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2005 Passat



  • kinctkinct Posts: 59
    VW = Volkswagen = "People's Car" (meaning a car for the masses)

    maybe a new name??

    RVW = Reichvolkswagen = "Rich People's Car"

    Frankly, if VW goes up into the 30's, they've lost me. I've driven a lot of VWs:

    73 Super Beetle (Dad bought it for me as a fixer-upper first car)
    72 Super Beetle (borrow from Dad)
    87 GTI (213k miles)
    86 Golf (took over from the wife when she got a Volvo wagon)
    99 Passat (current car @117k miles).

    I love the cars, but they can't price'em into the stratosphere.
  • Goes into the $30k's? The '04 GLX 4 motion I just test drove has an MSRP of $34,180. But I see it as a discount to an A4. Granted I'm not as well versed on VWs but those are the two cars I'm comparing (Passat v. A4).
  • No one has ever suggested that VW will "overnight" go upscale, although I believe they will begin in earnest this year -- but I maintain it will be volcanic -- the first explosion was small the W8 Passat, next the Touareg, followed by the Phaeton then some injections here and there across the entire line. The lava is starting to flow, that is.

    The cars as they move (or perhaps march or "slog") upstream, upmarket, upprice -- will add both content and "quality" (or else) as they increase their average MSRP.

    If you don't want a $30K car that is fine -- but to automatically exclaim that you will not ever buy another VW as they move up the price ladder is somewhat confusing. Is it just because the cars, in your experience "ain't worth it?" Or, is it that you do not believe that ANY car -- for you -- is worth $30K?

    If you do not want a 30K car that is OK-fine with the world as far as I know -- none of us, yet, know if VW can pull this (move) off.

    I say again: I'm rooting for them -- they aren't stoopid!
  • kinctkinct Posts: 59
    Sorry, didn't mean to suggest I wouldn't buy ANY VW if they start selling some vehicles over 30k. They've actually been doing that for a while now.

    If the VW I _need_ (read Passat, as I have 5 people to haul about) is over 30k, they've lost me as a customer. Unless of course I become suddenly very wealthy.

    The "core" of VW cars must remain affordable. That's the whole point of the name "Volkswagen". They still do have reasonably affordable cars at the lower end of the scale.
  • Well, the Chairman has been oot and aboot giving speaches and more speaches and even more speaches each one intending to add clarity to VW's intention to move upscale.

    It seems that it is likely that the Passat and certainly the Passat plus will move above $30K -- BUT, 100% Audi-like warranty and maintenance and service will be included (which some feel is worth between $1500 and $2400 over a three year period and more for 4 years. Moreover, the base model will be upcontented -- more like the current top o the line versions and the W8.

    I dare say that VW will, if this is true, still be a value leader. Your willinginess to pay $30K or more for a car aside, it appears that these are "good things" for the intended future customer-market.

    Perhaps a one-year old $36,000 "new" Passat will be below $30K and will still pique your interest.

    Time will tell.

    I bought my first high buck car (a 1987 Audi 5000CS turbo quattro, with every option and in Pearl White) in late 1988. I got it with new tires on it for $25K -- kept it about 30 months, and it more or less hooked me totally on the brand.

    You may find yourself in the same situation.
  • There may be something we are all forgetting...

    We assume VW wants to be the highest volume dealer in class in the US. They have not attempted this yet, I doubt they would start now. From an analytical viewpoint there is no reason VW should sell as many current Passats as they do, given the excellent offerings from Toyota and Honda. Yet they do! People pay more for a less reliable car in the Passat than they do for other imports. Why?

    Because VW appeals to different senses and sensibilities. It's partly their very successful marketing plan. They ARE different, or at least perceived as different in the US. They appeal to people who refuse to be sheep. People who don't want the Toyota or Honda, because their parents and every other Joe Schmoe has one.

    I suspect there are many people who fall in this category that associate Mercedes with stodgy old conservative lumps. I for one, am a type of personality that enjoys flipping off the establishment. This is what VW sells! There are many people out there that want luxury without the image that many luxury brands like Merc, Lexus sells.

    I believe this is where VW is headed. They are not really trying anything new. They are taking a tried and true marketing strategy and aiming it at other targets. Namely Mercedes and Lexus. For all you BMW buyers out there. Relax, you're not the target. This is what AUDI is for.

