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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
“handles smoothly, tautly and predictably”
“leaves rivals gasping in its exhaust fumes”
“the tires scream like David Lee Roth in his Van Halen heyday”
“GTI aficionados will be disappointed”
TheCarConnection.com’s editors have driven and like the light, nimble, and responsive feel of the 2.0T Komfort. The economical four performs almost as well as sedans with more displacement while costing less at the fuel pump and the dealer lot. Most mid-size sedans with their base four-cylinder engines have only adequate performance, but reviewers are extremely impressed with the acceleration provided in the 2.0T model of the 2009 Volkswagen Passat.
Motor Trend compliments the engine’s smoothness and its 0-60 time of only 6.7 seconds, but mentions that it takes premium fuel only. Motor Trend says the Passat’s 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine is one of the strongest in its class and “leaves rivals gasping in its exhaust fumes.” But it’s also hard to maintain a slow, responsible speed in the Passat, Motor Trend warns: “You might not even notice your true pace until those blue lights appear in your rearview mirror.”
With the manual transmission no longer available, complaints center on the six-speed automatic transmission, which Autobytel says “feels like it chokes the engine’s smooth power with lagging in low gears.” The transmission has a sport mode, but “the accelerator is touchy and the downshifts are intrusive,” the Autobytel reviewer notes. Forbes.com isn’t satisfied with it either, remarking “when you use the sport mode and the Tiptronic paddle shifters, which shadow the steering wheel, downshifts come a half beat too slowly.”
When it comes to handling, the 2009 Volkswagen Passat is a favorite among reviewers. “While the Passat isn’t light for its size, it handles smoothly, tautly and predictably,” comments Forbes.com, and the Detroit News attests that the “electro-mechanical power rack-and-pinion steering system provides good on-center feel and gives the average driver a lot of confidence, especially at highway speeds.” The same reviewer adds, “The Passat is a snap to maneuver, especially in tight parking spaces and U-turns.”
Not exactly a sport sedan, the Passat performance suffers because “body roll becomes pronounced” and the tires become very vocal, according to Edmunds, but it’s all kept in check by standard traction and stability systems.
There’s a lot to love about the performance of the 2009 Volkswagen Passat—even though it's only offered with four cylinders.