the mirthy Beetle, Volkswagens always seem to elicit visions of a taut performance
automobile, probably in a silvery toned finish, powering seamlessly along the
Autobahn at breathtaking speeds with solid road hugging control. No nonsense German
engineering. A "make no excuses" feel. A real five-speed manual transmission
for those wanting the unbridled fun of driving lean. Passat is no exception.
midsize sedan VW Passat (and wagon) packs a power-punch whether riding on its base, front-drive
turbocharged four-cylinder, the more powerful V6 or the high performance, fuel
saving "W" eight-cylinder engine. The 4.0 liter W, a double-V configuration,
comes standard with an all-wheel-drive system curiously dubbed 4MOTION. Enthusiasts
can choose a six-speed manual that can thrust the Passat from zero to 60 in a
scant 5.9 seconds while an alternative five-speed auto with semi-manual Tiptronic
(thanks to Porsche) adds 0.6 seconds to the same maneuver.
in inspiration and design, Passat comes in four trims with some expected American
amenities even on the base GL. Included are mandatory cup holders (two in front),
telescoping tilt steering, and automatic door locking with keyless remote. All
versions get those trendy integrated side mirror turn indicators. GM's OnStar
is standard on the top GLX and W8 along with advanced stability enhancements.
ESP (electronic stabilization program) is included on the W, along with chrome-tipped
dual exhausts, real walnut wood accents, plus leather upholstery and handbrake
adds six new exterior colors during the model year, plus new Pure Beige and Anthracite
interiors. The two top trims add 16-inch alloy wheels, while the GLS gets Monsoon
sound and Homelink for garage and home security systems. In all versions, this
"silver bullet" keeps outside noise at bay as it flies along the freeways.