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Volkswagen Passat Range Expands With New Wagon

Passat Wagon Introduced at 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show
The all new Passat sedan went on sale in in the USA in Fall 2005, with the launch of the wagon in January 2006, about the time that the range also added 4Motion models just in time for Winter in the Snow Belt. The Passat wagon has been available in Europe since late 2005 with the USA launch at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show clearly overshadowed by the reveal of the Volkswagen GX3 concept 3-wheel motorcycle.
The wagon benefits from all of the updates the sedan received for 2006 model year, including all-new sheetmetal bearing the latest design direction of the brand and a switch from longitudinal to transverse engine placement. The Passat continues with a choice of in-line four or V6 powerplants. The previous-generation offered a W8 engine that did not sell well has been dropped with the transverse powertrain Golf-based Passat.
The Passat sedan and wagon are offered in similar trim and engine packages, including the 2.0T Value Edition, the 2.0T, the 3.6L and the 3.6L 4Motion. There are two engines available with the latest North American Passat, an in-line four-cylinder and a V6, with no diesel yet offered. A direct-injection 200HP 2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16v I4 replaced the prior generation’s 1.8L four-cylinder. The V6 engine is also a direct-injection unit that replaced the 2.8L of the prior generation. While several VAG products offer this latest VR6 in 3.2L displacement, the Passat (and Touareg) gets a 280HP 3.6L version. Volkswagen only offers its 4Motion system when the V6 is selected, whether sedan or wagon. The sedan and the wagon offer the same powertrain lineup, the same basic trim level setup, and the same optional equipment. Models taking the 200HP I4 are badged 2.0T, with the V6-equipped models badged 3.6L or 3.6L 4Motion. Only a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic is offered; no manual transmission is planned for this family-oriented entry.

More Space, Luxury Conveniences, and Safety Features
The latest Passat wagon and sedan offer new convenience options including adaptive headlights that move with steering input for better visibility around corners, a keyless entry/start feature, an electronic parking brake, and intelligent cruise control. Several of these features have filtered down from the Phaeton, and may help VW boost its image in the segment.
Though Passat offered several airbags with the previous generation, the latest car has eight standard airbags, including front side and front and rear head airbags. ABS is standard, as is an engine braking assist system. VW’s stability and traction control (ESP and ASR) are standard, as is an electronic differential locking system. With this attention to safety, the 2006 Passat sedan has ranked well in crash testing done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The latest Passat is larger than the previous generation, making more room for a larger Jetta as well as improving passenger and cargo room for both sedan and wagon. For the wagon, this means an overall length that is nearly four inches more than the outgoing car and an overall width up about three inches.

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