Volkswagen Passat - Driven
Sometimes, a car needs a full redesign to address a fundamental flaw. Perhaps it’s too small, or too big. Maybe its styling is stale or unappealing. Or perhaps its platform can’t support modern needs.
The 2020 Passat has revised interior and exterior styling, more standard features, and an updated engine. That’s a cheaper set of changes than a full redesign, and Volkswagen is passing those savings on to the customer. Is that enough to excuse the Passat’s old bones? Or are you better off opting for a fresher competitor? Here’s what we learned from our time behind the wheel.
Watch a 2019 Volkswagen Passat Fail Miserably During Chinese Crash Testing
If you’re from China and you’re in the market for a new four-door sedan, you might want to steer clear of the Volkswagen Passat. The German sedan of Chinese roots was recently subjected to a safety test by China’s C-IASI (that’s the country’s equivalent of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), and to the surprise of many, the Passat recorded one of the worst performances of any car in the crash test.
A video of the C-IASI’s crashworthiness assessment shows the Passat undergoing several crash tests that end in a similar fashion: the sedan gets beaten up pretty badly. The Chinese Passat’s poor performance in the crash tests has bought into question the quality of the model relative to Passat models that aren’t built in China, including Passat models that have received good safety ratings in American crash tests. Is this a case of one Passat being much safer than the other?
This Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake Is The Definition of Gorgeous
The U.S. market is bereft of wagons. In the last few years, most automakers pulled their wagons due to the falling demand. There aren’t a lot of options right now and even though there seems to be a positive response to wagons lately, automakers are still hesitant about getting them back. The latest example of this is the Volkswagen Arteon. The company recently refreshed the model and introduced a Shooting Brake version, but it won’t be reaching the U.S. shores.
To give you an idea of how of what we’re missing, here is a couple of renderings from X-Tomi Design that show how hot a two-door Arteon Shooting Brake would look.
2021 Volkswagen Arteon
At a time when the whole world is moving from sedans to crossovers and SUVs – much to the dismay of the car lovers – the Volkswagen Arteon comes as a knight in shining armor. The Arteon was launched as a successor of the Volkswagen Passat CC just three years back, and now VW has given it a mid-cycle refresh with a few tweaks on the outside and many changes on the inside. The German automaker is unearthing the R-Line variant, adding a plug-in trim, and also introducing a shooting brake body style.
A New Leak Exposes the Volkswagen ID.4 and Its Various Wheel Options
Thanks to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, we now know what the production-version Volkswagen ID.4 will look like. The crystal-clear images of the ID.4 were leaked by the department and show the exterior of the EV from all the angles.
The images were picked up by VWIDTalk.com and also show the different wheel designs on offer. The all-electric SUV is due for launch later this year, but this is a nice surprise. Will this lead to Volkswagen launching the ID.4 any sooner?
A Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake? Europe Has All the Awesome Cars
Volkswagen is looking to freshen up the Arteon - which it calls a Gran Turismo now - and with it, we’ll be getting the so-called Arteon Shooting Brake.
What’s more, in the carmaker’s own words, the incoming Arteon update is "major", so let’s see what that could mean, because there’s not much given away in the press blurb.
2021 Volkswagen Arteon R
The Volkswagen Arteon came to our attention back in 2017, during its unveil at the Geneva Motor Show. Three years into the fastback-shaped sedan’s career, Volkswagen is planning to give the Arteon a well-deserved nip and tuck which would keep customer interest fresh and address the areas that needed further improvements.
With the refreshed Arteon, however, we’re expecting Volkswagen to introduce a spicier, more performance oriented version under its notorious R badge. Our suspicions are backed up by a recent set of spy shots that show a virtually undisguised test mule that wears a lot of R-specific features. Allow us to detail, then.
Update 4/29/2020: The Volkswagen Arteon R was spotted once again, this time sporting a look that represents the upcoming facelift and what we can expect from the new Arteon R. Check it out in our special Spy Shots section below!
