Over 75,000 owners of new cars and light trucks in the United States were surveyed in the first quarter of 2012 to determine the winners of the AutoPacific & Autobytel 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA). Based on the results of the survey, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat has been awarded the title of America’s highest-rated Premium Mid-Size Car.
Aside from being built in a brand-new state-of-the-art facility outside Chattanooga, Tenn. the 2012 Volkswagen Passat is larger and more spacious than its predecessor, leading Volkswagen to claim best-in-class rear-seat legroom. Offering attributes like intelligent crash response, automatic climate control and a 3-year/36,000-mile free maintenance plan, along with a starting price under $21,000 goes a long way toward owner satisfaction.
Add a few features such as keyless entry, remote start, 18-inch wheels, navigation, leather, wood trim, and a six-cylinder engine, still coming under $35,000. Plus, even though the Passat is an American-built VW, it was engineered to run on the unlimited-speed Autobahn at full throttle. This means its switchgear is logically arrayed, its instrumentation is easy to read, and it is extraordinarily stable at high speeds.
Sum all that up, and you’ll come out with the best-rated premium mid-size car in America, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat.
The AutoPacific and Autobytel awards are designed to help consumers make choices in purchases by giving them true a “word-of-mouth” survey of experiences. The survey includes 48 individual vehicle attributes on which voters rank their vehicle in the ownership experience. Award winners are determined is based solely on owner input and the resulting measure of owner satisfaction demonstrated.
Neither AutoPacific nor Autobytel has a vote. In other words, the winners of the VSA are based purely on the numbers generated by the owner ratings. Auto Pacific does the arithmetic and Autobytel does the reporting. This makes the AutoPacific & Autobytel VSA very different from other automotive awards primarily concentrating on reliability, quality, or subjective journalist evaluations to the exclusion of how satisfied actual owners are with their vehicles.
At the Los Angeles Auto Show last week, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat was announced as the winner of the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award, which is the most prestigious honor bestowed upon an automotive manufacturer by Motor Trend.
This year’s group was a record at 35, all-new or thoroughly redesigned, 2012 model year vehicles. The all-new for 2012, made in America, Volkswagen Passat edged out its European, Japanese and American contenders in an exhaustive evaluation process that included the full complement of Motor Trend performance tests, track-based ride and handling evaluations, and real-world driving on city streets, freeways, and two-lane roads.
“The well-equipped Passat is a breakthrough car for Volkswagen, as it has been designed to suit the North American market and is being built in a brand-new, state-of-the-art assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.,” said Motor Trend editor-in-chief, Angus MacKenzie. “It has one of the roomiest interiors of its class, a wide choice of powertrains and a well-tuned chassis. A compelling new entry in the toughest, most competitive vehicle segment in the U.S. today; it’s a terrific all-around family sedan.”
For the past 62 years, the editorial staff of Motor Trend has met to determine the best new car for the following model year. The Car of the Year process is not a comparison test; the winning vehicle is the one that, in the judges’ opinions, best fulfills six key criteria: advancement in design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value, and performance of intended function.
The Passat’s styling is clean and simple, but executed with precision normally seen on expensive luxury cars. Car of the Year judge Tom Gale, Chrysler’s former design chief, noted, “…like the Audi [A6], what is remarkable is the restraint shown with the handling of the design. Clean, beautiful surfaces have been refined for an engaging result.”
With options that include a 2.5-liter five-cylinder gas engine, a powerful V6 or a highly efficient turbo diesel–each with the option of being mated to a standard transmission or the seamlessly smooth dual-clutch auto-manual unit–Motor Trend found the powertrains of the Passat to be perfectly matched to the car. Editors particularly praised the diesel engine mated to the dual-clutch auto-manual gearbox. Engineering guru, Chris Theodore noted of the combination, “…without the compromise that mainstream green vehicles impose–a true technological achievement.”
