When the current-generation Passat was first unveiled for the 2012 model year, Volkswagen purists cried foul. The Audi-lite exterior styling of the outgoing Passat was replaced by more generic sheet metal. The previously high-quality interior materials were downgraded, and similar cuts were made in the engine bay. Gone was the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and automated clutch transmission shared with the GTI. In its place was an anemic 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that made it difficult for the Passat to get out of its own way. The Passat’s once-vaunted handling supremacy in the midsize class shifted in favor of a comfort-oriented setup that left the sedan clumsy in the corners.