2012 Volkswagen Passat 3.6 SEL Premium Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2012 Volkswagen Passat - Road Test Specs

2012 Volkswagen Passat Sedan

(3.6L V6 6-speed Automated Manual)


Model year2012
StyleV6 SEL Premium 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6AM)
Base MSRP$32,950
As-tested MSRP$33,720


Drive typeFront-wheel Drive
Engine typeNaturally aspirated, port-injected V6
Displacement (cc/cu-in)3,597/220
Block/head materialIron/aluminum
ValvetrainDOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake + exhaust-valve timing
Compression ratio (x:1)11.4
Redline (rpm)6,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)280 @ 6,200
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)258 @ 2,500
Fuel typePremium unleaded (required)
Transmission typeSix-speed auto double-clutch manual with console shifter
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)I = 2.92; II = 1.79; III = 1.19; IV = 0.83; V = 0.86; VI = 0.69; Final Drive = 4.77/3.44


Suspension, frontIndependent MacPherson struts, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rearIndependent multilink, coil springs, twin-tube dampers, stabilizer bar
Steering typeHydraulic-assist, variable-ratio, rack-and-pinion power steering
Steering ratio (x:1)16.4
Tire brandHankook
Tire modelOptimo H426
Tire typeAll-season front and rear
Tire size, front235/45R18 94H M+S
Tire size, rear235/45R18 94H M+S
Wheel size18-by-8 inches front and rear
Wheel materialCast aluminum
Brakes, front12.3-inch ventilated steel discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brakes, rear10.7-inch solid steel discs with single-piston sliding calipers

Track Test Results

Acceleration, 0-30 mph (sec.)2.7
0-45 mph (sec.)4.3
0-60 mph (sec.)6.4
0-75 mph (sec.)9.1
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)14.6 @ 96.4
0-60 with 1 foot of rollout (sec.)6.1
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)33
60-0 mph (ft.)131
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)62.6
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)0.81
Sound level @ idle (dB)43.1
@ Full throttle (dB)73.7
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)69.0

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsThere is no traction-off button and the system hates pedal overlap of any kind, so the best run came with progressive but fast throttle application to avoid wheelspin and the resulting intervention by traction control by closing the throttle. I tried all three transmission modes (Drive, Sport, Manual) and perhaps Manual mode was slightly quicker because it still auto-shifts at redline. In Sport mode, it liked to short shift into 2nd, perhaps to control wheelspin.
Braking commentsVery little initial bite between 60 mph and 40 mph, but plenty from there to zero. Little noise from ABS engagment but some pedal pulsation. Straight stops with quite a lot of body dive. Last stop not representative because 5-8 feet shorter. Not confidence-inspiring.
Handling commentsSkid pad: Nondefeat stability control so only a matter of finding the proscribed limit before electronics intervene. At that threshold, very subtle brake application precedes throttle closure to maintain steady cornering arc. Steering delivers good effort level and adequate feel. Tires remained quiet and grip was steady. Slalom: Nondefeat stability control rewards smooth steering input and progressive throttle application, otherwise massive intervention by throttle and brake. Even done right, the slalom still makes the car feel enormous -- slow to transfer weight from side to side. Steering is precise with good effort level.

Testing Conditions

Elevation (ft.)1,121
Temperature (°F)92
Relative humidity (%)24
Wind (mph, direction)2 mph headwind

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)20 city/28 highway
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)18.5

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,446
Curb weight, as tested (lbs.)3,517
Weight distribution, as tested, f/r (%)59/41
Length (in.)191.6
Width (in.)72.2
Height (in.)58.5
Wheelbase (in.)110.4
Track, front (in.)62.1
Track, rear (in.)61.0
Turning circle (ft.)36.4
Legroom, front (in.)42.4
Legroom, rear (in.)39.1
Headroom, front (in.)38.3
Headroom, rear (in.)37.8
Shoulder room, front (in.)56.9
Shoulder room, rear (in.)57.0
Seating capacity5
Cargo volume (cu-ft)15.9


Bumper-to-bumper3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain5 years/60,000 miles
Corrosion12 years/Unlimited miles
Roadside assistance3 years/36,000 miles
Free scheduled maintenance3 years/36,000 miles


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsDual front
Head airbagsFront and rear
Antilock brakesFour-wheel ABS
Electronic brake enhancementsBraking assist, electronic brakeforce distribution
Traction controlTraction control
Stability controlStability control
Tire-pressure monitoring systemTire-pressure monitoring
NHTSA crash test, driverNot tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot tested
IIHS offsetNot tested

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