2006 Volkswagen Passat Review

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engines, excellent ride and handling dynamics, roomy and upscale interior, outstanding build and materials quality, available all-wheel drive.
  • V6 models are expensive compared to Japanese rivals.
List Price
$2,599

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With its fun-to-drive character, premium interior furnishings and wide range of features, the 2006 Volkswagen Passat is one of our favorite midsize sedans and wagons. Don't buy your next family car without driving one of these first.

Vehicle overview

The Volkswagen Passat has been one of our favorite midsize family cars since the late 1990s. And apparently, consumers agree with our assessment. Passat sales have increased more than six-fold since it first appeared in dealer showrooms. This sedan and wagon pair appeals to those who seek something a little different from the mainstream and are willing to pay a little more for the Passat's European style and engineering. Although still an impressive car right up through last year, the VW Passat had fallen behind its Japanese and American competitors when it came to power and interior room.

Volkswagen has addressed both issues for 2006, as the Passat has been graced with a roof-to-rubber redesign, one that leaves it bigger, faster and more luxurious than ever before. The new Volkswagen Passat is 3 inches longer and wider than the previous-generation model, and boasts an additional 2.4 inches of legroom for those seated in back. The cabin has been gussied up with class-leading materials to give it an even more upscale appearance, and smart, thoughtful tweaks have been made within the cockpit. The steering column-mounted ignition switch has been replaced with a dashboard slot; the vehicle is started simply by inserting a "key" into the aperture. Storage areas were at a premium in the previous Passat, but the new one offers larger bins and containers, and even an umbrella holder in the driver door.

The Volkswagen car gets more excitement under the hood, in the form of a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four (2.0T), which replaces the acclaimed 1.8T in VW and Audi engine bays. It's a terrific engine with lots of torque (207 pound-feet), and mates nicely to a six-speed manual transmission or VW's six-speed Tiptronic automatic. For those determined to outmuscle Altima drivers, there's a new narrow-angle 3.6-liter V6 with an output of 280 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is optional with the V6. The Passat's body structure is 56-percent stiffer than before, and this along with an all-new fully independent suspension, provides sportier handling than before. Body roll is muted around turns, and the squat and dive which plagued the previous-generation VW Passat are completely absent.

Whether you're in the market for an entry-level leatherette-lined commuter with the 2.0T engine and a manual transmission or an upscale family car with a leather interior and the V6, the 2006 Volkswagen Passat is unlikely to disappoint. Although it costs considerably more than midsize sedan competitors, the VW Passat has a premium feel through and through that competitors are hard-pressed to match.

2006 Volkswagen Passat models

The midsize Volkswagen Passat is available in sedan and wagon body styles. (The wagon won't arrive until midyear 2006.) The sedan is available in four trim levels, Value Edition, 2.0T, 3.6, and 3.6 4Motion. The Value Edition comes with 16-inch steel wheels, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, leatherette upholstery, air conditioning, an eight-speaker MP3/CD audio system, cruise control, power windows and locks, keyless entry, power heated mirrors and a trip computer. Opt for the 2.0T to get alloy wheels, a 10-way power driver seat and a bigger options list. Step up to the 3.6 and you get 17-inch wheels, an in-dash CD changer, satellite radio and a power sunroof; the top-of-the-line 3.6 4Motion provides all-wheel drive as well. Options on the Volkswagen car include a sunroof, leather upholstery, an upgraded Dynaudio sound system and a navigation system. Among the exclusive 3.6 options are 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, adaptive bi-HID headlights, automatic dual-zone climate control, 12-way power front seats, and wood or aluminum interior trim.

2006 Highlights

The VW Passat has been redesigned inside and out for 2006. The current version is 3 inches longer and 3 inches wider than its predecessor, with a more spacious cabin. Initially, VW will offer only a sedan, but the wagon rejoins the lineup later in the 2006 model year. Engine choices include the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V6; last year's diesel engine option has been dropped. Trim levels have been renamed and recast; the Passat now comes in Value Edition, 2.0T, 3.6 and 3.6 4Motion trims.

Performance & mpg

Standard on Value Edition and 2.0T models is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four rated for 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque. This engine comes with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed Tiptronic automatic. All 3.6 models are equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 that generates 280 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. VW offers the V6 with the automatic transmission only. All Volkswagen Passat models are front-wheel drive, except for the 3.6 4Motion, which is all-wheel drive.

Safety

Every VW Passat comes with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, anti-whiplash front head restraints, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are available as an option across all trims. One neat feature the Passat offers is an automatic brake disc-wiping system that helps keep the brakes cleaner and more effective in wet weather.

Driving

With its potent engine lineup and well-balanced chassis, the 2006 Volkswagen Passat is one of the most entertaining cars in its class. Either of the engines will satisfy, as the refined turbo four pulls hard right off the line, while the V6 offers more than enough power for any situation. The new steering system adjusts power assist based on vehicle speed and steering wheel angle, stiffening up on straight stretches of highway and dialing in more assist for turns. Although suspension calibration is weighted toward sporty driving, the Passat's ride quality remains smooth and comfortable (however, opting for 18-inch wheels can result in slight choppiness).

