gorgeous Volkswagen Passat has always been one of our favorite mid-size sedans.
Sure, with a price range that starts just under $22K and stretches way up to near
forty large, the Passat is one of the more expensive offerings in this set. But
as they say, you get what you pay for, and accordingly, the Passat is worth the
of all, its son-of-Audi styling is spot-on. Not only that, but that classy sheet
metal encloses a heckuvalot of interior space; you can actually fit three people
in back in reasonable comfort! Said interior is just as nice to behold at as the
exterior, with higher trim levels (GLX and W8) featuring real wood, leather upholstery
and keeping you cozy with climate control. The base GLS is extremely well equipped
right out of the box, with plush fabric, power everything, keyless entry and side
and curtain air bags.
are three engines to choose from, a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (170
hp), a 2.8-liter V-6 (190 hp) and a blazing new 4.0-liter W-8 (270 hp), the latter
fanning its cylinders out like a W, instead of arranging them in a line (a.k.a.
"inline") or a "V." Both of the smaller engines are come with
front-wheel drive standard, and are available with manual or manu-matic transmissions;
the V-6 can be ordered with all-wheel-drive (4Motion), which the W-8 gets standard.
also worth noting is that the Passat is available in a classy and versatile wagon
bodystyle, which is configurable in just as many engine, transmission and drivetrain
combinations as the sedan. In fact, a Passat wagon with the W-8 engine, is the
only eight-cylinder wagon you can get with a manual transmission -- in this case
a six-speed manual (the stick should be hitting dealerships as you read this).
You can even slap on a Passat sport package, which comes with 17-inch wheels and
tighter suspension. Sure, it's $40K. But it saves you from having to buy a sports
car for Sunday thrills.