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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Interactive Review: 2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5 SE

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    July 11, 2012

    As I teased in the Mitsubishi Outlander GT S-AWC interactive review, there are two vehicles in the Cheers & Gears Detroit garage this week. The second vehicle is this, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5 SE. Its a midrange model and comes equipped with a 2.5L five-cylinder engine producing 170 HP and 177 lb-ft of torque. You have the choice between a six-speed manual or as in this Passat, an automatic.

    First impressions so far:

    • Exterior is a bit plain.
    • 2.5L is a bit of odd engine with acceleration. Starting off, there seems to be no power. Get a little higher in the RPMs and boom, there's power and rapid acceleration.
    • Like the touchscreen radio, now if they would do a large navigation and not a three inch deal.
    • How is Volkswagen getting away calling this a midsize? The large back seat alone makes you think this.

    I'll have more updates as the week goes on. Until then, drop your questions about the Passat off.

    Update #1: Sorry for not updating this till today. Unfornately, I've been busy with a few other items that took up my time.

    Anyways, the Passat is impressing me.. Mostly. The 2.5L is not the best engine for the Passat or any Volkswagen vehicle. Not the most powerful, nor the smoothest engine in its class. I wonder if it would rather be doing something else, like knitting. However, the 2.5L has been delivering some impressive fuel economy. My average so far is 28.2 MPG, which happens to be an MPG higher than the Kia Optima from last week. Also, I was able to match the Passat's highway fuel economy number of 31 MPG over the weekend. The Optima does beat it by 2 MPG though on that same loop.

    The exterior and interior are growing on me. It's clean and simple. For most buyers in the midsize market, thats what they really want.

    I'll have another update before the Passat heads back with some more thoughts. Drop off your questions in the meantime.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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    Do you mean the back seat is large or small?

    Is it a DSG or an automatic...DSG, right?

    Fuel economy? I am assuming not good...maybe 22-23 overall?

    Impressions of interior quality and quality of dashboard controls?

    Is this a car you could see yourself buying?

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    Do you mean the back seat is large or small?

    Back seat is large.. Like flagship sedan large. Thanks for the pointing that out, I fixed that in my post

    Is it a DSG or an automatic...DSG, right?

    Nope, regular six speed automatic. DSG is only for the TDI and 3.6L V6

    Fuel economy? I am assuming not good...maybe 22-23 overall?

    Not sure at the moment. I'll have an update on that either tomorrow or Friday

    Impressions of interior quality and quality of dashboard controls?

    Its ok. Soft and hard touch plastics are where you expect. The leatherette seats feel a bit weird. Controls are solid and good quality.

    Is this a car you could see yourself buying?

    Not this model. Possibly the diesel.

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    Such a bland car to look at, this tends to tell me it would be driven by someone who always pisses off the rest of us by getting in the left hand land and driving 10 under the posted speed limit.

    In your description of the 5 cyl engine, you say slow and then picks up. So it sounds like the 5 cyl in the Chevy and GMC small trucks. Those engines seem to be slow till you rev them. How would you compare it to other 5 cyl engines?

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    In your description of the 5 cyl engine, you say slow and then picks up. So it sounds like the 5 cyl in the Chevy and GMC small trucks. Those engines seem to be slow till you rev them. How would you compare it to other 5 cyl engines?

    Tough for me to answer since the only other 5 cyl engine I have experience is my 95 Volvo 850 Turbo and it doesn't really have the slow till you rev problem.

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    i sold an 11 sonata to a customer the other day who had a rental car due to body shop work. his rental was a 2.5 2012 passat, and he didn't like it.....bought a sonata. The sonata is better than the 2.5 VW.... i've driven the 2.5 and TDI passats and neither stoked me. the 2.5 was slow and interior is not great. sheet metal is thin, car has room I give it that much.

    The new Passat is not going to make sense until they get a decent 4 cylinder mill in it. Otherwise, you overpay for the v6 or the diesel. Altimas, Sonatas, Fusions, Malibus, so many other choices.

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    i sold an 11 sonata to a customer the other day who had a rental car due to body shop work. his rental was a 2.5 2012 passat, and he didn't like it.....bought a sonata. The sonata is better than the 2.5 VW.... i've driven the 2.5 and TDI passats and neither stoked me. the 2.5 was slow and interior is not great. sheet metal is thin, car has room I give it that much.

    The new Passat is not going to make sense until they get a decent 4 cylinder mill in it. Otherwise, you overpay for the v6 or the diesel. Altimas, Sonatas, Fusions, Malibus, so many other choices.

    See, I don't think the sheet metal is thin. Thin would be the Mitsubishi Outlander which has a very tinny sound when opening and closing doors.

    As for the interior, I think its ok. It's not the most sexy interior at all, but everything is put together well and works.

    I do hope the rumor of a 1.8T for the Passat comes true.

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    the rear quarters of the new passat are quite thin and flexy were my recollection from playing with them at the auto show.

    people wonder why GM and Fords are so heavy, they at least keep sheet metal on most of their models that won't flex and dent super easy, thicker and heavier.

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    i sold an 11 sonata to a customer the other day who had a rental car due to body shop work. his rental was a 2.5 2012 passat, and he didn't like it.....bought a sonata. The sonata is better than the 2.5 VW.... i've driven the 2.5 and TDI passats and neither stoked me. the 2.5 was slow and interior is not great. sheet metal is thin, car has room I give it that much.

    The new Passat is not going to make sense until they get a decent 4 cylinder mill in it. Otherwise, you overpay for the v6 or the diesel. Altimas, Sonatas, Fusions, Malibus, so many other choices.

    The only VW I could really see buying is either GTI or DI Golf, IIRC both are built like German cars and built in Wolfs-burg.

    i sold an 11 sonata to a customer the other day who had a rental car due to body shop work. his rental was a 2.5 2012 passat, and he didn't like it.....bought a sonata. The sonata is better than the 2.5 VW.... i've driven the 2.5 and TDI passats and neither stoked me. the 2.5 was slow and interior is not great. sheet metal is thin, car has room I give it that much.

    The new Passat is not going to make sense until they get a decent 4 cylinder mill in it. Otherwise, you overpay for the v6 or the diesel. Altimas, Sonatas, Fusions, Malibus, so many other choices.

    See, I don't think the sheet metal is thin. Thin would be the Mitsubishi Outlander which has a very tinny sound when opening and closing doors.

    As for the interior, I think its ok. It's not the most sexy interior at all, but everything is put together well and works.

    I do hope the rumor of a 1.8T for the Passat comes true.

    I have a friend who is like the rain man of everything VW and he says 1.8 T is coming to Passat for sure...we will see...

    the rear quarters of the new passat are quite thin and flexy were my recollection from playing with them at the auto show.

    people wonder why GM and Fords are so heavy, they at least keep sheet metal on most of their models that won't flex and dent super easy, thicker and heavier.

    The whole Fusion feels super well built to me. If I could force myself to buy a normal 4 door car and it wasn't going to be a Verano, the Fusion would be a high choice for me.

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