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Here's a list of differences and revisions on the North American and US specification 2012 VW Passat vs. the European trim Passat. The euro Passat came out during 2011 while the North American passat is actually a similar looking car that is built in Teneessee to be close to the market. The NA Passat will actually be decontented to reduce the price by several thousand dollars. Here's a list of what's missing or changed that I'm aware of. For early specs on the US and Canada spec Passat TDI (diesel engine), see this thread:http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f9/breaking-news-new-nms-will-still-2012-vw-passat-tdi-specs-5138/

EDIT: here is a direct link to the buying guide summary: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/b7/2012-vw-passat-tdi-forum-buying-guide.htm

Size: although it looks similar, the cars are actually different sizes and shapes. Right off the bat, that should tell you that they are different cars. The North American car is 10 cm longer with a 9 cm longer wheelbase than the Euro Passat.

NA specs:
length:4,868 mm (191.7 in)
wheelbase : 2,803mm (110.4 in)
width: 1,835 mm (72.2 inches)

Euro specs:
length: 4,769 mm
wheelbase : 2,712 mm
width: 1,820 mm
height: 1,470 mm
luggage volume: 565 liters

The rear C pillar, the area behind the rear door, is a completely different shape. In the 3rd post I made a comparison picture with more differences. Most if not all of the exterior panels are different.

Engine choice: 2.0L 138hp TDI engine is the only TDI engine choice.
Euro gets a 1.6 w/122PS, 2.0 w/140PS, and 2.0 with 170PS in TDI.

Interior: standard automatic climate control.
Euro has standard Climatic "semi-manual" with optional auto climate control

US trim you have to press the fuel door *with doors unlocked to open it.
Euro has an interior button for solenoid release.

Premium stereo system in NA is by Fender. Didn't know they made car audio systems - not a knock but I've just never heard of them doing it.
Euro stereo system, like Golf, is by Dynaudio. Good reviews.

Lighting: halogen, maybe an xenon option later
Euro has headlight range control, halogen, optional xenon, optional xenon foglights. Rear foglights are standard in Europe, will most likely not be on American Passat. The rear taillights are LED. The taillights are also a completely different shape. The NA car has more arched taillights. The Euro car has more square taillights.

Other misc things on European VW Passat that aren't or most likely will not be on North American Passat: heated windshield, color multifunction display, automatic boot opening (boot=trunk, I think this feature opens the trunk if you put your foot under the trunk area - there's a sensor which then pops the trunk so you don't have to press any buttons), adaptive chassis control, start-stop, sport suspension (maybe), electric side and rear sunshades, rear view parking camera, lane assist, fatigue detection system, park assist (automatically parks the car), front-rear parking sensors,
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here are some pictures of the Euro Passat. If you compare it to the pictures in the link in the last post you can't see the size difference but it's there. The euro car also shows HID headlights and the LED taillights. There is also different trim like the chrome, bumper, and exhaust pipes (dual grouped vs. dual at sides). The Euro Passat has a chrome strip along the bottom of the trunk lid (boot), the NA VW Passat does not.

The interior shot shows a very different interior - the steering wheel and rear view mirror are the same but the dashboard, color MFD display,clock, air vents, range control switch or dimmer switch next to the headlight switch, keyless entry slot, electric parking brake, and the cubby aft of the shifter are all different. The door panels are also different.

So although the exterior looks similar, the interior is basically a different car.

Below are also some shots of the Euro Passat wagon to give you an idea of what the North American Passat might look like.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Picture showing the exterior differences. At first glance I thought it was just a slight difference in size with similar headlights and different taillights. It's actually much, much more. Does anyone remember the "spot the differences" in Highlights magazine? Here you go.

The headlights are a completely different shape.

The NA Passat has a little lip that makes the car smile, the Euro Passat has more of a frown. The edge of the lower grille also ends curved up instead of down.

The NA Passat's bumper seam goes straight back from the headlight, the Euro passat goes down. The top and bottom rear of the front fender is also different.

The front window ends in a point in the NA Passat.

The chrome trim is different and lower in the Euro Passat.

The rearmost window is a totally different shape.

The rear door is a totally different shape.

The rear taillights and bumper are a totally different shape.

So yes Virginia, the cars are totally different.
 

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I think the north american one looks a bit nicer, a bit chunkier with what looks like bigger wheels and I prefer the rear edge of the back door window too, it makes the roof seem slightly lower and a bit more edgy.:)
 

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Some more differences between the European Passat and North American Passat.

The Euro seats are sport seats, the US seats are comfort seats. This is not a US-Euro difference. However, the US spec Passat has the anti-whiplash headrests. The height is adjustable but the tilt angle is not. The Euro Passat has the Touareg/Phaeton headrests. These back of the headrest is fixed and the front slides on a 4 way axis to go up-down, forwards-backwards.

The steering column trim of the US spec Passat has that horrible blank off spot for the ignition switch. Boo. It's a good feature, poor aestetics. At least the start-stop switch is integrated into the center column and looks OEM. The Euro Passat with Kessy has a steering column trim with no blocked off spot. It does however, have a slot for the key.

