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The Passat does everything a midsize sedan should, but gets lost in one of the most competitive segments in the automotive space due to its uninspiring appearance.
The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta TDI offers basic transportation at a bargain and an excellent engine, but techies will want to hold off for the improved 2015 model.
The 2014 Nissan Altima's continuously variable transmission distinguishes it in the saturated mid-size sedan segment, but competitors show better overall polish.
Although lacking anything in the way of driving enjoyment, the 2014 Toyota Corolla offers economical and modern transportation with stylish design both inside and out.
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco comes off as a bit light on cabin tech, but its high mileage and good driving character make it a practical choice.
The 2016 Honda CR-V sacrifices comfort for an engaged driving experience, not necessarily the right trade-off in a small SUV, while features such as navigation work poorly or in an unnecessarily quirky fashion.
Although not as sporty as its GTI sibling, the iconic 2014 Volkswagen Beetle comes through with good power and an enjoyable driving experience, but navigation isn't worth the option price.
The 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan still makes a good first impression, but closer inspection reveals just how much this aging SUV lags behind the younger, more fully featured and fuel-efficient competition.
The 2014 Scion tC delivers a strong power-train and a well-sorted suspension on a budget, leaving it to the driver to add most of the tech via the aftermarket.
With its 1.6-liter engine, the 2014 Ford Fiesta makes for a mild-mannered urban runabout, but Sync and MyFord Touch add some compelling tech features.
The 2018 Smart Fortwo is an interesting, but ultimately very niche electric car. However, it's the high price and relatively low cruising range that stay our recommendation.
The 2013 Volkswagen Tiguan suffers from a high price and inferior cabin electronics, compared with other compact SUVs, and struggles to make a compelling argument for itself.
While it's a good truck, it's tough to justify spending upward of $30,000 on a Pro-4x when the competition offers more features and a modern design.
The 2014 Volkswagen Passat competes well in its segment for driving character and fuel economy, and checks off the right boxes for cabin tech, but falls short on driver-assistance features.
Though big for a Fiat model, the 2014 Fiat 500L is still small for a wagon or crossover that boasts so much interior volume. However, limited tech and performance have us reconsidering the competition.
Toyota's conservative attitude toward innovation keeps the 2011 Camry from taking advantage of newer engine and cabin technologies.
The updated Passat stays the course while the North American sedan market burns around it.
The Ford Escape gets a ground-up redesign, packing sleeker looks, efficient powertrains and a strong tech game.