The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - 2020 Volkswagen Passat
This car is nothing short of a legend, and when it goes down, it will be remembered as one of the longest running and the most successful sedans to have graced the Earth. Sounds like a tribute, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because the 2020 Volkswagen Passat may very well represent the last time the German company invests its time, money and resources into this car. The 2020 Volkswagen Passat was displayed at the Detroit Auto Show and, even though it is a very good package overall, we might give it a miss in favor of say, a crossover.
Nevertheless, here is a list of the things that work in the 2020 Passat’s favor, and some things that don’t:
Volkswagen Brings The Old Passat To Detroit With A Fresh Face
The SUV and crossover boom has left sedans in a precarious position. Despite the dwindling sales and their half-dead state, automakers are bound to freshen up their sedan range in their final run before they are retired. Here is Volkswagen’s half-hearted attempt to refresh the Passat and give a quality product to the people who still yearn for a well-packaged, mid-sized sedan.
The 2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI may Debut at the Detroit Auto Show
Volkswagen recently unveiled the 2019 Jetta, and the itch to see the sportier version is getting worse day by day. Guess our prayers just got answered. Speaking to Autoblog, Volkswagen Brazil’s Head of Design, José Carlos Pavone, hinted that the Jetta GLI might be coming soon. And, by coming soon, he means the upcoming Detroit Motor Show in January.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta
The latest-generation Volkswagen Jetta was launched in 2010 and production for North America began the same year in Puebla, Mexico. Larger than its predecessor, the sixth-gen Jetta was relegated from the premium segment into the same market as the highly popular Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. In order to keep costs down, Volkswagen removed the leather seats option and the multi-link suspension from the American model. Come 2018, and the German firm launched brand-new model that aims to move the Jetta closer to the premium market again.
Unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show with the company’s recent corporate design, seen on the larger Passat and the Arteon sedans, the new Jetta is a significant departure from its predecessor in just about any department. Fresh and sleek on the outside, the four-door pack more technology than ever and Volkswagen claims that it’s loaded with premium features. It also rides on a new platform, switching to the flexible, all-popular MQB after two generations on PQ35 underpinnings. Let’s find out more about these changes in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Jetta.
Volkswagen Passat Gets GTI Treatment in Detroit, Sans the Big Horsepower
Remember the Passat GT concept that Volkswagen unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2016? It was actually a production sedan with exterior features borrowed from the Golf GTI. Well, it’s been a little more than two years and it made it into production as a limited-edition model. It was just unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show and it appears to be identical to the concept we first saw back in November 2016.
Here’s Why the Volkswagen Jetta Is a Big Mess Design-Wise
Volkswagen just unveiled a brand-new Jetta at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show and it’s a good example of how automakers should design interiors for compact cars. Brands that want to move upmarket should take notes. On the other hand, the sedan’s exterior design is a complete mess. For three reasons.
The Next-Gen Volkswagen Jetta is Loaded To The Brim With Tech Features
The sedan market in the U.S. is teetering on the ropes, struggling to keep its share of the automotive sales pie amidst the rush of crossovers and SUVs that have been selling like hot pancakes. Volkswagen isn’t immune to this shift in perception. Thankfully, it still has the Jetta to keep it relevant in this changing times. The compact sedan remains VW’s best-selling model, and the German automaker’s all-new Jetta has the makings of a model that can help stem the tide for #teamsedan.
New VW Jetta Bows in Detroit, Redefines Compact Segment with Premium Features
After nearly eight years on the market, the sixth-generation Volkswagen Jetta is going into the history books and a brand-new model was just unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. The compact sedan is larger and sportier than its predecessor, it has a more upscale interior, and it just gained a new platform.
Design-wise, the new Jetta is a significant departure from the outgoing model. And it even looks better than the current Passat. It has a new, bold front fascia with a larger grille, angular headlamps, and a sculpted bumper with big daytime running lights at the corners. The compact’s profile is surprisingly sporty, blending a coupe-like roof, short overhangs, and a protruding beltline. Around back, it looks an awful lot like the Audi A4 with long, slender headlamps, a trunklid spoiler, a big license plate recess and two large exhaust pipes integrated into the bumper. Full LED lights are standard front and rear, an exclusive feature in this segment.
