2010 Volkswagen Passat

Automotive experts and reviewers all regard the 2010 Volkswagen Passat as a more-than-decent choice for an affordable midsize car, providing unexpected sophistication and luxury expected in higher-class sedans. While the Passat is among the most expensive among its class, the top performance and styling more than makes up for what buyers may perceive as added costs compared to competitors.

Performance

Overall, the 2010 Volkswagen Passat provides very good performance, being one of the more well-balanced midsize family cars, but versatile enough to provide a sporty driving experience as well. The turbo-charged four-cylinder engine is appreciated but not remarkable enough to set it apart from other comparable models that offer more efficiency and maximized power.

It seems however that for a buyer to rationalize spending a bit more on an affordable midsize, it includes being prepared to spend more for gas, since the 2010 Passat unfortunately does not provide stellar fuel efficiency. But overall, the Volkswagen Passat is sure to appeal to car owners who aim for visual appeal and European engineering—a best in class for the affordable midsize market.

Interior & Exterior

Indeed, the Volkswagen Passat has seemingly found a niche and strong reputation for being an affordable midsize family car that somehow bridges the gap to full-size luxury sedans. The interiors are tastefully executed, with a near-luxury level of sophistication. To match this mild-mannered, executive feel is the actual ride, which is smooth, comfortable, and precise. Suspension tuning makes it a joy to drive. It also ranks high on safety and reliability, making it the perfect family sedan on weekends.

The classic design of the Passat also increases its cache as an unassuming, elegant car. It has not undergone drastic changes over the decades, and while there have been reports that Volkswagen has been scaling back production of the Passat substantially over the past few years, buyers should not worry about the endurance of this model originally launched in the early 1970s. For the 2010 model, Volkswagen is creating only a single-variant level, available either as a sedan or a wagon. The manufacturer offers free scheduled maintenance for the first three years or 36,000 miles on all Passat cars.

Competition

Car buyers who prefer a sporty midsize variety might want to look at the Mazda 6 (MSRP $14,881; 20 city / 29 hwy) or the Ford Fusion (MSRP $15,948; 22 city / 29 hwy), which are also both more affordable than the 2010 Volkswagen Passat. The all-new Kizashi (MSRP $17,465; 20 city / 29 hwy) from Suzuki is among the smallest offerings in the midsize category, but is the sportiest choice thus far among the lot.

The Volkswagen CC (MSRP $23,414; 21 city / 31 hwy) is another midsize choice from the European automaker, which is very similar to the Passat in presentation and components, but provides an even more aspirational, upscale styling. The CC is actually billed as the Passat CC in other markets such as China.

Safety & Warranty

The 2010 Volkswagen Passat boasts of an exterior styling that is quite mainstream—arriving with a commanding profile but in a quiet manner. The upscale experience is most illustrated by the well-appointed interiors and comfortable seating. Thanks to European engineering, safety is well-achieved, with the previous 2009 model even garnering a “Top Safety Pick” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Overall reliability is a bit low on the scale, but with the basic three-year or 36,000-mile warranty, buyers can rest assured of continuous maintenance and vehicle support.

Pros & Cons

For middle-class families who can afford to spend a little bit more for a luxury experience in a household car, the 2010 Volkswagen Passat is a difficult choice to pass up on. It melds the sophistication and fine taste of German automotive manufacturing with daily practicality and enjoyable functionality.

Overall Rating
71 out of 100

What others say:

"Although the proportions are conservative and won't be a hit with everyone, the details in the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta are still universally appealing and upscale."Car Connection

"The turbocharged 4-cylinder is sprightly from a stop and is impressive in mid-range and highway passing."Consumer Guide

"Though it only comes in turbocharged four-cylinder form, the 2010 Volkswagen Passat is a compelling proposition for those who prefer sophisticated road manners and an upscale cabin to V6 vigor."Edmunds

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $22,305.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.5 gallons Miles Per Gallon: 22 city / 31 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 188.2 in. (478 cm) Width: 71.7 in. (182 cm)
Height: 58 in. (147 cm) Curb Weight: 3331 lbs (1511 kg)
Wheel Base: 106.7 in. (271 cm) Ground Clearance: 5.2 in. (13 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 14.2 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5
Performance
Engine: 2.0L DOHC inline-4 Displacement: NA
Horsepower: 200 hp Max RPM: 5100 rpm
Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Automated Manual
0-60 mph: NA 1/4 Mile: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Passat Komfort SULEV Turbo MSRP: $22,272; MPG: 22 city / 31 hwy
Option:Passat Komfort PZEZ Turbo MSRP: $22,316; MPG: 22 city / 31 hwy