The Volkswagen Passat was recently recognized by AutoPacific, Inc., a noted automotive research firm, in its 2006 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards as the top-ranking vehicle for the Premium Mid-Size Car category. 

Survey ratings by owners acknowledged the outstanding interior design, use of high touch materials and European driving dynamics as contributing factors in their overall satisfaction of the vehicle. 

AutoPacific measures customer satisfaction by collecting data from thousands of new car and light truck buyers. Those surveyed are owners of new 2006 model year cars and trucks, purchased from September through December 2005. Respondents rated 45 different attributes, each contributing toward an overall satisfaction score on their new vehicle.

The 2006 Passat is completely redesigned inside and out, with contemporary, sporty European styling and a powerful new base engine. Base-priced at $22,950, the Passat is larger than the previous model, allowing for greater comfort and function while maintaining a sporty, confident design that commands respect with:

  • a new, four-cylinder, two-liter base engine called the 2.0T, delivering 200 horsepower at 5,100 revolutions per minute; 
  • more refined higher displacement due to the returning VR6, a powerful version of its 3.6 L engine that creates 280 hp;
  • an advanced four-link independent rear suspension;
  • a new handling system that provides active-return steering and straight-ahead driving correction assistance;
  • six airbags, available rear torso airbags and Autobahn-bred safety features; and,
  • performance features that can help avoid accidents, including advanced power steering systems, electronic stabilization and anti-slip features.

Since its 1997 redesign, the Passat has averaged more than 75,000 a year in U.S. sales, making it the most successful Volkswagen midsize car. The 2006 Passat also recently earned a “Double Best Pick” designation for outstanding performance in front and side tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Passat earned the top rating in every individual measurement category (head protection, injuries and structural design) for both the side impact and frontal tests. It also received a five star rating for occupant protection in the Euro NCAP crash test. Additionally, Kelley Blue Book named the 2006 Passat among the top ten best redesigned cars.

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