Reposted with the permission of acarisnotarefrigerator.com.
The adorable little kid in the Darth Vader outfit who starred in VW’s popular Super Bowl commercial, The Force, won’t need to invoke The Force to compel consumers to buy the all-new 2012 Volkswagen Passat. I’m relieved to report that the car is good enough to sell itself. [For the record, that commercial turned out to be a very good investment for Volkswagen as it went viral and has been viewed more than 41.4 million times on YouTube alone. ]
Like most auto enthusiasts, I was concerned and apprehensive last year when VW announced that its new mid-size car was going to be a US-only Passat with an inflated size and a deflated sticker price. To do this, VW built a beautiful, shiny, new $1 billion factory in lovely, noisome Chattanooga, Tennessee. And they did it all with “only” around $557 million in state and local taxpayer incentives.
Volkswagen’s new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Right now, the only model built there is the 2012 Passat.
The new Passat was announced after the 2010 launch of the all-new 2011 Jetta. I found the new Jetta disappointing in almost all metrics save for the wonderful TDI engine option. The Jetta had been stripped of suspension parts and fitted with interior plastics courtesy of Walmart. Built in VW’s Puebla, Mexico plant, the Jetta is now cheap enough to compete with the Asians. Ugh. In short, the new Jetta had turned to the Dark Side to boost sales.
Americans respond to big price reductions, so sales of the Dark Side Jetta are up. I mourn the loss of a Jetta sedan with a class-leading interior, independent rear suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes. I’ve always been a fan of VW because the little German-engineered cars were günstiger.
The 2011 VW Jetta – knock knock – come on, wake up!
The 2012 Passat, with a base MSRP of $19,995, is targeted directly at the mid-size family sedan leaders: The Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu. It’s thousands less than the previous German-built Passat, primarily due to cost cutting and elimination of the profit-sucking exchange rates.
Where the Jetta’s styling redefines anonymous, the new Passat is more detailed and mature, albeit as conservative as the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. Pictures don’t do the Passat justice and color makes a significant difference. All the promos show the car in a pale color; however, my black tester really popped with its controversial, bright, rapper-size fore and aft VW badges and sinister-looking polycarbonate shades streamlining the halogen headlamps into the prominent 3-bar corporate chrome grille. It may look like Darth Vader, but it hasn’t gone to the Dark Side.
The front of the 2012 Passat looks a bit menacing in black. The VW badge is certainly prominent.
I contacted VW Santa Monica (part of the LACarGuy group) ahead of time to make sure they had a diesel Passat available to test. The test car was just that – a VW tester sent directly to the Santa Monica dealer to make the rounds of local events and provide a dedicated test vehicle for 40 mpg-hungry LA-area greenies.
No window sticker, just a nice “gift” to Santa Moncia Volkswagen. Note the QR (quick response) code on the sticker. You can read it with an app on your smartphone.
I’m sure the base Passat 2.5L, saddled with VW’s unremarkable 170 hp 5-cylinder hamster wheel, will be the volume leader. Inexpensive always sells. VW also offers a top-line Passat with a 3.6L 280 hp V6; but here in green veneer L.A., the marquee model is the TDI with the 2.0L 140 hp 236 lb-ft torque turbo-diesel direct-injected engine mated to either a 6-speed manual or VW’s 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automated gearbox.
Why the excitement? Well it’s because the manual version is rated at 31 mpg city, 43 mpg highway and the automatic is rated at 30 city/40 highway. The Passat’s highway mileage meets or beats any mid-size sedan, including the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata Hybrids. Anecdotal evidence from numerous sources suggests that the TDI’s highway mileage will actually be higher. With its 18.5 gallon tank, the Passat TDI has a cruising range exceeding 700 miles. Vegas road trip anyone?
The rear of the 2012 Passat is more defined than the Jetta. It won’t win any design awards, but it’s well executed. Note the large VW badge and the TDI SEL on the right trunk lid.
