If you were in the market previously for a new V6 Camry but have been put off that idea of late, the Passat makes a very interesting alternative. It may only be available with a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder but this surprisingly energetic motor pumps out 200 horsepower and is estimated to go 0-60 in 7.0 seconds. All that and it still gets 31 miles per gallon on the highway.
Too bad the same superlatives cant be repeated for the somewhat lethargic six-speed automatic with Tiptronic which is both hesitant and jerky when downshifting. Hopefully VW will install the new 7-speed DSG double clutch automatic in the Passat replacement due in about a year. Lord knows that the 6-speed DSG works well with this engine in the GTI!
The interior of the Passat, however, is really where this car shines. Not only do you get all the toys (sunroof, heated seats, 6-speaker audio with Sirius) but you are also treated to an interior that feels solid enough to withstand a nuclear attack. Build quality is excellent and all the controls and switches move with a precision that competitors at this price cant match.
Visually the exterior of the 2010 Passat may look awkward from some angles but who cares when you are the driver and all you are going to see most of the time is the gorgeous dashboard? Those bulbous proportions also mean that there is plenty of passenger room and the trunk is the size of some studio apartments.
As this is the final year of production for this generation Passat there will probably also be lots of great deals to be found at your local VW dealer. In his review of the 2010 Passat in The Car Connection Bengt Halvorsen gave the Passat a very high value rating thanks to its fit and finish and level of standard equipment. You see, sometimes $27,195 isn't that much money.