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2010 Volkswagen Passat Review

The 2010 Volkswagen Passat offers a near-luxury interior, a fun driving experience and competitive fuel economy, but test drivers warn that lots of road noise penetrates the cabin.

Pros & Cons

  • Upscale cabin
  • Numerous standard features
  • Good performance
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick
  • Too much road noise

New for 2010

  • Final year before 2012 redesign
  • Only one engine available
  • Six-speed automated manual transmission became standard
  • Standard Bluetooth

7.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 8.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.2
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2010 Volkswagen Passat Overview

The 2010 Volkswagen Passat was liked for its high-end interior materials and good build quality, which reviewers often said belonged in a more expensive midsize car. The VW Passat’s performance also received praise for its tight, balanced handling and responsive turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Although the Passat was only available in one trim level for 2010, test drivers liked that it was well-appointed, offering a number of standard features.

Some auto critics were disappointed with the amount of road noise, saying that the Passat’s rivals were quieter at speed. Additionally, its safety ratings aren’t bad, but most other cars in the class have better scores.

The 2010 Volkswagen Passat has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automated manual transmission. Fuel economy, at 22/31 mpg city/highway, is about average for the class. Standard features include a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, a sunroof, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo with satellite radio. Options when it was new include larger wheels, an iPod adapter and a navigation system. Six airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control and electronic stability control are among the 2010 Passat’s standard safety features. The 2010 Volkswagen Passat Wagon is also available if you need more cargo space.

See the full 2010 Volkswagen Passat specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2010 Mazda6 matches the Passat’s driving dynamics and outshines it with a larger trunk. When both cars were new, reviewers agreed that the Mazda6’s interior materials can’t hold a candle to the high-end materials found in the Passat. Overall though, the 2010 Mazda6’s fun-to-drive nature is the main reason to cross-shop it against the 2010 Passat.

The 2010 Ford Fusion has excellent safety scores, especially among 2010 midsize cars. Like the Passat, the Fusion was liked by test drivers when it was new for its athletic handling. Since the 2010 Passat is only available with one powertrain, the Fusion is likely a better choice if you’re looking for a V6 engine or all-wheel drive. 

Compare the Passat to the Mazda6 and Fusion »

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