The standard 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine returned 26.5 mpg in testing while the optional turbo-diesel returned an average of 34.3 mpg. The Passat has the best fuel economy stats among this year’s finalists over the course of 11 mixed-driving loops.
Between government mandates and consumer expectations, pretty much all vehicles in this segment gets a standard complement of passive safety gadgets that include six airbags, stability control, tire-pressure monitoring, ABS, and brake-assist, among numerous other electric aids. “What’s more fun to talk about under the safety rubric is how well the Passat’s chassis is tuned to keep it out of trouble, because well-driven, agile cars are less likely to plow into things than poorly controlled, flabby, clumsy ones,” said Motor Trend technical editor, Frank Markus.
And by investing in a facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. to build the Passat, VW has reduced the potential for currency fluctuations to negatively impact the price, as happened with the previous imported model. With initial costs lower and overall ownership costs suppressed–thanks to improved build quality and VW’s Carefree Maintenance Program–the 2012 Volkswagen Passat stands as a great value in a market segment driven by price-conscious consumers.
The 2012 Passat was inteneded to be an affordable, roomy, efficient mid-sized sedan for the American family, and the car delivers perfectly on the mission statement. Car of the Year judge, Chris Theodore summed it up best, “I was expecting a large, cost-reduced VW that had lost its Fahvergnugen, but it’s still there, just cloaked in Brooks Brothers.”
This is only the second time Volkswagen has won Motor Trend’s highest honor, the first being in 1985 for the then American-built TDI.
You’ve heard about the all new Made In America Volkswagen Passat, now it’s time for you to find out just how good this car is! Pacific Volkswagen is having a test drive event this weekend, October 14-16 at our store at 14900 Hindry Ave in Hawthorne.
We will have all trim lines of the 2012 Passat available for you to look at, sit in and test drive. We will also have VW Specialists on hand to answer all the questions you may have. Test drive one of the new Passats during the weekend and you will receive a $25 gas card!
If you come on Friday, lunch is on us!!! We will have the World Famous Grilled Cheese Truck here from 12-2pm providing all their great eats!
Also during this event we have special pricing for 2012 Passat leases, that make getting into a new Passat easy for everyone. Come on down to Pacific Volkswagen and see just out impressive the new Passat is.
Lease a 2012 Passat S for $219** mo./36 mos. $1,999 due at signing (excluding titles, options, and dealer charges)
Offer good through 10/31/2011.
As a valued customer, we know you appreciate all things Volkswagen. Did you know that the all-new Passat has the most premium features standard in its class?† When you consider the price, the sleek new look, and the choice of engines – including the TDI® Clean Diesel that gets up to 43 miles per gallon†† – that turns into a pretty stellar deal. So what are you waiting for? Visit Volkswagen Santa Monica and test-drive the all-new Passat today.
Premium Features Standard:
Dual-zone automatic climate control
Intelligent Crash Response System
Multi-function steering wheel
One-touch control for all four windows
60/40-split folding rear seats
Automatic vehicle illumination
3-year/36,000-mile Carefree Maintenance‡
Volkswagen Santa Monica
2440 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
phone: (888) 394-4903
*Base MSRP of $19995 for 2012 Passat S with manual transmission. Prices exclude transportation, taxes, options, title, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price. **Based on MSRP of $23,460.00 (including destination charges) for a 2012 Passat 2.5L S with Appearance Package with automatic transmission, excluding title, tax, options and dealer fees. Excludes TDI models. Monthly payments total $7,884.00. Requires dealer contribution of $1,419.00, which could affect final negotiated transaction. Purchase option at lease end for $13,722.20. At lease end lessees responsible for $0.25/mile over 36,000 miles and excessive wear and tear. Dealer sets actual prices. Lessee responsible for insurance. Closed-end lease offered on approved credit by Volkswagen Credit through participating dealers. Supplies limited. U.S. cars only. Additional charges may apply at lease end. Initial vehicle availability may vary by dealer and location. See your Volkswagen dealer for financing details or for general product information call 1-800-Drive-VW. ©2011 Volkswagen of America, Inc. †Based on manufacturers’ published specifications comparing 2012 Passat S to 2011 non-premium midsize sedans. ††EPA estimate for 2012 Passat TDI Clean Diesel with manual transmission. Your mileage will vary. ‡3 yrs/36,000 miles of no-charge scheduled Carefree Maintenance, whichever comes first during term of new vehicle limited warranty. Some restrictions. See dealer or program for details. ©2011 Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Having moved North American production to Chattanooga, Tennessee, the all-new Volkswagen Passat has now been repositioned to compete at the heart of the mid-sized sedan market. Now it has earned the coveted Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick rating for 2011, which is the highest possible for the non-profit safety research organization.