2020 Volkswagen Touareg R
The 2020 Volkswagen Touareg R is a high-performance version of the familiar midsize SUV. Unveiled in February 2020, ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, the 2020 Touareg R is the first of its kind to boast an "R" badge. It’s also the first R model with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain and the first range-topping variant of any Volkswagen nameplate to feature electrification.
The 2020 Touareg R also makes the Touareg the third VW nameplate to offer a hybrid model after the Golf and the Passat. Because Volkswagen no longer offers the Touareg in the United States, where it has been replaced by the Atlas, the Touareg R won’t cross the pond to North America. Let’s find out more about this SUV in the review below.
Volkswagen Won’t Build the Atlas-Based Tanoak Pickup Because It Knows It Can’t Compete With the Americans
Volkswagen showed up to the 2019 New York Auto Show with the Tanoak Pickup concept. Based on the Volkswagen Atlas, the Tanoak concept was fairly well received. So well, in fact, that Volkswagen was even considering bringing it to market. Things were looking so well for the Tanoak, that we even made a rendering of it based on the Atlas at the time. Despite the well reception, though, there was a major question that had to be addressed: Does the market really need another midsized, unibody pickup truck? Can a company that’s hardly touched the pickup segment globally really step in the ring and throw down with brands like Ford, Chevy, or Toyota? As it turns out, the answer is no. Volkswagen knows it, and that’s why the Tanoak will never move beyond the concept stage. Well, at least not in its current form….
2021 Volkswagen SMV
The 2021 Volkswagen SMV is a brand-new SUV that the German firm will unleash on the Chinese market sometime in 2020. Based on a concept vehicle unveiled at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show, the SMV is slightly bigger than the Atlas, currently the company’s longest SUV.
Specifically, at 201 inches long the SMV is almost three inches longer than the Atlas, sold as the Teramont in China. The production model doesn’t have an official name yet, but it was spotted testing in cold weather in Sweden. But don’t get your hopes up, although Volkswagen is testing it in Europe, the SMV will be a China-only vehicle. Let’s find out more about it in the speculative review below.
2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI35
The new 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is just right. Presented at the 2019 Chicago Motor Show, the new hot Volkswagen compact sedan gained the much-needed overhaul with a fine upgrade that came from none other than the parts bins of the Golf GTI and the Golf R. It is a thoroughly improved car, with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, gasoline engine, a fresh new look, and a far more advanced suspension compared to the lesser units. Let me just say it - rear multi-link. It has it.
With the new model introduced in Chicago, Volkswagen USA officials actually noted that the new car will come with two trim levels, while the limited edition GLI 35 serves as sort of a high-end model of the GLI world.
Now, we’ve already learned a lot about the new Volkswagen Jetta GLI, but what about the Volkswagen Jetta GLI35?
Is There Be Room in the VW Range for an Even Hotter 2020 Volkswagen Jetta R?
Volkswagen has launched a new 2020 Jetta GLI that borrows a lot of Golf GTI visual cues, as well as its powertrain and more advanced suspension. But the new GLI is only so extreme and, in fact, in China and other markets, you can actually get an even more powerful version of it that isn’t branded as anything special. The GLI is only the most powerful Jetta you can buy in North America.
2020 VW Jetta GLI vs 2019 Honda Civic Si Sedan
Volkswagen has finally given its Jetta sedan for North America the power, exclusivity, and extra sporting edge that some enthusiasts felt were missing from the package. The new 2020 Jetta GLI has addressed all those concerns and is now a model with enough brawn and sophistication to go head to head with all the sporty sedans in its size and price brackets. If you’re into fast driving, then you will be happy to note the new Jetta GLI gets the exact same engine as the (Golf) GTI, a standard limited-slip differential, and a snappy six-speed stick shift.
One of the new Jetta GLI’s main rivals is the2019 Honda Civic Si sedan, a very hard contender indeed. The Civic Si has a smaller displacement engine than the Jetta GLI, and has less power, but it is also quite a light car, one renowned for its excellent handling and road manners. It also looks somewhat sportier than the Jetta too, especially if you see its trunk lid-mounted wing, the center exhaust, and the aggressive overall design and stance.
