The 2012 Volkswagen Passat has been named’s “Best of 2012,” the online automotive site announced tonight during its annual awards show gala during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  More than 1,500 auto industry executives attended the celebration at the Fillmore Detroit, which included a private performance by Grammy Award-winning Maroon 5.

“The completely redesigned Volkswagen Passat shook up the extremely competitive family sedan category in 2012,” said Patrick Olsen, editor-in-chief. “The Passat’s ability to take on these long-standing family sedan leaders along with its great price and standard features makes the Passat our best car for 2012.”

Six vehicles were nominated for the “Best of 2012” award. They were the 2012 Audi A7, 2012 Hyundai Accent, 2012 Hyundai Veloster, 2012 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, 2012 Subaru Impreza and the 2012 Volkswagen Passat.

“Our editors drove and evaluated more than 65 new 2012 models and the competition was steep,” said Olsen. “Narrowing down the list of great vehicles to six was no easy feat, and just being a finalist is a special honor. Drivers should be proud to have any car on this list.” also announced its “Lifestyle” award winners at the awards show. Winners include the 2012 Honda Pilot for “Family Car of the Year,” 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 for “Play Car of the Year,” 2012 Ford F-150 for “Work Truck of the Year” and the 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI for “Eco-Friendly Car of the Year.”