Super Street Network

 |   |   |  2007 VW Passat 3.6 - Long Term Update
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

2007 VW Passat 3.6 - Long Term Update

The Power To Surprise

Pablo Mazlumian
Sep 1, 2008
Epcp_0809_01_z+2007_vw_passat_3_6+side_view Photo 1/1   |   2007 VW Passat 3.6 - Long Term Update

I've seen a Passat or two and thought: "Seems like a nice, normal car." But I didn't know much about it-or care. Then european car acquired this 3.6-liter V6 version with a six-speed Tiptronic transmission and all-wheel-drive. This sounded like a little more fun.

Usually, a car with decent displacement and just a few cylinders means one thing: a nice low- and mid-range powerband with a top end that falls flat. That's not surprising, torque seems to be what many Stateside buyers go for, forgetting what makes a car go really fast.

The car has an automatic transmission and the ability to seat five, so that torque is welcome for nice initial acceleration. But with all 265 lb-ft peaking at 2750 rpm, like a wanna-be SUV, I was preparing for disaster at the top end. Seriously, outside of first gear, when would I ever care what my sub-3000-rpm performance is? I'm not towing anything, nor do I take corners that slowly.

I was, though, pleasantly surprised. Not realizing it would be strutting the highway catwalk with the Hi-Def body kit from VW's catalog, my guard was down. I really liked the looks. I couldn't agree more with editor Bidrawn's statement during his own initial assessment: "understated, yet aggressive."

Inside is the perfect combination of luxury and sport. The steering wheel and well-lit gauges, with a large tach in plain view, coupled with brushed aluminum paneling, are nice touches. The seats are my favorite part. With a stitched pattern reminiscent of that found in the classic 288 GTO Ferrari twin turbo (only all-black), my buns were getting the shakes.

The car purrs at start-up. Driving around town is as docile as expected from a luxury sedan. But would my predicted disappointment emerge at full throttle? In first, the car fires out of the hole. But climbing through the gears puts out an automotive song-and-dance characteristic of a high-performance engine.

Most drivers these days like a completely flat torque curve. Without getting too technical, 280 hp at 6200 rpm means the car is still twisting 237 lb-ft at 6200 rpm. Remember the 265 lb-ft that starts at 2750 rpm? That's as flat as it gets without supercharging.

I praise the performance of this 3.6-liter V6. With plenty of low-end grunt (even for an automatic) yet with a top end worthy of a sports car, the engine gives our Passat the soul to match its understated, aggressive exterior. We can thank the dual-cam, 24-valve head with variable valve timing and the 12.0:1 compression ratio for this.

The Haldex all-wheel-drive system transfers torque to the front (up to 90 percent) and the rear (up to 100 percent), making the car faster in any situation: rain or shine, street or track.

My early assumptions were dead wrong. This is a sporty looking sedan with better-than-expected performance. A people's car indeed-for enthusiastic people.

At A Glance
+ Great power delivery, good seats
- Tranny shifts down automatically in full auto mode
Mileage: 18,003 Fuel Economy: 22.0

By Pablo Mazlumian
81 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE CARS

A 2JZ-GTE-powered jet cockpit on Volk Wheels that looks poised to attack even at rest.
RodrezSep 4, 2018
Tomonori Idekawa's S14 is already impressive but it's not until you get within inches of it do you begin to fully appreciate all its little details
David IshikawaSep 3, 2018
Masao Otani has been involved with nearly every major build that's worn an RE Amemiya badge. This is why we're surprised his latest projects wear Nissan badges instead of Mazda'
David IshikawaAug 30, 2018
There's a history of sports cars watered down when outfitted for open top duty. Did the Performante Spyder suffer a similar fate? We're determined to find out.
Bradley IgerAug 29, 2018
Wijit Padungtian didn't start off as an S-chassis guy but after a longstanding passion for Nissan's coupe, and some hands-on experience, he's certainly established himself as one
RodrezAug 29, 2018
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP