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Used Volkswagen Passat For Sale

22,001 matching vehicles
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Price excludes tax, title and tags, and $150 documentary fee (not required by law). Some fees are location specific and may change if you transfer this vehicle to a different CarMax store.CarMax makes car buying easy and hassle-free. Our upfront prices are the same online and on our lot. All our used cars come with free vehicle history and safety recall reports (certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls-check nhtsa.gov/recalls to learn if this vehicle has an unrepaired safety recall), plus a 5-Day Money-Back Guarantee, and a 30-Day Limited Warranty (60-Day in CT, MN, and RI; 90-Day in MA, NJ, and NY).



Check out this gently-used 2016 Volkswagen Passat we recently got in. CARFAX BuyBack Guarantee is reassurance that any major issues with this vehicle will show on CARFAX report. This well-maintained Volkswagen Passat R-Line comes complete with a CARFAX one-owner history report. This vehicle was engineered to be both economically and environmentally friendly with exceptional fuel efficiency. The easiest choice in purchasing a new vehicle is choosing one with a complete and detailed history like this gently driven pre-owned vehicle. If you are looking for a pre-owned vehicle that looks brand-new, look no further than this Pure White Volkswagen Passat. In addition to unbelievable options, this vehicle comes equipped with a factory warranty. High performance is what this vehicle is all about. You will be reminded of that every time you drive it. Driver and passengers will celebrate the comfort and convenience this Volkswagen Passat offers with its well-considered features. Marked by excellent quality and features with unmistakable refined leather interior that added value and class to the Volkswagen Passat You'll quickly realize how much you will need a navigation system once you are stopping for directions or looking up addresses on your phone instead of looking at the road. This Volkswagen Passat R-Line features a navigation system that will free you of these unnecessary headaches. The paint and body on this Volkswagen Passat R-Line looks as fresh as the day it rolled off the assembly line. The standard wheels have been upgraded to gives this vehicle a whole new style. More information about the 2016 Volkswagen Passat: The Passat is a midsized sedan, fully competitive in price and features with other high-value mid-size models such as the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. The Passat remains one of the few mid-size sedans to offer the option of a manual transmission. This model sets itself apart with smooth available VR6, comfortable ride, Vast backseat space, excellent efficiency from the TDI model, and crisp handling

100% FINANCING AND NO PAYMENTS FOR 45 DAYS. KEY FEATURES INCLUDE: Technology Package, First Aid Kit, Rearview/Backup Camera, Sirius S atellite Radio, Cruise Control, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, Partial Zero Emission Vehicle, Keyless Entry, Child Safety Locks and Much More! Technology Package: Rearview/Backup Camera Premium Vlll Touchscreen Radio w/ CD Changer MP3 Playback Front Map Lights Daytime Running Lights Split Folding Rear Seat Automatic Headlights Multifunction Display w/ Trip Computer Height Adjustable, Telescoping Steering Column Power Adjustable Manually Folding Exterior Mirrors This Dealership prides itself on SMART pricing its vehicles and exceeding all customer expectations! Give us a call to confirm availability and to schedule a no obligation test drive! Service Performed on this vehicle a complete system diagnostics check, inspecting fluid levels, brake/tire wear, interior/exterior conditions, oil filter service. We offer a complimentary wash vacuum with every service and are open on Sundays for added convenience! Call today to schedule a totally no obligation test drive. Please remember to ask for the complete Pre-owned Portfolio on this vehicle, which includes a full CARFAX report and maintenance history. Visit us at www.hondaseekonk.com to view our extensive inventory and the largest selection of Certified pre-owned Hondas in the area.



Hertz Car Sales, Buying a Car Made Better ! Our Hertz Certified vehicles come with a 12mo/12k mile ltd warranty. We offer a full range of financing solutions, and Trade-ins are welcome. This wonderfully fuel-efficient vehicle offers a supple ride, quick acceleration and superior styling without sacrificing MPGs. The quintessential Volkswagen -- This Volkswagen Passat 1.8T S speaks volumes about its owner, about uncompromising individuality, a passion for driving and standards far above the ordinary. The look is unmistakably Volkswagen, the smooth contours and cutting-edge technology of this Volkswagen Passat 1.8T S will definitely turn heads. More information about the 2016 Volkswagen Passat: The Passat is a midsized sedan, fully competitive in price and features with other high-value mid-size models such as the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. The Passat remains one of the few mid-size sedans to offer the option of a manual transmission. Interesting features of this model are smooth available VR6, comfortable ride, Vast backseat space, excellent efficiency from the TDI model, and crisp handling Visit us at HertzCarSalesSacramento.com or call us at (877) 264-6834.

