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?