This annual rating recognizes vehicles that perform best in protecting passengers in the Institute’s front, side, and rear crash test evaluations, along with the newly required roof-strength test evaluations. Top Safety Pick ratings are only awarded to vehicles that are fitted with electronic stability control and head protection airbags.
“Performance of the Passat is another example of Volkswagen’s ongoing commitment to engineer vehicles that earn the highest safety ratings,” says Institute president Adrian Lund. “Top Safety Pick winners achieve that status by earning the top ratings in the Institute’s four demanding tests, and by having electronic stability control, the most important feature in helping drivers avoid many kinds of crashes in the first place.”
“The new Passat is an important vehicle for Volkswagen,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “It has been engineered in Germany specifically to compete in the heart of the North American mid-sized sedan segment.”
“To have IIHS recognize the Passat as the Top Safety Pick is a great statement for this new car–and to have eight Volkwagen models with this significant award is an equally great statement for the brand. It’s a testament to our commitment to make safety such a high priority in vehicle development, using advanced techniques such as laser seam welding and the extensive use of high-strength steel to build exceptionally strong structures.”
The Passat will hit our showrooms in the third week of September. Join our Facebook community or follow us on Twitter to be one of the first to know! Or contact us today and have one of our sales consultants contact you personally as soon as the vehicle arrives.
Reposted with the permission of acarisnotarefrigerator.com.
The adorable little kid in the Darth Vader outfit who starred in VW’s popular Super Bowl commercial, The Force, won’t need to invoke The Force to compel consumers to buy the all-new 2012 Volkswagen Passat. I’m relieved to report that the car is good enough to sell itself. [For the record, that commercial turned out to be a very good investment for Volkswagen as it went viral and has been viewed more than 41.4 million times on YouTube alone. ]
Like most auto enthusiasts, I was concerned and apprehensive last year when VW announced that its new mid-size car was going to be a US-only Passat with an inflated size and a deflated sticker price. To do this, VW built a beautiful, shiny, new $1 billion factory in lovely, noisome Chattanooga, Tennessee. And they did it all with “only” around $557 million in state and local taxpayer incentives.
Volkswagen’s new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Right now, the only model built there is the 2012 Passat.
The new Passat was announced after the 2010 launch of the all-new 2011 Jetta. I found the new Jetta disappointing in almost all metrics save for the wonderful TDI engine option. The Jetta had been stripped of suspension parts and fitted with interior plastics courtesy of Walmart. Built in VW’s Puebla, Mexico plant, the Jetta is now cheap enough to compete with the Asians. Ugh. In short, the new Jetta had turned to the Dark Side to boost sales.
Americans respond to big price reductions, so sales of the Dark Side Jetta are up. I mourn the loss of a Jetta sedan with a class-leading interior, independent rear suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes. I’ve always been a fan of VW because the little German-engineered cars were günstiger.
The 2011 VW Jetta – knock knock – come on, wake up!
The 2012 Passat, with a base MSRP of $19,995, is targeted directly at the mid-size family sedan leaders: The Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu. It’s thousands less than the previous German-built Passat, primarily due to cost cutting and elimination of the profit-sucking exchange rates.
