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VW Passat: Driving report with US version

VW Passat

Interesting driving report here with the US version of the VW Passat.

Indoors, we were happy (relieved?) to find a cabin that has lost very little of its German flavor on its way to the States. While the Jetta swapped most of its softer dash and trim components for well-grained but cheap-feeling plastics, the Passat has held onto higher-quality materials, at least in the places that matter most. The upper portion of the dash is clad in soft-touch goodness, though everything below the copious amounts of faux wood-grain trim is treated to the harder stuff. Still, touches like a leather-wrapped steering wheel in higher trims and excellent seating surfaces go a long way toward making the cabin feel like a quality space. Volkswagen said that it specifically wanted to focus on the vehicle’s touch points – that is, where your body actually makes contact with the cabin – and that work has paid off.

For 2012, Volkswagen has built almost four additional inches into the Passat, and most of that length has found its way into the rear foot well. Rear passengers are now treated to 39.1 inches of legroom, which is nearly a full inch more than the Toyota Camry and almost two inches more than the Honda Accord. For drivers with kids, that translates into miles of motoring bliss without feeling Junior kicking you in the back from his car seat. It also means that even the jolliest of green giants can fit in the back without feeling cramped.