VW comparison: American Passat is 10,000 euros cheaper


American Passat is 10,000 euros cheaper

VW comparison: American Passat is 10,000 euros cheaper-euros

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America: The shape of the 4.87 meter long US Passat is more elongated and flatter.

Source: Reprint for press purposes honora / Volkswagen

VW comparison: American Passat is 10,000 euros cheaper-cheaper

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Germany: The German Passat is ten centimeters shorter and offers less space in the back.

Source: Reprint free of charge for press purposes / Volkswagen

VW comparison: American Passat is 10,000 euros cheaper-passat

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America: The analog clock above the center console is a peculiarity of the US Passat.

Source: Reprint free of charge for press purposes / Volkswagen

VW comparison: American Passat is 10,000 euros cheaper-cheaper

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Germany: The interior of the German model shines more chrome, the leather is thicker.

Source: Reprint for press purposes honora / Volkswagen

VW comparison: American Passat is 10,000 euros cheaper-euros

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America: The taillights of the US model are angular, as is the trunk.

Source: Reprint for press purposes honora / Volkswagen

VW comparison: American Passat is 10,000 euros cheaper-american

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Germany: The rear of the German Passat is rounder, the license plate is lower.

Source: Reprint free of charge for press purposes / Volkswagen

The American Passat is bigger and cheaper than the German. It is available from 14,350 euros. However, importing it from the USA is complicated.

D.A real Volkswagen is not bought from us, but from America. You could believe that, because in order to build on the successes of the 1970s in the USA, VW launched a new Passat on the other side of the Atlantic, which has little more in common with the German model than its name: almost as big and spacious like a Phaeton, the basic version costs only a little more than a Polo in Germany and would therefore be the ideal family car for us too.

It also drives very well, as Welt Online discovered during a visit to the USA. Why can’t German customers have it too??

VW charges 19,950 dollars (14,350 euros) for the US model, which comes off the assembly line in the factory in Chattanooga / Tennessee, which was built specifically for the Passat. The Passat CC imported from Europe costs $ 9,000 more, and the Golf GTI is 20 percent more expensive. In the end, the transfer fee and the local VAT of the respective state still accrue. But if you pay at least 24,755 euros for your Passat at a German dealer, you will almost cry at such prices.

Import brings problems

But just because this Passat is built and sold in America does not mean that it is out of the world for Europeans. Because of course you can import the US model on your own. Depending on the engine and equipment variant, there is still a considerable price advantage despite the freight costs, the ten percent customs duties and the 19 percent import sales tax.

In any case, the size advantage of the US Passat, which is ten centimeters longer, will not change on the way across the Atlantic. And price foxes can certainly overlook the lack of assistance systems on offer.

But the import carries more risks than the tiresome paperwork and the obolus to the authorities. In the event of a technical problem or an accident with body damage, you may have to wait longer until the spare parts are brought in from America. And when it comes to reselling, you first have to find a customer who appreciates the US model just as much.

The most important argument against the large US Passat, however, is due to the limited range of models: The Germans might still be able to do without all-wheel drive and dual clutch transmission – but nothing works here without a station wagon. 90 percent of all Passats are sold as Variants in Germany, in America, on the other hand, there is only the sedan and later possibly an all-terrain vehicle version.

The equipment is lavish

The US Passat got off to a successful start: In the first two weeks of September alone, VW sold more than 3,200 cars – four times as many as in the whole of September 2010. This was also possible because the inexpensive car is anything but a budget model: the equipment is neat in the basic version and lush in the upscale versions.

The workmanship is impeccable, the doors fall almost as tightly as they do with a VW from Wolfsburg or Emden, and even the choice of materials does not testify to the high price pressure VW is exposed to in America: instruments, dashboard and door consoles are no less valuable than at us – even if maybe not that much chrome shines in the cockpit and the leather is a little thinner. Only the analog clock above the center console does not want to match the noble ambience, because it looks more like a travel alarm clock than a Rolex.

The Passat from Chattanooga is not only cheaper than the one from Emden – it is also significantly more spacious. Adults also sit very comfortably in the rear of the limousine – including the obligatory cup holders and a comfortable center armrest. There is also around 450 liters of trunk space, which can be expanded with a through-loading opening and the folding rear bench.

The fact that VW looked at every dollar when developing the US model is hardly noticeable, at least during the test drives in California. Would the car really be less stable at full throttle on a German autobahn? Do the all-season tires not offer as much grip as we do? And how does the steering work in sharp bends on the country road? This is not only a matter of indifference to the Americans with their speed limit of mostly only 120 km / h.

The features most likely testify to the origin of the US model. On the good side, because everything from the keyless entry system to the navigation system and the music system from the guitar maker Fender to the heated seats and the sun canopy is installed or at least offered that is comfortable and convenient.

And on the bad side, because you are looking in vain for assistance systems such as distance control or help with lane guidance. "We wanted to avoid all discussions with American lawyers in the event of misinterpretation, ”says a VW spokesman. Civil proceedings before US courts quickly deal with claims in the tens of millions.

Small selection of engines

While most customers could overlook unavailable assistance systems, a little more choice of engines would be desirable. There is the 140 hp diesel, which gets off very well in the driving reports of American specialist magazines, and the VR6 engine with 280 hp, taken from the old Europe Passat. He is known as a hearty and thirsty fellow. And the five-cylinder of the basic model, with a displacement of 2.5 liters and 170 hp, promises more than the engine delivers in practice.

It seems a little loud, slow to start and listless, and the driving pleasure only increases with the speed. Down on the Pacific Coast Highway, on the other hand, you can easily swim with the traffic, at least not the last with a sprint value of 8.5 seconds at the traffic light and ignore all thoughts about the top speed. Why should you ponder a meager 190 km / h when a cop with a radar gun could be lurking around every corner?

What does the engine use in the process? In the theory of the US standard, it should be the equivalent of 7.6 liters on the highway and 10.6 liters in city traffic. In practice, however, as a German car tester in the USA, you don’t think so much about it.

What does one liter per 100 kilometers mean if the gallon (around 3.8 liters) does not cost four dollars – Americans currently pay the equivalent of 75 cents per liter of regular gasoline. So it’s not just the cars that are cheaper there.

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