When we designed the 2012 Passat, we knew that we’d hit upon a winning formula. From the looks of things, we’re not the only ones who feel that way. The Passat is one of three finalists for the 2012 North American Car of the Year. The coveted award will be announced on January 9th, 2012 and—let’s be honest here—would look fantastic on our mantle.
While most automotive awards are given by individual organizations or publications, the North American Car of the Year award differs in that is given by a panel of 50 of the most respected automotive journalists around. The panel for the 2012 North American Car of the Year award reviewed 17 new cars before narrowing the field down to the final three.
This has been quite a year for the Passat. May saw the grand opening of the state-of-the art factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee where the Passat is produced. That same factory recently became the first automotive manufacturing plant in the world to receive platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification program.
Then, in September, the Passat was named an IIHS Top Safety Pick award winner. Why? Because the Passat features six airbags, tire pressure monitoring, ABS, and electronic stability control to help drivers avoid many dangerous situations before they happen. It’s also built with high-strength steel and constructed using advanced techniques like laser seam welding.
Later in September, the very first American-made Passat was sold in San Jose, California. Matt Duchesne selected a 2012 Passat TDI SEL model, a clean diesel vehicle that delivers an estimated 43 miles per gallon on the highway and a range of up to 800 miles per tank. Just like every 2012 Passat, Matt’s was built at the all-new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga and features class-leading rear-seat legroom, automatic dual-zone climate control and standard Bluetooth®.
But the Passat’s proudest moment of 2011 came in November, when
Motor Trend magazine named the Passat the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year. The Passat bested 34 other vehicles to take top honors. And to think you can get the Car of the Year starting at only $19,995.
Stay tuned—the winner of the North American Car of the Year will be announced on January 9, 2012. If things go our way, it will be a happy new year, indeed.