VERY SOPHISTICATED FULLY LOADED BEAUTIFUL DAILY!!!! WITH ITS AMAZING DIESEL FUEL ECONOMY OF ((42MPG))!!!! HIGHWAY!! WOW!!! 2015 Volkswagen Passat 2.0L TDI SEL Premium FORTUNA RED EXTERIOR WITH A LUXURIOUS CORNSILK BEIGE LEATHER INTERIOR AND WOOD GRAIN ACCENTS. <<<>>> TOUCHSCREEN AUDIO DISPLAY <--MULTIPLE ANGLE REARVIEW CAMERA AND GUIDANCE LINES--> IN DASH CLOCK, FULLY LOADED LEATHER STEERING WHEEL WITH VOICE COMMAND, BLUETOOTH PHONE CONTROLS, AND ALL AUDIO CONTROLS. XENON HEADLIGHTS, DAYTIME RUNNING FOGLIGHTS, LED BLINKERS ON THE MIRRORS, AND BRIGHT LED BRAKE LIGHTS. 8-WAY POWER ADJUSTABLE DRIVER AND PASSENGER SEATS. SUNROOF, 4-wheel ABS brakes, Cruise control, AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION HILL HOLDER!! *~*~*~*~*~ ^^^^^^basically all this ride needs is you behind the wheels^^^^^. !!!!. Call today to schedule a test drive... Good Credit/Bad Credit/No problem!!!! Get paid cash? No problem!! 100% Credit Approval with interest rates starting at 2.49% for qualified customers, our rates will not be beaten. We price our cars at wholesale price to guarantee the best deals for our customers. Our inventory moves quickly, please call to confirm the availability of the vehicle of your interest; Springfield location 973-564-0112. Ramsey location 888-798-7778. This vehicle is located at our SPRINGFIELD location Take advantage of our state of the art 'Price-Match' Program! We will not be beaten. Please see dealership for details. visit us online to explore more inventory; www.quality1autos.net www.qualityautoramsey.net.

ABS Brakes,Air Conditioning,Alloy Wheels,AM/FM Stereo,Automatic Transmission,Auxiliary Audio Input,Bluetooth,CD Audio,Cruise Control,Front Seat Heaters,Leatherette Seats,Overhead Airbags,Power Locks,Power Mirrors,Power Seat(s),Power Windows,Rear Defroster,Satellite Radio Ready,Side Airbags,SiriusXM Trial Avail,Traction Control Price excludes tax, title, tags and $299 CarMax processing fee (not required by law). Some fees are location specific and may change if you transfer this vehicle to a different CarMax store. Prior Use: Fleet



CARFAX One-Owner. Clean CARFAX. Black Uni 2015 Volkswagen Passat V6 SEL Premium FWD 6-Speed DSG Automatic with Tiptronic 3.6L VR6 280 hp 2015 Volkswagen Passat, Diagnostic Alerts, WARRANTY AVAILABLE, CarFax One Owner, Backup Camera, Bluetooth, Hands-Free, CD Player, Cruise Control, Heated Seats, Keyless Entry, Leather Seats, Multi-zone Climate Control, Navigation!, Portable Audio Connection, Power Locks, Power Windows, Premium Audio, Steering Wheel Controls, Sunroof/Moonroof, VolkswagenPassat, Sunroof, Automatic Transmission, Passat V6 SEL Premium, Black Uni, ABS brakes, Electronic Stability Control, Navigation System, Traction control. Here at Wholesale Inc we believe in transparent market based pricing, while providing a low pressure buying experience. Every purchase allows us to give back to our community by providing a FREE fitness facility to the public and multiple vehicles given away each year to families in need. We encourage you to shop our huge inventory online and check out our reviews. Please call, text or email us to confirm availability and schedule a test drive. 28/20 Highway/City MPG Call or Text today to check availability!



