With a sub-7-second run to 60 mph, the Passat V6 is one of the quickest affordable family sedans we've tested. It'll also reach 100 mph in just over a quarter-mile. The 6-speed automanual transmission is particularly good as well.
Despite a non-defeat stability control system, the 2012 Passat proved it was more nimble than its peers in our handling tests. Steering is friction-free and precise if a little lacking in road feel. Still feels 'European-inspired.'
Manages to feel both like a well-isolated large sedan and an eager, nimble midsize sport sedan -- a difficult combination to achieve.
While not as quiet as a luxury sedan at speed, the Passat is very quiet among its more bread-and-butter brethren.
Very logical placement of all controls, intuitive steering-wheel buttons, plus a modern and clever touchscreen.
For such a large car, the Passat offers remarkably good visibility plus a reverse camera.
Seat Access & Space
Front accommodations and entry/exit are typical of a midsize sedan, but the rear seat (legroom especially) is very large by any standard.
Cargo & Storage
At nearly 16 cubic feet, the Passat's trunk is one of, if not the largest in the midsize category. Standard split-folding rear seats expand cargo capabilities even more.
Our early-build 2012 example felt and sounded tight as a drum and the paint was very good. Interior materials choices and quality seem like those from a class above -- like those of an Audi.