X

2012 Volkswagen Passat (photos)

Volkswagen showed off the updated Passat at the 2011 Detroit auto show, styling it with a more angular grille reflecting current VW design language. Along with a few gasoline options, VW will make a Passat TDI available, getting 43 mpg.

Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

See full bio
VWPassat_SS01.jpg
1 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
The Passat gets a significant update for 2011, with styling reflecting Volkswagen's current design language and a new set of power-train options. As its midsize sedan, Volkswagen wants the Passat to offer a near luxury interior for a reasonable price.

Back to 2011 Detroit auto show

VWPassat_SS02.jpg
2 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
Like last year's updated Jetta, the headlights and grille of the Passat form a single piece. But on the Passat, horizontal bars make the grille look more prominent. The car has a more upright, stately appearance, rather than the raked forward look of past years.

Back to 2011 Detroit auto show

VWPassat_SS03.jpg
3 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
Volkswagen is offering the car with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder base engine, a 2-liter diesel, or a 3.6-liter V-6. With the diesel, the Passat will get 43 mpg and a range of 800 miles. The V-6 version comes standard with Volkswagen's DSG dual clutch transmission.

Back to 2011 Detroit auto show

VWPassat_SS04.jpg
4 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
The Passat will come in S, SE, and SEL trims, with a base price around $20,000. The car goes on sale this year.

Back to 2011 Detroit auto show

VWPassat_SS05.jpg
5 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
Volkswagen did a nice job on the Passat's interior, using soft plastics and wood grain trim. One tech highlight of the car is a new audio system option designed by guitar maker Fender. Composed of nine speakers, including a subwoofer, and a 400-watt amp, this system is designed to deliver a unique Fender sound.

Back to 2011 Detroit auto show

VWPassat_SS06.jpg
6 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
The steering wheel shows the same controls as in the 2011 Jetta. Buttons on the spokes feature a compact design and allow control over the audio and Bluetooth phone systems.

Back to 2011 Detroit auto show

VWPassat_SS07.jpg
7 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
Volkswagen will offer two navigation options in the Passat. One, the flash-drive-based RNS 315, is also offered in the Jetta. It works well, but does not show traffic. The hard-drive-based RNS 510 version should be more feature-rich.

Back to 2011 Detroit auto show

VWPassat_SS08.jpg
8 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET
The transmission options for the new Passat depend on the engine. With the 2.5-liter four-cylinder, Volkswagen offers either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. With the diesel, the five-speed manual or six-speed DSG are available. The V-6 is limited to the DSG.

Back to 2011 Detroit auto show

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

84 Photos
The Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

36 Photos
The 51 Best VR Games

More Galleries

The 51 Best VR Games

53 Photos
DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

More Galleries

DIY scratched screen repair: Magic and myths

10 Photos
Rugged 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel Debuts

More Galleries

Rugged 2023 Ram 2500 HD Rebel Debuts

12 Photos
2023 Bentley Bentayga EWB Is Long on Luxury

More Galleries

2023 Bentley Bentayga EWB Is Long on Luxury

49 Photos