Only 6,136 Miles! Boasts 36 Highway MPG and 24 City MPG! This Volkswagen Passat boasts a Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-4 1.8 L/110 engine powering this Automatic transmission. CORNSILK BEIGE, V-TEX LEATHERETTE SEATING SURFACES, BLACK UNI, Wireless Streaming.* This Volkswagen Passat Features the Following Options *Window Grid Diversity Antenna, Wheels: 17 Sonoma Alloy, Wheels w/Silver Accents, Vw Car-Net Selective Service Internet Access, Vw Car-Net Emergency S.O.S, V-Tex Leatherette Seating Surfaces, Variable intermittent wipers, Valet Function, Trunk Rear Cargo Access, Trip Computer.* See What the Experts Say!*As reported by The Manufacturer Summary: The Volkswagen Passat has balanced proportions and an elegant, premium quality. Your eyes follow the strong character line and continue around the whole vehicle. With convenient features like automatic headlights combined with available corner-illuminating foglights. Other convenient features include optional keyless access with push button start and remote start to preheat or cool your Passat. Step inside and you will find available soft leather to soothe you, and on select models, the comfort of heated front seats. There is even an available sunroof to let the open sky in. With the available rear legroom your passengers will also enjoy the choice you've made with the Passat. You have several engine options with the Passat, including a 170-hp, a turbocharged 1.8L, a 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel, and a 280-hp V6. There is also a range of transmission possibilities, and available on select models, a 6-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission with Tiptronic for imperceptibly fast gear changes and seamless acceleration. Depending on your engine and transmission combination, you can get EPA estimated gas mileage that ranges from 20-31 in the City and 28-44 on the Highway. The Passat lets you make calls hands-free, and stream music wirelessly from your compatible phone. For more technology, available on select models, get turn-by-turn directions from the navigation system, or rock out to the sound of your favorite music on the Fender Premium Audio System. In addition, you can have a backup camera on SE trims and higher. Safety features include the Intelligent Crash Response System, which in the event of an accident, automatically shuts your fuel pump off, turns your hazard lights on, and unlocks your doors.BACK-UP CAMERA, HEATED FRONT SEATS, BLUETOOTH, MP3 Player, KEYLESS ENTRY, 36 MPG Highway, SAT RADIO, TURBOCHARGED, ALLOY WHEELS!!!!.ONE OWNER, BACK-UP CAMERA, HEATED FRONT SEATS, BLUETOOTH, MP3 Player, KEYLESS ENTRY, 36 MPG Highway, SAT RADIO, TURBOCHARGED, ALLOY WHEELS!!!!.

Looking for a clean, well-cared for 2013 Volkswagen Passat? This is it. This vehicle was engineered to be both economically and environmentally friendly with exceptional fuel efficiency. One of the best things about this Volkswagen Passat is that it has low, low mileage. It's ready for you to truly break it in. The Volkswagen Passat S will provide you with everything you have always wanted in a car -- Quality, Reliability, and Character. More information about the 2013 Volkswagen Passat: The 2013 Passat is a midsized sedan, fully competitive in price and features with other high-value models such as the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. It is configured size-wise to directly take on the Honda Accord. VW has increased standard feature content and simplified the Passat to just 16 build combinations, all with lower prices than seen on the previous generation--meaning that if a buyer is simply looking for a well-equipped mid-size sedan, the Passat is going to look like a great deal. The Passat remains one of the few mid-size sedans to offer the option of a manual transmission and the only non-luxury mid-size to offer a diesel. That TDI model manages an astonishing 43 mpg EPA highway rating--enough to beat some hybrids. This model sets itself apart with comfortable ride, crisp handling, excellent efficiency from the TDI model, Vast backseat space, and smooth available VR6

Clean Carfax! CD Changer,Satellite Radio, MP3 Player, Auxiliary Audio Input, Bluetooth Connection, Power Driver Seat, Bucket Seats, Heated Front Seat(s), Steering Wheel Mounted Controls, Trip Computer, Power Windows, Power Door Locks, Keyless Entry, Remote Trunk Release, Cruise Control, Security System, Climate Control, and much more! All of our pre-owned vehicles have been put through a rigorous multi-point inspection by a trained Technician, checking everything from cooling system and hoses to V-belts. We have the vehicle you've been searching for at a price you can afford. Here at Momentum VW of Clear Lake we have a skilled and knowledgeable sales staff with many years of experience satisfying our customer's needs. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve you and if you have any questions and you would like to make a reservation on a particular vehicle then feel free to call us. Please verify any information in question with Momentum Volkswagen of Clear Lake located at 15100 Gulf Fwy, Houston, TX 77034



2013 Volkswagen Passat. So clean, you can't even tell it's used. This is one lean, green, gas-saving machine. Are you interested in an unblemished car? Then take a look at this charming 2013 Volkswagen Passat. Lots of performance for a terrific price in this so-much-fun to drive Passat. The Best Deals Are Always At Capital Ford of Charlotte!

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Used Volkswagen Passat History

Back in the early '70s Volkswagen was floundering. After more than three decades in production, the Beetle was simply being outclassed by the competition and there was no way to tweak the design to keep up. Meanwhile, newer air-cooled/rear-engine cars like the awkward 411 and 412 that were intended to supplant and supplement the Beetle were nothing less than abject failures. VW needed to do something different and the first something it did differently was the Passat. It was the first front-drive Volkswagen sold in North America.

Fortunately for VW, it had Audi around; and it could steal from that company with impunity.

The Passat's (and VW's) fortunes would ebb and flow through the decades, but eventually the always-German-made car would become a mainstay of Volkswagen's success in America. "Eventually," however, took 24 years.

