Year-End Deal Reality Check: Volkswagen

2012 volkwagen passat
So, Santa isn't bringing you a new car for the holidays, and the wife's Christmas present probably has nothing to do with a giant bow in your garage. Maybe it's time to be your own Santa. The end of the year really is one of the best times to buy or lease a new car. We'll be highlighting some of the best deals before the clock hits midnight Dec. 31.

Volkswagen's incentives program revolves around the number zero.

Its 0/0/0/0 deal means qualified lessees can drive home select 2012 Volkswagens for no money down, no money due at signing, no security deposit and the first month's payment is also waived. The deal excludes applicable title, tax, options and dealer fees, however.

All gas-powered 2012 models qualify including the new Passat and Beetle; TDI clean-diesel vehicles are excluded from the offer. One lease example is a 2012 Jetta S with a manual transmission for $219 a month for 36 months.

While the nationwide offer ends Jan. 3, expect dealers to make their best deals before the new year.

By Jennifer Geiger | December 23, 2011 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2009 Volkswagen Passat


Volkswagen has issued a recall for 130 Passats, including the Passat CC and Passat Wagon. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a damaged capacitor could lead to a malfunctioning gearbox, a defect that would occur right after the vehicle is started and when the steering wheel is first moved at a speed under 5 mph.

This will cause vibrations in the steering wheel, or the steering system could shut down altogether, which could cause an accident. Dealers will replace the steering gear in any affected vehicle beginning Dec. 5.

Owners can contact Volkswagen at 800-822-8987 or the NHTSA vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236.

By Stephen Markley | November 11, 2008 | Comments (7)

Recall Alert: VW's New 2009 Tiguan, 2008 Passat Wagons


Volkswagen has had reliability issues in the past, which is why when a new model hits dealerships it should probably be free of defects early on, or potential buyers may look for the nearest Honda dealership. That seems to be the immediate reality surrounding VW’s new Tiguan compact SUV. Yesterday, VW issued a recall of the Engine Control Module, which could cause an engine surge when the A/C is on. The same problem applies to 2008 Passat wagons.

VW says there is no problem as long as the A/C isn’t on. Owners driving around in the middle of summer may disagree. VW is acting appropriately and is inspecting and replacing damaged units. Owners are urged to bring them into a dealer immediately. To make up for the inconvenience, VW is throwing in a complimentary car wash and fill-up of gas if owners schedule their inspection by Aug. 30.

There is also a hold on Tiguan and Passat sales until all the modules are inspected. The all-new SUV is just reaching dealers now, and you can find them in’s new-car inventory. VW says only 4,000 models are either on the lots or on the road. Shoppers should still be able to purchase a new Tiguan or Passat from a dealer that has inspected the part, just make sure to ask first.

It sounds like the company really wants to make the problem go away quickly so it won’t stain the Tiguan’s release.

Volkswagen recalling 2008 Passat and 2009 Tiguan (MotorTrend)

By David Thomas | June 12, 2008 | Comments (13)

Recall Alert: 1999-2005 VW Passat


Volkswagen is voluntarily recalling Passat sedans and wagons from the 1999-2005 model years due to three problems. All told, 410,000 cars are affected.

All models with gasoline engines and automatic transmissions will have their heat shields inspected because they’re subject to incurring damage, leading to damage to the exhaust system.

In a separate issue, models equipped with the 1.8-liter engine will have their fuel line inspected – and replaced if necessary – because of potential damage. The third problem involves models equipped with 4Motion all-wheel drive. Those vehicles will have their fuel tank ventilation valves inspected for potential damage. 

Owners can go to their local VW dealer as of today if they notice the smell of fuel, but official notices won’t be sent out until May 30. The company says no accidents of injuries have been reported.

By David Thomas | April 7, 2008 | Comments (3)

Hyundai, VW Look To Move Upmarket With New Models


Would you pay $40,000 for a sedan from Volkswagen — or from Hyundai? Both automakers are betting that at least some consumers will part with Lexus- or BMW-type money for their latest creations. Aside from each having four doors, the cars are seemingly disparate: The Volkswagen Passat CC is a four-seater with coupe-like styling, while the Hyundai Genesis is a bigger, full-blown luxury sedan. For their respective brands, though, each car represents a gamble by going upmarket.