Where the Jetta’s styling redefines anonymous, the new Passat is more detailed and mature, albeit as conservative as the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. Pictures don’t do the Passat justice and color makes a significant difference. All the promos show the car in a pale color; however, my black tester really popped with its controversial, bright, rapper-size fore and aft VW badges and sinister-looking polycarbonate shades streamlining the halogen headlamps into the prominent 3-bar corporate chrome grille. It may look like Darth Vader, but it hasn’t gone to the Dark Side.
The front of the 2012 Passat looks a bit menacing in black. The VW badge is certainly prominent.
I contacted VW Santa Monica (part of the LACarGuy group) ahead of time to make sure they had a diesel Passat available to test. The test car was just that – a VW tester sent directly to the Santa Monica dealer to make the rounds of local events and provide a dedicated test vehicle for 40 mpg-hungry LA-area greenies.
No window sticker, just a nice “gift” to Santa Moncia Volkswagen. Note the QR (quick response) code on the sticker. You can read it with an app on your smartphone.
I’m sure the base Passat 2.5L, saddled with VW’s unremarkable 170 hp 5-cylinder hamster wheel, will be the volume leader. Inexpensive always sells. VW also offers a top-line Passat with a 3.6L 280 hp V6; but here in green veneer L.A., the marquee model is the TDI with the 2.0L 140 hp 236 lb-ft torque turbo-diesel direct-injected engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or VW’s 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automated gearbox.
Why the excitement? Well it’s because the manual version is rated at 31 mpg city, 43 mpg highway and the automatic is rated at 30 city/40 highway. The Passat’s highway mileage meets or beats any mid-size sedan, including the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata Hybrids. Anecdotal evidence from numerous sources suggests that the TDI’s highway mileage will actually be higher. With its 18.5 gallon tank, the Passat TDI has a cruising range exceeding 700 miles. Vegas road trip anyone?
The rear of the 2012 Passat is more defined than the Jetta. It won’t win any design awards, but it’s well executed. Note the large VW badge and the TDI SEL on the right trunk lid.
It was a nice day for a drive in Santa Monica where the blistering summer heat was all the way up to 73 degrees — a daunting test for the Passat’s standard dual zone automatic climate control.
The little diesel engine feels right at home in the Passat and has no problem tugging around its 3,360 pounds. I experienced a bit of hesitation from the DSG when I punched it into a turn from a stand still; however in normal driving in city traffic, the transmission shifted smoothly. I never felt a lack of power because of the gobs of torque available from only 1,400 rpm.
All in easy reach: The handsome DSG shifter, start stop button and dual zone automatic climate control. The digital temperature settings can be read in the center infotainment screen.
The new electromechanical power steering felt light, somewhat isolated, but on center. It retains enough German precision to make it a better driver’s car, particular in DSG sport mode. The front wheels tracked dead straight. As with most VW products, torque steer has been all but banished by the engineers in Wolfsburg.
I did my usual tap and scratch test on the interior plastics of the new Passat and I have good news: This isn’t the Jetta. The dash cowl is covered in a pleasing, textured, soft-touch plastic. The “Autumn Nut Burl” trim, while not real, is convincing enough. The door trim above armrest level is textured and softened while the trim below the arm rest and below the dash belt line is a harder plastic that taps a bit hollow.
The driver’s side door panel is pleasing and the various plastic panels all match despite being of different quality. I like the way the grab handle was integrated into the design.
The tilt/telescope three-spoke multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel felt good in my hands and adjusted for a perfect view of the instruments. Basic functions were all easily accessible and my hand fell naturally both to the shifter and adjacent start/stop button.
I was grateful for the 8-way power sports seat with driver’s side memory that are part of the $4,300 TDI SEL2 option package. It took a bit of fiddling, but I found a comfy position for my 6′ 1″ lanky frame. The heated and leather-trimmed seats have Dynamico ® (synthetic suede) inserts that tether you in for an added sporty dimension.
