Resigned for 2012, the Volkswagen Passat has been named Motor Trend Car of the Year based on its combined pedigree of value, safety, efficiency and design. It joins the 1985 Volkswagen GTI as the second of only two Volkswagens to receive the award.
The American-made Passat edged contenders from Europe, Japan and America to take this year’s award — Motor Trend’s 62nd presentation — from a record field of 35 all-new, or thoroughly redesigned, 2012 model year vehicles.
Car of the Year candidates were subjected the publication’s performance tests, track-based ride and handling evaluations as well as driving on city streets, freeways and two-lane roads. There are six key criteria: Advancement in Design, Engineering Excellence, Efficiency, Safety, Value and Performance of Intended Function.
“The well-equipped Passat is a breakthrough car for Volkswagen, as it has been designed to suit the North American market and is being built in a brand-new, state-of-the-art assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.,” said Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief, Angus MacKenzie.
“It has one of the roomiest interiors in its class, a wide choice of powertrains and a well-tuned chassis. A compelling new entry in the toughest, most competitive vehicle segment in the U.S. today, it’s a terrific all-around family sedan.”
In the efficiency category, Motor Trends’ editors commented:
“The new 2012 Passat makes great strides in its efficiency thanks to the versatile powertrain. The standard 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine returned 26.5 mpg in testing while the optional turbo-diesel returned an average of 34.3 mpg. The Passat had the best fuel economy stats of this year’s finalists over the course of 11 mixed-driving loops.
To read the full report, visit: Motor Trend Car of the Year