It was a nice day for a drive in Santa Monica where the blistering summer heat was all the way up to 73 degrees — a daunting test for the Passat’s standard dual zone automatic climate control.
The little diesel engine feels right at home in the Passat and has no problem tugging around its 3,360 pounds. I experienced a bit of hesitation from the DSG when I punched it into a turn from a stand still; however in normal driving in city traffic, the transmission shifted smoothly. I never felt a lack of power because of the gobs of torque available from only 1,400 rpm.
All in easy reach: The handsome DSG shifter, start stop button and dual zone automatic climate control. The digital temperature settings can be read in the center infotainment screen.
The new electromechanical power steering felt light, somewhat isolated, but on center. It retains enough German precision to make it a better driver’s car, particular in DSG sport mode. The front wheels tracked dead straight. As with most VW products, torque steer has been all but banished by the engineers in Wolfsburg.
I did my usual tap and scratch test on the interior plastics of the new Passat and I have good news: This isn’t the Jetta. The dash cowl is covered in a pleasing, textured, soft-touch plastic. The “Autumn Nut Burl” trim, while not real, is convincing enough. The door trim above armrest level is textured and softened while the trim below the arm rest and below the dash belt line is a harder plastic that taps a bit hollow.
The driver’s side door panel is pleasing and the various plastic panels all match despite being of different quality. I like the way the grab handle was integrated into the design.
The tilt/telescope three-spoke multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel felt good in my hands and adjusted for a perfect view of the instruments. Basic functions were all easily accessible and my hand fell naturally both to the shifter and adjacent start/stop button.
I was grateful for the 8-way power sports seat with driver’s side memory that are part of the $4,300 TDI SEL2 option package. It took a bit of fiddling, but I found a comfy position for my 6′ 1″ lanky frame. The heated and leather-trimmed seats have Dynamico ® (synthetic suede) inserts that tether you in for an added sporty dimension.
It’s not a great picture; but you can see the power seat controls.
I didn’t test the navigation system, but the smallish 6.5″ touch screen had sharp graphics and was easy to read. The Fender Premium Audio System has a 30 GB hard drive, Bluetooth, satellite radio and iPod control. The interior is almost Lexus-quiet, with surprising little engine or road noise infiltrating the airy cabin. This modern advanced “clean” diesel engine is both quiet and odor-free.
The smallish – 6.5 inch – infotainment screen. Here you see some of the controls for the Fender Premium Audio System.
I missed a backup camera or sensors that would be an inexpensive add-on to the existing navigation system. There were no rain-sensing wipers either. And I’d prefer the iPod controls in the center armrest area rather than the glove box.
The 2012 Passat has class-leading front and rear legroom and its cargo capacity is almost at the top with 15.9 cubic feet. The standard 60/40 split rear bench folds down so that long flat cargo (think flat boxes at IKEA) are an easy fit. The trunk was completely lined and flocked; however, the trunk lid was naked and sported goose neck hinges rather than gas-pressure struts. I smell a diligent cost accountant at work.
The back seats look inviting and you can see the suede-like material inserts.
The capacious trunk has a fairly low lip, so it’s easier to load stuff. It’s nicely lined too. Note the little pulls at the top of the opening that allow you to drop the rear seats for more room. Also you can see the naked trunk lid and cheap goose neck hinges.
Base MSRP for the 2012 Passat TDI with DSG is $27,895. The SEL2 package is $4,300; however, you get almost every luxury feature and infotainment upgrade you could want. In fact, there are no other options offered. Add the $770 destination charge and the fully-loaded car is $32,965. This prices the 2012 Passat TDI smack in the middle of its similarly-equipped fuel sipping hybrid competition and it is, by far, the frugal enthusiast’s pick of the bunch.
We have some great news for you! Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that the new Beetle will start at just $18,995 which is fantastic value for the agile, driver-oriented coupe whose design draws from the vehicle’s reminiscent past while still looking toward the future.
“The 21st Century Beetle is an automotive icon reinvented, a nod to the heritage and character of Volkswagen and our remarkable history,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “This new interpretation of the original Beetle holds true to the traditional spirit of the car, with all the benefits of modern technologies and efficiencies.”