It’s not a great picture; but you can see the power seat controls.
I didn’t test the navigation system, but the smallish 6.5″ touch screen had sharp graphics and was easy to read. The Fender Premium Audio System has a 30 GB hard drive, Bluetooth, satellite radio and iPod control. The interior is almost Lexus-quiet, with surprising little engine or road noise infiltrating the airy cabin. This modern advanced “clean” diesel engine is both quiet and odor-free.
The smallish – 6.5 inch – infotainment screen. Here you see some of the controls for the Fender Premium Audio System.
I missed a backup camera or sensors that would be an inexpensive add-on to the existing navigation system. There were no rain-sensing wipers either. And I’d prefer the iPod controls in the center armrest area rather than the glove box.
The 2012 Passat has class-leading front and rear legroom and its cargo capacity is almost at the top with 15.9 cubic feet. The standard 60/40 split rear bench folds down so that long flat cargo (think flat boxes at IKEA) are an easy fit. The trunk was completely lined and flocked; however, the trunk lid was naked and sported goose neck hinges rather than gas-pressure struts. I smell a diligent cost accountant at work.
The back seats look inviting and you can see the suede-like material inserts.
The capacious trunk has a fairly low lip, so it’s easier to load stuff. It’s nicely lined too. Note the little pulls at the top of the opening that allow you to drop the rear seats for more room. Also you can see the naked trunk lid and cheap goose neck hinges.
Base MSRP for the 2012 Passat TDI with DSG is $27,895. The SEL2 package is $4,300; however, you get almost every luxury feature and infotainment upgrade you could want. In fact, there are no other options offered. Add the $770 destination charge and the fully-loaded car is $32,965. This prices the 2012 Passat TDI smack in the middle of its similarly-equipped fuel sipping hybrid competition and it is, by far, the frugal enthusiast’s pick of the bunch.
On Sunday, August 7, 2011, racers from all over Southern California and Nevada will converge on San Vincente Blvd. in Brentwood to compete for the USA Cycling Regional Criterium Championship. The Southern California Nevada Cycling Association has chosen the Brentwood Grand Prix as the 2011 SCNCA Elite Criterium Championship and racers will be competing for the honor of wearing the coveted Bear Jersey.
In 2010 the Brentwood Grand Prix saw the largest field in its 3 year history with over 750 racers competing in front of more than 3000 spectators. This year, with the added prestige of the SCNCA Elite Criterium Championships we are expecting full race fields in all categories and greater numbers of spectators coming out for what is expected to be an exciting and fast day of racing.
The starting MSRP of $19,995 for the all-new 2012 Volkswagen Passat will definitely make it a strong contender in the highly competitive midsize segment. “The 2012 Passat is a true Volkswagen, offering German engineering, class-leading standard features, and superior fuel economy, all for a remarkable value,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “Demonstrating our commitment to the American market, the car will be produced at one of the newest, most advanced, and environmentally responsible auto assembly plants in the world in Chattanooga, Tennessee.” The 2012 Passat offers exceptional standard features and premium options and will be available in three powertrains with multiple trim options, all at an equally impressive price.
The starting price of $19,995 will get you into the 2.5L with a six-speed manual transmission, giving you 170 horsepower. There are eight, count ‘em eight trim levels and standard are automatic dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, and Volkswagen’s no-charge three-year/36,000 mile schedule Carefree Maintenance Program.
At the next level, we have the SE that starts at $23,725 and it includes additional equipment such as 17-inch alloy wheels, 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, touchscreen Premium VIII radio, and a multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel. See the pricing chart below for more details and additional model information.
