Putting the “People’s Car” back into Volkswagen – we review the 2012 Volkswagen Passat with the 2.5L powerplant

Offered at a reasonably low price-point, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat is incredibly refined both inside and out. Not to mention, remarkably refined on the road, with handling and ride comfort rivaling sedans twice the price.

Also check out: VW Reviews

This 2012 VW Passat 2.5L you see here starts at $29,375 CDN MSRP. Tack on the Technology Package and Sport Package for $2150 and $1050, respectively, and you’ve got a sleek, stylish sedan with decent cargo and ample cabin space, all for $32,575 CDN MSRP (before taxes/fees).

2012 VW Passat Review

Sport Package adds 18” alloy rims with all-season rubber; Carbon interior trim; paddle shifters (with automatic only); rear spoiler; and sport seats. The Technology Package includes a Fender premium audio system with 400-watt digital sound package; and the RNS 510 Navigation System.

Things were not always so modest for the Passat. I recall, just a few years ago, the VW Passat selling for nearly $8000 more at the starting point. Same goes for the Jetta, such as ours, we paid well over $30,000 for the 2006 Jetta 2.0T. Today, both models can be had for much less, nearly half the price, with the Passat starting at under $20,000 (yes, that’s the number 2).

2012 VW Passat Review

Volkswagen has struck the balance producing an affordable Passat sedan without compromising too much; retaining the Passat’s premium vibe (i.e. quality materials found throughout the cabin with excellent fit, finish, and craftsmanship). A vehicular detoxification, if you will, rendering a refreshed and streamlined 2012 Volkswagen Passat sedan at a price we can all afford…particularly, young, growing families.

Under the hood

Volkswagen offers the 2012 Passat in three diverse powerplant options: a 2.5L 20-valve DOHC inline 5-cyclinder engine making 170hp and 177 lbs./ft. of torque; the popular TDI diesel with 2.0L 16-valve engine making 140hp and 236 lbs./ft. of torque; and the more robust 3.6L 24-valve V6 putting down 280hp and 258 lbs./ft. of torque.

2012 VW Passat Review2012 VW Passat Review

Driving Impressions

My 2.5L was impressively quick, both at the traffic lights and in the higher RPM range—overall, offering more power than what you might be expecting. And, when you’re hauling a family the added power can be a true asset, particularly on the highways where passing acceleration is important.

The 2012 VW Passat 2.5L with the Comfortline package including Treadline+, as tested here, comes with 17” alloy wheels; 8-way power driver seat and 6-way front passenger seat; alarm system; centre slideable armrest; chrome exterior window surrounds; diversity antenna; front and rear reading lights; MDI (Media Device Interface) with iPod connectivity; power sunroof; SIRIUS satellite radio integrated; and the Titan Silver interior trim.

2012 VW Passat Review

Competitors for the 2012 VW Passat 2.5L include the Toyota Camry L, Nissan Altima Sedan 2.5, and Honda Accord Sedan LX. All priced within $2000 with the Passat coming in the lowest.

Learn more – VW Passat

CONS:

  • Top trim Passats priced well above $30K
  • “Old person car” stigma
Amee is an award-winning motor & lifestyle photographer and writer in the auto niche. His work has been published in various global outlets including NBC Sports, Chicago Tribune, SuperStreet, GlobeDrive, MotorTrend, and others. A member of AJAC and founder/publisher of TractionLife.com, he enjoys travelling and spending time with his kids and family.