2006 Volkswagen Passat Value Edition
The Good :)
Smooth and quick manual 6 speed. Amazing turning circle. Loads of power
available anytime. Great steering feel. Excellent interior and exterior
build quality. Solid feel throughout like no other. Umbrella holder in drivers door.
The Bad :(
Graphite look trim too plasticy. Basic items like dimming side rear view
mirrors and Xenon headlights needed standard in 2006.
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VW has been making some great
cars lately and its time to give credit where credit is due. German
craftsmanship and quality can be had for all drivers in America thanks to VW.
The all new sixth generation mid size VW Passat offers more refinement,
technology, and fun behind the wheel. Having recently tested the Passat
2.0T model, it was a joy to test this Value Edition. Please see our article
on that model as well for some great photos and more information on the
Exterior styling in the 2006 VW Passat
Value Edition is almost like that of its higher priced iterations. Smooth
flowing lines and a tall cabin give the Passat presence. The front end is
marked by the new face of VW. We liked the large grill wrapped in chrome
accent, but the quirky headlight design gives it a shy overall appearance.
It's interesting to see how subtle design changes make such a big
impression. Audi, which has a similar center grill design, looks more
aggressive while Volkswagen's look tamer and family oriented. We were a
little surprised to see wheel covers on this base model which does make the
Passat look a bit cheap in a world where even a Kia has alloy wheels as
standard equipment. The Passat does earn loads of points for its overall
build quality. The doors felt strong when opening and closing and all the
body panels were tight fitting with minimal gaps.
Interior design and quality
are both superb. The overall scheme is similar to a BMW in that wedge
shaped trim is mixed with curves such as on the dash as well as flat angular
pieces for a modern look. The dash flows away from you while being tall and
substantial looking. The door trim is also quite high giving an enveloped
feeling inside. There is a nice wide arm rest on the doors and the window
buttons are placed perfectly at your figure tips. All parts are smooth
fitting and we found everything to feel good to the touch. The air vents
feel solid and strong, the door pulls are real metal and feel great, grab
handles on each seat that fit your arm as you sit facing forward are a
Most interior parts on the
Passat Value Edition are plastic but have a leather look and a high quality
feel. Only the grab handles on the doors and power window switch area is a
smooth black plastic which feels a bit cheap but is still better than any
car in this price range. We did find the steering wheel to be a little
slippery and wished VW would just give a leather steering wheel at standard
equipment given that a genuine leather aftermarket wheel cover only cost
Large bottle holders in the
doors up front are quite useful in today's 'pay for water' world. The
stereo is simple and large with huge buttons for station selection; it
cannot get much simpler than this. Sound quality is good, above some of the
base versions of stereos we have used. It certainly gets very loud and
offers descent bass. The climate controls are also just below the stereo
and are manual dials for temperature and direction as well as fan speed.
The Passat lacks automatic climate control in this Value Edition model. The
air conditioning system features a pollen and dust filter.
The engine key is a type that
you must insert into a slot in the dash and then push to start the vehicle.
It would make more sense if you could just leave the key in your pocket and
unlock and start the car with a push button. A simple trip computer for two
presets is offered in the nicely illuminated instrument cluster. The
instrument cluster is similar to other VW's and is surrounded by chrome
dials. There is a nice information screen between the dials that displays
basic, but useful information such as travel time, digital compass and
temperature. We did not like the graphite trim used on the dash and around
the instrument cluster, wood or real aluminum would have looked nicer and
felt better. Power windows with pinch protection are standard with an easy
automatic up feature in all windows. Heated and powered outside mirrors are
standard as well.
Seats up front are comfortable
with a long leg cushion and nicely sized back bolsters. The seats are
manually adjustable so if many different drivers will be using the Passat in
your home, all this maneuvering can get tiring. Both front seats offer
height adjustment, a must have for us while driving. Both driver and
passenger seats have 6-way adjustment, and manual lumbar support. There is
a 60/40 folding rear bench seat that is useful when you need to make trips
to home depot. Tightly carpeted floor mats are standard and we might add
that the carpeting in the Passat is much higher quality that on most cars we
have tested in this price range.
