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2006 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T Bookmark

The Good:  Strong and Unique Exterior Looks.  Great Build Quality.  Comfortable Ride.  Smooth and Quick Engine.  Good Road Feel.  Umbrella holder in drivers door.

The Bad:  Missing Items such as Automatic Headlights, Fully Powered Front Seats and Automatic Climate Control in base model.  Non dimming rear view mirrors. Front Wheel Drive lacks drivability of RWD sedans. 

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          The launch of the all new Volkswagen Passat was a much awaited moment for many Volkswagen fans.  While the Passat name may seem to many as "wimpy" and "quiet", the evolution of the all new car is very striking, especially on the inside.  The new cars coming from Volkswagen offer a true German driving experience, as well as superb interior workmanship, something usually found in cars costing much more.  Does the all new Passat really change the game for the mid-size car market?

          The 2006 Passat is the sixth all new generation of VW's mid-size cars, going back to the Dasher and Quantum of the 1970's and 1980's.  Today the Passat offers more refinement, security, and technology all in an understated yet sharp package. 

          Exterior styling on our black colored 2006 Passat 2.0T is bold and beautiful.  The car is tall, much like a Mercedes S-Class with a large cabin height.  The front-end slopes back as in the VW Phaeton with a molded bumper which does not stick out beyond the curvature of the body and hood.  The new chrome grille and crisp headlights look very nice but the overall design of the front end leaves behind a timid shy feeling rather than something powerful and voracious.  Chrome around the windows and a very low beltline of chrome makes the body stand out.  There are many curves that you only notice in person which add to the presence of the Passat.  The rear end is smooth and modern with a high deck for a sporty appearance.  This Passat has definitely grown and feels much more like a luxury car than something from the old VW. 

          The Passat's exterior dimensions have grown to a wheelbase of 106.7 inches and an overall length of 188.2, about three inches longer than the previous version.  The body is wider by three inches as well to 71.7 inches.  Torsion stiffness is measured at 57 percent higher than its predecessor.  New production methods use laser welding as well as elaborate laser-measuring check points. 

The interior of the Passat is simply amazing.  The luxurious interior is immediately noticeable with the high quality leather seats.  Soft leather is also felt on the steering wheel and shift knob.  Parts fit tight with minimal gaps and the overall design of the interior is spacious and very modern.  We liked the upper door black trim flowing into the upper dash in a U-shaped arc. There is just the right amount of chrome inside as well.  Air vents feel solid and just about everything you touch feels very good.  The interior graphite trim can be replaced with wood of various colors as an option.  This interior feels much more like a BMW while being more spacious.  The use of soft touch and soft opening compartments and levers is also a sign of the high quality throughout the interior. 

Ergonomics inside are excellent with doors curved outward for more arm resting space, and perfectly made door handles for passengers to hold onto while the driver performs spirited driving maneuvers.  The interior is also spacious in both front and rear compartments.  The swooping window lines and arced door paneling all make the interior look great.  On long trips the seats are supportive and wide for a comfortable trip.  Rear seat passengers have a good amount of legroom, a full 27.7 inches, 2.5 inches more than the previous version.  Highly supportive thigh cushions look and feel great.  A 60/40 split folding seat allows for easy pass through as well as a ski bag pass through via the rear armrest.  Trunk space is a deep 14.2 cubic feet, enough to fit large items.  Trunk access is by way of the flipping VW symbol on the trunk lid and at the touch of a button in the car and on the key fob the trunk fully opens quickly all by itself.  Why buy anything else.

The instrument cluster is done in a nicely glowing blue color with bright red needles at night, however it would be nice if luminous gauges were available during the day as well.  The multifunction controls on the steering wheel allow you change stereo controls as well as control vehicle settings in the instrument cluster display.  A trip computer is useful for revealing your fuel economy, our test revealed an average of 25 miles per gallon.  The VW navigation system shows turn by turn guidance in the small screen located in the instrument cluster in front of the steering wheel which is a nice feature.

The new Passat is best with all the numerous options which really put it in the league of great cars, and our only gripe was that many of these items were missing from our test car.  Lights had to be manually turned on and the wiper was not rain sensitive.  Climate is controlled by a set of three dials and we could feel the air direction being changed as we turned from front to feet air positions.  This did feel a little cheap in an otherwise luxurious interior.  Automatic climate control should be standard. Power seats were another item which we think should be standard in a car of this caliber, after all, we had powered seats in our $17,000 Nissan Maxima in 1990.  Heated seats are a great feature to have though they did not heat up as much as we would like on the highest setting. 

