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2012 Volkswagen Passat priced at $20,765

Thu, 26 May 2011

The all-new 2012 Volkswagen Passat, looking to be a big player in the highly competitive midsize segment and the first car to be built at a new Chattanooga, Tenn., assembly plant, will come to market this fall with a base sticker price of $19,995, plus $770 destination charge. The 2012 Passat will be sold with three powertrains and a variety of equipment levels.

“The 2012 Passat is a true Volkswagen, offering German engineering, class-leading standard features and superior fuel economy, all for a remarkable value,” said Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. “Demonstrating our commitment to the American market, the car will be produced at one of the newest, most advanced and environmentally responsible auto assembly plants in the world.”

The base Passat is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder with a manual transmission and 170 hp. The 2.5L model, available in eight equipment levels, comes standard with automatic dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel audio controls and VW's no-charge three-year/36,000-mile scheduled-maintenance program. The uplevel Passat SE model starts at $23,725 and includes additional equipment such as 17-inch alloy wheels, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, a touch-screen Premium VIII radio and a multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The 2.0L TDI clean-diesel model offers three trim levels and starts at $25,995. The Passat TDI--the only clean-diesel option in the midsize segment--is expected to deliver 43 mpg on the highway, with a range of nearly 800 miles. The TDI base trim package, the SE, comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, a touch-screen Premium VIII radio and a six-speed manual transmission. VW's automatic DSG transmission is optional.

Topping the VW Passat range is a 3.6-liter VR6 that comes in three different trim levels and has a base sticker price of $28,995. The VR6 model comes standard with a six-speed automatic DSG transmission and offers a highly competitive 280 hp. Additional standard premium features in the VR6 model include 18-inch alloy wheels, comfort sport seats, a sunroof and a class-exclusive Fender premium audio system.

The new Passat, designed specifically for the North American market, is a slightly larger version than the car sold in the rest of the world. The all-new midsize sedan is 191.7 inches long and has a 110.4-inch wheelbase.

By Roger Hart