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2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5L SEL Premium

Ich bin ein Mainstreamer Volkswagen tried building cars in the U.S. once before, and it didn't end well for the Rabbits assembled in Westmoreland, PA. "In Vietnam, 'Westmoreland' was a synonym for boundless optimisim in the face of raw facts. The same principle applies here," said my friend Mike, explaining why his Rabbits at the time were imported from Das Vaterland. The real problem with American-made VWs wasn't Pennsylvania or a self-deluding General, Mike continued, but "mushbucket suspensions, chintzy build quality, frou-frou styling compromises," all resulting in a sub-par... Read More

Vital Stats

Engine:
2.5L I5
Power:
170 HP / 177 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Auto
MSRP:
$30,665 as tested
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    Official: 2014 VW Passat 1.8T priced at $20,895*
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    Volkswagen has announced pricing for the whole Passat range with the new 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which starts at $20,895* for the base 1.8T S sedan equipped with the standard five-speed manual transmission. Step up to the 1.8T Wolfsburg Edition, standard with a six-speed automatic, and buyers are looking at $23,695*. The SE with a ...

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    Report: VW leadership split on unionizing TN plant
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    The "will they, won't they" back-and-forth in the United Auto Worker's courtship of Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant is still in full swing, as the union, German and American executives and most importantly, employees, try to figure out just what the future of labor relations will be at a plant that sits in a right-to-work state. The drama of the ...

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    Report: VW's Chattanooga plant in lead for subcompact crossover production [UPDATE]
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    A new Volkswagen crossover may be joining the Passat at the German automaker's Chattanooga, Tennessee factory, a facility recently in the news lately due to grumblings over an increasing potential for UAW unionization. Marc Trahan, Executive Vice President of Quality for VW in the US, told assembled media at a press luncheon yesterday that, "Right now I'd ...

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    Video: VW redoes A-ha's 'Take On Me' music video
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    Volkswagen has been responsible for its fair share of witty, clever commercials. "Tiny Vader" might be the most popular, but somehow, we think this newest spot will find a big audience. VW delivers not so much a cover, but a reimagining, of 1980s Norwegian pop band A-ha's famous music video for "Take On Me." The original opens with an animated motorcycle ...

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    Official: Volkswagen Passat turns 40
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    Seven generations of Passat have graced streets around the world, and today is the long-running Volkswagen's 40th birthday. Looking at the car today, it's hard to imagine that it was offered as a hatchback in its first and second generations, in addition to the sedan and wagon body styles. But there's no question Volkswagen has sold a lot of Passats over ...

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    Lead-acid mild hybrid demonstration vehicle boosts fuel economy, not costs
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    A consortium proposing the use of a lead-acid battery as a cheaper, more effective alternative to vehicle hybridization is showing off its Volkswagen Passat demonstration vehicle in Austria this week. The Advanced Lead Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC), along with Controlled Power Technologies (CPT), says the lead-acid powered "micro-mild hybrid" system ...

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    Official: VW Passat TDI sets 77.9 mpg fuel economy record through Lower 48 states
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    Volkswagen has announced the company's Passat TDI has set a new world record for the category of "lowest fuel consumption-48 US states for a non-hybrid car." Drivers Wayne Gerdes and Bob Winger managed an impressive 77.99 miles per gallon over 8,122 miles, trouncing the previous record of 67.9 mpg. The duo also sailed past the hybrid record of 64.5 mpg, ...

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    Official: VW builds 250,000th Passat in Chattanooga in just two years
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    It hasn't been without incident or union organizing drive, but the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, TN has built its 250,000 Passat in just a little over two years. The Night Blue Passat TDI with black leather has come just two years and five weeks after the first customer car came off the line on April 18, 2011. In the last year the plant operated at ...

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    Volkswagen Passat
    Official: VW confirms development of 10-speed dual clutch, 134-hp/liter diesel
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    Each year, the Vienna International Motor Symposium showcases some of the up-and-coming technologies automakers are engineering for the use in passenger cars, and Volkswagen AG CEO Martin Winterkorn revealed some big developments VW is working on for its future products. Winterkorn discussed a multi-faceted approach that VW is looking to reduce its fleet ...

