I consider the VW Passat to be a completely average car, not shinning in any department, but not insulting either.
In most Latin American markets, where M.B.s and BMWs are considered hiperluxury cars due to their out-of-this-world prices (tax penalties) the Passat is considered an "upscale-luxury car".
Most markets, like Europe, consider the Passat for what really is: an slightly larger and roomier Jetta with less sex appeal.
The real BIG problem for me with the Passat in the U.S.A would NOT be the car itself but the dealership network. I like to visit new car dealerships when I visit the States to check out their inventories.
The WORST showrooms, salespeople, and in general everything else are to be found at U.S: VW dealers. Horrible! A friend of mine who lives in Washington, D.C. also bought a Passat and after a year he sold it becacuse of the terrible service he got from the dealer.
Many people wonder why VWs sell so well around the world and they do not in the U.S.A. (being such well made-reliable cars)... Well, its simple, the WV dealership network sucks...
CL 500, 1998
S 500 L, 1998
E 320 T, 1995