VW Passat revealed as Motor Trend’s 2012 car of the year

Motor Trend magazine revealed its car of the year for 2012 at the L.A. Auto Show. This car was noted for being the 'tastiest' within its segment.

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CHATTANOOGA, TENN. — Motor Trend magazine has named the Volkswagen Passat as 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

In a Wednesday statement from VW, Motor Trend editor-in-chief Angus MacKenzie said “chassis, steering, ride and handling all are tastiest within this segment.” MacKenzie said “it’s in this category the bigger Passat really demonstrates its engineering excellence.”

The mid-size sedan with a starting price of about $20,000 is built at VW’s plant in Chattanooga.

Test drive: VW Passat a model of stability and economy

More: Hyundai Elantra receives big honour from Motor Trend

The award was presented to Jonathan Browning, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America, and Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga, at the 2011 LA Auto Show.

The Chevrolet Volt electric car was named in 2010 as 2011 car of the year.

Volkswagen AG, aiming to increase U.S. sales with a revamped Passat, hopes the award helps its marketing of the redesigned mid-size sedan.

“It really shows the work that’s gone into the development,” Jonathan Browning, head of VW’s U.S. operations, told Bloomberg prior to Wednesday’s announcement at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The award will have a “huge” effect on the car’s marketing, he said, because “it’s absolutely one of the top honours that you want to receive in the U.S. industry.”

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