As a new car, this one might not be the most cost effective. It costs around $55,000 and it might not be the best value for money car. Specially considering the "usually" more expensive dealer maintenance costs. However, wait a couple of years to buy it, and this car will come as a dark horse.
It drops to 50% or its original value. Now, considering it is an AWD car, all the technologies and safety that are built in to it, it is a lot cheaper then its most comparable competitor, which is the Subaru Liberty. A similarly Spec'ed Liberty can cost up to 10,000 more with the same age.
Similarly with the engine performance, it is a 3.6L VR6 that has a 220KW/350NM performance. It is a great sounding engine that is happy to quickly Rev. Combining that with the DSG greabox quick shifts and the 4motion system, the car is a fast one. Taking off the line can easily outrun many V8 powered cars. Looking at the car from the outside it is hard to guess that such a car has that much performance. Definitely a wolf in sheep clothing as some might say.
The Passat is praised for its reliability in Germany. It is also praised for its interior design where Volkswagen was trying to find half way between a mainstream car and a luxury car. Which is again something to add for being value for money for 2nd hand buyers.
Being a German car however is not always good; the indicator stalk is on the left side, which mean for Australian market, it is on the wrong side. This makes manually controlling the DSG shifts hard, as you can not indicate and shift at the same time.
Also, if you come from Japanese car owner, if you do you own maintenance, then you will have to buy some new tools. German cars use different bolts and nuts. Which are generally not used in Japanese cars. So some new tools will need to obtained to be able to do general maintenance. In saying that however, the maintenance is considerably easy to change all oils. Plenty of space available to undo all the nuts.
The feedback from the steering wheel is not necessarily the best either. From day to day driving is sufficient, however not fun when enthusiastically driven. For the top of the line model, the car being reviewed, it has the adaptive suspension system, this also changes the resistivity of the steering wheel so that it is slightly heavier in sport mode.
Doing so does slightly help to provide better steering feedback. Not so much though as it is mechanically not design to provide much feedback.
Given the 2nd hand value of the car, the above 2 issues are only minor, specially considering the drive-train that comes with it. Being 3 years old at the time this review is being written, this is the best newish 2nd hand car money can buy!