Friday, November 9, 2012

2012 VW Passat: Motor Trend Best Seller

1ST PLACE: Volkswagen Passat SE
All the essentials, and much more
More than 12 months after being chosen as our 2012 Car of the Year, the Passat continues to impress. No whiz-bang here. This a classically styled, sagely engineered four-door that focuses on bona-fide family sedan requirements while delivering a notably superior driving experience.
You want room? The VeeDub delivers, with a leviathan back seat, a massive trunk, and plenty of breadth for shoulders. "Four dudes on a road trip?" Martinez asks. "No problem. The Passat can handle them and all their stuff." Writes Febbo: "Very few cars of any size have this much space. Really does feel like an affordable Phaeton."
The interior design is clean and purposeful, almost to the point of being austere. "Functional to a fault," according to Evans. The rest of us disagree. Febbo again: "Textbook German functionality. You wouldn't call this cutting-edge, but the interior decor will still look good in 10 years, while several of these other cars will look dated." We love the fat three-spoke steering wheel. The big gauges. The super-intuitive central display screen. The outstanding seats. The hard stuff this VW gets so right.
The powertrain -- a 2.5-liter inline five mated to a six-speed auto -- delivers the group's slowest acceleration and good but not outstanding observed fuel economy (25.5 mpg). But, as usual, the numbers simply don't tell the whole story. Seabaugh: "Engine revs smoothly and the transmission is geared well." Martinez: "Throw the transmission into Sport and you're plenty pleased with the quicker shifts and touchier throttle." The Passat may not be fast, but it feels happy doing its work, and that's a much more important ingredient in the driving experience.
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Interior
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Intrument Gauges
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Audio Controls
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Grille
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Headlamp
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Side Mirror
Handling is actually rewarding -- far better than what you might expect from a car in this class. Martinez: "Steering feel is heavier than the rest, but that's to be appreciated. As is the slightly stiffer ride. Both add to the 'tossability' and athleticism of this sedan. Doesn't feel as big as it is -- that always amazes me. An enthusiast with a family will love this car." Adds Kong: "A joy to drive in the city, on the highway, on winding roads. Damping is ideal for just about any situation."
The Passat also exudes refinement. "Still can't believe how quiet it is compared with other cars," says Febbo. "VW has come a long way on NVH." As testament to the Passat's build quality, Volkswagen supplied us with an example showing 14,000 miles on its odo -- in test-car years, that's more like triple that many miles. Yet the Passat was solid and tight.
Base sticker for the nicely trimmed Passat SE model is just $24,495. For that you get gobs of family-sedan goodness, tangible driving pleasure, and a number-one best-seller.
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Front Three Quarter In Motion 2
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Front Three Quarters In Motion
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Front Three Quarters Static
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Side Static 2
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Engine
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Side
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Gear Knob
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Center Stack
2012 Volkswagen Passat SE Driver Seat

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Car Care Tips: AC, Car Battery and More

