• Jun 11, 2011
The Volkswagen Passat has gotten a big makeover for 2012, with all-new styling and a lower price tag starting at $19,995. Now we know exactly what to expect for under $20k, thanks to VW's the new online configurator. For starters, the base Passat has the 170-hp 2.5-liter five-cylinder mated to a five-speed manual. It also gets an eight-speaker sound system, Bluetooth and dual-zone climate control.

Move up to the Passat TDI and the price of entry jumps to $25,995. The big pull is, of course, the 2.0-liter turbodiesel, which is rated at 31 mpg in the city and 43 mpg on the highway. The range-topper is the Passat V6, which produces 280 horsepower and has a six-speed DSG. The $3,955 V6 SEL package adds navigation, a 30GB hard drive, leather seats with Dynamica inserts and Autumn Nut Burl interior trim, bringing the MSRP to $32,950.

The Passat configurator site is maddeningly confusing and not at all intuitive, but if you click the right buttons you may actually build the Passat of your dreams. Pick the wrong selection, like when you choose the "no cost leatherette" on a base Passat, and you'll be asked to upgrade to the 2.5 SEL 2 model for another $9,900. Because why wouldn't pleather seatsalso necessitate adding nav and a Fender sound system?


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  • 61 Comments
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder if you'd ever see anything close to a $19,995 model on the lot. I see they haven't learned from the Accord's mistake of usually putting hideous cheap looking wheels on their lower models (just like the Jetta has too). No need to have 'L' on the trunk lid to signal this is the entry level version. Just look at the wheels.
      htay9500
      • 3 Years Ago
      I got up to $26,765 for a TDI Passat with a manual transmission. Would be even better if they brought the wagon back.
      mrx19
      • 3 Years Ago
      Put this side by side with a 1998 Passat and you will swear the 98 is the new car.
      otiswild
      • 3 Years Ago
      This configurator is not off the main page and doesn't allow for option choices with the TDI, I think it's not quite ready for prime time, at least in the US..
        Robdaemon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @otiswild
        The TDI with the manual transmission doesn't have any option choices. The DSG does, however. It's also linked off the main Passat page and the "Build & Price" button at the top.
      tantareanujellob
      • 3 Years Ago
      Overpriced, cheap interior, ugly, slow, inefficient. Good job VW.
      Master Austin
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll sit in a Hyundai before I even own an unreliable VW..
      simianspeedster
      • 3 Years Ago
      Launching this car without the 2.0L turbo is a huge mistake. It's VW's only competitive mainstream engine. What are they thinking?!?! The 2.5L I5 is a slow revving, odd lump The diesel is great, but a lot of people will not opt for a diesel for various reasons The VR6 is expensive, doesn't get great mileage and the take rate will be very low (under 10%) I don't see how this car can compete effectively with the Sonata with this choice of drivetrains.
        chickenflauta
        • 3 Years Ago
        @simianspeedster
        I'm sure VW did a lot of consumer research and customer segmentation on this before making a decision... I would actually disagree with you. I think that the market for the turbo engine with most mainstream buyers is actually not that high.... someone considering the base model is looking at 4-cyl Camry's, and doesn't give a hoot about a turbo engine. If you care about performance and have more cash to burn, opt for the V6. If you want efficiency/diesel get the TDI. I think the benefits outweigh the costs for VW in this case. And most midsize cars follow the same logic... you have the entry level sluggish engine, the turbo or V6 engine, and the fuel conscious hybrid/tdi model. Sounds good to me.
        ekyp
        • 3 Years Ago
        @simianspeedster
        It might not compete effectively with the "korean twins", but I am sure the whole package of the Passat is much better then the Toyota/Honda "Camcord", which is the volume leader in this segment.
      Gorgenapper
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll Passat on this.
      RGiddyUp
      • 3 Years Ago
      No HID adaptive headlight option, no rain sensing wiper option, the list goes on. If I want an Americanized sedan I would be driving an ugly Camry, Accord or Sonata. I don't and therefore will not be driving a new Passat either. Dumb-*ss executives at work again.
        Keven Fitzpatrick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @RGiddyUp
        It has rain sensing wipers... It drives better than anything else in the class, still has the best interior, best range/highway mpg, best innovative technology (dual clutch, FSi narrow angle VR6, TDI, autohold, etc.). why don't you go drive one before making ridiculous sweeping generalizations like you made above?
        atc98092
        • 3 Years Ago
        @RGiddyUp
        I believe the rain sensing wipers is part of the SEL level of features. Although I can't seem to find the reference anymore. Perhaps it changed from early information.
      Myself
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car is the automotive personification of dullness, sterility and absolute lack of imagination. It's a shipping box for pretty mych anything in its class, everything for everyone and, ulitmatelly, absolutely average middle of the B-road.
        Keven Fitzpatrick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Myself
        yeah, and the Sonata that everybody is circle jerking over is going to age faster than a block of cheese left out on the counter.
      AnalogJesse
      • 3 Years Ago
      Choose a flavor: vanilla, french vanilla, homestyle vanilla.
      carfan
      • 3 Years Ago
      wow, this looks even worse than a japanese car...
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