2018 Volkswagen Passat GT
Launched all the way back in 1973, the Passat is one of Volkswagen’s most iconic models, up there with the Golf and the Beetle. But unlike the Golf, the midsize has yet to gain a higher performance GTI version. Even the tiny Polo got the infamous red stripe, but for some reason, VW kept the Passat away from this badge. It doesn’t really seem as this would change anytime soon, but Volkswagen just introduced something similar in the United States. Developed based on extensive feedback from U.S. customers and dealers, the Passat GT is pretty much a GTI model without the massive power and the chassis upgrades.
Visually, the GT is heavily based on the Golf GTI. Not only it sports the iconic red stripe on its front grille, but it also has a number of blacked-up out features that give it a more menacing look. The interior was upgraded too and received quite a few extra standard features. Things aren’t as spectacular under the hood, where we can find the same VR6 engine as in the regular range-topping model, but the Passat GT benefits from a retuned suspension for a sportier ride. Based on the R-Line version, the Passat GT is a limited-run model, but Volkswagen had nothing to say about production figures. Let’s find out more about it below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Passat GT.
2017 Volkswagen I.D. BUZZ
Caught red handed cheating on emissions tests, Volkswagen is still struggling to obtain settlements in the "Dieselgate" scandal. However, the German firm is also looking to create a more sustainable future for itself by embracing electrification. Having announced a plan to launch several EVs over the next few years, Volkswagen is unveiling an increasing number of concept cars that feature electric motors instead of standard gasoline or diesel mills. One such vehicle is the I.D. BUZZ, which made its official debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show as an electric, multi-purpose vehicle based on the I.D. Concept hatchback.
Described as a next-generation vehicle that "forges links between the origins of the Volkswagen brand and its electrifying future," the I.D. BUZZ is based on the company’s new Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform and pays homage to the original Volkswagen Type 2, commonly known as the Microbus in the U.S. According to Volkswagen, the "BUZZ" name is a phonetic word play on "bus" and refers to the silent buzzing of the electric drivetrain.
"The Volkswagen brand’s big electric offensive begins in the year 2020 with a completely new vehicle architecture. That is when we will be launching an entirely new generation of fully connected, all-electric vehicles to the market. By 2025 we want to be selling one million of these vehicles annually. We are making electric mobility the new trademark of Volkswagen," said dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management for the Volkswagen brand.
There’s no word whether the I.D. BUZZ will become a production model anytime soon, but given that the Frank Welsch, who’s in charge of development of future models, referred to it as a "next-generation vehicle," it’s safe to assume that the Microbus will return sooner or later, albeit in all-electric form.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen I.D. Concept Van.
2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
Volkswagen officially introduced the Tiguan’s second generation to the U.S. at the 2017 North American International Auto Show while also introducing the world to the Tiguan’s long-wheelbase version. Volkswagen calls it the Tiguan Allspace, but that name will only be used in the European market where VW already sells the second-generation Tiguan in its short wheelbase form. Here in the U.S. and in China, the long wheelbase crossover will simply be known as the Tiguan. The extra space will bring a third row with two seats, making this A-segment crossover a seven-seater.
The second-generation Tiguan’s entrance into the U.S. is certainly welcomed. The previous Tiguan soldered on since its introduction in 2007 with only a minor facelift and update in 2011. Volkswagen is making up for the stagnant crossover with a major leap in advancement for the 2018 model year. The new Tiguan rides on VW’s new MQB platform shared with the Audi Q3, Audi A3, and VW Golf, among others.
The new Tiguan also boasts a digital gauge cluster, a slew of optional engines (no diesels in the U.S., obviously), and of course, the added room and passenger capacity thanks to the longer wheelbase. Volkswagen says it Allspace version adds 4.4 inches (11 cm) of length to the wheelbase, while the overall length grows by 10.7 inches.
