NEW FOR 2013:

– Trendline+ trim discontinued.
– Trendline gets standard heated front seats, 16-inch alloy “San Jose” wheels, and rear centre armrest with storage.
– Comfortline gets standard rear air vents, front fog lights (3.6L), and rear seat pass-through (3.6L).
– Highline gets standard memory driver’s seat and mirrors.
– Navigation package on Highline gets rear view camera.

All new last year, this North American–developed and –built Passat dives into the deep end of the mid-size family sedan pool with competitive pricing, conservative styling, and a bigger footprint. Like its exterior, the cabin is not flashy, but its elegant design and high-quality materials give it enduring appeal. The front seats are excellent and rear legroom is NBA-grade. While available with a 2.5L five-cylinder, the engine of choice is the torquey and parsimonious TDI clean diesel that gives this smooth-riding sedan remarkable range. A larger 3.6L V6 is also available. The Passat was named 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

In Trendline trim, features include 2.5L 5-cylinder engine, 5-speed manual transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels, 60/40 split folding rear seat with armrest, 8-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, 4-way manually adjustable passenger seat, automatic headlights, 6-speaker AM/FM/CD audio with auxiliary jack, Bluetooth phone connectivity, automatic dual-zone climate control, cruise control, digital compass, airbags (front, front side, side curtain), front and rear floor mats, front and rear centre armrest storage, heated front seats, leather wrapped multifunction steering wheel, shift knob, and handbrake lever, multifunction trip computer, and power heated side mirrors. TDI models get chrome side and rear fender accents, engine block heater, and front fog lights.

Comfortline adds 17-inch alloy ‘Sonoma’ wheels, 8-way power driver seat, 6-way manually adjustable passenger seat, security system, brushed aluminum trim, slideable centre armrest, chrome exterior window surrounds, front and rear map lights, power sunroof, rear centre console air vents, satellite radio, and MDI with iPod connectivity. V6 models additionall get dual exhaust chrome tips, DSG paddle shifers, front fog lights, rear seat pass-through, and sport seats.

Highline adds 17-inch alloy ‘Salamanca’ wheels, 8-way power front sport seats, driver’s seat and side mirror memory, auto-dimming interior mirror, chrome side and rear fender accents, Fender 400-watt premium audio, Homelink, interior lighting package, keyless entry, push button start, leather/Dinamica seating, Nut Burl interior, Premium 8 audio (touch screen), and remote start (automatic transmission models).

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