Interior

Even at the Value Edition trim level, the Passat's cabin is comfortable and upscale in feel, with an atmosphere that's immediately luxurious and inviting. The redesign results in a more spacious cabin, with 2.4 inches of additional legroom for those seated in back. Although the 14.2-cubic-foot trunk is slightly smaller than the previous Volkswagen car, it offers more usable space, thanks to a more compact rear suspension design. Build and materials quality leads the class.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2006 Volkswagen Passat.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Great car
Ray Ohio,03/18/2015
2.0T 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I bought this 2.0T Passat in 2006 and have been driving it since then. Now it has about 100K miles on it. Great car. Never had any major issues with it. The handling is much better than some competitors in its class. My wife and I both like the look very much. So classic. I was surprised to see many negative reviews here, but I do understand normally only people who had trouble would spend time writing reviews. So I wanted to tell a little the other side of story.
Keep up with it!
Justin,09/14/2015
Value Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
This is NOT a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. It is INFINITELY better. Things people forget, however, is that with performance comes a lack of "reliability." Don't read reviews about how people have a lot of problems. This is not a problematic car. It is a car that uses performance parts that needs to be watched and maintained. Mine was big money to keep running, but worth every penny. It drove like a sports car, carried a family like an elite sedan, and looked more expensive than it was. It never had an issue that disabled it, and it never had an issue that wasn't to be expected with the high mileage it had. This car costs about $1500 a year to keep up with repairs and maintenance. Beware, and enjoy.
Lemon Vehicle
momi60,10/22/2012
I own a 2006 passat sedan, the first year of owning the car my catalytic coverter went out. From that point each year a major componet on the vehicle goes out. Now I keep getting check engine light, the oil has to be replaced often and the cost to repair vehicle continues to rise. Now I have a camsgaft issue that is causing the regulator to leak. This is by far the worst vehicle I have ever owned. I tell everyone I know and don't via reviews to stop buying vw vehicles. They don't stand by their product. Its pure garbage, since owning the vehicle I have spent approx. 7500 in repairs. Please don't be fooled into buying this product. Its DAMAGED and UNTRUST WORTHY!!!!!!!
This model still excellent and performs!
Dana Lamb,08/15/2015
3.6 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
I bought my 2006 Passat with the V6 engine and it has been the best car I have ever owned. I had leased a Passat before with the 2.0 Turbo and my wife and I loved the roominess and easy ride. This Passat has a sports suspension (VW stiffened it up due to complaints about a "squishier" ride in older models) that she really disliked but appealed to my love of sports cars going back to the 60's. The V6 engine has been a blast, all the power I needed in tight situations and it doesn't burn oil like it's Audi cousins. I just turned 100,000 miles on it and it is not only running strong but it averages 28 miles per gallon. I figured I would lose the mileage due to the larger engine but it sips gas even when I drive it hard. My only complaint is the breakdown of the headlight covers as they fog over time and some of the rubbery surfacing on the driver's side armrest and sections of the dashboard show wear with chips and peeling. The lines on the car and interior are dated now but still cool in a guy sort of way with a black exterior and interior. If you can find one with the V6 engine grab it and take it on a mountain road to fell the power and cornering ability. sweet ride! 2019 update: still own the and my previous review still stands. It's getting pricier as it ages (aren't we all), replaced the interior roof fabric because the glue gave out ($450.00), replaced the headlamps because the fogging of the plastic was not repairable ($250 for after market parts and $200 for installation), had to replace all of the plugs and plug wires which was expensive, and then some small stuff like broken windshield washing reservoir. All in all, compared to a $500+ a month new car payment, the car is still earning it's keep. The resale on it is pretty low with my current mileage so it is always a debate about dropping more money into it but I am thinking seriously about having it repainted since I have some fade spots on the roof and hood that makes the car look old. Still a blast to drive with the car's suspension and the V6.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Acceptable
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2006 Volkswagen Passat

Used 2006 Volkswagen Passat Overview

The Used 2006 Volkswagen Passat is offered in the following submodels: Passat Sedan. Available styles include 2.0T 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Value Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 3.6 4Motion 4dr Sedan AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A), 3.6 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A), 2.0T 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), and Value Edition 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2006 Volkswagen Passat?

Price comparisons for Used 2006 Volkswagen Passat trim styles:

  • The Used 2006 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T is priced between $2,599 and$2,599 with odometer readings between 89200 and89200 miles.

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Which used 2006 Volkswagen Passats are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Volkswagen Passat for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2006 Passats listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $2,599 and mileage as low as 89200 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Volkswagen Passat.

Can't find a used 2006 Volkswagen Passats you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen Passat for sale - 7 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $11,320.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 1 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $15,666.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Passat for sale - 2 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $10,742.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 6 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $19,136.

Should I lease or buy a 2006 Volkswagen Passat?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Passat lease specials