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2012 Volkswagen Passat

The SE trim comes with the V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces, while the top tier SEL trim comes with the Leather trimmed seats with Dinamica inserts.

The dinamic microfiber stuff felt far, far nicer. By question is durability and maintainability: I kept my last car for 11 years, and I aim to keep my new car for at least ten years as well. I have kids. I don't let them eat in the car, but I still expect the occasional paint on the fingers or stains on their pants which get transferred to the car upholstery.

Will that leather/microfiber stuff stay nice for ten years? Is it cleanable, durable, maintainable, kid proof? How does the leatherette compare?

I also love the lighter colors, but I think black is the safer bet in the lighter colors will inevitable get grungy after a few years. Any feedback from more experienced people?

Also how does the Fender 9-speaker+subwoofer system compare to the regular audio system?



  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,721
    I am sure they will move this topic to the 2012 Passat forum. :)

    I have tan leatherette in my 2011 Jetta! Seems to stay quite clean, and wipes away clean too. It really shows no wear, leather will crease, but if you take care of it then you will have it looking nice a long time. Leatherette in my opinion probably will be a better choice. It seems stronger and can take the wear more. I have no signs of any wear on my driver seat. Real leather, eventually gets creased on the sides. Even my moms 08 Jetta with leatherette still looks virtually untouched. Someone left a drop of blood on my tan seat and it came right off. Now, leather can look awesome and feel smoother if you take care of it. It may require more care.

    I would go for the Fender system if you can!! I wish I could have. I have the standard RCD-510 on my SE. I love it. It has decent power and sounds clean. Missing a little low end. Though, the new Jetta took out speakers! They took out the rear tweeters, 2 mid range speakers in the front. I think the previous model had 8 speakers. Even with those missing. It still sounds great! It is the little things like that, that VW took away from us for no reason. People are already spending more to get the higher models.

    The Passat has tweeters in the back doors.

    The Fender takes sound to another level. I have never listened to it, but have heard great things.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    I was going to move it, but believe it or not, we don't have one yet! I'm just going to re-title this discussion to make it so.

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  • Thank you so much for the feedback. That is very useful!
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,016
    A reporter is interested in talking with parents who own a 2012 Volkswagen Passat, Mazda 3, Chevy Cruze Eco, Honda Civic Hybrid, Chevy Sonic, Honda CR-V, Toyota Camry and Toyota Prius V. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to no later than Friday, November 30, 2011 and include your city and state of residence, the model year of your vehicle and the age of your child/ren.

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  • Has anyone else noticed that when in park when the car is running the drivers side unlock button doesn't work? I ran into this the other day when i picked my wife up from work. I parked out in front & tried to unlock the door for her to get in & the button didn't work. I tried pressing it multiple times & even held it down for a few seconds...nothing. I eventually had to lean over & use the unlock button on the passenger door to unlock it. I know this has to be some stupid safety feature because i read in the manual that when the lock button is lit up both the lock & the unlock buttons don't work. However the only way to shut this feature off is to remove the key from the ignition or open the driver door. I refuse to do either of these anytime i simply need to unlock the doors to let someone in. There's got to be a way to disable this.
  • I recently had the throttle body replaced on my Passat, although it didnt appear to need it. The car had less than 100k miles on it.

    Immediately after, the transmission holds 3rd gear as the transmission revs to 4k RPM's. All this only occurs while the car engine temperature is still under 200. I've returned the car to my local dealer twice, only to be told that this is normal. Is it? It seems inconceivable to me that this is even acceptable in a car today.

    Has anyone else every experienced this? I dont want to have to keep returning this car to any dealer if no one is going to bother to fix it.
  • bug4bug4 Posts: 370
    Just drove a 2012 Passat SE home from the dealer this morning. The trip was about 120 miles. I was admiring the car when I arrived home and suddenly noticed that the rear, left brake rotor face has a significant groove in it. I've got brake problems! Bummer. Has anyone else had any immediate brake problems on their new Passat? Perhaps something got stuck in there, or perhaps it was a part failure. I'm not sure. But, thought I'd ask here to see if anyone has experienced a similar problem.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,699
    suddenly noticed that the rear, left brake rotor face has a significant groove in it.

    Did you get the problem resolved?

    We are thinking of getting a 2012 Passat in August to be used as our Florida car. We are leaning toward a manual, and an SE model because of the extras such as power drivers seat, steering wheel controls, etc.

