The 2012 Volkswagen Passat was named the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year this week. This latest generation of the Passat has only been on sale in the United States for a few months. Motor Trend says the Passat is “less-boring-than-it-looks” and “100-percent-German-driving.”

According to Car and Driver, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat that is sold in the U.S. is longer than the outgoing model, and its back seat has more legroom than other affordable midsize cars like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.

Cars in consideration for the award undergo a battery of tests performed by Motor Trend editors. “The 2012 Passat came out on top because it fulfills six specific criteria: advancement in design, engineering excellence, efficiency, safety, value and performance of intended function,” writes Autoblog. “Motor Trend specifically cited the vehicle's roomy interior and wide range of powertrain options as reasons that it won the top nod.”

The redesigned Passat, which is built in Chattanooga, Tenn., offers two gasoline engines and the segment’s only diesel engine, which is capable of achieving up to an EPA-estimated 31/43 mpg city/highway with a manual transmission, and 30/40 mpg with an automatic. The 2012 Volkswagen Passat starts at $19,995, while the diesel-powered TDI starts at $25,995.

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