First-Generation: The Dasher (1974-1981)

For no apparent reason, VW decided to sell the car known as the Passat in the rest of the world as the Dasher in North America. But except for the name change and the few safety, bumper and emissions modifications necessary to sell the car in this market, the Dasher was barely different than the Passat — the most obvious difference being the Dasher's single round headlamps in place of the elongated hexagonal units used in Europe. And the Passat was little more than an Audi 80 with a Volkswagen grille.

Sold as the Audi Fox in the U.S. (it went on sale here for the 1973 model year), the 80 was a simple car with a longitudinally mounted 1.5-liter, water-cooled, SOHC four under its hood making 75 horsepower. Built around a unibody structure, it incorporated a MacPherson strut front suspension and a beam axle on coil springs in the back. The only transmissions offered were either a four-speed manual or three-speed automatic.

The Fox/80, initially available as either a two- or four-door notchback sedan, was cleanly styled (by Giorgetto Giugiaro, no less) and quite a success for Audi in its own right. So to create the 1974 Dasher/Passat, Volkswagen didn't mess with the basic Fox formula. The greatest change was the adoption of a fastback five-door hatchback body style — even though much of the sheet metal from the doors forward was common. There was also a wagon model that, at least initially, wasn't shared with Audi. A three-door was also available in Europe, but wasn't sent to America during that first-year model year.

"Although the Fox and Dasher are dissimilar in name and styling," wrote Road & Track in its story reporting a survey of owners of the two vehicles, "it is still rather hard to consider them different automobiles. Body and interior details aside, the Foxes and Dashers surveyed here are mechanically almost identical, sharing the same basic FWD package and mechanical package and mechanical parts."

Larger than the Golf/Rabbit that VW would introduce a year later, the Dasher was still generally smaller than a 2005 Honda Civic sedan, with a 97.2-inch wheelbase and 172.8 inches of overall length. It was also roomy for the time and as cleanly styled inside as it was outside.

In a weird comparison with the midengine Fiat X1/9 two-seater, Road & Track found much to admire in the first Dasher. "The Dasher's engine is part of the fun," it wrote. "Driven hard, it sounds virile and — as we said — provides lots of performance. It's also extremely economical for such a performer, and in this sort of driving the Dasher or Fox owner should get at least 25 mpg." The publication also had kind words for the car's handling noting that it didn't suffer the common front-drive malady of severe understeer at the limit.

But Road & Track also found things to criticize, like the rackety nature of the engine and otherwise capable brakes it said "rank among the noisiest we've ever experienced." It also noted that the car was "by the way, much roomier and better-riding than the [Chevrolet] Vega despite being shorter, narrower and 450 pounds lighter." Of course history would prove that being better than the Vega wasn't much of an accomplishment, but it indicates how impressive the Dasher was for its time. However at a $4,110 base price, the cheapest Dasher was just $64 shy of being twice as expensive as the cheapest Vega.

While the original Dasher didn't set the sales chart aflame with its success, it sold better than any other Beetle alternative VW had devised previously. So with that in mind, all the carmaker did to the vehicle for 1975 was bump the engine's displacement from 1.5 to 1.6 liters and offer the three-door hatchback. But that displacement increase came alongside a set of more stringent emissions controls and total output actually dropped to just 70 hp.

Changes to the Dasher's exterior appearance were slight in both the 1976 and 1977 model years as VW concentrated on building and selling the amazingly hot Golf/Rabbit around the world. But both years benefited greatly by the fitment of Bosch fuel injection which boosted output to 78 hp and promoted much better drivability across the operating range. Still, the Dasher didn't exactly live up to its name — Road & Track timed a four-speed '77 Dasher two-door groaning to 60 mph in 13.2 seconds and completing the quarter-mile in 19 seconds at a breathless 72 mph.

A redesigned front end with four round headlights heralded the arrival of the 1978 Dasher and the interior was updated, but other changes were scant. However, in 1979 both a five-speed manual transmission and diesel power finally came to the Dasher line. With the same 1.5-liter diesel four then used in the Rabbit under its hood, the diesel Dasher was underwhelming on the test track.

Road & Track tested a diesel Dasher five-door sedan and found it to be quite a slug. "Raise the hood and you immediately know this Dasher's a diesel," wrote R&T in its test. "You can actually see the engine because there's not the usual myriad of wiring and plumbing that come with today's detoxed gasoline power plants…. With a rather anemic 48 hp, the Dasher's diesel engine doesn't measure up to the task of propelling a 2,530-pound (test weight) automobile with anything approaching aplomb. The car's 0-to-60-mph time of 19.4 seconds and its 22-second quarter-mile make the 2,110-pound Rabbit diesel's 15.8- and 20.4-second times seem almost lightning quick." Still, with America gripped by the fuel crises of the '70s, the diesel sold well.

If you could find any difference between the 1980 Dasher and the previous year's, you were probably staring at its serial number. And despite being slower than a snail with a muscle cramp, the Dasher diesel became the only Dasher for 1981.

