Recall Alert: 2012-2013 Volkswagen Passat

2013VolkswagenPassat

Vehicles Affected: About 150,201 model-year 2012-2013 Volkswagen Passat sedans manufactured between January 2011 and November 2012.

The Problem: The low beam headlight bulb may become loose and lose electrical contact; this may reduce the driver's visibility and increase the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Volkswagen will notify owners starting in May, and dealers will replace the bulb holder for free.

What Owners Should do: Owners can call Volkswagen at 800-822-8987, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or visit www.safercar.gov for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | April 9, 2014 | Comments (3)

Recall Alert: 2012-2013 Volkswagen Passat

2013VolkswagenPassat

Vehicles Affected: About 150,201 model-year 2012-2013 Volkswagen Passat sedans.

The Problem: When the hood is closed roughly, or dropped from a certain height, the resulting vibration or impact could cause a low-beam headlight bulb to lose electrical contact; failing illumination of the low-beam bulb may lead to reduced visibility. In its voluntary-recall announcement, Volkswagen noted that if the low beam loses electrical contact, a warning in the instrument cluster will immediately alert the driver. No crashes or injuries related to the problem have been reported, according to the automaker.

The Fix: Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will install an improved bulb fitting, and inspect and adjust the hood bumpers if necessary to prevent the hood from contacting the headlight assembly when dropped during closing; dealers will do the work for free. The automaker did not specify a timeline for notification.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can contact Volkswagen at 800-893-5298 for more info.

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By Matt Schmitz | March 18, 2014 | Comments (8)

Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion Concept at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show

VolkswagenPassatBlueMotion

Looks like: A blue Volkswagen Passat
Defining characteristics: Unique Reef Blue Metallic exterior color and BlueMotion badging; two-tone leather interior with BlueMotion-specific stitching
Ridiculous features: None; this is a production-ready car
Chances of being mass-produced: Pretty good

With this week's debut of the Volkswagen Passat BlueMotion concept at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the German automaker says it's out to illustrate just how fuel efficient a gas-only midsize sedan can be. The Passat BlueMotion sedan's turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder with direct injection employs a number of fuel-saving technologies to help the concept achieve an estimated fuel economy of 42 mpg highway, which in real-world mileage would be best in class among non-hybrid cars of its ilk.

More 2014 Detroit Auto Show News

The engine, which makes 150 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque, uses VW's Active Cylinder Management system previously employed in European Polo and Golf models. The system deactivates the valvetrain on cylinders two and three in light throttle situations to maintain specific city speeds. In addition, the Passat BlueMotion has a coasting function — also found on the Jetta Hybrid — in which the dual-clutch automatic transmission decouples the engine as soon as the driver releases the accelerator, allowing the car to roll with the lowest possible mechanical drag from the other moving components, according to VW. The third fuel-saving function used by the Passat BlueMotion is an engine stop-start feature.

By Matt Schmitz | January 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

VW Announces 2014 Passat Sport Pricing

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When we saw Volkswagen's Passat Performance concept at the last year's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it seemed conventional enough to reach mass production. This week, the German automaker announced just that: The 2014 Passat Sport is set to arrive at dealerships in early 2014, starting at $27,295, including an $820 destination charge.

Volkswagen Passat Performance Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show

Volkswagen positions the performance-focused midsize sedan in its lineup between the midlevel SE and range-topping SEL Premium trims. "The 2014 Volkswagen Passat Sport takes a number of design cues from the concept car to offer an athletic-leaning take on the award-winning sedan," the automaker stated.

By Matt Schmitz | January 8, 2014 | Comments (3)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

2014MercedesBenzCLA-Class

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class sedan returns to the top of the heap for its third week in a row, landing at No. 1 on our list of most-read reviews. The only other movement of note on this week’s list came courtesy of debuts from the 2013 Volkswagen Passat sedan and 2013 Fiat 500e electric car. They could only muster Nos. 8 and 10, respectively, but rest assured, the Passat did so without offending anyone with its tastefully un-showy style and the 500e with zero emissions. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
2. 2014 Subaru Forester

3. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
4. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
5. 2013 Toyota RAV4

6. 2014 Mazda3

7. 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

8. 2013 Volkswagen Passat

9. 2013 BMW 328i

10. 2013 Fiat 500e
By Matt Schmitz | October 20, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Volkswagen Passat Cars.com Review

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The 2013 Volkswagen Passat might not be the object of one's desire for a casual fling, but Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela says it's the one you'll want to settle down with. Redesigned for 2012 and updated for 2013, the Passat isn't the sort that gets collars steaming, but a dignified, less-showy kind you can take home to mom.

2013 Volkswagen Passat Review
By Matt Schmitz | October 16, 2013 | Comments (4)

Which Midsize Sedan Has the Best Resale Value?

"Which midsize sedan has the best resale value?"

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By Rick Popely | October 13, 2013 | Comments (0)

How Much Does Refilling the Volkswagen Passat TDI's Urea Cost?

"How much does refilling the Volkswagen Passat TDI's urea cost?"

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By Rick Popely | October 13, 2013 | Comments (6)

Volkswagen to Offer New Diesel Engine

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Come late 2014, the Volkswagen Golf, Beetle, Passat and Jetta will offer a new turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine that could get as high as 46 mpg highway in EPA figures. Final numbers are still pending, but Volkswagen announced that its new turbo-diesel four-cylinder — dubbed EA288 — will replace the existing turbo-diesel four-cylinder (shown above) in TDI versions of all four 2015 models.

Volkswagen notes that it has sold more than 47,000 diesel cars in the U.S. year to date, which represents more than three-fourths of all diesels sold here.

The engine has similarities to its predecessor — turbocharging and direct injection — and it should have the same 2.0-liter displacement, spokesman Mark Gillies told us. Beyond that, Volkswagen says it has a slew of new features, including better exhaust-gas treatment, numerous friction reductions and integration of the intercooler with the engine’s intake manifold. If that’s all Greek to you, VW says the end result should improve gas mileage and sharpen accelerator response. The new diesels also have slightly more oomph: 150 horsepower versus the outgoing TDI’s 140 hp. Torque remains the same, with a diesel-appropriate 236 pounds-feet.

By Kelsey Mays | August 6, 2013 | Comments (1)

What's the Most Affordable Midsize Sedan?

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The midsize sedan is one of the most popular segments in the U.S. It serves as a family car, commuter, road tripper and more.

Because of this popularity, automakers offer a dizzying amount of styles and options for their midsizers. This differing content makes it hard for car shoppers to compare apples to apples from one automaker to the next.

We analyzed the segment for the features most drivers would want in a car of this class and uncovered some surprising results.

By David Thomas | July 30, 2013 | Comments (12)

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