Image credits: © Volkswagen.

2010 Volkswagen Passat


Created wîth today's drivers and passengers in mind, the 2010 Volkswagen Passat sedan and wagon achieve new levels of detail, sophistication, and convenience to ultimately set the standard for today's midsize class of cars. Developed in Germany wîth a design tested on the Autobahn, the Passat sedan (starting at $26,995) and wagon (starting at $28,395) give the chance to experience the Volkswagen brand heritage at its finest.

ExteriorThe Passat carries on the Volkswagen tradition of clean lines and comfortable proportions. At the front is a long, sloping hood that spreads to the rectangular headlights that corner a wide-mouthed grilled wîth chrome edging and bumper covering. The narrow turn signal indicators rest atop circular halogen fog lamps that are set into the lower front end. The Passat's profile moves to the rear wîth a faint horizontal line starting along the upper portion of the front fenders and traveling almost to the taillights, while a slightly angled chrome accent runs from the front door on to the rear bumper. Chrome window trim brings a touch of distinction to contrast the black lower front valance, side skirts, and lower portion of the rear bumper.

On the sedan model, the semicircular roofline eases into the short trunk lid before dropping down to the rectangular jeweled tail lights that house LED lamps
for superior brightness. The Passat Wagon includes an integrated roof rack and a body color spoiler atop the rear hatch.

Both models come wîth 17-inch 'Le Mans' style alloy wheels that are wrapped in all-season tires, or can be upgraded wîth 18-inch 'Budapest' wheels that include sport suspension.


The 2010 Passat sedan and wagon welcomes drivers and passengers alike by incorporating an array of standard interior features and functions. The front seats are heatable and entirely adjustable – a 12-way, power unit for the driver, and an eight-way, manual unit for the passenger – and are covered in V-Tex that is available in three different colors. The leather-wrapped three spoke §teering wheel includes easy-access controls for the multimedia system, and sits before the updated gauge cluster wîth performance dials and an informative, multifunction digital display.

The Passat's center console houses the CLIMATIC™ single-zone climate controls, and a premium AM/FM/CD stereo system wîth MP3 CD readability, an in-dash, six-disc changer, eight speakers, an SD memory slot for playing WMA / MP3, an auxiliary input for connecting portable audio players, Bluetooth™ connectivity for hands-free mobile phone calls, and access to SIRIÚS Satellite Radio (complimentary service for six months).

Optional on all models is a comprehensive touch-screen navigation system wîth a 6.5' high resolution display, an integrated 30GB hard drive (10GB for navigation, 20GB for audio), WMA / MP3 audio CD playback, DVD playback, an SD memory card slot, an auxiliary input connection, and complimentary Sirius Satellite Radio for six months, and three months of real time traffic provided by Sirius. A special Media Device Interface wîth iPod® cable can be ordered as well, allowing playback and control of iPods® and iPhones® through the touch-screen navigation system.

Three 12-volt auxiliary power outlets, including one in the cargo area, finish off the Passat's repertoire of connections.

Cargo space is easy to find wîth both the sedan and wagon models, especially wîth the 60/40 folding rear seats: Approximately 14.2 cu. ft. for the sedan, and 35.8 cu. ft. for the wagon, which can go up to 61.8 cu. ft. when the rear seats are folded.

Engine and Transmission
The heart of the Passat sedan and wagon is Volkswagen's 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder gasoline engine. Performanceoriented wîth a definitive nod to efficiency, the 2.0T power plant is stocked wîth four valves per cylinder and variable timing, dual overhead camshafts, and maintenance-free hydraulic lifters. The fully-electronic TSI direct fuel injection system and drive-by-wire throttle control constantly monitor and adjust power delivery, making for quick acceleration when called upon, and improved fuel economy overall. All told, the 2.0T gives Passat drivers access to 200 horsepower at 5,100 rpm, and 207 lbs.-ft. of torque from 1,700 to 5,000 rpm.

