Motor Trend, the automotive publication that has been awarding vehicle excellence for 62 years, has named the Volkswagen Passat its 2012 Car of the Year. Motor Trend made the announcement at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.

Volkswagen earned the recognition out of a record field of 35 contenders, which were either all-new or completely redesigned. Each model was evaluated using a series of tests which measures six primary criteria:

Advancement in Design
The Passat earned high marks for its “clean and simple” styling inside and out, according to judges. Its design precision rivals that of luxury class vehicles.

Engineering Excellence
The strength of the Passat in this category was in its powertrain offerings. The 2.5 litre 5-cylinder, the V-6, and the high-efficiency turbo diesel. Highest praise went to the combination diesel engine and dual-clutch auto-manual gearbox.

Testing was done over 11 different courses, and the Passat ranked highest in fuel efficiency. Its 2.5 liter engine rated 26.6 mpg, while the diesel averaged 34.3 mpg.

In addition to the standard array of six airbags, ABS and brake assist, stability control and other safety features, the 2012 set itself apart with its agility and handling, making it better able to avoid accidents.

Volkswagen builds the Passat domestically at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. The result has been that changes in currency values no longer adversely affect pricing. Improved build quality has reduced cost of ownership as well.

Performance of Intended Function
Volkswagen built the Passat to be an affordable, efficient, and spacious mid-size sedan. It succeeds on all points with its value, roomy interior, and high-efficiency line of engines.