.

    Could you imagine if this was an Impala-replacement? This site would have people falling all over themselves to congratulate GM on offering such a car.

    If you have a problem with the cost cutting for the base model: don't buy a base model. Problem solved.
    All I see when I see this car is a more modern Impala. Not a bad thing. A loaded one for just over $30k is a bargain.
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    Previous: 09 Pontiac G8 GT (09-12), 06 Buick LaCrosse CXS (06-09), 05 Ford Freestyle SEL (05-09) 02 Hyundai Elantra GT (01-06), 00 VW Jetta (00-05), 85 Mercedes 350 SEL (99-01), 84 BMW 316 (98-99), 90 Mitsubishi Mirage(91-98), 79 Chrysler LeBaron (88-90), 73 Dodge Dart Swinger (87-88).

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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    Basically Volkswagen beat GM to updating the Impala.
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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    No way Eps II Impala will start less than $24K. VW priced this like a Sonata.
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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    It looks more dull than the EDM Passat, but I'll reserve judgment until we see how it actually stacks up in terms of the vehicle and its pricing (and reliability down the line).

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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    I saw a Passat pass my office window in downtown 'Nooga last week. I was wondering if it was some kind of preliminary test drive by an auto journalist. My only complaint with the car? It really looks like a super-sized Jetta. The new-look Jetta has actually grown on me. But, I don't think it's good to make your cars all look exactly the same. Unfortunately, the Volkswagen group seems to like to do this (see Audi).

    I do think it will be successful, simply because people will see the cheaper price and the VW badge. Unfortunately I suppose I have to wish them well, considering a lot of my neighbors are now depending on the car's success.
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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Hitman1970 View Post
    Is VW going after fleet with this? Police version soon?
    Funny, I was thinking "This looks like a Chevy. More like a Chevy than a Chevy, in fact."

    Quote Originally Posted by Buick61 View Post
    I don't understand the negative responses.

    This is a large/midsize car that is absolutely well executed. It's light, it offers THREE engines--including a diesel, it has manual transmission options, it has up-to-date interior technology, it's built in the United States, it looks good inside and out, it's well-priced, and it has plenty of interior and trunk room.

    Could you imagine if this was an Impala-replacement? This site would have people falling all over themselves to congratulate GM on offering such a car.

    If you have a problem with the cost cutting for the base model: don't buy a base model. Problem solved.
    Yeah, this looks good. Too bad it's a VW. Imported from Chattenooga.
    Simple dash. Check.
    Hand brake. Check.
    High vents. Check.
    18.5 fuel tank. Check.
    Decent sized trunk. Check.
    3200~ lb. curb weight. Check.
    TDi. Check check check check.
    Too bad it's a VW.

    Quote Originally Posted by FenwickHockey65 View Post
    Basically Volkswagen beat GM to updating the Impala.
    And if they'd used the 3.5 as the base engine and used Accord door pockets, it would be as good as it gets.
    Too bad it's a VW.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hitman1970 View Post
    All I see when I see this car is a more modern Impala. Not a bad thing. A loaded one for just over $30k is a bargain.
    I'd give 27 for a TDi. Minus incentives, of course.
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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Inside Line
    The standard 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine generates a respectable 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, but it never really feels like it. Volkswagen says it's good for a 0-to-60-mph time of 8.7 seconds. Problem is, that's about a full second slower than most of its competitors.
    It is? Both the Sonata and Optima they've tested were in the 8 second range, and so are four-cylinder versions of the Camry, Accord, Malibu, and Fusion. The 2.5L I5 may not be exciting and not everyone may like the sound/feel but the acceleration will be fine for VW's intents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buick61 View Post
    I don't understand the negative responses.

    This is a large/midsize car that is absolutely well executed. It's light, it offers THREE engines--including a diesel, it has manual transmission options, it has up-to-date interior technology, it's built in the United States, it looks good inside and out, it's well-priced, and it has plenty of interior and trunk room.

    Could you imagine if this was an Impala-replacement? This site would have people falling all over themselves to congratulate GM on offering such a car.

    If you have a problem with the cost cutting for the base model: don't buy a base model. Problem solved.
    Agree. While the Jetta is criticized for cost-cutting/cheapening, part of the problem there is it came when competitors started getting nicer, better-equipped, and more expensive. OTOH the new Passat doesn't seem to give up anything in equipment to the competition, or the way it feels to drive (something the Jetta still also has according to the reviews).

    IMHO size wasn't really a problem for the last Passat here (mostly just the cost) but the added size for this new one will be a big selling point. Considering the effort VW put in it (building a new plant and everything) I hope they have more success with their upsized midsize than Mazda has with the current 6.
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    Re: 2012 VW Passat First Drive

    Ford or GM need to get serious about offering oil burners in the US. And dropping the V6 in the segment even for Regal is a bad idea

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