Passat? A Diesel? Please sign me up.

Image courtesy of Motortrend.com

Hey look, a Passat diesel. Good idea. The diesel Jetta has been a huge success here in America—dealers can’t seem to hold onto them for long at all (This might explain the high sales of the Jetta despite its unfavorable reviews). The Passat diesel will launch this engine even further into the mainstream, as those who look at hybrids will finally have an alternative to carting an enormous battery in the trunk. Kudos, VW. Keep up the good work. The fact that it will have the DCT transmission as standard will make believers out of those who aren’t (I’m looking at you, Mr. Hybrid Driver). That said, when I need a daily driver, this car looks like a mighty good idea. Plenty of room, no hybrid battery to make me worry about extra costs, and diesel gas mileage? Great plan.

It looks excellent as well.  Unlike a lot of other midsize sedans on the market, it doesn’t call negative attention to itself (Camry, pop that blister.  Avenger, that nosejob was a failure).  It’s understated and easy on the eyes, but still carries a look of discernment and good taste; this is exactly what Volkswagen needs for the Passat.  Some will most definitely scoff at the idea of Volkswagen trying to compete in the mainstream in this segment, but they’re misplacing their criticism.  Those who bought the old one for its differences will still feel at home here.  I sat in one in Philly at the auto show last winter, and the car didn’t feel cheap (despite my fears that this would suffer the fate of the Jetta).  My only gripe?  It’s still not on sale just yet.  With the currently hot-selling Jetta, attractive new Passat, upcoming Golf R, and the intriguing new Beetle on the way, Volkswagen is once again a large blip on my radar screen.

-Al

Images courtesy of Motortrend.com. See their full road test and gallery here:

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/1107_2012_volkswagen_passat_drive/photo_01.html

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