The Passat also features electronic parking brake with an auto hold feature which allows you to take your foot off the brake on hills or at every red light, a great relaxation item.  The optional Dynaudio stereo system is built into the navigation screen and is very good at delivering great sound.  Our test car featured the upgraded Dynaudio system which offered chrome logo's on the speakers located in each door.  The Navigation system is quick and modern with great clear multicolor maps.  The control dial is a bit far to handle easily but I suppose we can't have it all, buy an Audi A6 if you need something with a dial in the armrest.  The NAV's destination entry is a bit backward with the system asking for street number, then street, then city.  Nomal systems work in the reverse order to this.  Voice guidance is a great feature to have as well as being able to find places easily such as hotels and restaurants.  The wide screen looks nice and changes the appearance of the dash dramatically.

Behind the wheel, the Volkswagen Passat handles incredibly well.  An electro-mechanical power rack and pinion steering system offers a good amount of road feel and creates a confident driver in most everyday situations.  The steering also provides active return steering and straight ahead driving correction assistance in windy conditions.  The small yet powerful engine is a marvelously German engineered piece of work.  Our test car featured a new four cylinder engine which VW named the 2.0T.  The engine uses a turbocharger and intercooler along with four valves per cylinder and direct-injection fuel delivery to produce 200 horsepower at 5,100 rpm and 207 lbs.-ft. of torque from 1,800 rpm to 5,000 rpm.  In everyday driving it is smooth and gear changes are unnoticeable.  The transmission offers a drive, sport, and manual shift mode.  We felt that in regular drive mode power needed for acceleration and passing had to be called with a slight jerk and downshift which got unpleasant after a week.  In sport mode however power was available instantly although at a cost of more fuel. 

The front wheel drive that we tested Passat could not easily handle the 200 horsepower without significant understeer.  Each time we pressed hard on the gas when passing on the highway or from red light stops, the Passat would meander just a tad towards the left or right.  For safety's sake we recommend that cars with front wheel drive be limited low horsepower.  Only the top of the line Passat model offers 4Motion all-wheel-drive as standard. 

The interior is very quiet on roads and driving the Passat is a joy.  All windows offer useful one touch down functions.  Wind noise is quite low with the sunroof open.  We also liked height adjustments in both front seats, a requirement needed for comfortable driving.  We would highly recommend getting a Passat in our the tan interior color leather for a more spacious feeling inside. 

The suspension of the Volkswagen Passat is a McPherson strut architecture which offers a very comfortable ride without having body roll or lean.  The car is just right, almost perfect for everyday driving, with a feeling we think should be copied on all cars on the road.  Road noise is also quite low from the correct combination of suspension and tires. 

Safety features abound such as the optional eight total airbags, about all that is left is an airbag for the roof and floor. Rear side thorax airbags are optional for the first time ever in a Passat, and if chosen, will supplement the standard head curtain protection system.  A few of the most significant passive safety features now offered are standard crash-active front headrests and crash-optimized foot pedals that descend upon serious  impact. Daytime running lights, three-point safety belts, and adjustable headrests for all five occupants also are important holdover items to help in protection.  Front belts use pre-tensioners with load limiters, and all safety belts use emergency locking retractors.  Four-wheel ABS brakes and an Engine braking assist system are standard in this front wheel drive Passat.  Electronic stabilization program is standard with anti-slip regulation and electronic differential locking.  A feature we heavily tested during our snowy test days.  It is truly great to have the car brake just the right wheels when the back end breaks loose on ice and snow.  The Passat has also earned "Double Best Pick" by the insurance institute for highway safety. 

As expected, Volkswagen is backing the new Passat with a comprehensive warranty that includes a bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty for four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first, with wear-and-tear items and adjustments covered during the initial 12 months or 12,000 miles. Additional coverage is provided by 24-hour roadside assistance for four years with unlimited mileage, a five year/60,000mile Powertrain Limited Warranty and a Limited Warranty against corrosion perforation for 12 years with unlimited mileage.

Our test car, a 2.0 T Passat had a MSRP of $23,900.  Optional is Package #2 including power sunroof, stereo system with in-dash CD changer, satellite radio, leather comfort seats, four spoke multifunction leather wrapped steering wheel, leather shift knob, and heated driver and passenger front seats.  This package was at a cost of $2825.00.  DVD satellite navigation system with six-disc CD changer in the glove box adds $1,800.  A six speed tiptronic automatic transmission adds $1,075.  Dynaudio premium sound system adds $1,000.  Rear side air bags are an additional $350.  This with a destination charge of $615 brings our total MSRP to $31,565. 

We expect great things for Volkswagen in the coming years now that Wolfgang Bernhard heads this company.  Hopefully new designs will be more bold and not as shy as current cars.  Looking at the Passat, we wonder why anyone would buy a Honda Accord, Lexus ES or even a BMW 5-series when they can have a car that offers a connected feeling to the road and a luxurious interior for so much less than its competitors.  This is a car that I would recommend to my friends.