It would be a gross understatement to say the 2018 Tiguan is an important vehicle for Volkswagen in the U.S. Crossovers are extremely popular these days and Volkswagen is scrambling to bring offerings to market. The new three-row Tiguan will join the all-new 2018 VW Atlas, a larger three-row crossover competing against stalwarts like the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Ford Explorer. Volkswagen is undoubtedly hoping these new crossovers help erase Dieselgate woes from consumers’ minds, as well. Rumored plug-in hybrid models of these crossovers will surely help with that, too, though VW has yet to confirm such a powertrain.
There is plenty more to discuss about Volkswagen’s new Tiguan, so keep reading for all the info.
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Is Volkswagen Ever Bringing Back The Microbus?
The debut of the Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Concept represented two different things for the company. The first takeaway is that the German automaker is serious about pushing its way into the electric car and autonomous driving conversations. After all, the I.D. Buzz is the second model bearing the I.D. nomenclature, a nod to Volkswagen’s intention to break into these rapidly developing markets and move as quickly as possible past the Dieselgate scandal that rocked the entire auto industry. But we’re not here to talk about any of that. We’re here to ask an equally important question: is Volkswagen ever going to bring back the Microbus?
You might have noticed that the I.D. Buzz Concept was intentionally designed to look like the Microbus of yesteryear. It’s a smart strategy considering that the van remains an icon amongst icons in its segment. The Volkswagen Microbus, otherwise known as the T2, Kombi, and Transporter, is one of the rare cars that can still tug at the nostalgic heartstrings of bell bottom-wearing, peace sign-making baby boomers while also drawing interest from retro-loving hipsters.
But as much as there appears to still be a healthy market for a modern version of the Volkswagen Microbus, it is a little surprising that the German automaker hasn’t capitalized on that sentimentality. In fact, a quick trip down memory lane reveals that since 2001, Volkswagen has made five different concept vehicles that were all inspired, in one form or another, by the Microbus. The past few years alone has given us two of these five concepts, including the Budd-E Concept and the aforementioned I.D. Buzz Concept. As for the others, the 2001 Microbus Concept was a hit when it was unveiled, as was the Bulli Concept that was unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The closest Volkswagen actually get to bringing back the Microbus was when it introduced the T6 cargo van and used a similar two-color scheme that the Microbus made famous.
Other than that, a lot of us have been left high and dry by Volkswagen and at one point, the frustration and disappointment of getting teased with all these Microbus-inspired concepts will catch up to Volkswagen. One day, we’re not going to care about the Microbus anymore and if Volkswagen ever decides to bring it back then, I’m afraid that it’s going to be a little too late for that var to make an impression.
Hopefully, it doesn’t come down to that because the Microbus really is a quintessential Volkswagen. A modernized version of the van can still be offered in a number of different markets and have some success there. The only question is whether Volkswagen is even willing to see if it can turn that possibility into reality.
Continue reading for the full story.
2017 Volkswagen Atlas R-Line
Volkswagen’s largest SUV to date, the Atlas made its public debut in 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show and went into production for the 2018 model year. Rumored for many years, the Atlas was previewed by the CrossBlue concept all the way back in 2013. The SUV rides on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, which is shared with the slightly smaller Skoda Kodiaq. Although similar is size to the more upscale Audi Q7, the latter uses the newer MLB2 underpinnings. The three-row SUV was unveiled with two turbocharged engines and will be built at the company’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. The Atlas will be marketed as the Volkswagen Teramont in China when production in Shanghai will begin in 2017.
Although the Atlas has yet to hit dealerships as of January 2017, Volkswagen has already rolled out a new version. Dubbed R-Line, it’s similar to other vehicles wearing the same badge, sporting a trim package that adds unique features inside and out for a more distinct look among regular models. The R-Line is based on the SE and SEL trims and comes with no upgrades under the hood — which isn’t surprising given that this is the case for other nameplates too.
Updated 01/10/2017: We added a series of images taken during the car’s official debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Check them out in the "Pictures" tab.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Atlas R-Line.
US Gets Longer Volkswagen Tiguan with Third-Row Seating Option
Launched at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show and produced since 2016, the second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan isn’t exactly brand-new in Europe. However, the crossover has yet to cross the pond to the United States, where it will go on sale in the summer of 2017. The reason for the delay is that North America will also get a long-wheelbase version of the SUV. Also known as the Tiguan Allspace, it just made its public debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.
