Introduced for 2012, Volkswagen's midsized sedan was redesigned and optimized for the American market. In other words, it grew larger than most of its competitors, lost some of that crisp European driving feel and became less expensive. Passat buyers who prioritize fuel economy tended to go with the diesel-powered Passat TDI, delivering an excellent 37 mpg overall in our testing.
Alerts
There are 10 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"Acceleration is responsive and it handles very well. It is comfortable and fun to drive."

John W., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Noticeably slower than competitors. Old 2.5L engine looses to new gen of turbo engines. Makes a lot of noise without power on wheels."

Dzmitry D., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"My model come with DSG 6 Speed and 3.6 VR6 engine, I did a 0-60 test, my car can achieve 6.1s when I turned off ESP control. The handling is way better than other mid-size sedan, you will have confident with every corner. It doesn't have LED headlamp, it doesn't have a aggressive design, but the acceleration and handling is the best in class in my own opinion."

Haohan Z., ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Great turbo acceleration with diesel torque that can't be beat. Superb acceleration and power combined with fuel economy. Too bad about the emissions scandals."

Paul R., FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The diesel has ample power with great low-end torque and a sloth ride on the highway."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Good low speed torque for city driving and fine handling for a family sedan. Very capable in snow."

Richard S., AL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"My model is SEL VR6, so the acceleration is top notch for this car. 0-100 in 6 second. Handling is a little bit loose when you consider this car equip with VR6 engine, they should adjust the handling much more accurate."

Haohan Z., ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The driving experience is very good. The ride and handling are great. The acceleration is acceptable. The switch from 2.0L turbo to 2.5L normally aspirated five cylinder engine was a downgrade in overall performance. I wish VW hadn't made the change."

David K., NC (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Acceleration and handling"

Stewart J., NY (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Although not the most responsive car I have driven it fulfills 95% of my needs. I tend to be a fast driver, up to 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, and the Passat accelerates well in traffic and is a great touring vehicle. It handles well on back roads and highway ramps and even in snow it has never lost traction or control."

Stephen R., NY (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Thing moves! Stock tires were extremely poor and limited the vehicle's performance, but once replaced the car does very well."

Brian K., VA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Nothing in particular stands out, but I can say... we would buy a VWPassat in a heartbeat again"

Horst K., MI (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"I don't like how it hesitates when accelerating."

Anonymous, MD (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Considering the comfort level, uncommon road handling capability."

Richard S., AL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"My 2012 VW accelerates smoothly and handles well on highway. Driving and handling daily is effortless."

Cheryl T., MO (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The car is very quick and smooth in acceleration. It drives great and makes cornering a breeze."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Great"

R F., ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Plenty of power and the handling is very solid."

JOHN W., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Car is noisy at slow speeds, rides well over 40mph. Slow to start when stepping on the gas or the brakes. Once you step on the gas, after a brief hesitation it takes off. Have to plan ahead when braking."

Anonymous, MD (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Acceleration and handling are outstanding. The car negotiates curvy roads easily and has amazing torque when starting from a standstill."

JACK V., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Often there is a gap between putting the foot down on the gas and it responding, especially when merging into highway traffic. This makes me feel unsafe."

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"acceleration of the 2.5 is not sterling, but torque is very strong wher it is needed. handling is a very strong suit. I've driven all the cars in it's class and the Passat is far more satisfying to drive on a winding road."

CATHY S., OK (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"As the car has aged, I am starting to see some of the lag and balking others have reported with the first generation DSG transmission. Overall, throttle response and pep is good as you would expect with a turbo diesel."

DAVID L., OH (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Very fast acceleration. Great handling"

DAVID C., FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Get's up and goes!"

GLENN C., CO (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Smooth ride and good acceleration when needed"

Anonymous, NE (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The Turbo Diesel engine gives this car a lot of pep without sacrificing fuel economy. The styling is very euro -- clean, crisp, and uncluttered."

RICHARD L., NM (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Good"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"excellent ( for the money) handling and acceleration from a 2 liter engine"

ELVIN Y., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Undependable hesitation from dead start. Frequent "dead zone" that requires five seconds before acceleration. May be due to fuel injectors. May be fixable. But a potential safety issue."

TIM H., TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"I traded in a Mercedes CLK 550 for this fuel efficient car. I was surprised on how quick a 4-cylinder diesel car could be."

KAREN L., FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"VW has the best FWD system and driving feel available. Perfect."

DAVID K., NC (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Roomy interior, rather comfortable seats (tested on 6-8hr long drives), an OK interior noise level."

Dzmitry D., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The leg room is squeezed for the driver. We have placed a sponge next to the console to provide comfort. Seats are not comfortable. Passenger seat not easily adjustable. Seems like not enough padding, leather stiff."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Car is VERY loud on the highway"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Solid support with firm cushions make for a secure safe ride. Slight noise of air going over front door jam can be annoying. Ride is the best ever in my 40 years of driving."

Paul R., FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The seats are very comfortable, the ride is quite and the car handles very well."

John W., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"I wish the seats had more padding in them and this is a major factor in these cars"

Neil R., FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Very comfortable seats. Low noise level while highway driving - no need to adjust the radio volume to compensate. Smooth ride handles railroad tracks smoothly."

