Have you always loved German engineering?  Well, who wouldn’t, right?  Distinctive styling, great handling, and attention to the smallest detail all add up to a wonderful driving experience, and that is German engineering as we come to expect from Mercedes-Benz and others.

Still, there is a big push to buy American, what with the economy being in the state it is in.  So what to do?

Well, Volkswagen has solved your dilemma by building its all new Passat at the Chattanooga, Tennessee plant.  In other words, German engineering built in America!  What a great solution, and quite frankly, what a great midsize sedan.

Yes, there is competition in this crowded class of cars.  You need to look at the Ford Fusion, the Honda Accord, the Hyundai Sonata, and the Kia Optima, but let’s face it, none of those offer German engineering, and as such, the VW Passat just might be the car for you.  There are quite a few choices regarding powertrain.  You can have the 2.5-liter inline-5 engine with 170 horsepower, or the 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 140 horsepower.  It also comes with a 3.6-liter V6 that has 280 horsepower.  Choices for transmission include a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic.

Depending on the engine, the Passat can go from 0-60 in 9 seconds, 8.9 seconds, or 6.4 seconds in the V6, which is quite fast for this class of car.  Fuel economy again depends on the engine, with the smaller engines getting 22/31 mpg, and 31/43 mpg.  The V6 gets 20/28, about standard for this class with that engine.

Standard safety features include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, and airbags seemingly everywhere.

Standard features include 16-inch wheels, keyless entry, eight-speaker audio system, dual-zone climate control, and of course air-conditioning.  Step up in class and you will get larger wheels, navigation system, and a whole armload of tech gadgets.

The bottom line about the VW Passat is this: there are a few things that you may not like about the Passat, but seriously, this is German engineering at its finest, and it is built in America.  What is there not to like about that deal?

The Passat has been around for a good many years, so replacement parts are plentiful and easily found at your local salvage yard.  Junkyards like All Import Auto Parts have millions of recycled auto parts just waiting for you, so why pay more when you don’t have to?

The 2012 Volkswagen Passat, the best of the midsize sedan class, with luxury to spare.