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The O.C.

'06 VW Passat 3.6L

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I got the chance to borrow an '06 Passat with the new 280hp V6 for a couple of days and have a few comments about it..... I really like the new Passat...! The car I'm driving has an MSRP of $36,400 and is the V6 with leather, navigation, 6-speed auto, and the DynAudio sound system. This is one hell of a classy feeling and driving car. When taken in isolation, it feels worth every bit of its $36K price tag. On the other hand, there's lots to choose from out there in that price range. The car handles better than the old Passat and has a firmer feel to the chassis and suspension. The car looks good on the bigger 17-inch wheels and tires. The engine is simply outstanding......smooth, eager, and REALLY torquey. The engine is certainly NOT Lexus or BMW quiet...it seems like VW has tuned in a bit of aggressive V6 roar. However, it's not objectionable and sounds pretty aggressive. It quiets down, obviously, when you are not deep into the throttle. This car is a rocketship.....and in the light green color of my car, quite the Q-ship. I'd estimate a 0-60 of at least 6.0 secs flat....it simply feels really fast. From 50-80, it's scary. In fact, this car really needs RWD or AWD. Torque steer is surprisingly minimal, but in fact you get a slight tug to the right when heavy on the throttle, but no steering wheel yank like old Saab Turbos, etc. Torque steer isn't the problem....it's the fact that the front tires break loose so easily even on part throttle. IN fact, you can do a "C&D 5-60mph" launch and get into the throttle after rolling and it STILL breaks loose. This thing will smoke the front tires like an old RWD musclecar. Part of the reason is that the ASR traction control doesn't kick in until WAY late. It's one of the least-instrustive systems I've experienced. If I'm gonna have traction control, I want it to be FAST acting....THEN you can allow me to switch it off when I want to. The 6-speed automatic SUCKS in aggressive driving though....too indecisive and easily confused if you vary your on-and-off throttle movements. At very easy throttle and relaxed driving, it's okay. The BMW 6-speed auto is STILL the best "more-than-4-speeds" auto I've driven yet. The interior fit-and-finish and quality of materials is top notch. I LOVE the "Alfa Romeo" style bucket seats covered in glove-soft leather. The plastics are a mix of soft and hard.....but the hard stuff on the lower dash and lower door panels is grained to match almost exactly the soft stuff above and alas you can't tell the panels are hard UNLESS you touch them. Finally, switchgear and HVAC controls are beyond reproach. This car has the aluminum trim on the dash and I prefer that to the masses of woodgrain I've seen on other Passats. The combination nav system/radio controls are extermely intuitive to use and one of the easiest systems to use as far as easily accessing radio/CD controls. Overall? At the extremes, if I was paying the money, I'd still pick a modestly-equipped BMW 325i 6-speed manual over this Passat....or on the other hand, a loaded Lucerne V8 CXS looks mightily attractive. BUT...I'd choose this Passat over an Acura TL...due to it's more germanic feel, and I'd definitely choose it over an Infiniti G35 due to it's classier feel and higher-quality interior. I'd also choose it over an A4. You get more room, a more stylish interior (IMHO) and a stronger V6....but no Quattro.
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Overall?  At the extremes, if I was paying the money, I'd still pick a modestly-equipped BMW 325i 6-speed manual over this Passat....or on the other hand, a loaded Lucerne V8 CXS looks mightily attractive.

BUT...I'd choose this Passat over an Acura TL...due to it's more germanic feel, and I'd definitely choose it over an Infiniti G35 due to it's classier feel and higher-quality interior. 

I'd also choose it over an A4.  You get more room, a more stylish interior (IMHO) and a stronger V6....but no Quattro.

[post="41450"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

I would agree with you there. I bet most Passats will go in the 20s/very low 30s.
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I agree... the new Passat is a very nice car. As good as the 3.6 is, $30K-37K is 3-series territory. But the 2.0T models are a bargain in my book... the seats aren't as perfect, the wheels are rather bland, but other than that, it's a fantastic car.
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Isn't it nice? They are popping up all around sorrority houses and they look GREAT! Felix has one sitting under a little canopie, and I rubberneck everytime I walk by. VW did a great job with it!
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They are popping up all around sorrority houses and they look GREAT!

[post="41552"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


That's one reason why I wouldn't want one.
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The car I'm driving has an MSRP of $36,400 and is the V6 with leather, navigation, 6-speed auto, and the DynAudio sound system.


I'll take a CTS, 3-series, G35 or an A4 for that kinda money. The passat I sat in failed to impress, powertrain or not.


Heck that's well into Hemi 300 territory.