    I'm not saying they will be successful by every measure. But, look at it this way. If they sell slightly more than half the volume at slightly more than double the margin, they have gained substantially. Now throw in the other part of this equation....

    If VW can establish itself as a player in the luxury segment to any amount of success, even minimally, it makes their (relative)economy offerings that much more appealing.

    So, to sum up...

    If VW sells even a few high end models, enough to break even or slightly better, and this relates to an increase in sales for the Jetta, Golf, etc., VW wins big.

    We assume that winning involves being #1, or top 3 in volume. VW has never aimed for this, they won't start now. It is a well-thought out strategy in my opinion, to take a successful recent past and translate it into greater profitability. That's the bottom line here.
  • The VW's have the best styling right now and that alone allows them to charge more than the Accord and the Camry, but people are not going to forget that the Passat was sompared to the Accord and Camry.
    In order to add to the price each Passat would need to be priced based on what it would cost to add ammenities into the base price that are in luxury cars like power seats, leather, and wood trim. The Benz C230 starts at $26K so the Passat isn't that far off in the current model starting at 22k.
    VW shouldn't charges more than 30k to get a 240 hp V6 when Honda, Nissan, and Toyota offer 240,240, and 220 hp engines. People are going to remember the "nicer than a Toyota but not a luxury car" image without some serious bells and whistles.
    The current Passat is a nice car, but its a little overpriced. I like it the way it is now except for the way it performs in comparison to other midsize sedans with V6's. If VW wants to make a couple grand at my expense I don't blame them, but in the process I should be faster than anything cheaper and comparable.
    The only people who would want to buy a $40000 VW are doing it to get an everyday undercover sportscar that doesn't cost like a BMW.
    Nifty little features like keyless go and navigation systems should be available for that kind of money too.
  • I agree with the notion that if VW takes too many of it's models into $30K range, they will lose a lot of people. I do believe, however, they will keep dropping the prices on some models. Take the Jetta for example: A base GL is about, what? Invoice at $15.8 and MSRP at $16.5. And the high-end GLX tops out at about $26K. That's a wide range and gives many people a ton of choices in one model. I remember when the new model Jettas came out in mid-1999, they MSRP-ed at about 18K. Same with the Golf. When I was looking for a Jetta, I saw an 03 Golf (brand new) GL two door stick for $14,100. Compared to other VW's that's a steal and is much better quality than any Kia, and better looking than any Saturn at that price point.

  • larscalarsca Posts: 60
    The dollar is falling and it most likely will keep falling for the first part of '04. That means US export is booming, but anything imported will see slight price increases.
  • wmartowmarto Posts: 2
    The Jetta, Golf and Beetle all start well under $20K, but the reason you don't see manufacturer's competing for those dollars is that they are dollars too hard earned.

    These manufacturer's cannot compete with the Korean brands that are filling that price point. People buying a 4-door midsize sedan for under $20k are willing (or forced) to do with less.
  • Is there any recent information on the scheduled release of the redesigned 05 Passat?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm starting to think this whole forum has gotten ahead of itself. I seriously doubt where will be a totally new Passat in 9-10 months. Unless it debuts at the Geneva (March), Chicago (Feb), or New York (April) autoshows it isn't going to happen for 2005 at least not for the U.S. market. They just added a another engine option (diesel) for the current car. I think spring of 2005 at the earliest is more relistic, that model of course would likely be a 2006. How knows they may just ship the car this fall without an autoshow debut, but it's highly unlikely.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,597
    When I spoke to VW representatives at the Boston auto show this past November, I was told that North America will not see the new Passat until the 06 model year. Something like sedan early summer 05 and wagon late fall 05.
  • I'm a bit confused here. If VW and Audi are "related" by blood, why does VW insist on going "upscale" and stepping on Audi's toes? A $30,000+ Passat has a's called A4. To make the Passat "upscale" and give it Audi-like warranty and features just makes it another A4. Let's be honest, too...most people would rather have the Audi badge on their car than VW.

    It just seems like duplicity to have VW offer equivocal models in both the VW and Audi names. So why would VW offer a $36k Passat when you could buy a 3.0Q A4 for the same price??? Heck, for $9k more, get the S4!!!
  • The models in the future will not be "as equivalent" as they may appear to be today.

