By on September 30, 2010

When I started as a budding (and driver’s license less) copywriter on the Volkswagen account in fall of 1973, they were just introducing a (for Volkswagen) highly unusual car. They called it the Passat. After that followed in rapid-fire fashion the Golf, the Scirocco, the Polo. They turned the company around. And kept me employed for more than 30 years. With the Golf being the volume Weltmeisterr, it is often forgotten that it was the Passat that started a new era at Volkswagen. And now, the car enters its 7th generation.

At the Paris Auto  Show, Volkswagen presented the seventh iteration of the Passat. More than 15 million units have been sold in more than 100 countries, making it one of the greatest success stories ever in automotive history. As a nod to history,  a sedan and a station wagon were launched simultaneously. For decades, the station wagon version had outsold the sedan 7:3, only in more recent times did the sedan become more popular.

The new Passat “offers upper-class features in a mid-class car,” boasted Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Head of Development for Volkswagen.

The Gen7 Passat comes with the usual panoply of then different engines, from 105 hp all the way through 300 hp. According to Volkswagen, all are more fuel efficient, some up to 19 percent more. The 1.6 TDI turbodiesel with 105 hp consumes just 4.2 l/100 km (56 MPG, not EPA) and emits only 109 g/km CO2.

The new Passat will be available in initial European markets starting as soon as mid-November.

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38 Comments on “Volkswagen Launches 7th Generation Passat...”


  • avatar
    ash78

    And for the first time in ~30 years, the Passat won’t be sold here. I can’t wait to see the US’s new bloated, de-contented Teutonicamry. No wagon option, either.
     
    /two passat owner

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      I’m a current owner of a 2007 Passat wagon and selfishly I’m happy the aren’t bringing the new one over to prematurely kill whats left of my resale. Unselfishly I’m not all that impressed with VW’s recent product decisions. Feels like a deal with the Devil; you can become the world’s largest car maker and all it will cost you is your soul…

    • 0 avatar
      dingram01

      Whaaaa????  No wagon option?  Yikes.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      Adding insult to injury: there’s nothing stopping them from naming the New Midsize Sedan the Passat. Personally, I hope they bring back Quantum.

    • 0 avatar
      TCragg

      As a 4-time Passat owner (1996 TDI Wagon, 1997 TDI sedan, 2004 4motion 1.8T 5-spd wagon, and 2010 2.0T DSG wagon), it bothers me that VW is ending Passat sales in North America, especially the wagon.  If the new Jetta is any indication of what to expect, I’ll be hanging on to my current cars for a loooong time.  I saw the new Jetta tonight (a “highline” TDI).  A plastic garbage can is classier than the interior in that car.

    • 0 avatar
      mpresley

      I had an idea the real Passat was soon to be history so I bought an ’09 last year.  It’s a great car for what it is: think Chevy Impala replacement and you’ll see where GM went wrong.  But then again, I’m told that 30 large for a mid-sized sedan is just too much for Americans to stomach.
       
      VW takes a quality rap, but mine have been trouble free–or at least no more trouble than any other make I’ve owned.
       
      On a related topic: I was at the dealer having the oil changed and encountered the new Jetta.  Quite forgettable.  Not weird looking like a Japanese car, only non-offensive and forgettable.  The interior was plain, but with some dealer applied polished wood applique, some nice new wheels (VW is always big in the wheel dept), and a few other add-ons it’ll probably sell in sufficient numbers.

  • avatar
    Variant

    This has me strongly considering trading in my 2002 wagon to pick up a 2009 or 2010 model and get one of the last goods one’s while I still can.  

    • 0 avatar
      caljn

      Why are you inferring this new model is not good? It is handsome enough and 300hp is intriguing.
      Among my favorites in my car stable over the years was a ’93 Passat VR6 with a 5 spd.
      Great car…fun and comfortable with renowned “Teutonic” mannerisms, except the one about costly repairs. No problems.

    • 0 avatar
      Sundowner

      He’s implying that the new Passat might be great, but we in the US won’t get it. We’ll get the NMS sedan to be built in the US. If the NMS is anything like the NCS, it will be a decontented POS. 

      For the record, I had a 2008 Passat wagon with a stickshift. (last year they offered the wagon with a stick) I loved that car, and it was destroyed by a careless SUV driver plowing into me at 70 mph. I remember thinking about how this car can’t be replaced after the morom rammed into me. I’m actually on record with the 911 Operator:

      Me- “I’ve been in accident, send tow trucks and a police officer”
      Oprerator- “Are you OK?”
      Me- “I’m fine”
      Operator- “Is the other driver OK?”
      Me- “Depends how fast the cop gets here to protect him from me.”

    • 0 avatar
      Variant

      Thank you Sundowner for clarifying my point, and also for reminding me that I need to look for a 2008 if I want a third peddle.  Huzzah!

    • 0 avatar
      TCragg

      Or buy one in Canada.  The 6-speed manual is still available here in both sedan and wagon.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    Let me guess: It comes with a Volkswagen EA827 engine, drum brakes on the rear and a cassete player?

