2012 Volkswagen Passat

pramoda1pramoda1 Member Posts: 4
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 Member Posts: 1,724
    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 EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,126
    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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  • pramoda1pramoda1 Member Posts: 4
    Thank you so much for the feedback. That is very useful!
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    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 [email protected] 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.
  • semperkaisemperkai Member Posts: 1
    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.
  • socaltonysocaltony Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 moMember Posts: 30,671
    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.

    2017 MB E400 , 2015 MB GLK350, 2014 MB C250

  • bug4bug4 Member 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 mileage...in excess of the sticker numbers. Even the exterior styling has grown on me a bit. :)
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moMember Posts: 30,671
    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:

    2017 MB E400 , 2015 MB GLK350, 2014 MB C250

  • bug4bug4 Member 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 EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,126
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 110
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moMember Posts: 30,671
    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),

    We are planning on buying a 2013 Passat in August to keep in Florida for when we are there. I would have the exact same comments that you do regarding the Passat, and in fact it will be a manual, white with beige interior.

    I was first interested when I saw an ad in the Florida newspaper that said they start at $19995. We couldn't find such a model online so we asked the salesman if we could see one. Turns out they don't sell them in Florida because they don't come with air conditioners. Also, that base model has a manual seat selector, which makes it difficult if different people are driving it. Price goes up significantly to get into an SE model, but it is a much better car....touch screen and much nicer interior.

    They say they are selling a lot of them but I don't see that many around. We had a Passat rental car last time we were in Florida and it is a very pleasant car, with a nice European influence. I wish it was rear wheel drive though, that would be even better....oh, and maybe add a turbo charger.

    2017 MB E400 , 2015 MB GLK350, 2014 MB C250

  • swtureswture Member Posts: 1
    I have the some problem with the breaks on my 2012 Passat. I have taken it to the dealer numerous times and they can never seem to reproduce the problem. It is very frustrating and disturbing with the number of problems that I have been experiencing with a new car.
  • al63017al63017 Member Posts: 149
    Have 2012 gas engine SE with 15000 miles. Flawless car better than any Hondas I drove for 20 years. It is a great, great car. Getting 36 mpg on long flat Interstate trips and 31-32 in my daily commute which is 70 per cent highway.

    Also had 20111 Jetta TDI and it was just as good and better mileage as 43 mpg was common on my daily commute sometimes more with no air on. Jettta also was flawless after being Honda driver for 20 years.
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moMember Posts: 30,671
    Have 2012 gas engine SE with 15000 miles. Flawless car better than any Hondas I drove for 20 years

    Thanks for sharing. Working on ordering a 2013 SE with manual transmission, and your post confirmed what I was thinking, the Passat seems to be a pretty nice car in it's category.

    Do you mind me asking....what kind of discount did you get from MSRP?

    2017 MB E400 , 2015 MB GLK350, 2014 MB C250

  • ronm6ronm6 Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone else find the Sirius NAV traffic and weather takes an extremely long time to update when first turned on?

    I start my commute in the morning and it consistently take 6-7 minutes for the traffic to "color" my highway route. So after 7 minutes into my commute I find out that I should have taken an alternate route.

    The other day rain was forecast during my commute so I switch to the 'weather' view in the morning and it also took 6 minutes to show where the rain was.

    I have a 2012 SEL Premium V6 in the Chicagoland area and still within the 90 day Sirius trial.

    Is this normal or should I be going in for a service check?

    If normal, I would really think twice about paying the extra fees for this service after the trial.

    For non-owners, be aware that the "traffic" view does not work in the 3D view for some reason (like my $100 Garmin) and the weather view (showing rain intensity) automatically zooms WAY out. For the Chicago land area it zooms out to see southern Wisconsin through northern Indiana - and the 'rain clouds' have very jagged edges (poor resolution) and not very accurate. The screen indicated I was driving in moderate rain when in fact it was dry outside.

    It's really a shame that this integrated service with an extremely high potential value is (in my opinion) way behind other basic technology. It detracts from the otherwise excellent NAV system.
  • carguyforcarscarguyforcars Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2013 Passat SEL and just notice after about 900miles of driving the breaks take a longer than normal amount of time to stop the car. I have what seems to be a lot of break petal travel when applying the breaks. I wonder did they try to fix the grabbing problem with this fix which could get a less experience driver into trouble. I will be taking it into the dealership to have them check it out.
  • billl135billl135 Member Posts: 1
    We bought a 2012 Passat SE TDI last in Nov. 2011. Have drivent the car close to 38K miles and have had zero problems. This is the best most comfortable car I have owned. On a trip from Central Pa to FL we typically average better than 50 MPG. Normal day in day MPG is around 43. On recent trip to RI via Long Island and a very slow transit through NYC we averaged 47 MPG. For the price this, in my opinion is the best value out there.

  • littlejoe613littlejoe613 Member Posts: 53
    My Question about VW is why aren'there any 5-10 year old models around that don't look like they are fit for the road? Bad paint, missing trim, discolored headlights. The used ones just look rough.
    If you see one they smoke, sound like they are on their last leg or are being towed somewhere. I hear a lot of good things about VW but don't see it .
  • mdd671955mdd671955 Member Posts: 2
    I just purchased a 2013 Passat TDI SEL Premium. It now has 635 miles and first tank was 38.6 mpg. We love the car and drove both the 2.5l gas and the TDI for comparison. This being our 3rd VW, (well recent VW since in my youth there were many many VWs) we knew some of the issues to look for. The previous two was a 2004 VW Beetle Convertable manual and a 2006 VW Bettle Convertable Auto both which were certified used. The 2004 Bettle has issues with the wife riding the clutch and subsequent replacement 5 times in one year! The 2006 came with 29K miles when purchased in 2010 and 55K when sold this last Aug. The only issue with it as the Air Bag Light came on when we were in the process of trading it in and let the dealer fix it. We later found out that the problem, the new owner called me, and said the passenger seat switch was out. When they went to replace it they found a scrap yard name and number on the bottom of the seat and that the seat was from a 2001! Keep in mind this car has a clean CAR FAX on it.

    Anyway, we love the new Passat. The new dual clutch / triptronic transmission is great, the car rides well and we plan on taking a trip from Kansas City to DFW in December. The dealer we used was Northtowne VW in Gladstone, MO and have had fairly good results from them and they provided us a good deal on the car.
  • wies1wies1 Member Posts: 14
    I will be purchasing a 2013 Passat TDI SEL Prem with black exterior. I am debating between the beige leather interior or black. I opt to go black because of keeping it looking nice, but the beige also looks nice with the black exterior. Any complaints or suggestions with the beige and keeping it looking new?
  • belaircarguybelaircarguy Member Posts: 107
    I have a 2012 Passat SE, black with the beige interior. I do have some scuff marks on the door and door sill from getting in and out of the car. Normally this cleans up pretty well with a spray cleaner. I also have a 2008 Beetle convertible, same color combination. Same scuff marks, and again this can be cleaned. The beige is certainly beautiful, and as long as I didn't have kids that are jumping in and out, kicking the seats and doors with their shoes, I would recommend the beige.

    Bel Air Car Guy
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