The Volkswagen Passat, which will go on sale in the U.S. later this year, was inexplicably absent from the New York Auto Show, but we're showing it to you, our adoring fans, because we want to give you more New York show than the actual show offers.
Behind the shiny chrome shield adorning the front bumper of the new Passat lies a greatly improved vehicle with class-leading technology. The sixth-generation Passat will offer luxury sedan features such as an electronic parking brake, smart key with push-button start, automatic distance cruise control, DVD navigation, and a 600-watt stereo system. The new mid-size sedan also borrows VW's Climatronic climate-control system from the bigger (and less successful) Phaeton. And for the businessperson on the go, the Passat will feature a power supply to keep a laptop running while on the road.
Adaptive bi-xenon headlamps and LED taillights are found at the corners of an elegant body. Some of us actually think the Passat has a more attractive physique than its Audi A6 cousin, which costs tens of thousands of dollars more.
Upon introduction, the Passat with be offered exclusively with Volkswagen's new 2.0-liter FSI turbo four-cylinder, pushing out 197 hp, but look for a 276-hp 3.6-liter model to follow. The new Passat goes on sale in Europe in March, but don't look for it here until fall as a 2006 model. Prices should be a bit higher than present models.