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The all-wheel-drive Passat GLX offers quick performance and very comfortable seating.

2002 Volkswagen Passat GLX V6 4M Road Test
Good gets better

By Bill Roebuck

Equipped with its automatic 4Motion all-wheel drive transmission, the GLX V6 is Volkswagen's top-of the-line Passat. Introduced earlier this year as a 2001-1/2 model, it has 2,300 changes over the previous model, although the exterior design is similar. The design changes focussed on boosting the body integrity and structure.

The previous model already was one of the best wagons on the market, having won this category for the 1999 model year. It combines plenty of space, a comfortable ride, what might be the most comfortable rear seat in either a sedan or wagon in this class, and sporty performance. Luggage capacity is rated at 1020 litres.

Safety features abound on the Passat with both front and side airbags as standard, and a side curtain bag as an option. Small details, such as heated windshield washer nozzles, help justify its cost. Acceleration with the 190-hp V6 engine took 10.4 sec. from 0-100 km/h. Stopping from 100-0 km/h took 136 ft. Neither figure gives any cause for complaint.

With extra grip from the all-wheel drive, a Tiptronic shifter, plus a very effective traction control system, the Passat was confidence-inspiring on all the road surfaces we tried, even loose-gravel corners. The only drawback: There was a slight vibration in the rear end on some road conditions in the all-wheel drive GLX.

Tested price: $44,855.

© Copyright Bill Roebuck, 2002.

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