Returning to the Passat lineup for 2012 is the TDI variant that comes equipped with VW’s 2.0L turbo diesel engine that is expected to deliver 43 mpg highway, with a range of nearly 800 miles. The TDI’s base package, the SE, comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, Volkswagen’s touchscreen Premium VIII radio and six-speed manual transmission. Volkswagen’s highly regarded DSG dual-clutch gearbox is an option.
Topping the range is the powerful 3.6L VR6 that has three trim levels with a starting MSRP of $28,995. Standard is the DSG gearbox that puts out 280 horsepower. Additional standard premium features include 18-inch alloy wheels, comfort sport seats, a sunroof, and a class exclusive Fender Premium Audio System.
Specifically designed for North America, the new Passat is much larger with more rear-seat legroom. It was designed to provide premium features unique to the U.S. market but at the same time, retaining the dynamic character that is expected of the Volkswagen.
Premium options include leather seating surfaces, leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel, wood decor, ambiance lighting, memory driver’s seat, power passenger seat, a choice of Volkswagen’s RNS 315 or RNS 510 navigation systems, front fog lights with static cornering lights, and keyless access with push button start. Also available is the new Fender Premium Audio System that will combine the raw emotion of live music with the driving experience.
|2012 Passat Pricing|
|2.5L – S (man)||$19,995||16” steel wheels, six-speed manual transmission, Automatic dual-zone climate control, power locks & windows, body color mirror and door handles, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, 8-way manual driver seat, center armrest w/integrated storage box|
|2.5L – S w Appearance(auto)||$22,690||+ Six-speed automatic transmission, 16” alloy wheels, rear center armrest w/storage|
|2.5L – SE (man)||$23,725||17” alloy wheels, V-Tex leatherette, 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, touchscreen Premium VIII radio, Multi-Function leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum trim dash and middle console, exterior chrome window trim, sliding front center armrest|
|2.5L – SE (auto)||$24,825||+ Six-speed automatic transmission|
|2.5L – SE w Sunroof||$25,625||+ Sunroof|
|2.5L – SE w Sunroof/Nav||$26,795||+ RNS 315 Navigation with Mobile Device Interface (MDI)|
|2.5L – SEL||$28,395||+ RNS 510 Navigation, Fender Premium Audio System, Homelink, comfort sport seats, interior chrome accents, wood grain interior décor, exterior chrome accents|
|2.5L – SEL Premium||$29,895||+ leather seating surfaces, keyless access and remote start, fog lights, driver seat memory, 8-way power passenger seat|
|TDI – SE||$25,995||17” alloy wheels, V-Tex leatherette seating, 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, touchscreen Premium VIII radio, Multi-Function leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum trim dash and middle console, exterior chrome window trim, sliding front center armrest|
|TDI – SE w Sunroof||$27,895||+ Six-speed DSG automatic transmission, sunroof|
|TDI – SE w Sunroof/Nav||$29,495||+ 18” alloy wheels, RNS 315 Navigation, Mobile Device Interface (MDI), fog lights, exterior chrome accents|
|TDI – SEL Premium||$32,195||+ Leather seating surfaces, comfort sport seats, keyless access and remote start, RNS 510 Navigation, Fender Premium Audio System, driver seat memory, wood grain interior décor, 8-way power passenger seat, interior chrome accents|
|3.6L – SE w Sunroof||$28,995||Six-speed DSG automatic transmission18” alloy wheels, V-Tex leatherette seating, sunroof, 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, comfort sports seats, touchscreen Premium VIII radio, Fender Premium Audio System, Multi-Function leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum trim dash and middle console, exterior chrome window trim, chrome dual exhaust, fog lights, sliding front center armrest|
|3.6L – SE w Sunroof/Nav||$30,595||+ RNS 315 Navigation, MDI, exterior chrome accents|
|3.6L – SEL Premium||$32,950||Leather seating surfaces, keyless entry with remote start, RNS 510 navigation, driver seat memory, wood grain interior décor, 8-way power passenger seat, interior chrome accents|
|Destination||$770||All prices exclude destination|