By KBB.com Editors
Volkswagen's midsize Passat has moved upstream in both size and price, leaving the new Jetta to do battle in the sub-$20,000 price range. The Passat now competes with the top-of-the-line Accord and Camry models, along with such sporty sedans as Nissan's Maxima. Loaded with featuressome unavailable on the competitionand offered in both sedan and wagon forms, the Passat continues to be the most affordable way to enjoy true German engineering without breaking the bank. A smooth and powerful turbocharged four-cylinder that delivers excellent fuel economy and V6-like acceleration powers the base model. Those seeking a bit more power can opt for a potent, but pricy, V6. Toss in an interior fit for an Audi, and you have a compelling reason to go VW.
If you appreciate the typical distinctions associated with European sedanstangible and intangibleyou might consider the Passat to be one of the best values on the road.
No major changes for 2007.
Driving Impressions If above all else you're seeking insulation from the realities of the open road, the Passat might leave you feeling a bit exposedit is neither the smoothest-riding nor the quietest...car in the category. Still, we remained comfortable after hours on the road. We liked the 280-horsepower V6 but were especially impressed by the 200-horsepower 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder that's more responsive than traditional turbocharged engines. We haven't had a chance to drive the six-speed manual, but the six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission was very good and especially reactive in its sport mode. As is characteristic of European sedans in general, the Passat behaves with stability and predictability at high speeds and low. Perhaps most significantly, the all-new Passat is wholly successful in being exactly the car it wants to be.
Dynaudio Sound System
The optional 10-speaker sound system, the first in-vehicle endeavor by Dynaudio (a well-regarded Danish speaker outfit) is one of the best we've heard.
Offering a stiffer suspension, lower ride height and deep sport seats, the optional sport package makes the Passat even more of a driver's car.
Inside the Passat you'll find a combination of style and refinement unmatched by any of its non-premium competitors. Quality materials and dynamic design combine in a passenger cabin that's at once both relaxing and energetic. Leatherette seating gives even the base model an upscale feel that cloth rarely delivers. Interior trim options include wood, aluminum or composite materials. Neat features include an electronic key and electronic push-button parking brake, plus a cleverly placed umbrella holder and two cooled storage compartments. The optional Dynaudio sound system is excellent. Rear-seats offer generous legroom, and a 60/40 split seatback functionally extends the Passat's already deep but narrow trunk. Sport Package extras include sport seats and a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel.Exterior
With similarities extending from their tall, V-shaped chrome grilles all the way back to their nearly identical taillights, never before have the Passat and Jetta shared such a strong family resemblanceeven though the larger Passat effectively projects itself as the more sophisticated older brother. The Passat is also bigger than the last-generation car, measuring three inches longer and three inches wider. Wheel options range from 16-inch covered steel wheels to 18-inch alloys. The big VW badge placed prominently on the back doubles as the trunk release.
Even base Passats feature an impressive list of standard equipment that includes a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, six-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, single-zone climate control, AM/FM/CD-MP3 sound system, leatherette seats, power locks/mirrors/windows (one-touch up/down in front), cruise control, comprehensive trip computer, umbrella holder, keyless entry, cooled storage, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, electronic push-button parking brake, tire pressure monitoring system, 16-inch covered steel wheels and a hill-hold function that prevents roll-back during hill starts. Standard passive safety equipment includes front, front-side and two-row side-curtain airbags plus crash-active headrests and seatbelt pretensioners. Active safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS) plus stability and traction controls.
The Passat's list of optional features is almost as impressive (or daunting) as its standard equipment list. Powertrain options include a 3.6-liter V6, six-speed automatic transmission and newly revised 4MOTION all-wheel drive. Other trim-level, package and stand-alone options include rear-side airbags, navigation system, power glass sunroof, six-CD changer, Dynaudio sound system, burled-walnut or brushed-aluminum trim, leather seating, multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, 10- or 12-way power front seats, heated front seats, automatic headlamps, automatic wipers, foglights, heated wiper nozzles, self-dimming rearview mirror and manual rear sunshades. A new sport package includes a stiffer suspension, deep sport seats and a three-spoke steering wheel with Tiptronic shift levers.
