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Volkswagen 2010 Models Preview

2010 Volkswagen Golf

The all-new Golf, launched in Europe in 2009, comes to the US for 2010. Styling and interior are all-new, although the 2.5 liter 5-cylinder engine is a carryover. Volkswagen will re-introduce the Golf TDI with the same 140 hp 2-liter turbodiesel engine as the 2009 Jetta TDI.

Critical Knowledge:
  • All-new design for 2010
  • 3- and 5-door versions
  • Front- or 4Motion all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Gas and diesel powerplant options
  • Manual or DSG transmissions offered
  • Set to debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show
  • Sales in the United States in fall 2009

The all-new Golf, launched in Europe in 2009, comes to the US as a 2010 model. Styling and interior are all-new, although the 2.5 liter 5-cylinder engine is a carryover. Volkswagen will re-introduce the Golf TDI, which uses the same 140 hp 2-liter turbodiesel engine found in the 2009 Jetta TDI.

2010 Volkswagen GTI

Like the Golf on which it is based, the 2010 GTI is all new. Power comes from the familiar 200 hp 2-liter turbo four-cylinder (ain't nothin' wrong with that!), available with either a 6-speed manual or the Direct Shift Gearbox, VW's 6-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. The GTI will be offered in both two- and four-door versions.

Critical Knowledge:
  • Completely redesigned
  • 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • 210 horsepower
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Electronic limited-slip differential
  • On sale in summer 2009

Many enthusiasts consider the Volkswagen GTI the original "hot hatch" compact car. Based on the Golf platform, the GTI was introduced to the U.S. in 1983 as the performance-oriented version of the Rabbit (then, as now, the Golf was renamed the Rabbit for the American market). With its ideal combination of utility, efficiency, and fun-to-drive character in a single package, the GTI is one of the most-recognized Volkswagen models on the road, due in part to the fact that the Golf from which it springs is VW's perennial best-selling platform. Originally a 2-door hatchback, a 4-door GTI model joined the lineup in 2008.

New Beetle

A new New Beetle will arrive in 2011, most likely as a 2012 model. Expect coupe and convertible body styles with more powertrain choices than the single engine offered now, as well as more customization options (think Scion and MINI). VW sees the New Beetle as a missed opportunity and plans to build on the Beetle's popularity in the US.


VW will introduce a new mid-size sedan aimed at the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. The new car will be larger and less expensive than the current Passat, and will be built at VW's new plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The car will be introduced in 2011 as a 2012 model.


VW plans to launch a 7-seat SUV to compete with the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. It will fit into VW's lineup between the Tiguan and the Touareg, though it will be larger than both.


Volkswagen intends to field a subcompact to take on the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris. The new car could be based on a future version of the Euro-market Polo, though VW says that the current Polo is too small and too expensive to build to succeed in the US.


The Jetta gets some changes to interior and exterior colors as well as an updated interior with a new instrument cluster and revised air conditioning controls. Bluetooth phone connectivity is now standard in SE and SEL trim levels, optional on the S. The iPod interface is available separately from the navigation system. The TDI is now offered in a single trim level. A new Jetta is due in 2010 as a 2011 model.


The Jetta wagon will adopt the front end of the new Golf. North America is the only market where the compact wagon is sold as a Jetta; in other markets it's sold and styled as the Golf Variant or Estate. It will continue to be sold here as a Jetta, but using the Golf front clip will cut down production costs. The car behind the new face is unchanged from the 2009 Jetta SportWagen.


Automatic Passats now get the 6-speed Direct Shift Gearbox transmission. All Passats get Bluetooth phone connectivity and a CC-style leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls as standard, while wagons get fog lights (the sedan already has 'em). Rear and side sunshades have been eliminated, and an iPod connector is now available separately from the optional navigation system. Cobalt Blue has been eliminated, which means the Passat is now only available in black, white, brown, silver or grey.


Volkswagen is trying out a Honda-like model lineup on the 2010 Routan. Instead of standalone options, the Routan will be offered in 4 take-it-or-leave-it models: S, SE, SEL and SEL Premium. The SE will be available with or without rear seat entertainment (RSE) and navigation, and the SEL can be had with or without RSE. All models get additional standard equipment: The S gains three-zone climate control; the SE gets faux leather, heated front seats, adjustable pedals, and Bluetooth; the SEL adds a sunroof, towing prep package, remote start, and a power third-row seat; and the SEL Premium gets a towing prep package.

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