Jul 11, 2012
Reviewed By Chad Tyson
Price as Tested $33,670
Likes

Easily the most attractive car Volkswagen produces, perhaps ever. “The mid-size sports sedan with shocking good looks.” The electro-mechanical power steering, with speed variable assist, made parking lot maneuvering easy without sacrificing control at town and highway speeds. Plenty of on-demand power from 3,000 rpms and up. Handling proved plenty competent in twisty hill roads, thanks in part to the multi-link, independent rear suspension.

Dislikes

Reflex Silver Metallic, Silver Moon or Ingot Silver – whatever they want to call it – silver is as boring as beige. Get a different color. The turbo lag was evident and it wasn’t a quick revving engine. The small clock on the dash was only interested in showing the time to the rearview mirror, based on the upward angle of the face.

Verdict

A bold design at a moderate price point. It needs more, however. More power, more options, more personality. It is an adequate, everyday, don’t-think-about-it, point-A-to-point-B driver. Some performance-oriented options (like the 280-hp VR6 engine) would add a lot of fun to the car. With the Acura TL, Nissan Maxima and Volvo S60 as competitors, any advantage is needed.

Fun to Drive
3.5 rating
Fun to Look at
4.0 rating
Overall Experience
3.5 rating
Stats
Horsepower 200 hp
Torque 207 lbs/ft
EPA Mileage 22 city/31 highway