If you’re a VW fan, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. On the plus side, buying a 2012 Passat will cost you substantially less money than buying a 2011 Passat would have cost you last year. How much less? The starting price for a stripped, base model 2010 Passat was $27,945; the price of admission for a 2012 base model Passat is just $20,765. That over $7,000 less expensive, which brings me to the bad news: VW applied the same logic to the Passat as they did the the new Jetta.
If you’ve owned Passats in the past (and I can raise my hand here), you will very likely be disappointed at the de-contenting of the new, built-in-the-USA version. The base motor is no longer the 2.0 liter turbo 4, but instead the 2.5 liter, five-cylinder that VW seems to be using everywhere these days. On the high end, VW will offer a 3.6-liter V6 engine option for 2012, something that wasn’t available on the previous model.
Inside, seating options are pleather or leather, with no cloth seats to be had at any trim level. Switchgear is borrowed from the Jetta, but owners of earlier-model Passats won’t see that as a good thing. Interior trim will vary greatly depending upon which model you opt for, but expect to see more hard plastic across the product line, just like the Jetta.
If there’s good news to be had, it’s that VW will bring the TDI option back to the Passat for 2012. The 2.0 liter TDI motor is only good for 140 horsepower, but it cranks out some 236 ft lb of torque. As you’d expect, fuel economy is stellar, and the TDI Passat is expected to return 43 mpg on the highway. Better yet, it comes with a six speed gearbox as standard equipment, while a DSG transmission is an available option.
I hope to get the new Passat as a press fleet car in the near future, and maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. Nothing would make me happier than eating a big plate of crow and having to retract all the negatives about the new car. I hope that’s the case, but I don’t expect it will be.
Source: Left Lane News