Passat's proudest moment: Volkswagen Passat named Motor Trend 2012 Car of the Year

They grow up so fast. It seems like just yesterday that the first Volkswagen Passat rolled off the production line at our state-of-the art factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We’ve always thought highly of the Passat, and as it turns out, we’re not alone: no less an automotive authority than Motor Trend named the Passat the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year. In a field of 35 vehicles, the American-made midsize sedan took top honors. The award was presented to Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen of America, by Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Angus Mackenzie during a press conference at the 2011 LA Auto Show. Needless to say, we’re thrilled.

Not only did Motor Trend designate the Passat as the best new car for 2012, but they also said think that it outclasses the current segment leaders: The Passat SE, TDI SE and VR6 SEL each came out on top in comparisons against comparable models of the 2011 and 2012 Hyundai Sonata and 2012 Toyota Camry.

The German-engineered and designed Passat delivers the complete Volkswagen driving experience. Make that experience last as long as possible in the Passat TDI Clean Diesel model, which gets an estimated 43 MPG* and can go up to 795 miles before refueling. Tell your passengers to feel free to stretch out in its tastefully designed interior and get comfy for that long drive, because the Passat also offers class-leading rear-seat legroom, automatic dual-zone climate control and standard Bluetooth®. Even when you reach your destination, you and your passengers may not want to get out of the car, thanks to the crisp, booming sound provided by the optional Fender Premium Audio System, designed exclusively for Volkswagen.

No matter where the Passat (and the music) take you, everyone inside can rest easy knowing that the Passat is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick award winner. The Passat features six airbags, tire pressure monitoring, ABS, and electronic stability control to help drivers avoid many dangerous situations before they happen. It’s also built with high-strength steel and constructed using advanced techniques like laser seam welding.

All that cool lasering and construction takes place at our LEED-aggressive manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, one of the world’s most advanced and energy-efficient assembly plants. The plant uses recycled rainwater to supply water for daily operations at the factory, helping to save 350,000 gallons of fresh water every month, and its paint shop’s Eco Dry Scrubber System reduces water consumption by 50,000 gallons a day. The plant also uses energy efficient technologies that will save the annual energy use of 1,880 households. In addition to creating the Passat, the plant has also created more than 12,000 new jobs for American workers and invested $1 billion dollars in economic development in Tennessee that will create $12 billion in economic growth for the region.

The 2012 Passat arrived in showrooms in September and is available now. And best of all, Passat models start at only $19,995*.

The Volkswagen Passat:  German engineered. American made. Universally loved.

Tell us: what do you like most about the Car of the Year?

RELATED POSTS

This never gets old: All-new Passat is the eighth VW to receive a 2011 Top Safety Pick Award

Love at first Passat: The first 2012 Passat is sold in San Jose, California

From the man who knows everything: An insider’s view of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat

*43 highway mpg EPA estimates for 2012 Passat TDI® Clean Diesel equipped with manual transmission. Your mileage will vary.

Range based on 43 highway mpg EPA estimate and an 18.5-gallon tank in the 2012 Passat with optional TDI® Clean Diesel engine and manual transmission. Your mileage will vary.

Estimated selling price is the base MSRP for the model and trim selected. Final payment will be based on the transaction negotiated with your Volkswagen dealer. Estimated selling price does not include dealer charges, destination charge, taxes, title and registration or optional equipment.

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