It was time for the original Passat — the Dasher — to dash off of Volkswagen's lineup. And so it did.

Second Generation: The Quantum (1982-1988)

Quantum Leap, Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Physics…all those and more were used to headline stories about VW's successor to the Dasher which was called the Santana in much of the rest of the world. The Passat name was temporarily dead — sort of like Mr. Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, a movie that, coincidentally (or not), also came out in 1982.

But despite such science and science fiction puns and connections, the new Quantum three-door coupe, four-door sedan and five-door station wagon were greeted unenthusiastically by the editors at Car and Driver. "After a couple thousand miles with VW's latest creation," they reported after praising landmark VWs like the Rabbit and Scirocco, "we'd venture that it will leave no such mark on the course of automotive history. The Quantum, which replaces the aged Dasher line, doesn't herald the beginning of a new era — or the end of an old one for that matter. Technologically speaking it breaks no fresh ground. Don't look now, but the new VW seems to be aimed at exactly the same target as all of our own domestically built letter cars — the [GM] J-car, the [Chrysler] K-cars and the [GM again] X-cars. It stands smack in the middle of this burgeoning group of new-wave front-drive family sedans, which also includes the Nissan Stanza, Audi 4000, Renault 18i and Honda Accord."

In fact the Quantum really did split all the differences possible in dimensions. At 178.1 inches long overall it was 4.5 inches longer than the '82 Honda Accord sedan and 4.1 inches shorter than the '82 Oldsmobile Omega sedan (a GM X-Car). And its 100.4-inch wheelbase was 3.9 inches longer than the Accord's and 4.5 inches briefer than that well-forgotten Olds'. But the car with which the Quantum had the most in common was the Audi 4000 that, naturally, was the successor to the Fox.

So the Quantum still had a longitudinally positioned engine and that engine still came from the Audi/VW SOHC four family and now displaced 1.7 liters — a slightly larger rerun of the gas engine in the '80 Dasher that, despite the benefit of more advanced engine management technology, now only produced 74 hp. Why? Who knows? And no diesel was offered. Buyers could choose either a five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic transmission.

The suspension was still a set of MacPherson struts in front, while the rear end was now held up by a set of independent trailing arms and accompanying coil springs. While the three-door Quantum and station wagon (more or less) carried forward established Dasher body styles, the five-door was replaced by a new four-door notchback that could only have been boxier if it had four equilateral sides and 90-degree angles at its corners. Unwieldy as the Quantums looked, their upright design produced an exceptionally roomy interior and it's never bad to offer more space.

So the Quantum wasn't pretty. Big deal. That it was far less than quick? That was a bigger problem. Car and Driver's first Quantum, a 2,440-pound three-door coupe equipped with the five-speed, crept to 60 mph in 14.1 seconds and ran the quarter-mile in a lazy 19.3 seconds with a 68-mph trap speed. The magazine also measured its top speed at just 91 mph.

There's one word to describe the market's response to the Quantum: disinterest. So Volkswagen took action for 1983 with the introduction of a turbocharged diesel engine option.

Basically the familiar VW 1.6-liter diesel four with the addition of a turbocharger, the turbodiesel in the Quantum was rated at an uninspiring 68 hp. So if a potential buyer was intimidated by the gas-fired, four-cylinder Quantum, VW now had them covered with something even slower. Road & Track measured a five-speed, turbodiesel Quantum sedan traipsing from zero to 60 mph in 14.3 seconds and finishing the quarter-mile in 19.7 seconds at 69 mph.

At midyear, however, VW decided to do something for those seeking an inkling of performance with the introduction of the Quantum GL5 sedan and wagon equipped with the same five-cylinder engine offered in the Audi 5000. Unfortunately, though, the coupe had to soldier forward with only the anemic four under its hood.Displacing 2.1 liters, the fuel-injected, SOHC, 10-valve five was a derivative of VW's four-cylinder engines and was rated at 100 hp. That may not sound like much power (mostly because, well, it isn't), but back then it was the most powerful engine VW had ever installed in a production car sold in the United States. But the Quantum still wasn't quick in GL5 form and Road & Track's test had it sleepwalking from zero to 60 mph in 12.6 seconds and running the quarter-mile in 18.8 seconds at 73 mph. That's pretty slow, even by 1983 standards.

With sales of the three-door Quantum coupe weak, VW excised that model from its 1984 lineup. The rest of the Quantum lineup was carried over pretty much unchanged.

The five-cylinder engine expanded to 2.2 liters for 1985 with a bump in output to 110 hp. However, the wagon was now available only with the four-cylinder engine and the sedan only with the five.

