wheels car of the year 2012 best mid-size saloon: Volkswagen Passat

From all the saloons out there, we opted for this affordable choice, and here’s why...

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It’s a relatively smooth operator, offering economy figures of up to 7.5 litres-per-100km on an average.
Wheels

Cracking the mid-size saloon market is far from an easy task, as that would mean trying to unsettle some of the world’s most popular cars, including the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. But the 2013 Passat is more than capable of taking the fight to the segment stalwarts.

VW has got the pricing bit right, with the base model starting in the low Dh80K range. That puts the Passat at a clear advantage right away, of being the only German mid-size saloon to be priced in this range. Although simple and basic in design, it still manages to look better than most of its rivals with its elegantly understated lines.

The cabin is impeccably put together, with the quality and workmanship getting really close to Audi standards, something none of the rivals can boast about. The new Passat is also bigger than before, with its longer wheelbase freeing up more space inside than the other segment competitors.

The 170bhp 2.5-litre five-pot might not be the peppiest, but it’s a relatively smooth operator, offering economy figures of up to 7.5 litres-per-100km on an average. If these weren’t enough reasons for us to choose the Passat over its competition, then the solid, unmistakably German driving dynamics that combine impressive body control with a quiet, comfortable ride, nailed it.