The US armrest sticks out. The armrest of the Euro Passat is flush with the area underneath it.

I can see a homelink transmitter in the driver's side sunvisor on the US Passat.

The kickpanel trim is more pieces on the US spec car.

The design of the NA dashboard and gauge pod is similar to the other US Spec VW. The Euro Passat is similar to the last mk5 Passat.

The side view mirrors a different shape.

The power side mirror adjustment is in a different location.

The side window blowers are in the dashboard instead of in the A-pillar.

The NA Passat has a door unlock button on the pass side.

The door cards and center console are totally different.



At this point I gave up marking the differences, there are just too many. They are different cars. However, this picture shows the difference between the headrests. Of interest is that the NA Passat has no spot for the bluetooth controls in the overhead console. The Euro Passat does (not visible), just like the Golf/Sportwagen overhead console.

 

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This doesn't make any sense to me. They are able to have a more expensive Jetta in Europe with more features. If they wanted to cut costs, mass produce the same car and just keep the fancy headrests and color display in Europe. Whatever happened to economies of scale? If they can build the popular Sportwagen in Mexico and ship it to Europe, they can build the Passat and ship it to Europe too.
 

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Chitty!

Great comparo : ):+1
 

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Very good analysis of the new N/A Passat. Still some things I'm curious about...

1. Original info I saw stated the TDI would get a five spd manual and other reports seem to omit the manual info and only state the 6six spd DSG. The Jetta TDI gets the six, please give the Passat the six...

2. I also read that the 2.0 TDI gets a Jetta beating 43 MPG. Engine HP and torgue figures are the same for both and yet the Passat is bigger and I assume heavier. Does the Passat get an upgraded version of the TDI motor? What/where are the refinements? Just guessing/dreaming here :)
 

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BTW I have the following to my credit :)

93 Golf TD 1.9L
97 Jetta TD 1.9L
2005 Passat TDI 2.0L
2000 Jetta TDI 1.9L

I would still be driving the Passat today.. most amazing engine I have ever had the privilege but the 5 spd tip trans was junk. Not only did I hate it but my neighbours Passat also had it and it gave up at 110,000 km so I sold.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Very good analysis of the new N/A Passat. Still some things I'm curious about...

1. Original info I saw stated the TDI would get a five spd manual and other reports seem to omit the manual info and only state the 6six spd DSG. The Jetta TDI gets the six, please give the Passat the six...
I'm guessing this is a mistake. It's very likely that the VW Passat TDI will get the 6 speed and the 2.5L engine will get the 5 speed manual.
2. I also read that the 2.0 TDI gets a Jetta beating 43 MPG. Engine HP and torgue figures are the same for both and yet the Passat is bigger and I assume heavier. Does the Passat get an upgraded version of the TDI motor? What/where are the refinements? Just guessing/dreaming here :)
The emissions system. This is just a guess but I believe it uses a much simpler EGR routing because of the deletion of the backpressure valve and H2S catalyst. The EGR and maybe the backpressure valve have been guessed as the cause of some engine shuddering in the Jetta/Golf/Sportwagen.

The heavier car cannot meet NOx emissions without using Adblue (urea fluid solution) injected into the exhaust which eliminates much of that stuff. This is my guess as to why the engine can be made more efficient (less backpressure and H2S-NOX cycling). See this FAQ for more on the emissions system: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/DPF-Adblue-FAQ-VW-Audi.htm The adblue system is currently in the DPF FAQ for the Touareg and Q7: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/vw-touareg-tdi-dpf-audi-q7.htm so I have to figure out where to include the Passat.

The gearing is already pretty low in the other 2.0L TDI but maybe they are using even lower highway gearing or higher final drive for the Passat as well. And of course, they said 43 mpg highway manufacturer estimate. I would hold off until the official EPA numbers are released.
 

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This is a great thread with wonderful information, so how about putting a link to this thread on the front page?

I realize it may be a bit too early to claim a full buying guide with all the details, but a link called something like "2010 Passat TDI preview" would be very useful, and get a lot of hits, I think.

Thanks for all the good info, it is the best I have seen so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is a great thread with wonderful information, so how about putting a link to this thread on the front page?

I realize it may be a bit too early to claim a full buying guide with all the details, but a link called something like "2010 Passat TDI preview" would be very useful, and get a lot of hits, I think.

Thanks for all the good info, it is the best I have seen so far.
I'm working on it :) When it's done I'll post up a 2012 Passat buying guide. As more info comes out the article will be updated.
 

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Thanks

I see the Passat 2012 TDI preview page is now up. Looks great, curious about when interior dimensions will become available.
 

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I will update the article as soon as info comes out and is verified.

According to a German blog, http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.autobild.de/artikel/vw-passat-fuer-den-us-markt-1334961.html it says that the new NA Passat is based off the same PQ46 platform as the B6 and Euro B7, but modified to be stretched. I cannot find verification of this but will add it to the official FAQ once I do.
It makes sense, though, doesn't it? The feature content and size might be different, but with VW's push for lower production costs, and therefore lower retail prices, it seems like engineering a US-only Passat on its very own chassis would be a waste of R&D dollars.
 
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