View Features that are standard on the entire Passat Line. 

View Technical specifications on the Passat. 

 

PRICING INVOICE RETAIL
Base Pricing 23,058 24,975
Destination 615 615
Emission Equipment, California/Northeast 150 150
PVD Navigation System, DVD-Based 2.0T, 3.6 1,589 1,800
4X4 Restraint System, Rear Side Air Bag 310 350
P22   Package #1 1,485 1,625
PLS   Package #2 Luxury 2,581 2,825
PVD   DVD Satellite Navigation w/Glove Box Mounted 6-Disk CD Changer 1,589 1,800

 

  2006 Volkswagen Passat
2.0T 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
2005 Honda Accord
EX 4dr Sedan w/Leather and Navigation (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
2005 Mazda MAZDA6
i Grand Touring 4dr Sports Sedan (2.3L 4cyl 4A)
2006 Toyota Camry
SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5A)
2006 Chrysler 300
Touring 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 5A)
MSRP $24,975 $26,600 $24,195 $21,205 $27,525
Invoice $23,058 $23,934 $22,314 $18,872 $25,613
Basic 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders inline 4 inline 4 inline 4 inline 4 V6
Base Engine Displacement 2.0 liters 2.4 liters 2.3 liters 2.4 liters 3.5 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
Compressor turbocharger Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Horsepower 200 hp @ 5100 rpm 160 hp @ 5500 rpm 160 hp @ 6000 rpm 154 hp @ 5700 rpm 250 hp @ 6400 rpm
Torque 207 ft-lbs. @ 1800 rpm 161 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm 155 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 160 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 250 ft-lbs. @ 3800 rpm
Driven Wheels front wheel drive front wheel drive front wheel drive front wheel drive rear wheel drive
Tires P215/55HR16
all season
P205/60R16
all season
P215/50VR17
all season
P215/60VR16
performance
P215/65TR17
all season
Wheels alloy rims
16 x 7.0 in.
alloy rims
16 in.
alloy rims
17 x 7.0 in.
steel rims
16 x 6.5 in.
alloy rims
17 x 7.0 in.
Driver Seat Height Adjustable Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Passenger Seat Height Adjustable Standard Not Available Not Available Not Available  
  remote anti-theft alarm system remote anti-theft alarm system remote anti-theft alarm system Not Available remote anti-theft alarm system - Optional
Emergency Trunk Release interior trunk release interior trunk release interior trunk release interior trunk release interior trunk release
Audio System Passat Accord MAZDA6 Camry 300
Navigation System DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system w/voice activation Not Available Not Available DVD navigation system - Optional
Turning Circle 35.8 ft. 36.1 ft. 38.7 ft. 36.7 ft. 38.9 ft.
Hauling Passat Accord MAZDA6 Camry 300
Max. Cargo Capacity 14 cu. ft. 14 cu. ft. Not Available   16 cu. ft.
Max. Towing Capacity 1650 lbs.     2000 lbs. 2000 lbs.
EPA Mileage Estimates Passat Accord MAZDA6 Camry 300
City 22 mpg. 24 mpg. 23 mpg. 24 mpg. 19 mpg.
Highway 31 mpg. 34 mpg. 28 mpg. 34 mpg. 27 mpg.
Exterior Passat Accord MAZDA6 Camry 300
Length 188.2 in. 189.5 in. 186.8 in. 189.2 in. 196.8 in.
Width 71.7 in. 71.5 in. 70.1 in. 70.7 in. 74.1 in.
Height 58 in. 57.1 in. 56.7 in. 58.7 in. 58.4 in.
Weight 3344 lbs. 3142 lbs. 3153 lbs. 3219 lbs. 3766 lbs.
Wheel Base 106.7 in. 107.9 in. 105.3 in. 107.1 in. 120 in.
Ground Clearance 5.2 in.   5.1 in. 5.9 in. 5.6 in.
Interior Passat Accord MAZDA6 Camry 300
Front Headroom 38.4 in. 38.3 in. 38 in. 39.2 in. 38.7 in.
Rear Headroom 37.8 in. 36.8 in. 37.1 in. 38.4 in. 38 in.
Front Shoulder Room 55.7 in. 56.9 in. 56.1 in. 57.5 in. 59.4 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 54.6 in. 56.1 in. 54.9 in. 56.7 in. 57.7 in.
Front Leg Room 41.4 in. 42.6 in. 42.3 in. 41.6 in. 41.8 in.
Rear Leg Room 37.7 in. 36.8 in. 36.5 in. 37.8 in. 40.2 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 14.2 cu.ft. 14 cu.ft. 15.2 cu.ft. 16.7 cu.ft. 15.6 cu.ft.