Based on the same MQB platform as the standard Tiguan, the longer version comes with a more spacious interior, a flexible seating arrangement and a few extra options. In Volkswagen’s words, the Allspace was engineered "specifically to meet the needs of American customers," which is a fancy way of saying that Volkswagen simply wanted a roomier competitor for the likes of Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5.
So what sets the LWB model apart from the standard Tiguan?
As you might have already guessed, it’s longer. At 185.2 inches long, the Allspace is no fewer than 10.7 inches longer than the regular version. The new dimensions also make it longer than the Toyota RAV4, which comes in at 179.9 inches. The wheelbase is also 4.4 inches longer than the SWB model and 5.2 inches longer than the RAV4. Quite impressive!
All those extra inches, which were added not only to the wheelbase, but to the rear overhang too, enables Volkswagen to add sliding second-row seats, with the option of a third row, eight passenger configuration. Those who don’t need third-row seats, will benefit enhanced legroom in the rear. The LWB model also comes with up to 57 percent more cargo capacity, but the company had nothing to say about how much cargo room is left with a third row. For reference, the standard model can take up to 21.8 cubic-feet with the rear seats up and up to 58.5 cubic-feet of cargo with the second row folded flat.
Design-wise, the Allspace is identical to the familiar Tiguan, save for the longer wheelbase, rear doors, and the slightly longer rear overhang. The D-pillars are also longer, while the quarter windows have been redesigned.
The crossover will come standard with front-wheel drive and Volkswagen’s 2.0-liter TSI gasoline engine rated at 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. 4Motion all-wheel drive will be available. Later on, the Tiguan will probably get more engines for the U.S. market. Pricing information is not yet available, but expect the Allspace to cost a bit more than the standard Tiguan sold outside the U.S.
Continue reading for the full story.
Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon to see concept SUVs that were essentially tougher and burlier versions of the domesticated production models. At first glance,the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept seems to follow that template, but this trail-ready ride is hiding a Toyota Prius-like soul.
Based on the second-generation Tiguan, Volkswagen’s latest show car is powered by a two-motor plug-in hybrid system. All-wheel drive is available in all of the hybrid powertrain’s modes, giving the Tiguan GTE Active Concept the ability to take you off the beaten path with minimal environmental impact. At the very least, a full-electric off-roader allows drivers to experience the sounds of nature! Beneath the surface, this concept is a thinly-disguised version of the next-generation Tiguan, which is due to arrive some time in 2017.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept.
Although it offered a high-performance GTI version of the Golf since the very beginning, it took Volkswagen nearly three decades to develop a more powerful version of its popular hatchback. It was 2003 when the Golf R32 arrived as the world’s first production car with a dual-clutch gearbox and every performance, safety, and luxury feature Volkswagen had to offer, as well as the brand-new, 3.2-liter, VR6 engine. The nameplate continued as the R32 for the fifth-gen Golf and was changed to Golf R with the Mk6 generation. An all-new Golf R debuted at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and then traveled to the U.S. for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. But despite being showcased on American soil only a few months after its European debut, the Golf R did not arrive in U.S. showrooms until early 2015, as a 2016 model.
That’s more than a year’s wait for customers, who probably managed to survive the 12 months by feeding on the R’s staggering performance numbers and aggressive appearance, and dreaming about the day they will be in control of the 292 ponies coming from the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-pot. With the Golf R Launch Edition already sold out as of January 2015, the seventh-gen hot hatch is finally ready to hit U.S. streets and take on similar offerings from Ford and Subaru.
Updated 01/27/2015: Volkswagen finally revealed a set of high-res images of the new Golf R, which apparently is a big hit in the U.S. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R.
Rumored for more than four years and teased since 2011 when the Cross Coupe Concept was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, Volkswagen’s upcoming seven-seat SUV is arguably one of the biggest conundrums of the modern automotive industry. And that’s because while the Germans have acknowledged the need for a seven-seat SUV next to the Touareg in the United States, the vehicle has yet to be built, with Volkswagen choosing to showcase no less than three concept cars instead. Sure, the Wolfsburg-based automaker must have a good reason for doing so, but this strategy is tiresome for car enthusiasts like me, even though I’m no SUV fan.
