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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
“the Passat’s Dynaudio setup is terrific”
“The rear seat has excellent amenities
“comes with the right mix of must-haves and nice-to-haves”
Overall, the lineup of the 2010 Passat is simple. There's one Komfort model, as a sedan or wagon, and just a few option packages on offer.
Large 17-inch wheels, along with heated seats and heated washer nozzles, come with all Passats. Other 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. A Navigation Infotainment Package with touchscreen display, 30-gigabyte hard drive, and video DVD playback is optional.
MyRide.com praises the generous list of standard equipment in the Passat, including “heated and signaling rearview mirrors, 17-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, an MP3 player, front-side and side-curtain airbags, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and a host of power features.” Motor Trend looks at the equipment list and concludes that, at about $26,000, the Passat costs more than some of its competitors but still ranks as a strong value. “Extra money buys a nav system, a Bluetooth phone, adaptive cruise control, a heated windshield, and swiveling bi-xenon headlamps,” says Automobile.
Nearly all reviewers cite the umbrella stowed in the door, a feature that MyRide.com muses “owners in Seattle will love,” and the Detroit News mentions “a deep center console that can be heated or cooled with an air outlet.” CNET describes the trunk space as “cavernous,” and Edmunds says, “Storage also benefits from easy-to-operate 60/40-split-folding rear seats with pass-through.” Additionally, Edmunds points out the low and easy access to trunk space and “the cute little insider way of opening the trunk. (Press the VW logo.)”
Several reviews mention the plentiful storage spaces inside the Passat’s cabin, including “two flip-top compartments” that Edmunds remarks “disappear elegantly into the dash and center console.” “The rear seat has excellent amenities," says the Detroit News, “including new air vents with fan control, an ashtray, an armrest with pop-out cupholders and individual, airplane-style reading lights.”
The optional 600-watt, 10-speaker Dynaudio sound system draws comments from all reviewers. “Better than just about anything I’ve ever heard inside an automobile,” says a MyRide.com reviewer. TheCarConnection.com’s editors rank the Dynaudio sound system as one of the top-sounding systems in any new car.
However, reviewers aren’t quite as positive about the optional DVD-based navigation system, which Cars.com calls “more difficult to use than Toyota’s system in the Camry,” and Edmunds finds “a bit lethargic.” However, the tech experts at CNET give the bright LCD screen of the Passat’s nav system “high marks for visibility,” and notes it's especially easy to enter locations or get directions to secondary destinations.
One area of criticism is the standard “smart key,” which a pessimistic Motor Trend reviewer says “is an obnoxious little rectangle that, instead of being smart enough to talk to the ignition while still in your pocket, requires insertion into a motorized slot that seems to exist only to break one day.”
The 2010 Volkswagen Passat offers a number of technology features that aren't often found on the options list for affordable mid-size sedans.