|Quote, originally posted by gti dreamn »|
|does this mean that he Passat price point is tooo high? I think the Passat looks absolutely fabulous, but when decently equipped (not value edition), the price seems to jump quickly. Not to mention the 3.6 4-Mo' is right around $40k. Is that too high for a Passat?|
Yes - when compared to its competition (with respect to top sales: mostly Camry and Accord, starting barely above $20K), and given widespread and partially justified fears of lack of reliability.
In the US, the Passat's looks are controversial for at least two reasons.
One is, that it doesn't look as German any more as it used to (think German car, M-B or BMW, for less money), the other is that for anyone even slightly familiar with cars and performance, FWD is iffy to start with. But when you see a car design like that of the new Passat, with its incredibly long front overhang, and short wheel base --- that is just very un-American.
Unlike Europeans, Americans largely don't care about how you create interior space (the bigger the better, regardless, how), or what the turning radius is. They do care about highway handling and noise (needs the longest possible wheel base) and either RWD or 50:50 weight distribution (which, of course, is not what a FWD car is about).
Now, the B6 Passat, with its relatively short wheelbase and long front overhang simply looks completely incompetent, in this regard --- no matter what the actual driving dynamics are, or the turning radius (what's that?).
Finally, you can actually get an AWD 3.6 Passat for around $30k, a very competitive price, with a lot of haggling, at the end of the month or end of the year, because they don't sell. But no one knows that, so they stagnate at the lots, with almost $40k stickers, and no one touches them. If there is a ~30% difference between low sales price and MSRP, there is something seriously wrong between the manufacturers vision of the car, and the consumers' evaluation. But, VWoA won't listen, and VW is (or at least was, until recently) clueless about how terribly clueless VWoA actually was.
Still, to this very moment, VW has not demonstrated that they are interested in a genuine exchange with "gurus" that are educated about and familiar with the product "car" in the US in general, and the potential market for VWs, in particular. Again, it seems they think they can go it alone. We have already seen the catastrophic pitfalls of that in their atrociously poor handling of the clean Diesel introduction ($$$ spent at poorly targeted events and campaigns that reach few; while no one has the guts to actually introduce Diesel engines in the US on a massive scale, including AWD and manual transmissions, to get magazines' and enthusiasts' approval).