2009 Volkswagen Passat Sedan Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
June 24, 2009

Compared to most mid-size sedans, the 2009 Volkswagen Passat is roomier and sportier, and it offers more comfort and luxury.

TheCarConnection.com has driven the 2009 Volkswagen Passat to bring you firsthand driving impressions and advice. TheCarConnection.com has also researched road tests and reviews of the Volkswagen Passat to put together a conclusive review that will help you make a smart decision.

Volkswagen simplifies the 2009 Passat sedan by nixing the manual transmission and whittling the available trim packages down to one, Komfort, now with heated seats and heated washer nozzles.

Most drivers will be happy with the performance from the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder 200-horsepower engine, which delivers brisk acceleration and is very responsive with the six-speed automatic transmission. The 2009 Volkswagen Passat handles and maneuvers well, but not as sharply as a sport sedan. The suspension and steering lend the Passat a responsive, tossable feel.

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Although the rear door line makes an odd straight cut downward, the door’s unusual shape really helps entry/exit. The ventilation system now has adjustable vents for rear passengers, too. The quality of the materials in the 2009 Volkswagen Passat is quite impressive, and the interior layout feels both luxurious and practical. There are plenty of interior storage bins and even an umbrella-storage area. The Passat now has backseat space that rivals some of the roomiest sedans in the mid-size class; it’s especially leg-friendly for lanky adult passengers.

The 2009 Volkswagen Passat is one of the quietest cars inside, a big claim considering its competition. Road noise especially seems much better isolated than in its predecessor. The ride is very well controlled, perhaps making the Passat more refined inside than many luxury-brand mid-size models.

The Passat has done reasonably well in crash tests, with four-star ratings in frontal impact and four- and five-star results in side impact from the federal government, along with top "good" results in frontal and side tests, plus "marginal" ratings for rear impact from the IIHS. Front side and full-length head/curtain airbags are standard; side airbags for backseat passengers—a safety feature that’s rare in any vehicle—are optional on the 2009 Volkswagen Passat.

Large 17-inch wheels, along with heated seats and heated washer nozzles, now come with all 2009 Passats. Standard equipment also includes keyless entry, cruise control, air conditioning, an eight-speaker sound system, leather steering-wheel trim, manual side sunshades, and a power 12-way driver seat.

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