2012 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Review: Couldn't Pass Up this Passat S

2012 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Review

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Couldn't Pass Up this Passat SE TDI!
By partymarty on


2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbodiesel 6M)


I have owned this car for four months and am just about to take her in for the (free) 10K service. I owned a 2011 Jetta TDI, and fell in love with the Passat when I saw her in the showroom while my Jetta was being serviced. The folks at my local VW dealership worked their fannies off to make this deal happen, as I am fanatic about shifting my own gears and will not ever own an automatic. There was only one 6-speed manual car available several hundred miles away, and the dealer had it trailered to me at no additional charge. So far, this vehicle has been an absolute pleasure to drive, and it actually exceeds the published mileage figures by about 2 mpg.

Best Features

My favorite feature is the hill holder function. When stopped on an uphill grade (and I live in a VERY hilly area), one just has to tap the brake pedal twice and the car will not roll back for 1.5 seconds; plenty of time to shift into 1st gear without having to fool with the parking brake or worry when someone is stopped behind you 6 inches from your back bumper. I wish all my cars had this feature! The bluetooth interface and the touch-screen radio have functioned perfectly so far, and the steering wheel-mounted buttons make accessing the trip computer and radio/phone functions pretty simple. My last favorite features are the truly cavernous back seat and trunk areas.

Worst Features

In order to meet US emission standards, the Passat TDI utilizes a catalyst (called AdBlue) which is stored in a 5-gallon tank accessed from the trunk. This urea-based liquid is injected directly into the exhaust system to neutralize NOx, and if this tank should run dry, the car will not restart if it is shut off. The manual states this tank has to be refilled at a VW dealership, but I was returning from a long cross-country trek on a Sunday when the low-level AdBlue indicator illuminated, and there were no VW dealerships open along my planned route. I did have to refuel with the engine running, and delivered my car directly to my local dealer at midnight to get the tank refilled.
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