The 2012 Beetle is sportier, more dynamic, and features bolder styling than previous models. It is also 3.3 inches wider, 6.0 inches longer, and half an inch lower, giving it a much more muscular appearance which will have a much broader appeal. The Beetle will be available is three trim lines which might include the transparent, panoramic tilt/slide glass roof that is 80 percent longer than on the previous models.
So what do you get for $18,995? The 2.5L model equipped with a 170-horsepower in-line five cylinder engine. It offers fuel economy that is improved by up to 10 percent over the past 2.5L model. When equipped with the five-speed manual transmission, mileage is estimated at U.S. ratings of 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. The optional six-speed automatic transmission offers U.S.-rated EPA fuel economy ratings of 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.
That’s not all. Standard are split folding rear seats, aux-in for portable audio players, a leather steering wheel, unique and customizable 17-inch alloy wheels, and an eight-speaker audio system. Options you might want to consider include a kaeferfach additional glovebox that is similar to that of the original Beetle, Bluetooth technology, iPod connectivity, heated front seats, three-color interior ambient lighting, and leatherette seating surfaces.
The sportiest model is the 2.0L TSI which will have a starting MSRP of $23,395. It comes equipped with Volkswagen’s critically acclaimed 2.0-liter in-line four cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. As well as providing genuine performance, the four-cylinder engine with automatic transmission offers a U.S.-rated EPA fuel economy rating of 30 mpg highway and 22 mpg city.
Standard equipment on the 2.0L are a six-speed manual transmission, with the option of Volkswagen’s DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. Along with standard equipment from the 2.5L, also standard is Bluetooth technology, iPod connectivity, three-color ambient lighting, larger brakes with red calipers, a kaeferfach which is an additional glove box that is similar to the original Beetle, sport seat surfaces, 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, fog lights, three additional gauges on the dashboard, and alloy pedals.
In 2012, a TDI Clean Diesel model will become available, powered by VW’s highly efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder diesel engine that produces 140 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. This will be the most fuel-efficient Beetle ever produced, with an expected highway estimate of 40 mpg.
For the music enthusiast, the Beetle comes standard with the RCD 310 sound system with eight speakers. While the optional premium VIII audio system features a CD changer, interface for SD cards, and a touchscreen. The Beetle will also offer concert-quality sound with an available Fender Premium Audio System, designed exclusively for Volkswagen. The partnership combines quality automotive engineering and quality sound engineering where Volkswagen and Fender team up to bring the raw emotion of live music to the driving experience.
And safety features include Volkswagen’s advanced Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pumps, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in some type of accident. The Beetle is also covered under the no-charge, 3-year/36,000-mile scheduled Carefree Maintenance Program.
To be one of the first to find out when the new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle will arrive in our showrooms, make sure to follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook community to stay informed. Or contact one of our sales consultants today to have them contact you immediately when the first car arrives!
The starting MSRP of $19,995 for the all-new 2012 Volkswagen Passat will definitely make it a strong contender in the highly competitive midsize segment. “The 2012 Passat is a true Volkswagen, offering German engineering, class-leading standard features, and superior fuel economy, all for a remarkable value,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “Demonstrating our commitment to the American market, the car will be produced at one of the newest, most advanced, and environmentally responsible auto assembly plants in the world in Chattanooga, Tennessee.” The 2012 Passat offers exceptional standard features and premium options and will be available in three powertrains with multiple trim options, all at an equally impressive price.
The starting price of $19,995 will get you into the 2.5L with a six-speed manual transmission, giving you 170 horsepower. There are eight, count ‘em eight trim levels and standard are automatic dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, and Volkswagen’s no-charge three-year/36,000 mile schedule Carefree Maintenance Program.
At the next level, we have the SE that starts at $23,725 and it includes additional equipment such as 17-inch alloy wheels, 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, touchscreen Premium VIII radio, and a multi-function leather-wrapped steering wheel. See the pricing chart below for more details and additional model information.