 

  2006 Volkswagen Passat
2.0T 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
2006 Audi A6
3.2 4dr Sedan (3.1L 6cyl CVT)
2006 BMW 5 Series
525i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
E350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 7A)
2006 Volkswagen Passat
3.6 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)
Pricing Passat A6 5 Series E-Class Passat
MSRP $24,975 $40,820 $42,500 $50,050 $29,950
Invoice $23,058 $37,572 $38,855 $46,547 $27,513
Basic 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi.
Drivetrain 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi.
Roadside 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. Unlimited yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Rust 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi.
Base Engine Type & Cylinders inline 4 V6 inline 6 V6 V6
Base Engine Displacement 2.0 liters 3.1 liters 3.0 liters 3.5 liters 3.6 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
24 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Compressor turbocharger Not Available Not Available Not Available Not Available
Horsepower 200 hp @ 5100 rpm 255 hp @ 6500 rpm 215 hp @ 6250 rpm 268 hp @ 6000 rpm 280 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque 207 ft-lbs. @ 1800 rpm 243 ft-lbs. @ 3250 rpm 185 ft-lbs. @ 2750 rpm 258 ft-lbs. @ 2400 rpm 265 ft-lbs. @ 2750 rpm
Tires P215/55HR16
all season
P225/55HR16
all season
P225/50VR17
all season
P225/55HR16
all season
P235/45HR17
all season
Wheels alloy rims
16 x 7.0 in.
alloy rims
16 x 7.5 in.
alloy rims
17 x 7.5 in.
alloy rims
16 x 8.0 in.
alloy rims
17 x 7.0 in.
Front Air Conditioning Zones single dual dual dual single
Premium Shift Knob Trim leather - Optional leather alloy leather and wood leather - Optional
Premium Steering Wheel Trim leather - Optional leather-wrapped leather-wrapped leather-wrapped leather - Optional
Brakes - Front ventilated disc ventilated disc ventilated disc ventilated disc ventilated disc
Brakes - Rear disc disc ventilated disc disc disc
Navigation System DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system w/voice activation - Optional DVD navigation system w/voice activation - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional DVD navigation system - Optional
Handling Passat A6 5 Series E-Class Passat
Turning Circle 35.8 ft. 39 ft. 37.4 ft. 37.4 ft. 35.8 ft.
Hauling Passat A6 5 Series E-Class Passat
Max. Cargo Capacity 14 cu. ft. 16 cu. ft.   16 cu. ft. 14 cu. ft.
Max. Towing Capacity 1650 lbs.        
EPA Mileage Estimates Passat A6 5 Series E-Class Passat
City 22 mpg. 21 mpg. 20 mpg. 19 mpg. 19 mpg.
Highway 31 mpg. 29 mpg. 30 mpg. 27 mpg. 28 mpg.
City 407 mi. 443 mi. 370 mi. 391 mi. 352 mi.
Highway 574 mi. 612 mi. 555 mi. 556 mi. 518 mi.
Fuel Data Passat A6 5 Series E-Class Passat
Fuel Tank Capacity 18.5 gal. 21.1 gal. 18.5 gal. 20.6 gal. 18.5 gal.
Exterior Passat A6 5 Series E-Class Passat
Length 188.2 in. 193.5 in. 191.1 in. 189.7 in. 188.2 in.
Width 71.7 in. 71.3 in. 72.7 in. 71.7 in. 71.7 in.
Height 58 in. 57.5 in. 57.8 in. 57 in. 58 in.
Weight 3344 lbs. 3836 lbs. 3428 lbs. 3703 lbs. 3576 lbs.
Wheel Base 106.7 in. 111.9 in. 113.7 in. 112.4 in. 106.7 in.
Ground Clearance 5.2 in. 4.6 in.     5.2 in.
Interior Passat A6 5 Series E-Class Passat
Front Headroom 38.4 in. 38.7 in. 37.7 in. 39.1 in.  
Rear Headroom 37.8 in. 37.8 in. 37 in. 37.8 in.  
Front Shoulder Room 55.7 in. 57.1 in. 57.3 in. 56.4 in. 55.7 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 54.6 in. 55.9 in. 57.2 in. 56.1 in. 54.6 in.
Front Leg Room 41.4 in. 41.3 in. 41.5 in. 41.9 in. 41.4 in.
Rear Leg Room 37.7 in. 36.9 in. 36 in. 35.6 in. 37.7 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 14.2 cu.ft. 15.9 cu.ft. 14 cu.ft. 15.9 cu.ft. 14.2 cu.ft.

 

 

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