When Volkswagen finally decided to try this newfangled water-cooled engine idea, their first effort was the Audi 80-derived Passat. In North America, this car was badged as a Dasher, and it didn’t exactly break any sales records. Prior to finding this example in a Denver junkyard earlier in the week, I hadn’t seen a Dasher for at least a decade. (Read More…)
After a mere six decades of testing the waters, Volkswagen decided to get serious about the American car market. For the second time. To avoid a repeat of the Westmoreland debacle, this time they’ve designed a pair of sedans specifically for American tastes. They’re also building the larger of the two, intended to lure Americans away from their Camcords, in an entirely new, non-unionized American plant. And so, with the new 2012 Volkwagen Passat, tested here in V6 SE form (earlier, briefer drives sampled the other two engines), we learn what Americans really want—as seen through a German company’s eyes.
When I was still working for Volkswagen, I blatantly picked up the delegations from Wolfsburg in my Eddie Bauer Expedition when they arrived at JFK. The higher paygrades were already used to it. The lower paygrades inevitably asked: “Why don’t you drive a Touareg?” While bouncing down the Van Wyck, I inevitably shouted “Silence in the third row! The Touareg doesn’t even have a third row. If I had a Touareg, you’d be sitting in a taxi.”
Soon I’d run out of excuses: If Germany’s AUTO BILD and the DetN are correctly informed, then Volkswagen will get a big SUV – big enough for Americans, even for those with a smaller wallet. (Read More…)
Last Monday’s review of the new 2012 Volkswagen Passat 2.5 SE found the large, value-priced German sedan to be roomy but unpolished. Today: the TDI in SEL Premium trim. In this form the “from $19,995*” new Passat gets a bit far from the segment’s mid-twenties sweet spot, with a list price of $32,965. But perhaps the turbodiesel engine and top-of-the-line interior transform the car?
Volkswagen intends to become the world’s largest auto maker. Selling far more cars in the United States would accomplish this goal. Euro-spec cars haven’t been doing the trick, as too few Americans have been willing to pay the resulting semi-premium prices. So VW engineered a new Jetta compact sedan and a new Passat midsize sedan specifically for American tastes and budgets. Confident of the latter’s success, they’ve even constructed an all-new factory in Chattanooga, TN, to assemble it. Should the UAW’s latest targets expect to be working overtime? Today’s review evaluates the 2.5-liter five-cylinder gas Passat in SE trim, while Wednesday’s will compare the 2.0-liter turbodiesel in SEL Premium trim.
I am sure you get this all of the time…my apologies in advance. I am replacing my VW Passat 2003 GLS. It was fun to drive, but had its issues as we all know. No sludge thank goodness. Several leaks! I would like a car that is comparable in drivability, (I have a manual but will buy an auto this time), but better in reliability, and perhaps greener. Tell me what to buy please! I have read the reviews, but they are all over the place….I wish you had a favorites list! Thank you.
Towards the end of the year, we may be in the market for a minivan (Honda Odyssey… this is not the advice I’m looking for, but feel free to weigh in). We have two cars we own outright: 2004 Toyota 4Runner and a 2006 VW Passat with 75K and 65K miles on them, respectively.
Both are in good working order, no issues other than the sign of age. Both have V6 engines.
Question: which one to trade in? I figure they are both worth about $10k trade in based on KBB, with the VW potentially worth marginally more (I could be wrong there). I’m leaning towards trading in the VW since it will depreciate faster and is more likely to have issues as it continues to age and wear.
What are your thoughts (now being greedy)…on both the trade-in AND the minivan choice?
I’m a 35 year old physician with wife and 2 kids, who has happily made do with a succession of automatic VW Passat wagons, first a chipped 2000 and now a 2010 I use to reverse commute out of my large metro region. We’ll be moving to the oceanfront suburb of a small New England city this summer and I’ve got to select car #2. My commute will by short and pokey–7 miles each way, some of it along beautiful marshland and ocean, some of it not. Long haul family trips can be done in the Passat, but the second car should safely carry the kids in a pinch. Budget is 30-35k max. I’ve been thinking new v6 mustang convertible, but then again, is it time to invest in the future and, say, lease a volt? Or practical, comfortable fun in a new GTI/Golf TDI? Revisit a heavily depreciated bug convertible we used to love despite it’s crude underpinnings and tight back seat? Or take advantage of some older interesting vehicles–S4 cabriolet, 3 series convertible, or something I’m too boring to have considered?
Steve Answers: (Read More…)
In conclusion of today’s Volkswagen-heavy fare, a peek into the future of Volkswagen’s most boring, but nonetheless highly successful car: The Passat.
Germany’s Auto Bild thinks it knows what the 8th generation Passat will look like when it hits the showrooms sometime in 2014. While their renderings most likely don’t reveal the exact likeness of the future Passat, Auto Bild’s Passat companion story probably has more than a few grains of truth. (Read More…)
China is getting a double dose of Volkswagen Passat. The new generation B7 Passat will hit China’s streets in a longer wheelbase version, to provide legroom for the boss in the back while the driver up front braves the crazy Chinese traffic. Just like the previous-gen B6, the car will be built by Volkswagen’s northern joint venture with FAW and will be sold under the Magotan name. “Passat” was already taken by Volkswagen’s southern joint venture, more on that below. (Read More…)
One of my jobs in China was to help out with the launch of the Passat B6. Except that there was no Passat B6 in China. In 2005, the car was introduced in Europe to great acclaim. A year later, it was supposed to be made in China. In China, Volkswagen has two joint ventures, Shanghai Volkswagen in Shanghai, and FAW-VW in frigid Changchun. SVW made and makes the Passat and was the logical choice to make the B6. Except that SVW didn’t want it. They deemed the 1996 vintage B5 and its Chinese variants as good enough for the Chinese market. The folks in Wolfsburg shook their heads. “They always complain that they don’t get the latest technology, and when we give them the latest technology, they keep the old stuff.”
Making the best out of having two joint ventures in China, Volkswagen sold the B6 license to FAW-VW. As the name “Passat” was taken, the B6 received a new name, “Magotan.” Pronounced “Ma-GO-tn”. Except that in Chinese, it’s called “May Teng.” (Are we confused yet? Gee, there is a company that is proud of the mess.) The Ma-GO-tn/May Teng was launched to limited success.
Last year, a new generation Passat was launched in Europe, dubbed the B7 internally, but detractors say it’s no more than a big facelift. The Chinese version will be shown at the Shanghai Motor Show. Guess who will make it? (Read More…)
So Volkswagen took the wraps off its first (well, since the late 80s) Made-in-the-U.S.A. car last night. The name of the New Midsize Sedan had remained a matter of high suspense until the last minute. But didn’t we offhandedly mention that “some think it might be called Passat?” That’s what it will be called. “Volkswagen says it will keep the Passat name for its new midsize vehicle that will be built at the company’s new U.S. plant in Tennessee,” reports Businessweek.
Meet the Volkswagen value meal, designed for Americans: Bigger, beefier, cheaper. (Read More…)
Last Friday, production of the Volkswagen Passat was stopped in Emden, Germany. Not because there aren’t enough customers for the car. There are too many. (Read More…)
A friend of mine once tried to break the world record for the longest time standing on one foot. The record (at the time) was held by Arulanantham Suresh Joachim of Sri Lanka for standing on one foot for 76 hours and 40 minutes. My friend lasted 2 minutes, then collapsed in heap and wondered if he’d maybe broken a bone in his leg. Silly boy. If he wanted to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, all he had to do was buy a Volkswagen Passat. (Read More…)
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. (Read More…)