Returning to the Passat lineup for 2012 is the TDI variant that comes equipped with VW’s 2.0L turbo diesel engine that is expected to deliver 43 mpg highway, with a range of nearly 800 miles. The TDI’s base package, the SE, comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, Volkswagen’s touchscreen Premium VIII radio and six-speed manual transmission. Volkswagen’s highly regarded DSG dual-clutch gearbox is an option.
Topping the range is the powerful 3.6L VR6 that has three trim levels with a starting MSRP of $28,995. Standard is the DSG gearbox that puts out 280 horsepower. Additional standard premium features include 18-inch alloy wheels, comfort sport seats, a sunroof, and a class exclusive Fender Premium Audio System.
Specifically designed for North America, the new Passat is much larger with more rear-seat legroom. It was designed to provide premium features unique to the U.S. market but at the same time, retaining the dynamic character that is expected of the Volkswagen.
Premium options include leather seating surfaces, leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel, wood decor, ambiance lighting, memory driver’s seat, power passenger seat, a choice of Volkswagen’s RNS 315 or RNS 510 navigation systems, front fog lights with static cornering lights, and keyless access with push button start. Also available is the new Fender Premium Audio System that will combine the raw emotion of live music with the driving experience.
|2012 Passat Pricing|
|2.5L – S (man)||$19,995||16” steel wheels, six-speed manual transmission, Automatic dual-zone climate control, power locks & windows, body color mirror and door handles, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, 8-way manual driver seat, center armrest w/integrated storage box|
|2.5L – S w Appearance(auto)||$22,690||+ Six-speed automatic transmission, 16” alloy wheels, rear center armrest w/storage|
|2.5L – SE (man)||$23,725||17” alloy wheels, V-Tex leatherette, 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, touchscreen Premium VIII radio, Multi-Function leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum trim dash and middle console, exterior chrome window trim, sliding front center armrest|
|2.5L – SE (auto)||$24,825||+ Six-speed automatic transmission|
|2.5L – SE w Sunroof||$25,625||+ Sunroof|
|2.5L – SE w Sunroof/Nav||$26,795||+ RNS 315 Navigation with Mobile Device Interface (MDI)|
|2.5L – SEL||$28,395||+ RNS 510 Navigation, Fender Premium Audio System, Homelink, comfort sport seats, interior chrome accents, wood grain interior décor, exterior chrome accents|
|2.5L – SEL Premium||$29,895||+ leather seating surfaces, keyless access and remote start, fog lights, driver seat memory, 8-way power passenger seat|
|TDI – SE||$25,995||17” alloy wheels, V-Tex leatherette seating, 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, touchscreen Premium VIII radio, Multi-Function leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum trim dash and middle console, exterior chrome window trim, sliding front center armrest|
|TDI – SE w Sunroof||$27,895||+ Six-speed DSG automatic transmission, sunroof|
|TDI – SE w Sunroof/Nav||$29,495||+ 18” alloy wheels, RNS 315 Navigation, Mobile Device Interface (MDI), fog lights, exterior chrome accents|
|TDI – SEL Premium||$32,195||+ Leather seating surfaces, comfort sport seats, keyless access and remote start, RNS 510 Navigation, Fender Premium Audio System, driver seat memory, wood grain interior décor, 8-way power passenger seat, interior chrome accents|
|3.6L – SE w Sunroof||$28,995||Six-speed DSG automatic transmission18” alloy wheels, V-Tex leatherette seating, sunroof, 8-way power driver seat, heated front seats, comfort sports seats, touchscreen Premium VIII radio, Fender Premium Audio System, Multi-Function leather-wrapped steering wheel, aluminum trim dash and middle console, exterior chrome window trim, chrome dual exhaust, fog lights, sliding front center armrest|
|3.6L – SE w Sunroof/Nav||$30,595||+ RNS 315 Navigation, MDI, exterior chrome accents|
|3.6L – SEL Premium||$32,950||Leather seating surfaces, keyless entry with remote start, RNS 510 navigation, driver seat memory, wood grain interior décor, 8-way power passenger seat, interior chrome accents|
|Destination||$770||All prices exclude destination|
It’s no secret that Volkswagen is on a roll with fantastic lineup of cars, CUV’s and SUV’s. What you may not know is that Volkswagen is once again focused on being “The People’s Car” by offering tremendous value in it’s line up.
