Review: 2012 Volkswagen Passat V6 SE

Posted on 02. Sep, 2011 by in Auto News

After only six decades testing the waters, Volkswagen decided to get serious with the U.S. market. For the second time in order to avoid a repeat of the Westmoreland debacle, this time they have designed a pair of sedans specifically for American tastes. They are also building the larger of the two, Americans will lure away from their Camcords, organized in a completely new, non-unionized American plant. And so, with the new 2012 Volkswagen Passat, tested here in V6 SE form (formerly shorter runs sampled the other two engines), we learn what the Americans really want to see-how by a German company in the eye.

# 1 – We have the aesthetic sense of retired engineers

The new Passat is very cleanly designed, and none of its aesthetic elements can be criticized. But the whole thing could not be more conservative. In other words, many American car enthusiasts outside the boring. But perhaps their CAMCORD-driving parents will love it?

Our test car was shod with silver base SE 17-inch wheels. The Passat looks both expensive and sporty with the available five-spoke 18s (more on these later). Darker colors bump up the elegance.

# 2 – Good materials and warm colors are wasted on us

When I learned that Volkswagen would provide Chrysler with a version of its iconic minivan, I wondered how they might. Upgrade their notoriously cheap interior to VW standards Fast forward three years, and Chrysler has upgraded its interior materials. Even light gray-making banished all but the best materials look cheap-from inside color palette. Rejected all of the budget-grade light gray plastic from Chrysler has found a new home in the 2012 Passat as. From the tested car VW says the soft materials on the tops of the door panels and instrument used, but you're touching rather the hard stuff deeper. The Passat interior is styled as clear as his appearance. At right angles and flat surfaces The problem with flat surfaces: they directly present more surface area to the eye, looks like hard plastic as what it is. Fortunately, beige and black. Hard plastic tends to look best in the latter. Prefer warmer colors too bright, or at least colored accents? The Passat is not your type of car.

How cheap is the interior? Not as cheap as in the new Jetta, but the analog clock would gather dust in a dollar store. Memo to Volkswagen, the entire point of an analog clock, an inner seem to be lifted. Automotive News recently reported that "VW markets leatherette as a premium feature and the texture of the material could be some Passat driver to deceive." The author must have VW taken at his word, as the texture and the gray vinyl in the tested cars feel not deceive anyone. It's the kind of vinyl, vinyl off the Americans. If they have the kind of Americans who get their furniture in clear plastic, for the Passat fleet already easy-clean interior could also be a dream come true. A positive note: The door handles feel solid.

# 3 – We like big cars with lots of room, legroom and trunk mainly

The American Passat is larger than the European Passat, which is an updated version of the previous global trade. Compared to the 2010 Passat, the 2012 is 3.4 cm longer (191.6), a half-inch wider (72.2), and a half-inch larger (58.5). Not quite as big as the super-sized Honda Accord (194.1