    The strategy is Audi guns for BMW and VW guns for Mercedes.

    VW will -- according to VW management -- offer 90 - 95% of Mercedes classic luxury at 80 - 85% of the price (plus be all wheel drive, which adds big bucks to the Mercs).

    This may or may not prove anything or sway your opinion -- it is more or less a statement of market positioning plans that will, apparently, become more visible with the 2005's. By the 2007's the differentiation should be considerably stronger. As many have noted, the success remains to be seen.

    I am delighted at the prospect of more upscale VW's -- and also delighted at the prospect of more dynamic Audis.

    I suspect there will still be less than $20K VW's -- heck even Audi is bringing the A3 to market in the US.
  • You suggest that VW wants to become more upscale, but what was great about VW was that it was affordable, not cheap but affordable. I like it most because it doesn't make me feel pretentious. If VW wants to be comapred to Mercedes Benz, they have to make the new VWs at least impressive in order to raise prices. The Phaeton and the Touareg are impressive.
    Right now they are just nice cars, more often compared to Toyota and Honda. They have to make luxurious features available. The only popular features that are not available today are a navigation system and keyless ignition. I just think being able to start your car without sticking the key in the ignition is impressive and being impressive is what luxury is all about.
  • snjaysnjay Posts: 1
    Nissan - Infiniti
    Toyota - Lexus

    I wonder why VW didn't follow and launch a new brand for upmarket cars. I'm not a marketing genius but it seems to me that it would be easier to repackage an upscale jetta/passat/toureg/phaeton with a new brand name rather than try and convince the richest 3% that VW is a player in the big leagues... Toyota prettied up a camry as an es300 and sold tons of them. I know Audi is the upmarket of VW, but it seems that Audi is geared more toward sporty cars...If VW is going after Mercedes with their new VW's, why couldn't they call them something else and leave the current VW's to the remaining 97% that can afford the current lineup.
  • I wonder this myself. Perhaps Phaeton will be the new "implied" name.

    But, look at it this way, Aurora didn't save Oldsmobile and didn't make people, who bought their Aurora's at Olds dealerships forget that they were buying a car from the Oldsmobile dealer.

    You have a very interesting point -- VWGUILD, care to opine?
  • wstevecwstevec Posts: 126
    Has anyone found any updated pictures of the 2005 Passat? Thanks.
  • Just wanted to add a few comments to this interesting discussion...

    VW offering new upmarket models (Phaeton) and higher content/cost versions of current models (Passat W8) does NOT automatically mean that it will soon be impossible to purchase a VW for less than US$20K... from reading a few of the prior posts, some folks actually BELIEVE that this IS/will soon be the case. As all-too-few voices of reason pointed out, GL versions (which include power windows and other amenities) of the Golf and New Beetle CAN be had for for WELL under $20K, and given that such vehicles share lots of content from their more costly VW and Audi brethren, these 'low-end' VWs represent excellent value IMHO. True, they're not quite as inexpensive as 'comparable' Japanese and American offerings, but they have their own appealing qualities that differentiate them from the pack and justify their added cost to many buyers, myself included. Whenever I'm driving around in my satin silver 2000 Golf GLS TDI fully optioned automatic (which is more of a $21K+ car pricewise, though I bought it one year old for $16K) I'm DELIGHTED with the quality of the car in almost every respect... both in the things very visible to the eye (instruments, dash materials, switchgear) and in the things that are less apparent (panel fit and finish, weight and closure of door/hood/hatch, overall solidity, etc...). Is it perfect? No of course not, but I feel that it's a very good value all things considered. And even at today's prices, a manual gas Golf GL with all of that tactile goodness will come in for a fair bit less than $20K with change to spare.