    Any advice, suggestions or remarks about your experience with your Passat.

    btw, we came to Florida for 2 weeks and we were able to get a Passat from budget to try out. It seems to be a solid car, great handling, steering and european ride. The interior is very attractive, and there is a lot of room especially in the back. Plus an enormous trunk.

    The Passat seems to be a lot of value for the money.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • bug4bug4 Posts: 370
    My brake problem was fixed under warranty and appears to have been a problem with my specific car, not a model-wide problem.

    I think you're right about the value for the money. I shopped everything on the market and concluded that my 2012 VW Passat was the best value for the money. (I did negotiate the price aggressively.) I've been very happy with it since I purchased it. In fact, it's a more enjoyable car than I expected. The ride is great and I've discovered that I like the transmission and the engine. It's no race car, but it's very adequate. Also, I've been getting GREAT gas excess of the sticker numbers. Even the exterior styling has grown on me a bit. :)
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 11,699
    Even the exterior styling has grown on me a bit

    Thanks for the input bug4. I like the ride too, it is European in feel and ride qualities. You know you have hit a bump but you don't really feel it, gives you more control. Certainly not a soft floaty ride with light steering.

    I like the styling in that it is very conservative. It doesn't have the swoopy look of a lot of Asian cars like Sonata or Mazda. I think it looks like a baby Audi. I also think it is styling that won't get dated (guess one could argue that it already is dated) and I particularly like the interior.

    The one thing I would love to buy would be a hood that comes up like a Rolls Royce kind of front. I would like the car more if the hood didn't drop off after only one foot. But, vision is good and seating is excellent.

    Thanks again for your comments.

    This is something like what I would like to buy:

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • bug4bug4 Posts: 370
    I'm surprised there aren't more posts on this 2012 Passat thread. After buying Hondas (like I've done in the past), I've always enjoyed discussing my new car with fellow purchasers. Often, there were dozens of posts per day. Having purchased a VW, there seem not to be any fellow purchasers. I'd think we might all be in this forum complaining about the corners that were cut with the new Passat or how awesome the new price is. Perhaps VW truly has created the ultimate family sedan, neither inspiring nor offensive. The car is so damn neutral there isn't much to talk about.

    For the record, which sparsely exists, I believe that I got exactly what I paid for. Nothing more, nothing less. I'm not sure that's a good thing, but neither is it a bad thing. It is something that likely didn't need to be written. :)
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    Sometimes it takes a post to get more posts. You know... everyone stops by and sees there are no posts, so they don't post, then no one's posting, but they thought about it... :)

    Thanks for taking the time to post. I love the Passat. Did you buy a base model? It seems VW's lower-level models are kinda corner-cutted, but some of their higher trim levels have been traditionally pretty cool. I had an early 2000's VW, and want it back for the seat support (I like firm), but not for the electrical issues.

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  • belaircarguybelaircarguy Posts: 107
    Interesting to see the comments about no posts for the Passat. I have a 2012 Passat SE Manual with an aftermarket sunroof. Traded my 2009 Jetta SE (automatic with sunroof). I most enjoyed my Jetta, and in fact purchased one for my daughter for college (a used 2007 SE, automatic with sunroof). We also own a 2008 Beetle Convertible (automatic). First, all VW's are great driving cars, with excellent seating and comfortable for long drives without fatigue. The 2012 Passat is especially great on the highway, being very quiet, comfortable seats and medium firm ride (I would call the Jettas and Bug a firm ride). Build quality is excellent, with no squeaks or rattles, perfect paint, tight body panels. Interestingly all our VW's have the 2.5 liter 5 cylinder gas engine. It seems that each year newer, VW has refined this engine and the 2012 Passat is as smooth and quiet as any engine out there.

    While the 2012 Passat is somewhat smoother and softer than my other VW's it is miles ahead of the Toyota Camry ( I owned two which I hated thoroughly), due to the Toyota feel of "driving a toaster" associated with all their vehicles. Also - my two Camry's were not all that reliable and going to a Toyota dealer was painful, as the attitude is "Toyotas are perfect - you must be driving / doing something wrong!"

    VW's are great cars, and while VW did make some compromises to get the Passat's price down to be competitive, I think they succeeded in their goal. The previous Passat was an excellent car, but probably $8000-$9000 out of the price range of their competitive set (Camry, Malibu, Fusion, Altima, etc). In fact, when I purchased my 2009 Jetta, I wanted a Passat, but it was out of my price range. With the new 2012 Passat, I now am able to afford this vehicle, and VW kept me in their VW family.