65. Run your AC in winter
To keep your car’s air-conditioning system fit for the next warm season, run it a few times throughout the winter. This will prevent moving parts in the compressor from seizing. Also, circulating the refrigerant will help keep the seals soft and pliant.
66. Maintain your car’s battery
Maybe the manufacturer says your battery is maintenancefree, but don’t you believe it! Check your battery regularly to extend its life and avoid the hassle of being stranded with a dead battery.
  • Begin with the simple: keeping your battery clean. A dirty case can actually cause current to drain. Wipe with a damp rag. Use a mild detergent if necessary.
  • Next, clean the battery posts or terminals. Loosen and remove the negative cable (black or minus sign) first, then the red positive cable. Use a brass wire battery brush dipped in a paste made from a few tablespoons of baking soda and a little water.
  • Inspect the battery case for damage, such as cracks or bulges — signs that a battery needs to be replaced.
  • Reinstall the cables, positive first, and coat the terminals and clamps with a thin coating of grease to prevent new corrosion.
67. Some batteries need water
If your battery has vent caps, remove them to check the level of the electrolyte. It should rise 1/2 inch (13 mm) above the battery’s top plates. If it doesn’t, use distilled water to raise the level to 1/4 or 3/8 inch (6 or 10 mm) below the bottom of the vent cap. Don’t use tap water, as it may contain minerals that can damage your battery. Mechanics should check your battery as a part of your regularly scheduled maintenance, but they often skip the procedure. Be sure to ask to have it done.
68. Be kind to your battery
If you inadvertently leave your lights on and drain your battery, take the following precautions to prevent damage to the battery and the starter when jump-starting your car:
  • Don’t risk causing the battery to explode. With both cars off, connect a positive cable end to the positive battery terminal of the dead battery.
  • Connect the other positive cable end to the positive terminal of the source battery.
  • Connect a negative cable end to the negative terminal of the source battery.
  • Attach the remaining negative cable to unpainted metal on the car engine (as far from the dead battery as possible).
  • Wait a few minutes and try to start the disabled car. If it doesn’t start, start the source car and then try starting the dead one again.
  • When the car starts, be careful to disconnect the cables in the reverse order.
  • If the car still doesn’t start, don’t keep trying to charge it or you are liable to damage the starter. Bring the battery to an automotive shop to see if it can be recharged.
  • Even if you’re successful, ensure a full recharge by hooking up the battery to a charger overnight or by driving the car for 5 or 10 miles (8 to 16 km).
69. Seal a leaky radiator
Save the high expense of a new radiator by trying to seal a leak with a radiator sealer, such as Alumaseal from Gold Eagle Co. Available in powder or liquid form, the product circulates in the radiator until it gets to the hole, where it sets up and fills the hole upon contact with the air. Alumaseal may be used to stop heater core leaks as well.
70. Dilute your coolant
Your cooling system needs both coolant-antifreeze and water, so don’t pour undiluted coolant into your cooling system. Dilute it with water to the commonly recommended 50-50 ratio. Similarly, don’t use straight water in your system either.The coolant protects against corrosion and freezing.The water ensures good heat transfer from the coolant to the radiator.
71. Keep your cool
Check the coolant-antifreeze level weekly that shows on the translucent coolant-antifreeze overflow tank. If low, fill to the maximum fill mark on the tank with a 50-50 solution of coolant-antifreeze and water. Some coolant manufacturers now sell premixed coolant and water for the motorist who wants a quick and easy way to top off.
72. Don’t forget to flush
Coolant-antifreeze eventually degrades and becomes contaminated. Flush it from your cooling system as recommended in your manual (typically every two years; every five years for newer coolants). Failing to do so can damage your radiator, clog your heater core, and cause the thermostat and water pump to fail.
73. Don’t mix coolants
Avoid mixing coolants that are different in color. If your coolant is pink, don’t add a green formulation to it. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a thick solution that won’t do its job. Use only the coolant specified in your owner’s manual.
74. Check power-steering fluid
Check the power-steering fluid once a month with the car warmed up. If the level is low, have the hoses and pump inspected for leaks. In addition to making your car difficult to steer, low power-steering fluid will damage the power-steering pump. Be sure to use the powersteering fluid recommended for you car.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Is your Volkswagen ready for cooler weather?

How are your tires and brakes? Is your battery strong enough for months of cold weather? When was the last time you had your cooling system checked?
The best way to find out is to bring your car to your Authorized Volkswagen Dealer for a pre-winter MULTI-POINT INSPECTION AT NO CHARGE! Our VW-Certified Technicians will check your VW from bumper to bumper and make sure you are ready for fall and winter driving.
Our experts will visually inspect and report on:
  • Battery cables and connections
  • Antifreeze: flushed and refilled every two years
  • Exhaust system
  • Heater and defrost systems
  • Tire tread depth and tire pressure
  • Brake pads and rotors
  • Wiper blades
  • And a lot more

Friday, October 19, 2012

Volkswagen confirms 7-seater and baby crossover coming

We've been hearing rumors and reports about a seven-passenger crossover or SUV from Volkswagen, dating back to 2008. Now it seems like the German automaker could be closer than ever to offering such a vehicle. This new utility vehicle has now been mentioned twice by two different VW representatives since the Paris Motor Show wrapped up; first by CEO Martin Winterkorn in the Automotive News and now by Peter Thul, head of brand and product communications for VW AG, in Bloomberg.