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    Official: Volkswagen Passat gets Wolfsburg Edition, priced from $23,495*
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    Volkswagen has just announced a new Passat Wolfsburg Edition, which slots between the base S and mid-grade SE trims in terms of content and price. The automaker has not released any official photos of the car as of this writing (aside from the badge shot you see here, of course), but the Wolfsburg Passat will be visually set apart from the rest by a ...

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    Volkswagen Passat
    Report: Volkswagen lays off 500 Chattanooga workers
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    The redesigned Volkswagen Passat has been a decent seller since its debut in 2011, but sales have apparently dropped off enough that the automaker is trimming some of the employees from its Chattanooga, TN assembly plant. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen will be cutting shifts and laying off 500 contracted workers in response to slowing ...

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    Volkswagen Passat
    Translogic visits Solazyme, finds algae diesel works well in VW Jetta TDI, navy ships
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    As we learned when we visited last fall, Solazyme is doing some interesting things in its South San Francisco lab. Now, our friends over at Translogic put together a video showing the algae-derived diesel being used in a Volkswagen Passat TDI – as well as getting burned by the US Navy. Translogic's Bradley Hasemeyer interviewed Graham Ellis, vice ...

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    VW starts up largest solar park at US auto factory in Chattanooga, TN
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    In December 2011, the Volkswagen plant near Chattanooga, TN was certified LEED Platinum. That's a difficult level to reach – as we described at the time – but the one billion dollars the company spent there fit snugly into the VW corporate storyline: we're going to make cleaner cars at cleaner plants. We're going to reduce CO2 emissions by 30 ...

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    Detroit: Volkswagen shows off performance-ish Passat concept
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    As part of its 2013 Detroit Auto Show debut package, Volkswagen has rolled out a sportier version of the Passat sedan, though it's strictly conceptual for now. A small dose of go-fast visuals have been added to the handsome Volkswagen, including 19-inch wheels, carbon-capped mirrors, an advanced front lighting system, LED taillamps and dual exhaust. Some ...

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    Official: Volkswagen breaks 40-year-old sales record in 2012
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    The last time Volkswagen moved this many vehicles in America in one year, Richard Nixon was still a President in good standing, Let It Be was a radio hit and each car wearing the VW badge boasted an air-cooled engine. That's right, with a grand total of 580,286 vehicles sold in the US last year, the VW Group has broken its own four-decades-old sales ...

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    Volkswagen Passat
    Official: Volkswagen unveils sportier Passat Performance Concept ahead of Detroit debut
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    Ahead of its official unveiling at next week's Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen has released some preliminary details and images of its Passat Performance Concept – a car that, as its name suggests, adds a little more spice to the automaker's midsize sedan formula. VW makes no mention of any production intent for this road-ready-looking sedan, simply ...

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    Volkswagen Passat
    Video: Watch bystanders try to put out fire on transporter full of new Volkswagens
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    Watching a small fire that no one can stop from becoming a big fire is like watching a train wreck in Super Slo-Mo. That is the spectacle we get from a rural two-lane road in Poland when a transporter truck hauling seven Volkswagen Passat wagons catches flame. The cause appears to be some sort of tire or axle failure on the trailer that starts a small ...

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    Volkswagen Passat
    Official: IIHS says these are the safest cars of 2013
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    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has revealed its annual list of Top Safety Picks, an award that highlights automobiles it says offer "superior crash protection." A new and still more significant award, the Top Safety Pick+ honor, is given to those vehicles that earn good ratings for occupant protection in four out of five areas of ...

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    Volkswagen Passat
    Quick Spin: 2013 Volkswagen Passat TDI
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    Video: Car and Driver "Masters of the Middle" comparo sizes up Passat, Fusion, Altima and Accord
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    Last year, the Volkswagen Passat 2.5 SE won a Car and Driver comparison test of mid-size sedans, beating the Honda Accord V6 and Hyundai Sonata 2.0T. A couple of months later, the same Passat model won a mid-size comparo from Motor Trend against the Hyundai Sonata GLS and Toyota Camry LE. Earlier this year, the VW won an even larger C/D comparison test, ...

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