Fortunately enough, the Cross Coupe GTE, which was showcased at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, is very likely the last concept previewing the production car, meaning this frustrating process could come to an end sometime in 2016. Based on what the Cross Coupe GTE Concept had to showcase, Volkswagen is aiming high with the SUV, looking for a more upscale positioning in the segment through a vehicle that’s also powerful and fuel efficient.
Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE.
The 2015 automotive year is off to a great start thanks to the Detroit Auto Show. Hosting no less than 27 production debuts, Detroit showcased some of the most exciting vehicles to hit the market from 2015 through 2017. Ford stole the show with three brand-new performance cars, including the 2017 GT, the 2016 Shelby GT350R, and the 2017 F-150 Raptor, while Acura drew massive crowds to its stand with the 2016 NSX. The truck segment welcomed three more additions in the form of the 2016 Nissan Titan XD, the 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel, and the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, while Chevrolet brought an electric lineup consisting of the second-generation 2016 Volt and the 2015 Bolt EV Concept. However, the 2015 Detroit Auto Show wasn’t all about cheers and chants. The Cobo Center floor had its fair share of dullness, and that’s exactly what I’m going to talk about below.
Why? Well, first of all, let’s say that it wouldn’t be fair to highlight only the good stuff. Secondly, the vehicles I’m about to review below reveal new brand strategies as well as existing policies that may or may not be healthy for the manufacturers in question. Keep reading for the worst bits of the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and make sure you share your thoughts about our list in the comments box below.
Click past the jump to learn which cars we find the worst on show this year.
Volkswagen has been teasing us with an U.S.-built, seven-seat, midsize SUV for quite some time now, and it seems we’re still a long ways from seeing the actual production vehicle in the metal. At the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, the Germans confirmed the new SUV won’t go into production at the company’s plant in Chattanooga until late 2016. Additionally, Volkswagen previewed the vehicle with yet another concept car, this time around dubbed Cross Coupe GTE.
The third study in a line of concept cars previewing the much-anticipated seven-seat SUV since 2012, the Cross Coupe GTE follows in the footsteps of its predecessors by ways of a stylish exterior design complemented by sharp body lines and a sloping roof. Many of these exterior features will be transferred onto the production vehicle, but we expect a more practical rear end given this SUV will come with third-row seats.
Speaking of which, the Cross Coupe GTE also previews the SUV’s interior, which will include a 10.1-inch touchscreen with proximity sensors and gesture control — already showcased through the 2015 Golf R Touch at CES 2015 — a digital, 12.3-inch instrument cluster, brushed-aluminum inserts, bi-color Nappa leather surfaces, and tablet connectivity for the rear seats.
As its name suggests, the concept also confirms the seven-seat SUV will be offered with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The GTE moniker already made its debut on the Golf hatch and the Passat, but unlike its smaller siblings, which feature 1.4-liter four-bangers, the SUV boasts a 3.6-liter, V-6 engine rated at 276 horsepower and 258 pound-feet in addition to not one, but two electric motors. The unit spinning the rear wheels is identical to the Passat’s, and generates the same 114 horsepower and 199 pound-feet, while the motor attached to the front axle produces 54 ponies and 162 pound-feet. The total output adds up to 355 horses and 280 pound-feet, enabling the SUV to hit 60 mph from a standing start in only six seconds and reach a top speed of 130 mph.
Additionally, the Cross Coupe GTE comes with five drive modes, as opposed to the Passat’s four modes, including E-Mode, Hybrid, GTE, Off-road, and Battery Hold/Battery Charge. In addition, it features four different driving profiles that change its setup: On-road (with Comfort and Eco sub-modes), Off-road (with Rocks, Sludge & Sand and Gravel), Sport, and Snow. As far as efficiency goes, Volkswagen revealed the SUV can travel up to 20 miles on electricity and return 70 mpg-e.
Naturally, the upcoming seven-seat hauler will receive a range of gasoline-only drivetrains as well, but the Germans aren’t keen on divulging any specifics so early in the development process.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE Concept.