The Passat offers lots of room and delivers a comfortable, quiet ride. Its extra-spacious rear seat is a plus, but fit and finish isn't that impressive. The base engine is a lackluster 170-hp, 2.5-liter five-cylinder that gets 25 mpg overall. In tests of the turbodiesel we got an impressive 37 mpg overall and 51 mpg on the highway. High-end versions use the powerful 3.6-liter V6 mated to a smooth and quick-shifting automated manual. Handling is responsive but the tires run out of grip too soon when the car is pushed to its limits. First-year reliability of the 2.5-liter and the diesel is above average.