Volkswagen Passat 2.0T
Good: Strong and
Unique Exterior Looks. Great Build Quality. Comfortable Ride. Smooth and
Quick Engine. Good Road Feel. Umbrella holder in drivers door.
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.
Apple QuickTime viewer here.
Watch a video of the Passat exterior, interior, sound levels inside while
driving, and ignition key fob.
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
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.
Features that are standard on the entire Passat Line.
Technical specifications on the Passat.