There are many different trims available for the Volkswagen Passat Sedan. While this may be confusing for some potential buyers, it can easily be broken down in the following way. First, by the type of engine you'd like to own. You have a choice between the 2.5-liter in-line 5-cylinder (2.5L), the 2.0-liter in-line 4 diesel engine (TDI), or the 3.6-liter V6 with 280-horsepower(3.6L). All of the engine types offer a 6-speed automatic transmission of some kind. The two smaller engines let you choose between the auto or manual transmission if you prefer.
As far as fuel economy reviews go, you're going to receive overall better numbers with the manual transmissions, although the difference is minuscule. The 2.5-liter estimates its fuel economy to be 22 in the city and 31 on the highway. The TDI engine utilizes diesel fuel, and claims to offer 30 through the city, and 40 mpg in fuel economy on the highway. Finally, the 3.6-liter offers 20 mpg in the city, and 28 on the highway. You'll sacrifice some on the fuel economy, but the added engine power review makes up for that fact.
These three engines are then separated by the S, SE, and SEL trims. The base model review would be the 2.5L S which comes standard with the following; full power accessories, an 8-speaker sound system with CD, steering wheel controls for audio, tilt wheel, 8-way manual drivers seat, Bluetooth capabilites, auto climate control, key-less entry, and steel wheels that measure at 16-inches in diameter. The base model also offers the option to add on the Appearance package which includes a 6-speed automatic transmission, rear-seat armrest, and alloy wheels instead of steel.
Moving on to the SE trim review, you'll upgrade from the 16-inch wheels to 17-inch alloy wheels instead. You'll also receive a chrome trim along the exterior, 6-way powered drivers seat, premium "leatherette" vinyl upholstery, heated front seats, and the touch screen audio interface located on the dash. Optional on the SE trim models are an in-dash navigation system, and sunroof. If you opt for the TDI engine SE you can also add on larger 18-inch alloy wheels, and fog lights on the front end. The 3.6L SE trim comes standard with all of the previously mentioned options, minus the in-dash navigation system, which is of course optional. It does however add on the nine-speaker Fender audio system though.
Finally, with the SEL trim review, you receive all of the other options plus the following ones. The 2.5L SEL includes higher quality front seats, the upgraded Fender audio system, and the navigation system. The SEL Premium package includes a key-less ignition and entry, fog lights, remote ignition ability, a powered passenger seat to go with the drivers, and the upgraded upholstery.
As for safety reviews, the Volkswagen Passat Sedan received a top score of "Good". The brake test review showed the 3.6 SEL come to a stop in 131 feet after going 60 mph. The standard features of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat Sedan include traction control, anti-lock disc brakes, and airbags on the front and side. There's also a unique feature known as the Intelligent Crash Response which unlocks the doors, cuts off the fuel, and turns on the flashers when an accident occurs.