    Just because VW already offers $80K+ Phaetons (W12) and will likely offer $40K versions of the B6 Passat (even if the W8 doesn't make it into the new model lineup) there's no reason to assume that new, decent near-future (A5) versions of the Golf, New Beetle and even Jetta won't continue to be available for $17-$24K (excepting specialty models like the R32, etc...). Profit margins for vehicles at that part of the market might not be as juicy for VW as $40K Passats and $50K Touregs, but there's still money to be made there, and even more importantly, it's vital for a manufacturer with such a wide range of price points as VW has to provide attractive 'entry-level' offerings for younger customers. To think VW would simply START it's model lineup with $30K Passats (let alone Jettas) in the future is just unrealistic IMHO. Of course, prices and content creep up over time, but manufacturers usually slot a new entry-level offering in at the bottom of the lineup eventually (as with Toyota's Echo and Scion brand) or offer passable 'base' models despite very thin profit margins (Nissan's Sentra and base Honda Civics). I personally wouldn't be surprised to someday see VW bring a sub-Golf car to the US market if it made economic sense to do so (a revised Lupo or Polo-class car, or maybe something from Seat or Skoda).

    A few more thoughts:

    Folks lamenting/cursing VW for not offering cars at the same relative price points as the original Beetle and bus: that was decades ago... the world, car markets, and buyer expectations have changed vastly since then. If you feel that VW is being too greedy charging $16-17K for a Golf or New Beetle, you're free to vote with you dollars and buy something else. Korean manufacturers now provide a number of choices in the $9-13K price range, and the quality of their products has been improving steadily.

    Of course I agree that many VW dealers leave much to be desired in terms of service, and that if VW wants to cater to an increasing number of more affluent customers, they're going to have to improve customer service by several notches. Let me add that I've received crappy service from Mercedes dealers too, and the most disappointing, problem-prone (and expensive) new car I ever owned was a $50K Mercedes CLK. And of course, the nonchalant customer service of Toyota dealers is legendary, despite their reliable products. San Juan Capistrano VW has pretty good service btw, in case any of you live in SoCal. They're especially adept with TDIs, which many other VW dealers know little about.

    Yes, a VW isn't as trouble-free as a Camry or Accord, I know. But bear in mind that this fact in and of itself shouldn't stand in the way of VW getting into the thick of it with Mercedes... according to CR surveys and my own experiences, MBs, Audis and BMWs are no more reliable in general than VWs are right now, yet folks still line up to shell out $30-80K to buy them.

    BTW, I'm always amused when folks talk about Jettas as if they were something inherently different (better) than Golfs. Doesn't everyone savvy enough to read forums like this already KNOW that the Jetta and Golf are just about identical in every respect? The Jetta IS a Golf, except for the fact that it has a trunk instead of hatch, has differently shaped headlights, provides less rear-seat headroom, costs more, and can be had with some snazzier options/packages courtesy of VW's decision to market their small sedan as 'uplevel' from the more 'utilitarian' hatchback Golf to Americans. And this business of folks talking about the '04 Jetta like it's a new model is just as silly... just because VW ads tout it as 'new' doesn't actually mean that it's substantially different than the 2000-2003 Jetta. The NEW (A5) Jetta comes out NEXT year (as an '05 model, possibly buyable in late '04). Mechanically, the New Beetle too is very similar to the Golf and Jetta too btw, albeit with a different body/interior and a firmer base suspension.

    Other interesting new/ish cars in/near the Golf/Jetta/Passat class that I saw at the recent LA autoshow: Mazda's 3 (especially the 5 door) and 6 wagon: very nice interiors and attractive price-points; Toyota's new Prius (drives amazingly well, though of course you pay a premium for the costly options packages) and Solara (sort of ugly, but even more of a poor-man's Lexus coupe at only $21-25K than the first gen Solara); Acura's new TL (I also like the smaller TSX which is based on the European Accord platform), Honda's V6 Accord coupe with 6 speed and their Element (I'm hoping for a hybrid version); Saab's 9-2 (a Subaru Impreza WRX in Saab clothing). And Scion's new tC coupe also looked very interesting too (it has the Camry's larger 4 cylinder engine, not the smaller Echo engine used in the Scion xA and xB).

    Finally, I for one am very much looking forward to the new (B6) Passat. I liked the original slimmer, smoother B5 better than the current face-lifted B5.5 which is a bit too heavy on the chrome for my tastes, but it's a good car. A B6 Passat Wagon with a torquey TDI engine could very well be in my future when I'm ready for a change from the Golf and my other car (a '00 Miata with the factory sport suspension package). Of course by that time, a nice used Phaeton 8 might not cost much more than a new high-zoot Passat, so you never know! ;-)
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