Volkswagen Passat History

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The Volkswagen Passat was born in 1973 and has continued to see great success year after year. Now in its eighth generation, the popular family car has a number of awards to its name, including being named 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year.  While the Volkswagen Passat was originally a large family vehicle, it has since shrunk in size to compete in the midsize sedan segment.

The early 1970s weren't the best for Volkswagen, even with the help of the Beetle in the lineup. The automaker decided to make a change, and that change came in the form of the Passat: the first front-wheel drive model under the brand sold in North America.

Known as the Dasher in its first generation, the 1974 model year saw the addition of a five-door hatchback body style to the lineup. It offered more room than competitors while also sitting pretty with a 97.2-inch wheelbase. The model's success inspired designers to increase the engine size and offer a three-door hatchback for the 1975 model year.

 

It wasn't until the 1990 model year and third generation that the Passat name finally arrived in the United States. The first model to bear the Passat name proved to be the roomiest model in its class. The 1992 model year saw the birth of the Passat GLX which brought a "VR6" 2.8-liter V-6 engine to the market.

The "VR6" saw such a hot seller that by 1994, every Passat had the powertrain under its hood. The Passat GLX, however, become the only trim available in both sedan and wagon body styles. The Passat continued to grow in popularity, leading to the present day model that drivers know and love. Refreshed for the 2016 model year in both style and technology, the new 2017 Volkswagen Passat is a true segment contender with a long history to back it up.

See the new 2017 Volkswagen Passat for yourself with a test drive today at Sierra Volkswagen!