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*THE CAR: 2016 Passat V6 SEL Premium

I drove this Passat with its platinum gray metallic exterior and titan black interior – for a week and enjoyed every minute.

Why? I’ll tell you.

First, you can’t go wrong with this car. It’s fresh, it looks good, it’s a top of the line model and it’s a well-chosen selection for anybody looking for a midsize sedan. It has a push button ignition, new bumper, new grill, new headlights, USB port for rear passengers and a hands free trunk! And, something new from Passat….wait for it….heated rear seats! Wait! What? Yep! It’s fuel efficient, it delivers a comfortable ride, it’s roomy, it’s discreet and it has some power behind it. All of that spells – WINNING!!!

It’s an easy, comfortable drive. It handles well, especially around corners. You don’t feel a lot bumps, which is a huge plus. You can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds! Yep, I’m a witness!

Some bragging rights: In government crash testing, the Passat received a perfect five stars overall – with five for frontal impact protection and five for side crash protection.

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VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: 3.6-liter V6 produces 280 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, electro-Mechanical speed-sensitive power steering, front and side airbag supplemental restraint system for driver and front passenger, side curtain protection head impact airbags, 3-point safety belts, all seating positions, anti-lock braking system (ABS) w/disc brakes, electronic stability control, intelligent crash response system, lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH), tire pressure monitoring system, 18” alloy wheels with all season tires, LED automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights, front FOG lights with cornering lamps, power sunroof, power folding, power adjustable, heated side mirrors, rain sensing front wipers with heated washer nozzles, climatronics dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats with power lumbar support, heated front and rear seats, carpeted floor mats, front and rear, adaptive cruise control, front assist with autonomous emergency braking, park distance control with rearview camera, parking steering assistant, radio with CD player and USB, feners premium audio system, Bluetooth® mobile telephone connectivity, SiriusXM® satellite radio with limited time subscription, auto-dimming interior rearview mirror and homelink® integrated garage door opener.

MSRP: $37,655

FUEL ECONOMY: 20/28

THE DRIVE: Pleasant!

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Darlene Donloe is a seasoned entertainment and travel journalist whose work has appeared in People, Ebony, Essence, LA Stage Times, LA Watts Times, Black Meetings and Tourism, Los Angeles Sentinel, EMMY, The Hollywood Reporter, Rhythm & Business, Billboard, Grammy, CYH, BlackVoices.com and more. Contact her via: [email protected]