Devon S., IN (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Great legroom. Tall family of four including 2 adult children can comfortably road trip in this sedan."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Very solid ride stable with decent power"

Michael P., LA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Well, no comparison to the Lincoln, but for its category the seats a very comfortable, absence of road noise is also good. The ride is very exceptable. My wife is very happy with her little car"

Horst K., MI (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The heated seats especially with the lumbar support provide an extremely comfortable ride even over long distances"

Stephen R., NY (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Quiet comfortable ride combined with supportive seating for long trips."

Richard S., AL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The seats are not that comfortable on a long trip and you sit to low. Overall have liked the car, but will be taking the buy back since I don't trust the fix to keep the same power or fuel mileage."

Anonymous, WY (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Love the roominess of the interior. There is so much leg room in the back seat."

Anonymous, FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Intermitent very loud roaring sound on right side."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Seats are uncomfortable. Not a good car to go touring in, despite the good gas mileage. Highway road noise is at a level where talking on the phone via bluetooth is almost impossible. You can hear the caller, they can't understand you."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"I can park easily; driving is a dream; looks great; gas mileage is wonderful."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Uncomfortable on long trips."

DAVID C., FL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Drivers seat is extremely comfortable."

Anonymous, MA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Lumbar support in the front seats is not very good. Otherwise, the seats are ok, sufficiently adjustable."

Anonymous, DE (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Much noisier compared my Camry XLE. May be due to cheap tires."

TIM H., TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The Passat's seats are firm, but form-fitting and comfortable, and particularly with the driver seat, there are enough diversity of seating position options that anyone would be able to find at least one, if not several sweet-spots to position the seat. The passenger seat in my SE is manually adjusted and therefore enjoys fewer adjustment options. The rear seats are also comfortable in incredibly commodious. I can comfortably fit my three sons, two of whom are teenagers, in any of the three seat"

SHANE F., TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The passenger seat is not comfortable. The headrest is not adjustable enough nor the seat angle."

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Ride can be noisy on highway. Seats comfortable and good backseat leg room. Control lights for air pressure come on constantly, even after service at a VW dealership. Very annoying."

KEVIN K., AL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"I AM 5'8' AND THIS CAR FITS ME VERY GOOD. THE CONTROLS ARE EASY TO REACH AND SEE WITHOUT LOOKING AWAY OR STRETCHING TO REACH. VERY COMFORTABLE HIGHWAY VEHICLE"

JOSEPH B., TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The seats are very comfortable and supportive. Leg room in the back seat is excellent. Climate control in the front is excellent. In the back it is none existent. It can get very stuff in the back while the passengers in the front feel fine."

JOHN W., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

Value

Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"great features combined with uncommon fuel economy, better than hybrids on the highway."

Richard S., AL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"My Passat is very roomy and comfortable, especially on long trips. The Desiel engine has ample power and gets great fuel mileage. I have experienced up to 50MPG on long road trips."

Anonymous, WA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"In general, good value and features for cost. Reliability and maintenance so-so."

Anonymous, PA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Great mileage"

R F., ON (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The car is very roomy, especially in the back seat. The seats are easy to clean. The driver side of the car is confining, my right leg hits the of the console when I drive. The seats are not at all comfortable for long trips. The drunk space is large."

Anonymous, OH (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Has retained significant value and we made a good deal when we purchased new."

Michael P., LA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"This car was part of the huge VW diesel emissions scandal. Loved the car before that; very unhappy with the car's true pollution level. Will be having VW buy it back. Would buy it again if it had delivered the performance promised."

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"bummed that the diesel engine is a cheater as this is a great car, just not legal"

GREGORY W., OR (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Good performance for a diesel, great mileage, great value for the money, excellent sound system, good handling with the SEL model...alas it will have to be returned due to the diesel emission problem"

ELVIN Y., CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"The VW Passat SE TDI is incredibly fuel efficient, and moves with a sense of purpose in any driving conditions but is especially fun to drive in Sport mode on winding country roads and on the open highway. It is an incredible value for the money and comes well-equipped in the SE trim. USAA was able to get the dealer to come down on the price by over $3,000 when I purchased it new. I have never once been disappointed in my VW Passat TDI prior to the release of the emissions cheating software inst"

SHANE F., TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Doesn't drive well, not comfortable, oil leaks (head gasket)"

Anonymous, CA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Recalls and the cost to replace parts are showing to be very expensive, lack of vw response to components within the emissions system that are failing. (Nox sensor, ad blue heater, turbo failure, I expect the dpf filter to be next due to emissions issues, 2k from what I understand)"

Anonymous, NH (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"VW openly lied to those of us who bought the dti and has no real solution to fix the emission problem."

Anonymous, IL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Great mileage for the price"

GLENN C., CO (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Purchased SE model with leather seats for$24,500 out the door pricing...with 60 months of interest free financing!"

JOSEPH C., NJ (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Has all the bells and whistles available in 2012 for an exceptional price."

RICHARD S., AL (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Well, there is the unresolved NOX emissions issue as you know"

Anonymous, AB (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Still looks new and comparable to new VW's."

Anonymous, TX (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"Plenty of room for a medium size sedan, handles well . Excellent mpg, noisy cabin , dashboard could of being better."

CARLOS G., LA (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"very good"

Anonymous, TN (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

"My wife drives this car most of the time. She absolutely loves it in the winter...good traction. However, the only negative are the front seats...they are a bit to narrow for long trips. That is why we always use the Lincoln TC"

HORST K., MI (2012 Volkswagen Passat)

Would you buy this car again?

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Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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