2012 Passat interior

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Posted on June 21, 2011, in 2012, 9w7, Diesel, First look, Navigation, Passat, TDI. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Thanks for that Jay. Very good overview, and you hit on exactly the points of most interest. Its good to see that unlike the Jetta, VW didn’t skimp too much on the quality of the visible plastics/interior components. They look from the video to be at about the same quality as the previous gen Passat even though we know they cut costs a lot in order to drop the base price by $7k. I think they went way too far in visible plastic quality cuts with the new Jetta (even if the sales figures so far are proving me wrong), but did it just right with the new Passat. Time will tell – I really hope VW succeeds with this strategy on the Passat side. As a consumer though I’m hoping that while VW succeeds in the long term with the Jetta strategy, they fail in the short term and are forced to reassess which areas they cut costs in.

    Something interesting on that note – have you had a close look at how Hyundai/Kia cuts costs? Instead of cheapening the plastics, they cut a lot of features out of the passenger side. So for example, while the driver’s seat in a Hyundai Genesis has all of the luxuries you could imagine, heated and cooled seats, 12 way power seats, seat memory, etc., the passenger seat only has seat heating, not cooling, 4 way power seats, manual lumbar, etc. So they were able to keep the overall quality of everything from the plastics to the features very high but still cut the cost of the vehicle down a lot by spending a lot less on the passenger. Since the great majority of the time driven in our cars is done driving alone (in the US), this strategy makes more sense to me than VW’s strategy…

  2. One more thought about this. I think one of the biggest comporomises that VW made with the Passat is to take out the 200hp/207lb ft (93 octane) 2.0l TSI engine as the base engine of the Passat, and replace it with the much unloved 5 cylinder 2.5 in the base model that is used in the Jetta and Golf as the lower or middle end engine.

    Given that the 2.5l engine is a bit coarse and not so great in the MPG side, I’m concerned that buyers who are cross shopping it against the 4 cyl engine versions of the Camry, Accord, Hyundai, Kia and Mazda 6 will be buyers who are very much interested in MPG. Will they sway towards the Passat despite that because of all of the inherent advantages that the Passat has over it’s competition (german engineering and drive, nicer looking interior – at least nicer than all but the Sonata and Optima in my view, etc.)? That’s a big gamble. I don’t know what an alternative answer is since the 2.0l FSI engine as a base is a non-starter given it’s requirement for premium fuel. But I wish VW had a good 4 cyl non turbo engine with decent power and torque numbers that they could use instead of the tired old 5 cyl 2.5 that’s just too old and outdated in almost every respect.

    On the higher end offering I’m also disappointed with VW’s choice for the Passat. To compete with the higher end Camry, Accord, etc., they’re introducing essentially the CC’s V6 as the Passat’s higher end engine. This would seem to me to be yesterday’s strategy.

    I think that in this day and age, Hyundai/Kia’s upper end offering is the way to go. They have a turbo charged 4 cylinder with much better fuel economy but the same power/torque as their competitor’s V6 engines. The Accord and Camry’s V6 approach is starting to appear dated and unnecessarily high on the MPG side, not to mention that the V6 engines are heavier and change the dynamics of the vehicle whereas Hyundai/Kia can take advantage of the fact that their lower end offering and their higher end offering both have a light 4 cylinder engine with about the same weight distribution, and can taylor the rest of the car’s dynamics with that in mind.

    It’s disappointing then that VW didn’t use their ubiquitous and phenomenal 2.0t engine in a higher turbo boost mode (such as what they do with the Audi TTS or other higher end applications of the 2.0t engine – capable of a lot more than 210HP and 207 lb/ft of torque – we all know that much), instead. Yes, this would have meant requiring premium gas. But the other benefits of a 4 cyl engine I think would far outweigh that one negative. Also, one has to wonder how Hyundai/Kia have managed to put out a very good turbo charged 4 cylinder that doesn’t require premium gas….

    With the new Passat then, VW is competing against the old class leaders – Toyota and Honda, and ignoring the new class leaders, Hyundai and Kia. I hope that this works for them.

  3. One of the things I found frustrating when I got my 2009 TDI Jetta, was the cruise controls. It’s taken me a long time to get used to it. I find the cancel switch to be hard to use and easy to slip into the off position. This is something that VW should change, maybe something on the steering wheel. I do like the cruise light telling me if it’s engaged (upon set or resume) or not (most other car leave the light on when the cruise is on).

    Another annoying thing is the windshield wipes, The passenger side wiper travels the the middle of the driver’s view and leave a streak.

  4. Jay, I have a question about the ambient lighting. The Passat brochure says that ambient lighting front and rear only appears in SEL trim. That isn’t the same as the two red LEDs that shine down from the center console is it? I believe I read on VW.com that the ambient lighting was footwell lighting. Can you give us a better explaination of what it actually is, and would the two red LEDs only come on SEL trim?

  5. Sorry…VW went for the “fat” and “cheap” cross shopping demographic, plain and simple!

    The Passat and Passat CC from Europe would have been prefect with some customer education. Volume sales with cheap crap is just that…cheap crap that will need to be replaced in 5 years! Oh, wait…that’s VWAG target for being the world leader in sales and this ties right in to that strategy (i.e. sale on cheap one, and another in five years and so one). How is that eco-friendly? How about a Passat 4-Motion TDI from Europe that will last 10 years? Or a US CC 2T 4-Motion or a dressed 2T for crying out loud? It’s 40K without leather Dynaudio, bi-xeons, rear window blind, etc.! I would write a check for a European dressed CC TDI 4Motion (live above 8,000 feet).

    As an aside, where the bell is the option to order a VW California 4Motion?

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