For 2010, the Passat sedan and wagon come equipped wîth the cuttingedge variable DSG® six-speed automatic transmission wîth Tiptronic® control. The DSG houses an automated dual-clutch system that engages and disengages gears without needing a driver-activated clutch pedal. A special computer controls the entire shifting process and provides gearshifts that are faster and smoother than what can be experienced through a traditional automatic or manual transmission. (posted on As the clutch for the next needed gear is engaged, the clutch from the previous gear is instantly released, to create performance-oriented shifts without any noticeable lagging or a drop in power.

When the driver places the gearshift lever into Tiptronic mode, the transmission stops automated shifting, and lets the driver determine all gear changes by either tapping of the gearshift lever up or down, or by pressing the §teering wheelmounted shift paddles With the DSG transmission, the Passat sedan can reach 60 mph in only 7.2 seconds from a complete stop, and continue on to an electronically-limited 130 mph top speed. Another benefit enjoyed wîth the DSG is improved fuel economy that is on par wîth what can be experienced wîth a more traditional manual transmission: EPA-estimated ratings for highway and city travel are 31 mpg and 22 mpg respectively.

Chassis and Suspension
The Passat sedan and wagon have been tuned on the German Autobahn for a smooth ride on the straights, and finesse through the turns. An advanced front suspension starts out wîth independent MacPherson struts that work in conjunction wîth a stabilizer bar, resulting in flat and stable handling regardless of the road conditions. The rear components mimic their counterparts from the front, as a fully-independent four-link setup wîth telescoping shocks and a rear stabilizer bar keeps the Passat planted to the pavement.

Both the sedan and wagon models utilize power rack-and-pinion §teering wîth electro-mechanical assistance, and features a tight 16.4:1 ratio for excellent on-center feel, and easy yet precise turning at all speeds. Halting the Passat are four-wheel disc brakes – vented 312 mm rotors in the front, and solid 280 mm rotors for the rear – supplemented by an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), that even has a special brake-wiping feature to keep the brakes clean and dry when moisture or dust buildup is detected. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) keeps drivers in the know when there is an issue that needs attention wîth either the standard 17-inch all-season tires, or the optional 18-inch versions. A collection of other technologies continuously analyze feedback from sensors pertaining to the engine, the road conditions, and driver input to ensure the Passat and its passengers travel safely: Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Engine Braking Assist (EBA) and Electronic Stability Program® (ESP®).

Active and Passive Safety
The Volkswagen Prevent and Preserve Safety System is standard on the 2010 Passat sedan and wagon. A total of six airbags (dual front, dual thorax, and dual side curtain), three-point safety belts in all five seating positions (two front, three rear), each wîth emergency locking retractors, and rear-impact optimized head restraints.

Volkswagen's decision to include the previously-mentioned Electronic Stability Program (ESP) on all 2010 Volkswagen models as standard, including the Passat, comes ahead of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) mandate that by the 2012 model year, all vehicles produced will need to include some form of Electronic Stability Control (ESC). According to NHTSA, having ESC in a vehicle results in 35 percent fewer single-vehicle crashes and 30 percent fewer single-vehicle fatalities in passenger cars. Volkswagen's ESP compares the driver's intended course wîth the vehicle's actual direction. If a discrepancy is detected, ESP automatically brakes individual wheels and/or reduces engine power to help maintain directional control.

Both the 2010 Passat sedan and wagon come wîth 24-hour Roadside Assistance for three years or 36,000 miles (whichever occurs first), plus the following new vehicle warranties, all as standard:
• Five-year / 60,000 mile (whichever occurs first) Powertrain Limited Warranty
• Three-year / 36,000 mile (whichever occurs first) New Vehicle Limited Warranty
• 12-year unlimited distance Limited Warranty against corrosion perforation
Like the other 2010 model year Volkswagens, the Passat sedan and wagon are included in the no-charge Carefree Maintenance Program. Únder this program, all of the car's scheduled maintenance, as described in their maintenance booklets, is covered for the length of the New Vehicle Warranty – three years or 36,000 miles, whichever occurs first. Additionally, all current Volkswagens, including Passat models, use synthetic oil, which, when combined wîth state-of-the-art German engineering, eliminates the need for a 5,000 mile oil change. This ultimately allows for all current Volkswagen owners to driver farther between scheduled oil changes.

