Goodbye, VW Passat, Goodbye

May 6th, 2022 at 3:13pm

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This is, I’m sure, the last time I’ll ever write about the VW Passat. It’s being relinquished to the dust bin of automotive history.

VW is phasing out sales in the U.S. market. Last month it only sold 194 of them. And while the car will continue to be sold in other markets, the writing is on the wall. As VW transitions to an electric future, the name “Passat” will disappear forever.

That’s OK. “Passat” was a stupid name, especially pronounced out loud in English. It’s taken VW half a century to come up with model names that resonate with American car buyers, like Atlas and Taos. But it looks like it’s even giving up on that. From here on out, anything new from VW will be named ID something or other.

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The Passat has a conservative, but good-looking design. The interior is conventional and far more analog than digital. And the car is roomy and comfortable. But in a CUV-crazy market, a 3-box sedan doesn’t offer the functionality and practicality that customers crave. That’s a key reason for its demise.

The base version is also a bit underpowered, which you don’t notice until you really need it—like trying to make a left turn with on-coming traffic where you only have a small window of opportunity.

It’s hard to recommend buying a car like this, what with it getting dropped from the market. That’s going to kill its residual value. But at a time when so many car dealers are tacking on additional charges to the price of a new car because inventory is so tight, it’s possible the Passat will slip under the radar.

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Maybe you can pick one up for a good price. They start around $28,000. Bargain hard with your local dealer, and let him know you’re ready to walk. Dealers don’t like to get stuck with cars that are getting dropped from the market.

By: John McElroy

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