Cars.com Names Volkswagen Passat Best of 2012

Cars.com's team of experts has named the Volkswagen Passat as the "Best of 2012." Although the competition was fierce, the redesigned Passat marks the next step in Volkswagen's U.S. product revolution. "By delivering a level of value that families demand and the premium amenities and composed driving experience that's come to define VW, the car instantly becomes one of the best in its class," we said of the Passat. Check out what else we have to say about the Passat and all of our Lifestyle Awards winners.

Comments 

Lance

VWs have been known to have very poor reliablility with electrical systems and some interior surface quality. People that lease may not notice these things as they probably are out of the car before most of them show up.

I've read that a lot of parts sourced from Eastern Euro countries were culprits in a many of these cases. Will the Passats built here in the U.S. have substantially more content sourced locally such as electric parts and surface materials or will these parts be shipped in to be assembled here?

ray

Lance go buy a kia for 21,000 and see how it holds up in 10 years....even a passat from 2002 keept up to date on maintaining with the owners manual standard intervals still.drive like new after 130,000 miles...and every passat and vw for that matter since then has only gotten better

Jason

Lance I'm currently driving a 1997 VW Jetta TDI and it is still getting over 50MPG average! Does it have some wear and tear, yes, but overall, the car is the best car I've driven in some time that was this old!!

The 2012 Passat or NMS as it is known internally to VW will have more North American content than the Ford F-150. The Passat should end up with approx. 82-84% local content vs. F-150 with approx. 68%. If you actually go down to a VW dealer and drive one... I think you will understand why the Brand is growing and will soon be the largest in the World :-)

Derrick G

In your dreams, Ray. The actual data from the Consumer Reports AND JD Power surveys show the Passat to be worse or no better than average most years and to have gotten worse since '02. Only one year since then in the Power gets better than 2.5 circles. Several have only 2. There's not much data on the competing Optima, but for the 4 years there are data, the Kia managed dead average, same as the VW, for 3 of those and got 4 circles one year, just like the VW.

The CR data is much worse. There's not a single year below average for the Optima since the '06 redesign. One year is better than average, as is the first year of the newest version.

Three of the years since the VW was redesigned for '06 have been much worse than average, including the '10. One year was average, one better than average.

Feel free for your comments to be true in your fantasy world, but in the real world it's not working out that way.

Derrick G

Oh yeah, in Power's latest survey of 3 year old cars, VW as a brand also got only 2 circles to Kia's three. Same with the most recent initial quality, too, though that's not directly a reliability study.

Lance

My nephew is a VW tech at a large dealership so I go by what he tells me. My last vehicle choice was between a Jetta and a Mazda6. Since he repairs VWs for a living I asked him for advice and he told me to buy the Mazda. I did and 70k later it has not been in the dealer one time for anything other than routine maint.

I am looking at the Passat but am concerned about the items I mentioned and was simply asking a question. Several of you felt offended like I insulted your wife or something. Well, if a simple question about your brand of car brings that kind of reaction you really should get a life.

My friend purchased a new 06 VW GTO, had the passenger seat fixed twice, the airbag module failed, the connector the for the controls on for the steering wheel failed, something with the turbo failed. There were some other probs with it that I fail to remember but it was far from a trouble free car. I will admit that it did have a nice interior though. I wouldn't touch a VW with a ten foot pole. . . same for Chrysler. The only two brands on my black list.

Some people have good luck with VW's and others don't. I don't understand why the reliability is so inconsistent with VW. Maybe this is the start of better cars.

Chris

I currently drive a 2008 Jetta that has absolutely been the best car I've ever owned. It's roomy and powerful and a blast to drive. I have to fight with my kids to drive it. In my nearly 4 years of ownership the "ONLY" service issue I had under warranty was a power window motor. I also own a 2001 Golf that I bought from a private seller and truth be told, I've had a few issues with that one. Buyer beware when you buy a car from a private party. Lesson learned. The car wasn't properly maintained but has been since I took ownership and it runs like a top now that I've caught up on the necessary service. The new Passat is a really impressive car when compared to the Sonata, Optima, Accord, Fusion or Camry. The content of the car is first rate. You could practically pitch a tent in the back seat there's so much room. The car will be exported to China to be used as a Chauffeur driven vehicle because of the roominess. The ride quality is superior and VW, understanding the QC issues with prior Passat models has taken things to an entirely different level with this brand new platform. They aren't rushing cars to market like Toyota and are going overboard to make sure every Passat coming out of the state of the art plant in Chattanooga TN works the first time....every time. The new TDI has a driving range on the highway of around 800 miles from one single tank of fuel. Try to get that with ANY other car on the planet including a hybrid.