We really liked the Passat's new, more powerful V6 engine, but came away even more impressed by the new four-cylinder turbo that provides plenty of power along with highway fuel economy of more than 30 miles per gallon. Six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions are also new, as is the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system that now operates as a front-wheel-drive unit until extra traction is needed, thereby reducing fuel consumption. The 4MOTION system is available only in combination with the V6, while the manual transmission is available only with the 2.0 turbocharged engine. Zero-to-60 miles per hour times range from 6.2 seconds to 7.4 seconds, according to Volkswagen. The sport suspension option isn't offered on 2.0 turbocharged models.
2.0-liter in-line 4 turbocharged
200 horsepower @ 5100-6000 rpm
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1800-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 (manual), 22/31 (automatic)
280 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
265 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 (2WD, automatic), 18/26 (AWD, automatic)
By MNPassat on Friday, February 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fast, great handling,gas mileage, and cargo room"
Cons: "Cup holders need work"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"As the Review Summary says, I think this is the fastest, best handling car I have ever had! And I have had quite a few cars since my first one in 1972!"
By DAH on Thursday, February 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 133,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive when working correctly"
Cons: "always in the shop!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"bought used and from day one the engine light has been on fixed problem still comes on. Always something wrong, interior is really nice but the plastic at your feet is coming off. Plenty of truck space."
By Joe on Saturday, February 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great gas mileage for it's size. Looks great."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"A beautiful car with lots of room in cabin and trunk. It and it's on board appointments have functioned well over three years. It is comfortable and reliable."
By C.W. POST on Saturday, February 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 102,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent value"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have had numerous VWs and Audis, This Passat is the best! Not because it is the newest, but because the refinement in this car is fantastic. Everyone who rides in it asks again, 'What Car is this?" because it rides so smoothly over these New York Streets. I purchased this car in September of 2013 with 92k miles, and now in Feb of 2014, I have 102k miles. I have had zero issues, and have enjoyed the Fuel efficiency of the Turbo 4cyl, as well as the Power and torque this motor has. The features of my LUX edition wagon are excellant, and in my opinion, are better at thier ingunuity than the BMW, and Mercedes Wagons I looked at. I would heartily recommend this car for anyone looking for Value that carries with it Panache."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Luke on Saturday, February 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gorgeous Styling, Driving Dynamics, Value"
Cons: "Unreliable as it gets"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Being a die hard Honda owner for over 20 years, I decided in 2006 to change things up a bit and went with a German make. After several test drives and researching I went with the 2006 VW Passat 2.0T FSI Sedan. At first I fell in love with the style, driving dynamics, technology, perceived quality and standard features for a car in this class - heck - this is an Audi A4 at a discount! The only difference were the logos on the car really! My romance went away pretty quickly when the issues began to emerge from the first month of ownership. Issues: 2nd week of ownership - glove compartment lock inop - took 3 months to get new one from Germany, several check engine lights, interior parts peeling off, the headliner falling apart and replaced at 10,000 miles, the wiper motor failed twice under warranty - and recently had to change out the whole assembly at my expense during the recent Polar Vortex we have had, rear brakes replaced 3 times already, tires wore out first year of driving this car, rusted trunk lid replaced in 2013, coolant system failure, oil leaks, fuel pump/cam shaft follower replacement, and of course more and more check engine and other colorful dash lights that always come back. Overall the worst vehicle I have ever owned by far. I understand that cars have issues, however, what made the ownership experience of this car awful was the lack of a dealership network that you can count on to fix your vehicle correctly the first time after you spend a bundle taking it to them, and having to escalate to VW NA to get anything done and paid for under warranty and recall. I have serviced this car by factory standards with several "certified VW dealers" from the start, and this car continues to have issues. Luckily, I have been able to figure out how to do my own things on this car to save some money, but when it comes to it's ridiculous array of electronics - I am lost. Right now, the cruise control doesn't function anymore on the car, and I have to look at the annoying warning light gracing my instrument panel every time the car is driven. Since my wife is now a stay at home mom and doesn't drive great distances, she has decided to drive it and keep it - though I personally would have wanted to drop it into Lake Michigan and call it a day! I recently leased a 2014 Acura TSX, and vowed to never ever go back to driving a VW or any other "German Made" sedan again - point blank - I lost some money with this car but learned my lesson to never be disloyal to the car brands that have always been good to me."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Sasha on Sunday, January 26, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price, beautiful, good gas mileage"
Cons: "Premium gas"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My '09 Passat is AWESOME!! The handling & control in this car is like a much more expensive vehicle. When I drive a BMW or Benz, there is no difference in the feel& it is as beautiful. I would buy another one if the style had not changed so much."