We have two videos for you to take a look at, our Fleet Manager Sean “Hutch” Hutchinson walks you through the 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan and the 2011 Volkswagen CC. After watching these videos, you will be shocked at what a great value for the money these VW’s are.
We have some tremendous lease and purchase incentives going on right now for the Tiguan and the CC along with many other great Volkswagen models. It’s time for you to come into Pacific Volkswagen and find out what Das Auto is all about.
In the video you will see not only members of our sales staff, but our service personnel, and some of our customers as well!
The Audi A3 TDI, Toyota Prius and Volkswagen Golf TDI have been nominated for "Green Car of the Year." We'll be rooting for all three since we carry all three models at LAcarGUY.com. We have the 2010 Prius in stock at Toyota of Hollywood and Toyota Santa Monica. Pacific Audi will carry the A3 TDI very soon and VW Santa Monica and Pacific VW are looking forward to seeing their first TDI Golf soon.
Is it charming? Silly? Weird? Why is Mike destroying the electrical grid? You decide!
The 2009 Jetta TDI clean diesel has been awarded the 2009 Green Car of the Year by Green Car Journal. The editors at Green Car Journal nominated five vehicles that represented the year’s best-of-the-best 2009 green vehicles, and today announced that they have chosen Volkswagen’s Jetta TDI clean diesel as the best-of-the best and awarded it their 2009 Green Car of the Year.
“It is a tremendous honor to have our Jetta TDI awarded Green Car of the Year,”said Stefan Jacoby, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “We believe our Jetta TDI’s truly offer a no compromise alternative fuel driving experience that provides our customer the best of both worlds—excellent fuel efficiency combined with a dynamic driving experience. With more than 8,000 units already sold since its mid-August market introduction, it’s clear that a Volkswagen clean diesel is what the people want.”
“The Volkswagen Jetta TDI rose to the top as Green Car Journal’s 2009 Green Car of the Year® for some very important reasons,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of GreenCar.com. “Hybrids have dominated the discussion of environmentally positive vehicles in recent years. The highly fuel efficient, 50 state emissions certified Jetta TDI shows that advanced clean diesel has arrived and is poised to change this dynamic. With its affordable price point, refined ride and handling, and high fuel economy, the Jetta TDI shows that hybrids now have a strong competitor in the marketplace.”
Both LAcarGUY.com Volkswagen dealerships have both the diesel sedan and sportwagen in stock. View the inventory of both dealerships using LAcarguy's inventory tool.
Owners of the new, clean burning Jetta TDI and Jetta Wagon TDI qualify for a $1,300 federal income tax credit!!
The clean burning diesels have been rated at 30mpg city, 41 mpg on the highway in a test that the government acknowledges wasn't designed to properly rate diesels and tends to understate actual mileage. A test commissioned by VW showed better numbers of 38 miles per gallon in the city and 44 on the highway.
Sanyo and Germany’s Volkswagen AG will develop lithium-ion batteries for hybrid vehicles as global automakers race to develop more environmentally friendly technology, Associated Press reports.
Japanese electronics maker Sanyo Electric Co. said Wednesday it will invest 80 billion yen ($769 million) to expand production by 2015 of such batteries, with plans to start mass producing them in a Japanese plant by next year, making 15,000 to 20,000 batteries a year. The deal with Volkswagen, announced Wednesday, follows a 2006 agreement between Sanyo and Volkswagen agreed to work together in nickel metal hydride batteries, now used in most gas-electric hybrids like Toyota’s Prius. Sanyo already provides nickel metal hydride batteries for Ford Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co