For Sale By:Dealer
Warranty: Vehicle has an existing warranty
Sub Model: 4dr Sdn 2.5L Auto SE
Exterior Color: Silver
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 5
Engine Description: 2.5L MPFI DOHC 20-VALVE I
Volkswagen Passat for Sale
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Auto blogThu, 28 Mar 2013 07:58:00 EST
America's minivan wolfpack has just gotten smaller by one. According to Automotive News, Volkswagen officials have confirmed what we've suspected for some time - the Routan is dead. Essentially a lightly reworked version of the Dodge Grand Caravan, the Routan actually hasn't been rolling off of Chrysler's Windsor, Ontario production line at all this year, but VW had yet to confirm its discontinuation. However, Jonathan Browning, CEO of VW America, has reportedly admitted that the Routan is being axed, with remaining units expected to be funneled into corporate functions for "internal purposes."
The move isn't unexpected - the Routan has never been a big seller, with just 57,650 examples moved since sales began in 2008 - peak yearly sales totaled under 16,000 units, and that was back in 2010. And while many have talked of the minivan segment shrinking, Automotive News points out that the segment actually grew 14 percent last year to 597,118 units, though it should be noted that most segments have been on sales upticks as the US economy chugs out of its recession.
So, is volume-crazy Volkswagen prepared to pass on large family vehicle sales? Probably not - the German automaker has signaled that it plans to build a three-row crossover in North America soon, and we wouldn't be surprised if it looks an awful lot like the Crossblue Concept from January's Detroit Auto Show - minus the fancy plug-in diesel powertrain.
Volkswagen's array of performance-oriented Golfs keeps getting bigger and bigger. What started with the GTI has since grown to include the diesel GTD, the hybrid GTE and the most powerful Golf R. But the additions haven't all come down to powertain. There's been cabrio versions of the GTI and Golf R as well, but before all is said and done, there will be one more bodystyle to join the lineup.
That, according to these latest spy shots, would be the Golf R Variant. For those unfamiliar, Variant is what Volkswagen calls the wagon version of the Golf (in some markets, anyway). It offers the Golf Variant with a variety of engines, but as the spy shots reveal, it is now working on bringing the Golf Variant and the Golf R together into one high-powered, long-roofed model.
The VW Golf R Variant would in all likelihood pack the same 2.0-liter turbo four as the hatchback, splitting 290 horsepower between all four wheels. Only in the wagon, it would offer that extra bit of utility. Of course there's no guarantee that Volkswagen would offer the Golf R Variant in the North American market, but considering that the Golf R hatchback will soon be joined in American showrooms by the Golf SpotWagen (as it's tipped to be called here) in place for the Jetta wagon, the possibility is definitely there.
As I scoured auction sites and classified ads for the perfect vehicle to take into battle with Autoblog Associate Editor Brandon Turkus, I knew I needed to find something unique. You see, I'm currently 0-2 at winning a round of This or That, in which two of our editors agree on a category, choose a side, and argue it out over a (mostly) friendly chain of emails.
The first time we did this, my chosen Fiat 500 Abarth took about a third of the popular vote in our reader poll. The second time, my lovely 1980 Oldsmobile 442 did just a little bit better against a 1989 BMW 635 CSi. Despite holding the opinion that my automotive choices, though perhaps a little bit more... obscure than my fellow editors, are still better, an outright win would go a long way toward boosting my vehicular self worth a few notches upward.
With all of that out of the way, even if three isn't my lucky number after all, I go into battle against Brandon knowing full well that I've made the perfect choice: A 1987 Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro. My rough-and-tumble van/'ute has a formidable opponent in the form of a 1987 Land Rover Defender, which, truth be told, is exactly what I was expecting from Turkus, a self-proclaimed Rover aficionado.