At Volkswagen’s straight-laced confines in Detroit’s Cobo Center, head spokesman Steve Keyes seemed upbeat about the Passat CC’s chances. It won’t be another Phaeton, he assured us, referring to a $65,000-plus juggernaut Volkswagen unleashed earlier this decade that was a resounding sales failure.

“This maybe should have been the car we had before the Phaeton,” Keyes said, adding that the Passat CC will start “in the mid- to high 20s.” The two examples at Volkswagen’s display were loaded to the gills with massive sunroofs and button-strewn dashboards, while press materials detailed high-tech features like lane-departure prevention systems, dynamically adjustable suspensions and even a self-parking feature. Keyes said the cost of a fully loaded Passat CC hasn’t yet been determined, but it will likely be much more than the regular Passat, which tops out around $40,000.

Volkswagen does sell one model in this price range — the Touareg — but it’s an SUV, not a premium sedan. This is definitely new territory for VW, Keyes said.

By Kelsey Mays | January 23, 2008 | Comments (12)

2008 Detroit Auto Show Video: 2009 VW Passat CC

2009 VW Passat CC Video

One of the stranger introductions in Detroit was the Volkswagen Passat CC. It was strange not for its looks — it was quite attractive — but for the fact that it’s so similar to the regular Passat sedan we’re not sure how the company can sell the two on the same lot. That conundrum didn’t stop’s Kelsey Mays from checking out the upscale CC in the video here.

By David Thomas | January 17, 2008 | Comments (0)

2009 Passat CC Will Park Itself


The four-door coupe body style isn't the only new aspect of the just-debuted Passat CC. The VW will feature a park assist system — as part of an option package — that will steer the car into a parking spot using cameras, sensors and software much like the new Lexus LS.

Drivers will control the braking and acceleration during the maneuver, but the car will turn the steering wheel to fit into a tough spot.

Pricing hasn't been finalized for the CC, but we know it will start in the mid- to high-$20,000 range and could easily top $40,000 when well-equipped with features like park assist. That's still roughly $20,000 less than the Lexus LS460 that parks itself. We wonder how long it'll take for this technology to get to a $20,000 car.

More info and photos of the 2009 Volkswagen Passat CC

By David Thomas | January 15, 2008 | Comments (10)

2008 Detroit Auto Show: 2009 Volkswagen Passat CC


  • Competes with: Infiniti G35, Lexus GS, Audi A6, BMW 5 Series
  • Looks like: A sportier Passat
  • Drivetrain: 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder with six-speed manual or automatic, or 295-hp, 3.6-liter six-cylinder with six-speed automatic
  • Hits dealerships: Fall/winter 2008

Volkswagen tried to compete with luxury automakers when it debuted the ill-received Phaeton a few years ago. This year, the company is at it again with the Passat CC. Volkswagen is calling the four-door a coupe, and it has a sloping roofline much like that of the Mercedes CLS. The CC is about 1.5 inches longer than a regular Passat and just slightly wider.

We’re not sure where VW is going with the Passat CC. The company says the driving dynamics will offer a more sporting ride, but there isn’t much talk in the voluminous press kit about much that’s been done to the car to make it perform better than a standard Passat. Engine choices are the same as the regular sedan, with the six-cylinder gaining roughly 15 hp. The minimally wider stance won’t help handling that dramatically, nor will the more aerodynamic shape.

There are a lot more technological gadgets added to the CC, though, including an adjustable suspension system called Dynamic Drive Control, which will probably be an option in the U.S. We usually find systems like this neither dynamic nor interesting in real-world driving.

A Lane Assist program sounds similar to Infiniti’s setup, correcting the Passat CC if it strays into a lane it shouldn’t. All-wheel drive will also be available.

Update: VW says pricing will start in the mid-$20,000 range up to around $40,000.

By David Thomas | January 13, 2008 | Comments (6)

Volkswagen Recalls 2006 - 2007 Passats


VW is recalling approximately 62,000 2006 and 2007 model year Passat sedans and wagons because of two different faults.

2006 Passats may have a faulty wiper blade that can fail in excessive rain, exactly when it would be most needed.

2006 and 2007 Passats equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo engine may have faulty brake lines that can fracture and disconnect in cold temperatures. In affected vehicles, this would result in a driver having to push harder on the brakes, while the car would also need a larger braking area before it comes to a stop.

Letters will be sent to owners in January with instructions to contact a local dealer for inspection and repairs. 


By David Thomas | December 8, 2006 | Comments (5)

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