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Fun-to-drive nature of Volkswagen's family sedan puts it ahead of the midsize pack

Herndon, VA  - Volkswagen of America, Inc. is pleased to announce today that the new 2016 Volkswagen Passat has taken top honors in's Midsize Sedan Challenge. Put to the test against eight of the most popular 2016 models, the Passat won judges' hearts with its Spaciousness, safety, available VW Car-Net® App-Connect technology, and most of all, its fun-to-drive nature.

To make it into the 2016 Midsize Sedan Challenge, each vehicle had to have an automatic transmission, have an EPA estimate of at least 28 mpg combined and have a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of less than $28,000. Vehicles were evaluated by a panel of expert judges and an Atlanta couple in the market for a new sedan on a 220-mile road course looking at overall ride, acceleration, handling, braking, features, cargo space, technology and more.

The tests resulted in the following ranking:
1. 2016 Volkswagen Passat
2. 2016 Kia Optima
3. 2016 Chevrolet Malibu
4. 2016 Hyundai Sonata
5. 2016 Honda Accord
6. 2016 Subaru Legacy
7. 2016 Toyota Camry
8. 2016 Mazda6
9. 2016 Nissan Altima

"We are thrilled for the Passat to be named Best Midsize Sedan by against such formidable competition," said Hinrich J. Woebcken, President & CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. "The Passat offers the perfect combination of sophisticated styling, outstanding App-Connect technology, and the great driving dynamics that Volkswagen is known for, making it an outstanding consumer value."

"The Passat came in first place with both our expert judges and in-market shoppers," said Patrick Olsen,'s editor-in-chief. "This midsize sedan is a refreshed version of the Passat that won's Best of 2012 award; it's still tremendously roomy and for 2016 got a ton of tech upgrades like Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration. In addition to the roominess, tech and safety, the standout feature of the Passat is its driving ability. Everyone who drove it unanimously agreed, the Passat is plain old fun to drive."

The 2016 Volkswagen Passat is a midsize sedan designed for the American lifestyle and built in Volkswagen's state-of-the-art factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. For 2016, the Passat combines striking new interior and exterior design elements with a greater variety of available driver assistance, connectivity, and convenience features than ever before. Overall, the 2016 Passat features a winning combination of interior and exterior design, technology, available driver assistance systems, and a powerful and highly efficient base engine. The starting MSRP for the 2016 Volkswagen Passat is $22,440. The SE model tested by has an MSRP of $26,280 and includes features such as VW Car-Net® App-Connect technology, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking, heatable front seats, and a sunroof. For full results and scoring details on the Midsize Sedan Challenge, see 

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state -of-the- art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, Golf SportWagen, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan and Touareg vehicles through approximately 652 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at or to learn more.

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(What's the Best Midsize Sedan for 2016? | By Patrick Olsen | June 6, 2016)

Midsize sedans are the automotive equivalent of the refrigerator: They are appliances, and you need yours to work well, and work reliably. If you want one in avocado green, you can get that, but being successful at its mission is the top priority. This is the best-selling car segment in the U.S., and the competitors are better than ever. Our judges, and our family, valued features and drivability over flash and sizzle.

We arrived at this group of midsize sedans by taking the top three cars from our 2014 Midsize Sedan Challenge; we then added models with significant redesigns or refreshes along with the segment sales leader. To be included, cars had to have automatic transmissions, get an EPA-estimated rating of 28 mpg combined and cost $28,000 or less.

We put those cars through a week's worth of testing:
  • We drove them on a 220-mile real-world mileage course in and around Atlanta.
  • We had our judges drive them back-to-back-to-back on the same pavement to evaluate ride, handling, comfort, acceleration and more.
  • We brought in an in-market couple to test the cars for ride, handling, acceleration and more.
From all of the points we awarded in those tests, we found our winner. Our judges were:
  • Aaron Bragman, Detroit bureau chief
  • Jennifer Geiger, assistant managing editor, news
  • Fred Meier, Washington, D.C., bureau chief
  • Brian Robinson, PBS' "MotorWeek" producer
  • Katie and Ryan Small, our in-market shoppers. Katie is an opera singer, and Ryan is an auditor. They live near Atlanta, and both drive Honda Pilots, one a 2003 and one a 2006, so they're looking to update their fleet and find a car that gets better mileage.
The scoring broke down this way:
  • 72 percent from the judges' scoring
  • 18 percent from our shoppers
  • 10 percent from the mileage drive

What You Get for $28,000