Since no one much wanted a Quantum wagon with a four-cylinder engine, that body style was dropped altogether from the 1986 lineup. So the five-cylinder sedan became the only Quantum offered in North America. But at midyear an all-wheel-drive version was available wearing the name Syncro — a simple rebranding of Audi's "quattro" all-wheel-drive system.

The wagon was back for 1987 and now equipped with the five-cylinder engine and available with the Syncro system.

There were no significant changes to the Quantum lineup for 1988 though the engine was slightly retuned so as to produce 115 hp. Yet, that wasn't enough to make the world want the car.

The Quantum just sort of winked out after the '88 model year — unloved and unmissed. It was time for the Passat to return…after a suitably dignified period of mourning.

Third Generation: Passat Returns (1990-1997)

The Passat name finally came to America with the 1990 model year and the introduction of this all-new sedan and wagon. Unlike the Dasher and Quantum, this new Passat didn't share its basic engineering with any Audi model. In fact it was more like a scaled-up Golf with the engine sitting transversely under a short nose and a suspension similar to VW's smaller front-drive offerings.

With this third generation, VW claimed to have achieved the highest ratio of interior-to-exterior space in its class. "Volkswagen supplies all kinds of statistics to prove the point," wrote Car and Driver on its first encounter with the car, "but all you have to do is climb into the back. With the front seat positioned for a 6-foot-plus driver, the passenger behind him has room to spare — enough to cross his legs. There is even room for the rear seats to recline a few degrees."

To achieve such impressive roominess the Passat rode on a 103.3-inch wheelbase (2.9 inches longer than the superseded Quantum's), stretched out 180 inches overall (1.9 inches longer than the Quantum) and used a modern-looking body with extremely flat sides, a grille-less nose, and an upright greenhouse to maximize shoulder, hip and headroom. Of course the basic structure was once again a unibody with a MacPherson strut front suspension and an independent trailing arm system in the rear. Disc brakes were used both fore and aft with ABS optional.

The standard power plant for the new Passat was a 2.0-liter version of the DOHC, 16-valve four-cylinder engine then offered in the Golf GTI. Rated at 134 hp it was the most powerful engine ever offered in this class of VW…but it wouldn't be for long. To make the most of that power a newly designed pair of transmissions, one five-speed manual and one four-speed automatic, were employed.

While generally impressed with the new '90 Passat's interior roominess and handling, Road & Track did levy some criticisms in its first test. "The Passat is something of an anomaly to us," it wrote. "We waited for its U.S. introduction with some excitement. After all, the GTI and the Jetta GLI are sport sedans that provide enthusiastic driving pleasure. The Passat has wonderful volumes of room for occupant comfort and high-quality interior appointments for the most part. The feel of the steering and handling is distinctly European, as is the ride, and all combine to make the Passat a pleasure to drive at midrange speeds (45 to 70 mph). But the engine's rough characteristics are undeniably obtrusive.

"What can we learn from this? The Passat occupies pretty much its own made-in-Europe sedan niche above its Golf/Jetta siblings and beneath the likes of Audi, BMW, Saab, Peugeot and the rest."

For the record, R&T's test had the new Passat accelerating to 60 mph in 10.9 seconds and completing the quarter-mile in 17.8 seconds at 78.5 mph. That's a competitive performance against similar cars in its class and easily quicker than any previous Dasher, Passat or Quantum.

There were only a few light updates to the 1991 Passat, as it was selling significantly better than the Quantum ever did. But there was some powerful news on the way for the next year.

That news was the availability of VW's narrow-angle "VR6" 2.8-liter V6 in a new 1992 Passat GLX model. Producing 178 hp under its SOHC, 12-valve cylinder head, the VR6 transformed the Passat into a serious sport sedan. Motor Trend would measure the basically unchanged 1993 VR6 Passat GLX ripping from zero to 60 in just 7.9 seconds. That's solid performance even by 21st-century standards.

So effective was the VR6 that all 1994 Passats now had the engine aboard. Other changes were slight otherwise, with GLX becoming the sole trim level offered in both the sedan and wagon.

A new nose that included a traditional, trapezoidal radiator grille was the most notable revision to the 1995 Passat. New bumpers and revised trim resulted in a growth of overall length to 181.3 inches while an updated interior squeezed out a few more millimeters of passenger space.

In a comparison test of six-cylinder-powered midsize sedans, Road & Track found the '95 Passat offered some unique attractions and distractions. "In some ways," it reported, "the Volkswagen Passat is the antithesis of the Camry. Its ride isn't particularly smooth; its cabin isn't particularly quiet; its automatic transmission detracts from the performance of the engine; it has a few interior creaks and, last, it considers the driver a vital part of the equation.

