Volkswagen's smooth midsize sedan has been on the scene for over 35 years, providing drivers around the world with a stylish, reliable machine that delivers an upscale feel. The first series of the Volkswagen Passat rolled off the line in 1973 and shared many traits with the Audi 80, the main difference being the "fastback" body style. Built off of the B1 platform (along with the Audi 80), it was powered by a 1.3L 4-cylinder engine and came in either a 4-speed manual transmission or 3-speed automatic. The Passat made a quick impression on the industry, being named Car of the Year (1974) for Wheels magazine, allowing VW to use the positive press in its marketing of the vehicle. Changes came in 1977, most notably different shaped headlights (round or rectangle) and an upgraded interior. A diesel version of the Volkswagen Passat appeared a few years later in 1978 and in 1979, a fuel-injected 1.6L Passat GLI was introduced. In the US and Canada, the model was known as the Dasher and came in either a hatchback or station wagon. The US VW Dasher had standard headlights, a 1.5L regular inline 4-cylinder, or Bosch fuel-injected 1.6L 4-cylinder engine.
In 1981, the second generation of the Passat was designed off of the B2 platform. It was front or four wheel drive and slightly longer than the previous edition of the car. The body-style was still familiar only this time, rectangular headlights were used. The model was also called the Quantum in North America, where it would be available as a three-door hatchback, four-door sedan, or station wagon. The three-door hatchback version of the Quantum only lasted a year stateside. The third generation of the Volkswagen Passat hit Europe in 1988 but it wouldn't hit US shores until 1990. The exterior parts were now more aerodynamic, featuring smooth lines. This also marked the first time the car was sold under the Passat name in North America. Engine options were similar from the second generation, however VW debuted a 2.8L VR6 for the first time in the Passat GLX/GLS models as well as a supercharged G60 engine for Canada's Syncro edition.
The fourth generation VW Passat saw a return to a front-end grille as well as the introduction of airbags and other safety features. Volkswagen wanted to make the model more palatable to families as well as drivers in search of upscale style. A new Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine was now offered, giving it a fuel efficiency rating of 45 miles per gallon (US). In Europe, all trim levels were available (L, CL, GL, GT and VR6), but the US was only privy to three: GLS, GLX and TDI, with the GLX housing the 2.8L V46 engine. With the fifth series of the Passat, the design is based off of the B5 platform and debuted in 1998 in the US. Once again, it bore a resemblance to an Audi, this time the A4. It was front-wheel drive and engine choices varied upon model. 2004 bought the 2.0L Turbocharged Direct Injection diesel engine to the US, making it the only one of its kind offered in America. Now in its sixth generation, the Passat is still going strong. Fuel Stratified Injection is equipped in the gas engine versions of the car. A 2.0L turbocharged inline-four is the entry trim level engine and an Audi 1.8 TSI version with a 6-speed automatic was introduced in the winter of 2008.
The VW Passat is a uniquely functional and pleasurable automobile that just keeps getting better. A nice fusion of luxury and economy make up a big part of the Passat story. The Passat offers roomy comfort, refined handling, solid auto parts, and modern amenities, allowing its drivers to cruise with confidence and pleasure. It has enough of a kick to pump through the terrain and gallop past the traffic, but it is the smooth nature of the overall ride why so many have fallen in love with it. Volkswagen Passat Accessories and parts can dress the model for emitting a deliciously inviting style from top to bottom.
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