The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

With such stalwarts as Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Mazda6 competing fiercely in the sedan segment, credit goes to Volkswagen Passat for standing its ground. It is truly a remarkable car with reasonably quick and smooth acceleration from any speed.
Our test drive was equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine cranking out 280 horsepower @ 6200 rpm and 258 pounds-feet of torque @ 2500 rpm while mated to a standard but responsive 6-speed auto gearbox. The muscular domed hood meets up with a full chromed four-bar grille that is surrounded by slim headlights. Other visible characteristics are a chrome strip on the trunk that blends in with LED tail lamps. Take a seat behind the steering wheel and you are greeted by two large speedometer and tachometer gauges in the instrument panel while the center stack incorporates the VW latest MIB II infotainment system. The two-tone décor panels and chrome trim on a/c vent bezels, upper door, cup holders and shift lever add European flair to the Passat. Other conveniences are dual-zone auto a/c, 60/40 rear seat, eight-way power driver seat, heated front and rear seats, power tilt/slide sun roof, Fender audio system, and a 15.9 cubic feet trunk. 
Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, Electronic Stability Protection with anti-slip regulation, traction control, three-point seatbelts for all positions, adaptive cruise control, rearview camera, blind spot monitor, front collision and land departure warning, post-collision and auto emergency braking, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.
As we said initially, the Passat has passed the test with flying colors amid stiff rivalry. Carrying occupants in comfort and style, it is the perfect sedan for a family of four or five, for that matter.

Tires: 235/45R18
Wheelbase: 110.4 inches
Length: 191.9 inches
Weight: 3,534 pounds
Suspension: strut-type with lower control arms front, multilink rear
Steering: electric power
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons
City: 19 mpg
Highway: 28 mpg
Base price: $34,650

CALLING ALL VW DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at