"This last point is why the Passat, in our book, gets the nod over the Camry. Put another way, this German sedan is meant to be driven, not merely guided from place to place. Though hampered a bit by a gearbox that's indecisive and reluctant to downshift, the 2.8-liter narrow-angle VR6 — the only engine in the group with a larger bore than stroke — still dishes out a satisfying dose of acceleration — from midrange up to the 6,500-rpm redline." Even with that indecisive and reluctant gearbox, the '95 Passat made it to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds and ran the quarter-mile in 17.2 seconds.

Four-cylinder power returned to the Passat range for 1996 with the introduction of a new GLS sedan powered by VW's familiar 115-hp, 2.0-liter, SOHC four. That was enough to boost sales to 19,850 units in America, up from just 14,010 the previous model year.

VW's excellent and modern 1.9-liter TDI turbodiesel engine was added to the Passat options list for 1997 in both sedans and wagons while the gasoline-fueled four was once again banished from the line. Making 90 hp the TDI engine wasn't exactly muscle-bound, but it was better than any previous VW diesel in this size class and the 149 pound-feet of peak torque came at just 1,900 rpm, ensuring decent around-town manners. And best of all, the Passat TDI was rated by the EPA at 47 mpg on the freeway and 38 mpg in the city.

After eight model years this Passat was a tired model, but still attractive. It's the next Passat, however, that was the biggest hit of them all.

Fourth Generation: The Popular Passat (1998-2005)

Dang near a quarter century after the first Passat made it over to America as the Dasher, it finally became a certified hit with the introduction of the all-new 1998 model. And it became that hit by following almost exactly the same formula as the first generation — by stealing from Audi.

"Based on the hugely successful Audi A4," Edmunds.com reported on its first test of the new midsize VW, "the Passat gets a stretched version of that compact's chassis just like its sister car, the Audi A6. The Passat also gets the Audi's engine choices plus one. This means that the Passat can be equipped with an economical but lively 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a powerful 30-valve V6 engine, or a Greenpeace-approved four-cylinder TDI that gives this midsize car gas mileage that rivals the diminutive Chevrolet Metro."

Though our writer raved about the way the new Passat looked, how much it held and the nearly perfect interior, that wasn't what impressed us most. Rather, it was the way it drove. "Nimble, peppy and fun are not how we usually describe family cars," we enthused, "but the Passat fills out those descriptions perfectly. The Passat is nimble because it is built on the wonderful A4 platform that rewrote the book on how front-wheel-drive cars can be expected to handle. It changes direction quickly, tracks evenly through a turn, and exhibits minimal body roll when tossed into a corner. Its highway ride is exceptional, too; offering none of the harshness over broken pavement and expansion joints that often characterize sporty cars."

While the fourth-generation Passat is still front-drive, it is engineered quite unlike any previous edition. The engine is (as it was on the original Dasher) mounted longitudinally in the chassis, but the front suspension is now a multilink arrangement that offers significantly better geometry than the simple MacPherson struts used previously. The rear suspension is a set of trailing arms sprung with a torsion bar.

At 184.1 inches long on a 106.4-inch wheelbase, the '98 Passat sedan and wagon were easily the largest cars Volkswagen had built up to that time. But that large size didn't translate into an oversize power plant. In fact the base four-cylinder engine's size actually dropped to just 1.8 liters, albeit with five valves per cylinder and a turbocharger that resulted in a solid 150-hp output with outstanding low-end torque production. The same 2.8-liter, 90-degree, 30-valve V6 offered in the Audi A4 was optional on the Passat GLX sedan and its 190 hp made for an easygoing everyday driver. Both a five-speed manual and five-speed automatic transmission were offered.

Edmunds.com's first test had the new Passat GLS powered by the 1.8-liter turbo four zipping to 60 mph in just 8.2 seconds. Our test of a Passat GLS wagon (also powered by the four) made it to 60 in just 8.6 seconds despite being burdened with the automatic transmission.

The '98 Passat was an immediate and massive hit for VW as buyers quickly recognized that its roomy and stylish interior, sophisticated chassis and handsome overall appearance made it one of the best family cars on the market. VW sold a big 39,272 Passats during the '98 model year and that was only the beginning.

VW was supposed to introduce an all-wheel-drive Passat and offer the V6 in the wagon for 1999, but both were delayed so the status quo was maintained. U.S. sales grew to 68,151 Passats this model year and that, when combined with the 83,434 copies of the freshly introduced New Beetle, headed a significant renaissance in VW sales in North America.

The V6 wagon appeared for 2000 and Tiptronic manual operation of the automatic transmission was a new option, but otherwise the 2000 Passat was almost indistinguishable from the previous year. And that was good enough to earn a victory in that year's Edmunds.com' nine-way comparison test of family sedans. "To say that the Volkswagen Passat impressed us would be a gross understatement," we concluded. "In nearly every category, the Passat finished in the win, place or show position.

