2008 Volkswagen Passat Turbo 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I've always loved Passats, and owned 2 1993 VR6/GLX, a wagon for my wife and a sedan for me. I went to my dealer to check out the GTI 5-door (I've been saying for years they needed one), but ended up driving off in this black beauty. Same engine/trans as the GTI make it nearly as fun to drive, but I got a proper grown-up car with a huge back seat for $5K less! I used to sell Toyotas, and there is no contest between this and a Camry (except, perhaps, in the long-term cost of ownership -- but with a 3 yr lease, who cares?) Hands down, the Passat hammers the stuffing out of the Camry! This car is simply WAY more: comfortable, feature-rich, fun to drive, fuel efficient and attractive.
Amazing performance of 2.0T/6M combo; great fuel economy for a car of this performance; Vtex/seat heaters; iPod dock; balanced handling; brakes; visibility (direct and in mirrors); ergonomics and adjustments on driver's seat usually only found in much pricier cars; German car feel
Add steering wheel controls to base model (score one for the Camry); AC very slow to get cold on hot days (80+); rear defrost slower than in most cars; paint seems soft & prone to scratches; add rear seat heaters (I guess VW needs to justify Audi's existence). However, these are minor quibbles.
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