Tuesday, April 3, 2012

First Impression: Volkswagen Passat

The Volkswagen Passat has been around since 1973 and there have been seven generations of the Passat. The Passat serves as Volkswagen's mid-size sedan and competes against the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. For the latest generation of the Passat, the European and South American markets would get the Passat B7. North America and China would get the Passat NMS (New Midsize Sedan), which is larger than the Passat B7. Motortrend named the Volkswagen Passat the 2012 Car of the Year.

I recently saw the Passat at the 2012 Houston Auto Show. While the Passat has a more refined body style than past Passats, there are better looking midsize sedans out there, including the Lexus GS, BMW 5-series, and 2013 Ford Fusion. Based on styling, the Passat does not stand out from the Accord, Camry, or Chevrolet Malibu. The Buick LaCrosse and Subaru Legacy better looking than the Passat. If Motortrend awarded the Passat the 2012 Car of the Year based on looks, then Motortrend must like cars with bland styling.

For the North American market, the Passat is available with three engines and can come with either a five-speed manual, six-speed manual, or six-speed semi-manual DSG transmission. The base 2.5L I5 engine produces 168 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque and will get the Passat from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds. The 2.0L TDI diesel engine produces 138 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque and will get the Passat from 0 to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds, which is slow in my books. The 3.6L VR6 engine produces 276 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and will get the Passat from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, which is quick for a midsize sedan, and will reach a top speed of 130 mph. Prices for the Passat 2.5L start at $20,045. Prices for the Passat TDI start at $26,199. Prices for the Passat VR6 start at $28,676. To get the top-of-the-line Passat will cost over $32,000, which is too much. The top-of-the-line Subaru Legacy costs under $28,000 and it also comes with a 3.6L six-cylinder engine.If Motortrend employees saw great value and performance in the Passat, they must have been on some strong drugs. The Subaru Legacy, Ford Fusion, and Toyota Camry are better performers and values than the Passat.

The Passat NMS has been featured in Modern Family and The Middle.

Final Thoughts: Volkswagen must had payed Motortrend a lot of money or Motortrend employees were on some strong drugs when they named the Passat its 2012 Car of the Year. The Ford Fusion, BMW 5-Series, Audi A6/S6/RS6, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Buick LaCrosse, Dodge Charger,Chrysler 300, Toyota Camry, and subary Legacy are all better midsize cars than the Volkswagen Passat. Other cars that should have been considered or Car of the Year include the SSC Tuatara, Ferrari FF, Lamborghini Aventador, Subaru Imprezza, Buick Verano, Cadillac CTS-V, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang Boss 302, Aston Martin Vantage S, the new Porsche 911 (the 991 generation) Nissan GT-R, Jaguar XKR-S, and Pagani Huayra (please bring Pagani to America). Motortrend has been pissing me off when it comes to its pick as Car of theYear. I will let its 2010 pick, the Ford Fusion slide. It was a better pick than Motorweek, which was the Toyota Prius. Both Motortrend and Motorweek picked the Chevrolet Volt as their 2011 Car of the Year. Motorweek surprised me with its 2012 Car of the Year, and it was a good pick. The Passat is bland and performs good when powered by the 3.6L VR6 engine. But to get a good Passat will cost around $30,000 which is way to much for that car.

Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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