2012 Volkswagen Passat Consumer Review: Too many issues have made me r

2012 Volkswagen Passat - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

88 Total Reviews

S PZEV Sedan (2.5L 5-cyl. 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
17 of 52 people found this review helpful
Too many issues have made me regret this purchase
By mercuriciodide on


2012 Volkswagen Passat S PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.5L 5cyl 5M)


The light cover wouldn't stay on on the driver's side door, so I had to take it in later for repair. They claimed it was repaired but the next time I brought it in for another issue, they replaced the entire door panel without asking. The new door panel was lower quality than the old one and flexes a whole lot, especially in winter, making considerable noise and giving the car a very cheap feel which is very frustrating since it cost $30,000. When I brought up the flexing door panel problem the service manager said he would bring up the issue to a visiting VW exec, get a resolution, and call. After months of waiting, I heard nothing. When I brought it in, another manager refused to fix it.

Best Features

Wind noise from one window's air leakage had to be fixed, which involved two trips to the dealership because they said they couldn't find the problem the first time. I was frankly amazed that it was fixed, given the door panel fiasco. There are indentations (notches) in grey panels near the door panel that we didn't make. The vinyl interior is smelly and headache/fatigue inducing, so I have to drive with the windows open even at high speeds, so no music. The urea system is also smelly. I don't know if it's the urea or the vinyl but I get incessant burps from trips in the car so I can't take it to tennis matches because I'll burp again and again for a long time. This doesn't happen otherwise.

Worst Features

When we bought it there were two visible places on the dashboard that had cosmetic impact damage. The carpeting is incomplete on the floor, which is normal for this model but is not acceptable for a $30,000+ vehicle. People slam the doors because they're not used to the extra weighting, so I have to instruct every single passenger, which is not fun because people don't like to take directions. I wanted to love this car. The ride is very comfortable, although the brakes are on the weak side. But, unless the door panel is fixed and the burp-inducing chemical odors go away, I'm not going to be satisfied. I hope I can find another dealership that won't make jokes about all the repair visits, too
Recommend (17) (35)

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By mercuriciodide
on 08/10/12 14:21 PM (PDT)

I didn't have space to mention that when they changed the door panel they also broke the trunk switch, so that had to be fixed, too. The car's ride is superb. It's really comfortable. The urea odor seems to be significantly reduced by not using a biodiesel blend (B5), although the car runs smoother and quieter with it. VW should offer this in cloth so people can avoid the vinyl smell. The mileage is also superb, particularly on the highway. I get over 50 mpg routinely and it manages 46 or so at high speeds (75-80 mph). But, having that low-quality door panel (flex, noise) and the odors is unfortunate. I hope I can find a dealership that will fix the mistaken decision to replace the door panel with a flexing one. I would have rather had a light cover that's loose.

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