Source - Volkswagen
A favorite for consumers searching for a bit more luxury and style in their midsize family vehicle, the Volkswagen Passat fit in the gap between the normal boring family cars and the more expensive ‘out of reach' luxury brands. The Passat was featured spunky performance, competent handling, and amazing comfort, even on just the base model. The Passat was built by Volkswagen through six design generations since 1973, and fell between the Golf/Jetta and Phaeton in the current Volkswagen line-up. The Passet has been badged variously as Santana, Dasher, Quantum, Corsar, Magotan and Carat. The first generation Passat wasn't the most popular model, due its different design and unsure reliability. Volkswagen has extended its range more recently with the introduction of the Passat CC, a 4 door 'coupe' version of the Passat. The original Passat was developed directly from the Audi 80/Fox and the two shared a history until 2005.

Originally launched in 1973, the Passat M1 was featured in 2- and 4-door sedans along with similar looking three- and five- door variations. All four models shared a very modern fastback style design, all styled by the Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. The original Passat was a fastback version of the mechanically identical Audi 80 sedan that had been introduced one year prior. The original Passat featured a MacPherson strut front suspension with a solid axle/coil spring setup at the back.

In 1974 a five-door station wagon/estate was introduced. The European version of the Passat came with 2 rectangular, 2 round 7', or 4 round 5.5' headlights. One of the most modern European family vehicles at the time, the Passat was originally intended as a replacement for the aging Volkswagen Type 3 and Type 4. For 1974 the Passat was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year. In 1975 the SOHC 1.5 was enlarged to 1.6 1 with power ratings unchanged and now slightly higher torque ratings.

The Passat was called the 'Dasher' in North America and was only sold with round DOT-spec lights. For and during the 1974 model year, the three and four-door hatchback station wagon model were introduced in North America. The only engine available was a carbureted 1.5 1 inline-four that developed 75 hp.

The entire Passat range received an update in the 1977 model year. These updates included an interior upgrade, revised styling that included repositioned indicators and either 4 round or 2 rectangular headlights. The Passat Diesel became available in July of 1978. The diesel was equipped with the VW Golf's 1.5 1 Diesel engine. In February of 1979 the Passat GLI with a fuel-injected variant of the 1.61 engine was introduced. This 1.5 1 diesel engine produced just 48 PS in the 2500 lb vehicle. The Diesel could achieve 0-100 km/h in just 19.4 seconds. In 1981 all gasoline engines were dropped for North America in preparation for the all new generation of the Passat.

The second-generation Passat, Mk2 was introduced in 1981 and continued until 1988. The platform was named B2 and was a bit longer than previous models and the styling, though updated, was still instantly recognized as a Passat. The rectangular headlights were the most notable difference from the previous generation. In North America the vehicle was dubbed the Quantum and was in introduced in 1982. At the same time it was sold as the Corsar in Mexico where it was sold from 1984 through 1988. In Brazil the car was dubbed the Santana. In South Africa the Passat sedan and estate were sold for local consumption until 1987.

In June of 1984 the Santana was introduced; the second generation Passat for Brazil. Launched in July of 1985, the Brazilian Santana was marketed in 4-door sedan, 2door sedan and station wagon. Both the Santana and Quantum were powered by a mixture of 1.8L Petrol and 1.8L Ethanol. In 1989 the engine range was increased with the additional capacity 2.0L Petrol or Ethanol variant. These models were called the Quantum 2000 and Santana 2000.