If this were purely a visual comparison to discover which car looked more aggressive, that distinction would automatically go to the Civic Si. But it’s not all about the visuals, especially since the Jetta is more powerful than the Civic and it also has a more sophisticated independent rear suspension that VW doesn’t offer on any other Jetta model.
2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI
The 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is the latest performance-oriented version of the compact sedan. It’s based on the seventh-generation Jetta what was unveiled for the 2019 model year, and just like its predecessor, it rides on underpinnings borrowed from the Volkswagen Golf GTI. More aggressive than ever design-wise, the 2020 Jetta GLI is also the most powerful GLI ever built. Powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, it comes with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. For the first time ever, the Jetta GLI comes close to the Subaru WRX, although it still doesn’t have an all-wheel-drive system. Find out more about the new Jetta GLI in the review below.
Volkswagen gives 2019 Passat for Europe its midlife nip and tuck
Volkswagen has updated the current Euro market Passat and as with all new products from the German giant, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. But it is certainly different if you look at details like the Arteon-infused styling refresh as well as the long list of new tech features added along with the facelift.
5 Reasons the 2020 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Needs a GTI Badge ASAP
The Jetta GLI returned to the market at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show, and needless to say, it’s cooler than it has ever been. Although the previous model was nothing to sneeze at, the seventh-gen GLI is a proper four-door GTI. The only thing that bugs is that Volkswagen didn’t drop the "GLI" badge for a proper Jetta GTI name. And here’s why I think it should have.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta GLI emerges with extra power, clever suspension
Volkswagen finally took the wraps off the seventh-generation Volkswagen Jetta GLI, eight years after the previous Jetta GLI also debuted at the Chicago Auto Show. The 2019 model comes with the same 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque engine as the Golf GTI Rabbit Edition plus upgraded suspension and a six-speed manual as the standard gearbox.
The Jetta A7-based GLI wasn’t really Volkswagen’s best-kept secret. We knew since last summer that it would get the engine from the Golf GTI hot hatch and, judging by the sneak preview Volkswagen offered us a couple of days ago, it was clear that the German automaker wasn’t about to unleash a bonkers-looking sedan. Then again, Germans aren’t the ones you should expect surprises from, but that doesn’t mean the Jetta GLI is boring, at least not by looking at all this package has to offer.
Volkswagen Gives Us a Sneak Peak At the New Jetta GLI Ahead of its Chicago Auto Show Debut
Volkswagen has finally dropped the long-awaited teaser for the new Jetta GLI ahead of its debut at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show later this week. The model has been in the headlines since November 2017 when the first batch of spy shots of the sedan surfaced on the Internet. Since then, it’s become a game of “when will we see it?” as spy shot after spy shot began providing a clear picture of what we can expect out of the punch Jetta. It looks like Chicago is where the drop’s going to happen, and judging by the teaser gif that Volkswagen USA released in its Twitter account, we can at least expect the Jetta GLI to carry “the body of a sedan,” and the “heart of a GTI.” With the current-generation Jetta still fresh in a lot of people’s minds — it was launched in 2017 — it’s about time the hotter version arrives to kick off 2019.
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.
Watch Someone Put the 2019 Volkswagen Touareg R-Line Diesel to the Test
The third-generation Volkswagen Touareg is bigger than ever, but that doesn’t stop it from moving quite swiftly down the highway. With a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel under the hood, the lighter Touraeg reaches 62 mph in under eight seconds so expect a lot more from the beefy V-8 that’s just around the corner. What you won’t see, though, is the Touareg return to U.S. shores.
The new-for-2019 Touareg was unveiled this past March in Beijing, China. It’s both bigger and lighter than ever and, while retaining its mid-size position, it aims to be more luxurious than the previous two generations as Volkswagen’s flagship model. Currently, only an array of V-6 diesel engines are available, but these units seem to keep up alright on the German Autobahn as seen in the POV video below.