"Yeah, we were suckers for the crisp-edged styling, communicative handling and incredible fit and finish. In our performance trials, the Passat never fell below third in any category. Adding to our enthusiasm was the fact that the Passat comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, which would have cut $1,075 from the price tag of our automatic-equipped test car.

"Price didn't seem to affect the Passat in our standings. As most expensive of the test at $29,295, our Passat GLX was last in terms of price point and value, but the VW proved that it was worth every penny…and more."

The praise just got more effusive after that. For the record, our V6-equipped Passat GLX with the Tiptronic automatic made it to 60 mph in just 7.7 seconds and gobbled the quarter-mile in 16 seconds at 88.9 mph. All-wheel drive finally also made it to this generation Passat with the introduction of the 4Motion system (the Audi quattro system with a different name) for this model year and we drove a wagon so equipped. And VW sold another 84,521 Passats that year.

There were no significant changes to the 2001 Passat and VW's success with the car continued unabated. However at midyear a "2001.5" update of the car brought a revised and reinforced nose, elegant chrome exterior trim, an updated interior and 20 more horsepower (for a total of 170) to the four-cylinder turbo engine. Our encounters with the revised Passat were overwhelmingly positive even as we noted a creeping increase in the car's price.

How far upmarket the Passat had moved becomes apparent with the introduction of the 2002 models and the availability of VW's innovative W8 engine teamed up with the 4Motion system and the five-speed automatic transmission. Essentially two narrow-angle V4s joined 72 degrees apart at a common crankcase, the W8 displaces 4.0 liters and is rated at 270 hp. We were, once again, impressed. "The W8 is also as smooth as Ricardo Montalban is with the ladies thanks to engineering advancements," we reported. "Get on the gas, and the W8 emits a refined exhaust note and loads of low-end thrust, the latter of which is lacking in 1.8T and V6 Passat engines." Of course immediately after this First Drive, Edmunds.com's editorial policy was modified to forbid the mention of Ricardo Montalban ever again.

But there was a major problem with the W8: the price. "At $37,900 for the sedan and $38,700 for the wagon," we warned, "the Passat treads on the toes of some pretty spectacular cars." The buying public apparently agrees and the W8 has never sold in large numbers.

Amazingly though, and in its fifth year of production, the Passat was strong enough to win our 2002 Premium Family Sedan Test. That's an impressive run for a car in such a keenly competitive market segment.

A new base "GL" model was added to the Passat range for 2003 and the W8 could now be had with a six-speed manual transmission, but most everything else about the sedan and wagon carried over unchanged.

The diesel was back in the 2004 Passat with the introduction of the 2.0-liter, TDI turbo four. A thoroughly modern diesel, the TDI is rated at 134 hp and delivers acceptable, if not scintillating, performance in the Passat. "While the diesel engine is noticeably louder than its gasoline-burning brethren outside the car," Dan Kahn wrote in our First Drive of the Passat TDI, "the heightened noise level is hardly detectable inside with the windows rolled up. This may in fact be testament to VW's advanced sound-deadening technology. The engine vibrates the entire car a little more than we would like at idle, as you can pick up slight engine shake through the steering wheel and shifter when sitting at a stoplight. Everything smoothes out as the engine speed climbs, however, and at highway speeds the added noise and vibration is hardly detectible." Throw in EPA mileage ratings of 27 in the city and 38 on the highway, and the Passat TDI is sure to appeal to the miserly who need a roomy car.

The 2005 Passat was a carryover and that's no bad thing. But after eight years with this breakthrough car, can the next Passat maintain VW's momentum?

Fifth Generation: The Next-Generation Passat (2006-Beyond)

As this is written the next Passat is still a few months away from going on sale in North America. But VW has already leaked photos and some specifications.

No longer the largest car in VW's lineup, maybe it's no surprise that the next Passat looks like a scaled-down version of VW's new flagship, the Phaeton. And it's no surprise that, as usual, the Passat grows a bit with this new generation — it's about 2 inches longer overall than the outgoing Passat, slightly more than 2 inches wider, and rides on a wheelbase about a quarter-inch longer.

The suspension's general design of multilinks up front and trailing arms in back doesn't change much for this generation. But the engines are once again transversely mounted in the nose, indicating that this car isn't directly based on an Audi platform. VW claims more of the car's length can now be dedicated to passenger and luggage accommodations.

In the Passat's engine bay, innovation starts with the use of new direct-injection gasoline engines for all but the base four. A new direct-injection 3.2-liter V6 making 247 hp will sit at the top of the range.

If VW maintains its normal vehicle development schedule, expect the newest Passat here before the end of 2005 with both four- and six-cylinder gasoline engines sending power to the front wheels. Then expect the range to expand through the years…who knows what 2010 or 2011 could bring?

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