I'm here to tell you that the Passat is a contender and is worth a closer look and serious consideration when comparing to those other models.

The new Passat looks really, really sharp, I'm thinking it's time to upgrade from my '01 and they're pretty affordable now, too. Also thought it was really cool that they used Little Joy's "The Next Time Around" in the new ads (http://youtu.be/5jSUVKOpR9w )...the only question now is, what color?

Tony

in 1998 my friend got Jetta, my cousin got Maxima and I got Protege 1.8.
Jetta has been on the junk for 2 years with 160k, Maxima goes strong with 160K and Protege drives fine @ 178K but not without rust.

Also, when cars were 8 years old my friend was amazed how tight protege felt and like new it felt and how loose jetta felt. The shifter in Protege was and still is great. Jetta was like 1970 car. Serious.

Mac

I always ask friends who are considering a VW if they are the type of person who maintains their car or who neglects their car. Those who don't find it necessary to do the maintenance are steered toward Japanese cars while those who are willing to keep up the maintenance I will steer toward a VW/Audi/BMW (depending on how much money they want to spend). German engineers put more driving excitement (sorry Pontiac) into their cars than the Japanese engineers do. But the Japanese do make supremely reliable appliances. My VW's haven't been as reliable, no doubt, but they sure are fun to drive!

Marlin

I was thinking about the VW Passat, but I worried about reliabity record that was the among the worst in the Consumer Reports - along with Chrysler's. Then America build Passat was born, and complaints about sloshing fuel surfaced, along with urea refils - which dissolves diesel toxins in the catalytic converter- surfaced. If urea runs out, you cannot restart the car. It has to be towed toa dealer. Other complaints I have heard are $100 oild change, and $60 diesel filter change.

Sure Passat gets the best mileage among family sedans, but it also has its warts. I believe Passat would be good for a taxi, where the high mileage would save on fuel. I have decided to wait for the Mazda6 diesel that should be available soon. That should get the high mileage and Mazda reliability that is equal to Toyota.

David

I recently endeavored into the new car research and purchase, and looked into a number of different cars, my main priority-mpg's!

After all of my research(prob close to 30 hrs of reading), I decided to buy a VW Passat TDI SE with sunroof and Nav. Not cheap, but comparably priced with the Toyota Camry Hybrid and cheaper than the Ford Fusion. One might ask why I didn't buy something with better EPA numbers, (Passat 30/40, Camry H 40/38?, Fusion H 47/47), but real world numbers are completely different than EPA. Again, after my research, and purchase, I was optimistic with the Passat.
NO ONE that has reported real world numbers on the Fusion has gotten over 39!!! And the Toyota got 32 mpg's in one test. I traded in a Prius, and I hyper misled to get an average of 44 mpg's.
when my search started, I was actually considering the new Jetta Hybrid, and excellent performing car for a hybrid, but price wise, the Passat was actually cheaper. And agin, because of the real world numbers of the Passat, and lack of own the Jetta, I was drawn to the Passat. Once I drove it, realized the trunk space, back seat space and mpg's for myself, it was a no brainer. Ok, the wife wanted the Passat more than the Jetta, most importantly.

Bottom line, I am averaging 50mpg's on the highway driving 65-75, best numbers were 56mpg!, and was able to obtain 35 mpg's in town. Overall, I'm averaging prob about 45 mpg's! That's better than my Prius and a WHOLE LOT more fun and engaging. The Passsat won't win any races, but is so much more fun than the Prius.

As for the maintenance on the oil change issues, the interval is set at 10k miles, and the urea is added at that time. One can go to oil change specialists and save money, or even DIY to save money. ALL of the long term reviews I've read have raved the Passat's reliability for the first year. Take all things considered, and make an informed decision. Did I mention how fun the Passat is to drive?

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