VW better bring over Skoda or Seat to fill the "people's car" gap left behind by VW. There once was a day when VW was concerned with competeing against Mazda, Fiat, and Ford. Today they are competing with Mercedes, Cadillac and..... Audi?
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Yeah. Its really nice when VW spokesmen at the auto show tell people cars like the Phaeton, Passat, and Jetta are just as good as Audis but cost less. Makes it real good for the Audi guys to seal a deal.
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I sat in the new VW Passat at the Seattle Auto Show. Amazing that the lower half of the dash is hard plastic similar to that in the Impala... yet no one seems to complain about it. It looks nice, but it's still hard plastic. The fit&finish was fine in the Passat, like in the Impala, but I did not see the justification in price. I'd go for the Lucerne CXS at $35k. For a few $k more, you could get an STS V6 or V8 DTS. For a few $k less, you could get an Impala SS V8.
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The new Passat looks pretty good from what I've seen (haven't sat in one). However, with the competition that's out there from BMW, Cadillac, Audi, Infiniti, and Lexus, I really can't see them selling too many of the 3.6L version. The 2.0T might do okay, but there are good alternatives at that price range too. You could probably get a 325i for a little more than a 2.0T.
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Nicely equipped 2.0T models start around $24K. Add leather and moonroof and it's still only $27K, about the same as a similarly equipped Camry or Accord V6.
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I agree... the new Passat is a very nice car. As good as the 3.6 is, $30K-37K is 3-series territory. But the 2.0T models are a bargain in my book... the seats aren't as perfect, the wheels are rather bland, but other than that, it's a fantastic car.

[post="41546"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


the v6 passat is a rip off. get a BMW 3 or Lexus IS instead, not a freaking veedub. the 2.0T makes more sense because its much cheaper. I drove an 06 its a great drive but the interior was offputting to me. materials etc. were good, i just didn't like the dash and door panels. too chris bangleish. Edited by regfootball
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Yeah. Its really nice when VW spokesmen at the auto show tell people cars like the Phaeton, Passat, and Jetta are just as good as Audis but cost less. Makes it real good for the Audi guys to seal a deal.

[post="41672"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


judging by all the new 06 A6's I see driving around here, I'd say Audi has NO PROBLEM selling iron around here, even at 45-50k a clip.
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Heh I don't care...they are solid cars.

[post="41575"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



Solid pieces of crap... own one... they are truly mechanics cars just like BMW. I have a '73 Super Bettle and ironically it has the same types of problems as the '03 Jetta we owned. I went and drove a Passat and it gave me the same feeling as a boat... the only two days I would be happy with it are the day I bought it and the day I sold it!


PS. The Passat competes more directly with the TL than the TSX. The Jetta is priced in the TSX price ranges and is even close in size. In fact when my wife and I told the salesman at the VW dealership we were cross shopping Acura's he'd dog the TSX when we drove the Jetta and dog the TL when we drove the Passat. Personally, I would take the TL quickly over the Passat. The time saved from not going to the dealership alone would make it so much more attractive.
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It's only 276 hp, VW America doesn't know the difference between metric and US hp.

[post="41750"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Only 276? relax, the Lucerne gets only 197 out of a 3.8
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Only 276?  relax, the Lucerne gets only 197 out of a 3.8

[post="41873"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]

Not for $36,000. For that price you will get the Northstar. Edited by CaddyXLR-V
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I sat in the new VW Passat at the Seattle Auto Show. Amazing that the lower half of the dash is hard plastic similar to that in the Impala... yet no one seems to complain about it. It looks nice, but it's still hard plastic.

The fit&finish was fine in the Passat, like in the Impala, but I did not see the justification in price. I'd go for the Lucerne CXS at $35k.

For a few $k more, you could get an STS V6 or V8 DTS. For a few $k less, you could get an Impala SS V8.

[post="41675"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Two things on the Passat's hard plastic....

1) People (like me) rip on the Impala's lower dash hard plastic because the graining and finish (shiny) doesn't match very well with the nice soft touch stuff on the dash and door panels.

The reason Passat gets away with it, is they do a masterful job of matching the graining on the soft dash and door panels with the hard stuff below....and the hard stuff is the same matte finish as the dash top. It's hard, YES....but simply way higher quality hard plastic than what GM tends to do. You really do have to touch it to tell IF it's hard or soft...

2) I sat in another 3.6L Passat at a VW dealership, and in THAT car, the lower "hard" plastic on the dash was softer. Not squishy like the dash top and door panel tops, but it was like hard plastic that had some "give" when you pushed your finger into it....does that make any sense?

