The all-new "B6" Passat sedan made its debut in 2006 with 4- or 6-cylinder power and optional 4Motion all-wheel drive. For 2007 a wagon joins the Passat lineup, and a new base model replaces the Value Edition as the entry-level model.
The history of the Passat goes back to the early 1970s, when Volkswagen was struggling to make the conversion from rear-engine Beetle derivatives to more modern front-wheel-drive products. The original Passat was known in America as the Dasher and later the Quantum; it didn't adapt the European-market Passat name until the late 1980s. Regardless of its name, the car never really caught on with U.S. buyers-not until the introduction of the fifth-generation "B5" version. A close relative of Audi's A4, the B5 Passat offered a turbocharged 1.8-liter engine and optional V-6-both also shared with Audi-and a significantly upgraded and upscale interior. It was the right formula for America and sales climbed rapidly.
The B6 Passat, introduced in 2006, is sold in base, 2.0T and 3.6L versions. Base and 2.0T models get the same 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder used in VW's "hot-rod" GTI as well as Audi's A3 and A4. The 3.6L gets a 280-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine. A 6-speed manual is standard on base and 2.0T sedans; optional on those cars and standard on the 3.6L and wagon is a 6-speed Tiptronic automatic. Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive is optional on the 3.6L. The Passat features an electric parking brake with an "auto-hold" function. With manual transmissions, auto-hold prevents the car from rolling backwards on steep hills. For automatic models, it keeps the brakes applied when the car is stopped in gear (for example, at a traffic light), and releases them when the driver steps on the gas.
All Passat models are equipped with side and side curtain air bags, anti-lock brakes, and electronic stability control, as well as power windows, locks and mirrors, air conditioning, and a CD player. The Passat is covered by 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranties.
The Volkswagen Passat competes in the Midsize Conventional segment, which consists of 18 models. Buyers in this segment look for reliability, fuel economy, and performance, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Camry (397,630 units sold), Honda Accord (354,441), and Nissan Altima (232,457). The Volkswagen Passat sold 54,208 units in 2006, an increase of 10.1 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize Conventional segment include the Chevrolet Malibu, Pontiac G6, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, and Subaru Legacy. Joining the segment in 2007 is the Saturn Aura.
|Base (New) (A6)||6 speed automatic||$25,445||200-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl||23/31|
|2.0T (New) (A6)||6 speed automatic||$26,395||200-hp / 2.0L 4-cyl||23/31|
|3.6 VR6 (New) (A6)||6 speed automatic||$31,370||280-hp / 3.6L 6-cyl||19/28|