When Volkswagen launched the latest-generation, North American-built and focused Passat last summer, it received mixed critical reviews. Some lauded its increased roominess and mainstream orientation – Motor Trend even named it "Car of the Year" – but others decried its retreat from traditional European form and feel.
There was no such dichotomy in public reaction. Sales soared, compared to previous Passats, aided no doubt by a substantial reduction in price.
The price hasn't dropped any further for the 2013 model but the value has increased because Volkswagen Canada has added some of the most popular options as standard equipment while holding the line on price.
The price-leading "Trendline" model, which carries the same $23,975 as the corresponding 2012 model, now includes: 16-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats and washer nozzles, illuminated vanity mirrors and rear centre armrest with storage.
VW says the added value of these previously-optional features is $1,100.
Starting prices for other 2013 Passat trim levels is as follows:
2013 Passat Comfortline – $27,075
2013 Passat Highline – $30,575
Three engine choices are offered: a 170-horsepower five-cylinder gasoline engine; a 280-hp V-6 gasoline engine; and VW's now-iconic TDI four-cylinder Clean Diesel.
Transmission choices include either a five- or six-speed manual transmission, a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic manual control or a six-speed DSG automatic.