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • srcoom10srcoom10 Posts: 1
    I have a 2012 Passat SE with about 200 miles on it. I noticed, recently, that while braking at low speeds in traffic that the breaks squeak. I also noticed a significant amount of break dust that has accumulated on the rims, making them look dirty. I've leased Hondas and Subarus in the past, and have never had this problem. My brand new car sounds like a NYC cab. Is this a common issue with the new Passat, or should I bring it into the dealer? This is very disappointing for an otherwise gorgeous car. For what it's worth, I noticed that the breaks seem to grab for a second too long when you begin to accelerate from a stop, giving a slightly noticeable jerk-- perhaps they're too tight?
  • rhettsrhetts Posts: 1
    I had same brake dust, I cleaned it off and seems find how.
    I believe that the 'grab' is from a anti-roll back that I read about. With a manual, if you are sitting on a hill and let off the brake while holding the clutch in, the brake should hold for a second or two allowing you to get on the gas.
    Since I already know how to drive a stick, I don't like this very much. I have had a couple of times in which when I press the brake to slow and release to continue, in stop and go traffic, the brake doesn't let go and I stall out.

    THIS STINKS, I'll be asking my dealership about this one.

    Has anybody else had this problem?
  • coontie66coontie66 Posts: 109
    Took my first look at a Passat TDI 2012 today. I was quite impressed! I will be back and watching this blog...

    I have looked at KIA's, Buicks, Chevys and Ford and this was the first one that made me take notice.
  • belaircarguybelaircarguy Posts: 107
    I have a 2012 Passat with manual transmission. These cars do have a hill hold feature, and like you stated, the brake holds for a couple of seconds so that you can get the car into gear without rolling backward. Perhaps yours is not working correctly, as I have noted that my hill hold only works if the car is actually on an inclined hill, and also it does not work going forward. I have not had any trouble with the brakes holding when you did not want them to hold, resulting in a stall out. Probably best to have the dealer check it.

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • manomesmanomes Posts: 1
    Bought my car in April (SE version), and I could not be happier with it. It wasn't even a car I'd considered, but a relative suggested it when I told her I was looking. Until this year, I felt that the Passat was a bit overpriced for its class. I'm sure that there must have been compromises to get to the lower price, but since I don't know what they are I don't care!

    Since it's still new I can only talk about about my short-term experience of course, but will tell you what I think so far. Trusing that VW got it right for the long haul!
    - Solid "European feel", great handling, good gas mileage, great standard features, comfortable seats, tons of back-seat leg room, lots of trunk space. Acceleration is fine (not super-great), but for a 4 cylinder in a mid-sized car it's at least what I would expect.

    I'll also add that I actually like the exterior styling! It's not so very exciting or flashy, but more on the classic side. Have read some negative reviews on the body style, but depends on taste is I suppose. I happen to like the classic lines and chose white (with tan interior) because it best accentuated them. It looks longer/leaner -- not as boxy as the other colors for some reason.

    I also like not having a a carbon-copy car like the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. I haven't see a lot of Passats on the road so far -- maybe bad for VW, but good for me!! Probably will take some time for people to catch on and look beyond the Japanese offerings.

    Happy car shopping, you people!
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    "Acceleration is fine (not super-great), but for a 4 cylinder in a mid-sized car it's at least what I would expect."

    the stock engine is actually a 5 cylinder. :)

    I'm drawing nearer to negotiating for a Passat V6 SE. I have a few more competitors to test drive, but on paper the Passat is the best car for my needs/wants.
  • bug4bug4 Posts: 370

    I bought the 2012 SE Passat. So, not the base line, but not the upper end. You're right, it is a very nice car. It's just that, with the 2.5l / 5cyl. engine, it is a car that should only cost what I paid for it. It's great on the interstate and does, indeed, have a more refined ride than any of my Hondas. But, the thing is gutless, particularly north of 70mph. Whether because of its narrower wheels or softer suspension, it feels significantly heavier than my nearly identically weighted Honda. Also, although I enjoy the 6 speed tiptronic transmission, it uses virtually all of its extra gearing in the 1st-2nd gear range and I'm still not sure about the odd transmission bumps and jumps when stopping and starting. I'm most critical of the front seats and braking system.

    I've extensively driven three pre-2010 model Passats and don't feel that the new Passats compare. The old Passats seemed to have blended size with European-minded performance and quality. Unfortunately, yes, they charged you for it. Now, they're just big-bang-for-the-buck units that I think are adequate, but lack refinement. My brother just purchased a 2012, German made, VW GTI Autobahn. That car exemplifies exactly what is missing in the new Passats. Yes, my Passat cost $6,000 less.....and it's obvious.
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