Both recent interviews indicate that this new model will be bigger than the Tiguan, and Thul's comments confirmed that it would be a three-row, seven-passenger model. Even more detail: Thul said the new model would be aimed solely at the American market as more of a minivan replacement than an off-roader, so it is likely this is going to be an entirely new model rather than a stretched version of the Touareg. The Straightline Blog indicates this crossover could be based off the US-spec Passat which matches up with Winterkorn's earlier comments mentioning the possibility that this new vehicle is the best candidate to be built at the Chattanooga assembly plant.

Another upcoming model that likely won't be headed to the US is a subcompact crossover that will be positioned below the compact Tiguan. We expect to learn more about these new crossovers over the next year, but both should really help VW attain its goal of topping General Motors and Toyota to become the number one automaker around the globe by 2018.

Monday, October 15, 2012

VW planning new ultra-low-cost model to take on Dacia, Datsun

When it was confirmed earlier this year that Nissan wiil resurrect the Datsun brand for emerging markets, the numbers provided the reason. Nissan sold 60,000 vehicles in Indonesia alone last year, and CEO Carlos Ghosn wants to increase that figure to 250,000 units by 2014. Even then, that would mark just a fraction of that market's exploding growth. Renault-Nissan also has its successful Dacia brand in emerging markets as well as Europe.

Volkswagen is paying attention. A spokesman for the automaker told Der Spiegel that an inexpensive line of cars has intrigued VW "for quite some time." The German brand sniffed around Proton for years and tried to get into low-cost models with Suzuki, but the Suzuki affair has probably seen more money spent on legal bills and arbitration than an actual product. According to Der Spiegel VW is looking at how to do it alone, and the launch of a range – perhaps a hatch, sedan, wagon and SUV akin to the Dacia lineup – could begin as soon as 2015. Pricing would need to come in at €6,000 to €8,000 ($7,784 to $10,379 U.S.). The new Dacia Sandero starts at €6,790 in Germany, a VW Up costs €9,975.

The major considerations are what to call it and how to build it. It would be tough for VW to stick to that price point and its current brand values, so it needs to figure out whether it should call such a line something else entirely or try and expand the customer perceptions of what "Volkswagen" means. After that, the automaker would need to determine whether any current factories and tooling could be repurposed, or if the cost involves building new operations. Unlike the acquisition of a new brand, however, the plan for a cheap car has the support of the head of the labor board, who told Der Spiegel "For emerging markets we need a car cheaper than the VW Up."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lamborghini and Bentley may hold off on SUVs so VW can conserve cash

Lamborghini Urus concept at Pebble Beach
After surveying the European economic scene, Volkswagen may have decided now is not the time to launch utility vehicles with Bentley and Lamborghini badges. Bentley officials say they will continue to push for support for the EXP 9 F and Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelman has said planning for the Urus will continue until VW tells it to stop.

That decision could come on November 23, when VW's board will vote on the company's budget for equipment, factories and vehicles. With VW's sales slowing and the Euro economy slumping further, some industry watchers say the company is more likely to build its cash reserves than to introduce super-expensive luxury SUVs or crossovers.

"Such vehicles are anything but obligatory during a crisis," says Frankfurt-based Equinet AG analyst Tim Schuldt in a new Automotive News Europe story. "Delaying their launch would be no drama but help save costs."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

CERTIFIED 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan

  •  Contact Us
  • S
  • 40,952 Miles
    • City (MPG)23
    • 30Hwy (MPG)*
  •  5-Cyl PZEV 2.5 Liter
  •  Black
  •  D565RCPO
  •  Automatic