In 1986 the Passat range received a minor facelift. The sedan was now known as the Passat and it shared the same front end as the estate and hatchback. The US version received the European-style composite headlamps. The engine range was much more extensive and now included a 5-cylinder Audi 2.0 L petrol, 1.9 L system utilized in the Passat and sharing the same mechanics of the Audi 80 quattro and not the VW Golf syncro. The syncro was available in the U.S. market, but only with the 5 cylinder engine and only on the wagon.

Introduced in 1996, the Passat Mk5 was launched in Europe in 1996 and North America in 1998. This fifth generation shared a platform with the Audi A4 and it utilized the classic 'overhung' longitudinally mounted engine with front-wheel drive. This design was reminiscent of the first and second generation Passats, which had been based on the Audi 80. This all-new generation featured curvy lines, smooth underpinnings that gave the B5 Passat an incredibly low coefficient of drag, rated at 0.27, and heavily raked windscreens.

This model featured four-link front suspension that was designed to eliminate torque steering, and varying on trim levels it came with either a solid or independent rear suspensions. In 1997, four wheel drive was introduced as an option for the 1.8, 2.8 V6, 1.9TDI and 2.5 V6 TDI engines. From 2000 to 2004 the Passat sedan and wagon were Editors Most Wanted award winners. In 2001 the Volkswagen Passat received a facelift that included a slight update in styling and mechanical alterations, commonly known as the B5.5. This model had new projector-optic headlights, tail lights, bumpers and chrome trim.

The following year a 4.0 L W8 engine that produced 202 kW and was placed in an upmarket version of the car that included standard all-wheel drive. Though the engine was dropped in 2004, this engine was intended to be a test bed for VW's new W engine technology, which would later make an appearance on the W12 in the Phaeton and A8, and the W16 in the Bugatti Veyron.

A very powerful 2.0 L turbocharged diesel TDI engine was introduced in 2004 that produced 136 PS. This variant was sold from 2004 through 2005 and a very rare engine that was barely found on the used market.

For 2006, the current-generation Passat was introduced. Before the 2008 model year, the Passat featured a different trim level structure and fewer standard features within each trim. Today, the current Passat is available in either wagon or sedan body styles. The lineup includes four trim levels, the Turbo, Komfort, Lux and VR6. The base Turbo model comes basically well equipped, while the Lux and Komfort models feature more luxury-oriented features. Powered by a 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, these three trim levels have power sent to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission.

In March, 2005 the most current Passat was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show and was launched in Europe in the summer of 2005. The Volkswagen Passat Mk6 was built on the PQ46 platform and was based on the Golf Mk5. This model is occasionally dubbed the 'B6' Passat, despite its lack of commonality with the 'B6' Audi A4.

This newest generation followed much of the styling of the Volkswagen Phaeton luxury vehicle, and was a distinct departure from the styling of the B5.5 Passat. The design was somewhat controversial, but fortunately the sales were improved from the previous year model. 4motion was used on the four-wheel drive version, and the transverse-engine platform dictated a switch from the Torsen centre differential of the B5, to the Haldex Traction multi-plate clutch. The handling was also now closer to a front-wheel drive car with much better fuel economy and a much more roomy interior.

The 2.0 FSI was replaced with the new 1.8TSI Engine and 6speed automatic transmission in February of 2008. The 1.8T achieved 158 hp/118 kW, 180 ft/lb of torque and could reach 0-10 km/h in barely 8.6 seconds and had a top speed of 137 mph. For 2008 the Passat Estate won overall winner of Practical Caravans Towcar of the Year Awards 2008 for its plethora of towing features such as its Trailer Stability Program. Debuting at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit was the CC 'Comfort Coupe', a 4-door coupe version of the Passat.

The VR6 model featured a 280-hp V6 joined with the automatic, along with various luxurious features even more opulent than the Lux trim. The Passat VR6 also featured Volkswagen's all-wheel-drive system, 4Motion as an optional feature.

By Jessica Donaldson
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