  • avatar
    Uncle Mellow

    This is just a facelift really. May sell well in China. In Europe the Skoda Superb looks a better deal. But wait – the station wagon has a feature where you can open the tailgate by waving your foot under the back bumper. How’s that for sophistication !

  • avatar
    carguy

    VW has un-pimped ze Auto and come up with a car so bland that even Toyota would object.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr Strangelove

      It’s built for Europe. Faux baroque went out of style in Europe a while ago – it’s the Americans who can’t part with it.

    • 0 avatar
      jimboy

      @dr. strangelove. Faux Baroque! I love that, if that’s what you want to call american style. At least we have a style, unlike the european sheepmobiles that are completely indistinguishable from each other. Or they are so ugly they make you cringe in embarrassment for the owner who got sucked into one. I’ll take a 300SRT8 or Cadillac CTS over any european marque. Ha, ‘faux baroque’!!

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      Dr. Strangelove: Attractive styling has nothing to do with “faux baroque” – Audi, BMW, PSM and even Opel seem to manage it. This looks like some faux Bauhausian minimalism gone terribly wrong.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Let me see if I understand this. VW starts its big FWD sedan as Dasher in the US. That’s OK as a Seventies name. In the Eighties, they change it to Quantum. You know, like Valium? Huh? But hey, whatever. Then they progress to Passat and build its brand equity over  20 years.
    Now they want to discard that and name the new blandmobile something else? Brilliant freakin’ strategy. For once I agree with the Autoextremegotist, Pete DeLorenzo – a heaping bowl of Not Good. No wonder their new US head is from GM.
     
     

  • avatar
    gslippy

    If the 7th generation Passat is as (un)reliable as my B5 2002 Passat was, it should generate many years of service revenue for VW.  My car – since it was still warranted – cost VW about 12 unscheduled service visits in 3 years, until I happily traded it.

    • 0 avatar
      Variant

      My 2002 B5.5 has been dead reliable.  Of course, I bought it used and out of warranty so the PO dealt with any dealer BS.  When my CEL comes on I scan it, consult the forums, and wrench it myself.

    • 0 avatar
      200k-min

      I think a lot of the reliability flak that VW gets is due to the fact that they are German vehicles and people expect Japanese type reliability from them.  In reality they probably aren’t any better (or worse) than your average Chevy or Ford.  Difference is, parts and repairs are more costly because it’s German and the higher initial purchase price is off putting when the break downs occur.  It’s expected on the Chevy – not the VW, i.e. they are being held to a higher standard from the get go.  Sure, you can get lucky.  I drove a Ford AXOD transmission for 200,000 miles with 0 problems, but statistics don’t lie, there is a quality gap between VW and the Japanese makes.

  • avatar
    forraymond

    I thought I read recently that the Chattanooga NMS is a de-contented Passat and not totally different vehicle.

    De-contented to get prices in line with what Americans will pay for a VW.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      At the volume the are looking to sell at. Volkswagen does pretty good with its current lineup but it isn’t a volume seller like Toyota or Honda. The only way to do that is to lower the premium for entry. I’m not a fan of this but we’ll see whether it works or not. I see this being one of those things like bringing back the Rabbit name; sounded like a good idea at the time but at the end of the day it didn’t help much.

  • avatar
    Nick

    Will the new Passat’s electrical system new a complete overhaul at 100,000km like the current one does?  Overpriced teutonic junk.
     

    • 0 avatar
      TCragg

      VW’s quality gets slammed regularly on TTAC.  As an owner of 15+ VWs (including 4 dead- reliable Passats) over my driving career, I have only had one truly bad one, a 1992 Eurovan (and in its defence, it was 8 years old and had 200,000 km on it when I bought it).  It seems like VWoA gets a lot of flak for poor dealer experiences.  That has not been my experience in Canada, where I have happily dealt with VW dealers from southern Ontario to Nova Scotia without issue.  

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      @TCragg,

      Although my 02 Passat was a near-lemon (see above post), I did have very good treatment at the dealer, which happened to sell only VW.

    • 0 avatar
      mpresley

      Nick: Will the new Passat’s electrical system new [sic] a complete overhaul at 100,000km like the current one does?  Overpriced teutonic junk.
       
      What exactly is a “complete electrical system overhaul,”  and how do you know “current ones” need them?

  • avatar

    So I can’t replace my SUV with a Passat TDI.  Great.  I want to put four people into a large vehicle with some cargo space…and would like some economy.
     
     

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    I’ve had two Passats and loved ‘em both.  The current one is a ’99 Wagon with more than 300K on it and it’s still running great.  I don’t doubt some have had reliability issues but my experience has been excellent.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    I pass. The previous one looked better IMO.

  • avatar
    pauldun170

    Great…another wagon off the market.
     

  • avatar
    Jimal

    Add to this the lingering rumor that Volkswagen is looking at getting into NASCAR with Penske and you can see where this whole thing is going. Ugh.


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