I'm wondering if VW made a running change to the new material to improve that part of the interior?
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The Impala’s lower dash isn’t glossy either and the grain is well matched. No one can tell that it’s hard plastic either until it’s knocked on. Yes, it’s probably cheaper plastic but you can’t tell until contact is made. For a cross comparison, the LaCrosse’s upper and lower dash both use soft touch materials. I guess that’s another reason I don’t understand why VW can’t afford to do the same in the Passat. Sure the LaCrosse’s wood-grain appears cheesy to some and the layout traditional, but the materials & Fit-&-Finish seem to be equal. LaCrosse’s protein-leather even feels more expensive than what is in the Passat. Don't even compare the small buttons in both. The Passat's aren't any easier to read. I just can’t get myself to justify the mark-up on the Passat. The Passat is an attractive well built car, inside and out... but it's just overpriced.
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Only 276?  relax, the Lucerne gets only 197 out of a 3.8

[post="41873"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


The VW EuroVan put out 140hp with a V6. Whoop-de-doo...

Nice to come up with non-sequitors, isn't it?
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The Impala’s lower dash isn’t glossy either and the grain is well matched. No one can tell that it’s hard plastic either until it’s knocked on. Yes, it’s probably cheaper plastic but you can’t tell until contact is made. For a cross comparison, the LaCrosse’s upper and lower dash both use soft touch materials. I guess that’s another reason I don’t understand why VW can’t afford to do the same in the Passat. Sure the LaCrosse’s wood-grain appears cheesy to some and the layout traditional, but the materials & Fit-&-Finish seem to be equal. LaCrosse’s protein-leather even feels more expensive than what is in the Passat. Don't even compare the small buttons in both. The Passat's aren't any easier to read.

I just can’t get myself to justify the mark-up on the Passat. The Passat is an attractive well built car, inside and out... but it's just overpriced.

[post="42027"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Man....I don't wanna argue....but I'm totally AMAZED that some people still give credit to GM when credit isn't due.....

I'm referring to the LaCrosse comparison. I just spent three days in that Passat and let me tell you I've been in Cadillacs that don't have leather as buttery soft as what was in the Passat...the LaCrosse leather doesn't come CLOSE.

As far as the LaCrosse's tiny buttons, the new Passat had a wonderfully intuitive center stack with simple to use HVAC controls and one of the easiest combo navigation/radio systems I've ever used....

And the "hidden" side window shades in the tops of the rears doors was simply artful.

Back to Impala....I don't even KNOW how you can defend the (hard) plastics inside that car. Sure the interior is much better than in the past, but you can hardly call the hard plastics non-glossy and evenly-grained????

:o

I'm not sayin' they suck, but GM fan or not, I can easily admit that the LaCrosse and Impala do not stand up to solid comparison with the new Passat. Maybe that's where VW's extra cost makes sense then....
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Man....I don't wanna argue....but I'm totally AMAZED that some people still give credit to GM when credit isn't due.....

I'm referring to the LaCrosse comparison.  I just spent three days in that Passat and let me tell you I've been in Cadillacs that don't have leather as buttery soft as what was in the Passat...the LaCrosse leather doesn't come CLOSE.

As far as the LaCrosse's tiny buttons, the new Passat had a wonderfully intuitive center stack with simple to use HVAC controls and one of the easiest combo navigation/radio systems I've ever used....

And the "hidden" side window shades in the tops of the rears doors was simply artful.

Back to Impala....I don't even KNOW how you can defend the (hard) plastics inside that car.  Sure the interior is much better than in the past, but you can hardly call the hard plastics non-glossy and evenly-grained???? 

:o

I'm not sayin' they suck, but GM fan or not, I can easily admit that the LaCrosse and Impala do not stand up to solid comparison with the new Passat.  Maybe that's where VW's extra cost makes sense then....

[post="42339"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


My sentiments exactly, though I wasn't bold enough to say it.
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It's mostly a difference of perceived quality... And we perceive these vehicles differently. I don't really think my lack of criticizm towards the Impala is a result of being a GM fan. Just because I disagree with you, doesn't mean I'm being biased in my opinion.
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It's mostly a difference of perceived quality... And we perceive these vehicles differently. I don't really think my lack of criticizm towards the Impala is a result of being a GM fan. Just because I disagree with you, doesn't mean I'm being biased in my opinion.

[post="42406"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]



You probably aren't Ven....but many people ARE biased in their opinions.....

BTW....I DO like the Impala....and I like the interior.....alot.....but I still think it could stand a bit of work in that one area compared to many competitors....

Nissan Murano was another example....I had a rental recently, and although I really didn't like the SUV, it DID have quite a bit of hard plastic inside....but I'll be damned if you could easily tell without touching it. It matched almost perfectly with the soft stuff.

Nissan usually isn't this good with interior plastics (Titan, Armada, Xterra, Frontier, Pathfinder) but some of their products are done very well (Murano, <new> Altima, Maxima.)
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Not for $36,000. For that price you will get the Northstar.

[post="41876"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Oh great, a V8 that is less powerful and with the 13 year old 4 speed, is also a good second slower. As always, it's case of GM needing to "get with the times."
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