The Passat comfortably seats five adults
which is plus for long trips. Rear seat comfort is excellent with great leg
support and a perfect angle of tilt for the seats. A split folding rear
seat with valet lockout is standard and very useful. Everything feels of
high quality even when leatherette is used. Though not as soft as leather,
it has a thick feeling and is perforated to look just like leather. Why
kill a cow anyway. The roof lining is a checkered fabric look that feels
very nice and again, the parts fit perfectly with no gaps. Legroom is also
quite good and overall width is excellent. This is a much better buy than a
BMW 3 series and interior room is par with a BMW 5 series. Trunk space is a
hefty 14.2 cubic feet with a solid feeling trunk lid and a fully lined
interior unlike many cars in this price range. With rear seats folded down
there is 96.3 cubic feet of volume.
Lacking in the base model is a
sunroof for more light inside. We also missed the dimming rear view
mirrors. Interior lighting at night is lacking with no ambient light at
your feet. The armrest up front is very solid, just compare this to other
cars you test drive, nothing but a German make will compare. The armrest
lifts up in segments to suit the arm of any driver. The rear armrest is
equally strong and large with built in cup holders. A notable feature for
tall drivers is the super long length of travel of the driver's seat. Seat
belts are also tied to a chime for driver and passenger and the belts in the
Passat are much more comfortable than other cars we have tested.
The manual transmission functions very well
and is super smooth. It reminds us of a BMW. The clutch pedal has just the
right feel. An electronic brake is used to park the vehicle and it also
functions well, just press the button while your foot is on the brake
pedal. Press again to release. An auto hold feature can be switched on or
off and this holds the car when it comes to a rest at stop lights and
hills. This is a very useful feature on cars with a manual transmission.
The only drawback is that the switch has to be turned on each time you start
the car and that can get a bit annoying.
A 2.0 liter four cylinder direct injection
engine is used in the base model Passat. It produces 200 horsepower and 207
lbs.-ft. of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels only. The engine
uses a turbocharger and intercooler for cool, higher density air intake.
Four valves per cylinder further enhance its breathing. The 207 lbs.-ft. of
torque is available from 1,800 rpm to 5,000 rpm which is why the engine
feels as if it is pulling in any gear and at any speed. Fuel mileage was
adequate for a four cylinder, but it could be better. Our overall tests
revealed 22.6 miles per gallon.
We were very happy with the engine response
at highway speeds; the engine simply glides along without any lag. The
engine has a very powerful feel considering it's only a four cylinder. The
turbocharged four cylinder with direct injection gives so much power that
you feel as if you are driving a V6. The Passat rockets off from a start
easily and the slickly smooth transmission makes the car a blast to drive.
Getting to triple digit speeds is very easy. An amazing feature of German
cars is that they can go and keep on going so fast which the car stays so
smooth. You drive better and have more confidence in this German car.
Torsional stiffness is measured at 57% higher than the previous Passat.
There is little engine noise and just the right amount of sound when you
want it in the lower gears.
The Passat also has excellent suspension
settings for a firm yet comfortable ride. You can take corners fast and
still maintain control. You can stop abruptly and have confidence. You can
accelerate with the pedal to the metal and not have coffee spill onto your
lap. The ride is excellent and perhaps a little wider tire size would give
the Passat more grip around fast corners.
The VW Passat features front, side, and
side curtain airbags. Super soft and loose seatbelts are a joy to put on
unlike those in most vehicles. They are manually height adjustable as
well. Active front seat head restraints and side protection door beams are
standard. A tire pressure monitor is also standard. Front and rear power
disc brakes are standard as well. ABS, brake assist, and stability control
are all standard.
The new vehicle warranty is a four year or
50,000 miles, whichever comes first. The powertrain is covered for five
years or 60,000 miles. Corrosion perforation is warranted for 12 years and
unlimited mileage. Roadside assistance is provided for four years.
The window sticker shows a gas mileage of
23 city and 32 highway. The Passat is made in Mosel, Germany. The base
model has a MSRP of $22,950 and the reflex silver with black leatherette and
6-speed manual is all standard. A destination charge of $630 makes the
total $23,580. A great price for this solidly built vehicle.
We are sold by the Passat in all its
versions. At this base price called the Value Edition, the Passat cannot be
beat. Driving most other cars in this price range reveals that they are
truly inferior. We just wish VW would stop with the weird advertising and
focus on smart and sophisticated buyer. Watching some of those commercials
targeting teeny boppers makes you second guess stepping into the showroom.
The VW Passat offers both a solid ride and high build quality. This
combination is rarely found in any car at this price range. The Passat is a
car that we would recommend to our friends and family, and that in itself
Features that are standard on the entire Passat Line.
Technical specifications on the Passat.