2012 Volkswagen Passat SEL 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 6A)
Bought mine for $9,345 OTD with 101k miles but excellent service records. It's my first car and I can confidently reccomend the Passat (2012 anyway) or Jetta (2011) to teen drivers. The interior feels like a luxury car and is more spacious than some vans. The small little German engineering touches that you pick up on are genious. It's fun to drive (feels and sounds like a V6 but it's an I5); Sport mode is peppy but you'll see about 19 mpg city tops. The cabin is rather quiet and comfy. From what I've heard, if you take care of it, the cliché high cost-of-ownership seen on VWs can be avoided.
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)
Overall not a bad vehicle, great mileage for a car this size, huge trunk, rear folding seats increase storage. Doors are very light and sound deadening could be better, drives nice and plenty of leg room both front and back. Seat quality is less than average, no drivers seat tilt is a joke, there is zero bolster for thigh support. The "leatherette" seating is ok, not great, front seat heaters are nice. Starting to experience some mechanical issues, suspension rattles, drivers door locking module is failing, doors constantly auto locking after stopping or slowing down, gas cap light causing an EVAP code even after replacing the cap with a factory supplied unit. I was warned by a former VW owner that once you hit 100K things will start failing, hope that isn't the case.
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)
We bought this car used in February of 2017 and waited to write a review after seeing how the car held up. So far the car is NOT a disappointment. We have a family of 5 and have taken 3 trips over 1000 miles RT. 2 of our kids are under 12 years of age, so all the kids fit great in the back seat with TONS of leg room. The trunk is so big we have extra room for stuff that normally has to be placed next to our feet on long trips. I specifically looked for a 2.5 5cyl model to avoid a turbo failure. Take off with the 2.5 is OK even when it's fully loaded; acceleration seems to improve after the second gear. On our recent trip we got 530 miles on a tank of gas fully loaded with passengers and luggage. The only complaint we can make on this car are the front seat cushion bottoms. On a long trip they don't seem to have adequate support so we have to add an extra layer of cushion for long hauls. The lumbar on the front seats are great and the back seats seem fine so long as you sit on a pillow for the middle. Being 6'3" I love that I can put my seat all the way back and not hit the knees of my rear passenger! Fit and finish seems top notch and while the exterior styling isn't earth shattering it looks good in graphite and silver color. The interior, IMHO, is best in class. We also considered this car because it's a top safety pick. I would recommend this car without hesitation. In fact, we're thinking of passing this one down to our son for his first car and buying another used 2.5, maybe an SEL.
2012 Volkswagen Passat V6 SE 4dr Sedan w/Sunroof (3.6L 6cyl 6AM)
I came from driving a 2003 BMW 330i and I don't drive that often other than weekends and to the train station on week days. But when I do get a chance to "actually" drive the car it is very quick to 60 (I got it in 5.7 with performance tires) but when driving at high speeds the car steering gets light. Accelerating hard off the line the car has lots of wheel spin but I fix that with sport tires. have not had any reliability issues. The car still drives great and I plan on keeping it for another 2 years!