For the near future, the closest you can probably come to buying an all-wheel-drive Passat TDI is the Volkswagen CC VR6 Executive 4Motion, the top-of-the-line model in the CC lineup. The CC, an upscale sedan with couple-like styling, is related to the European Passat (and is sold there and in other markets as the Passat CC). The CC and Euro-spec Passat are a couple of inches shorter than the U.S. Passat in wheelbase and overall length.
We can’t say whether Volkswagen will ever offer all-wheel drive on the U.S.-built Passat because it is hard to predict what will happen in the next couple of years let alone a decade from now. We can say that, despite some noise from current and previous Passat owners asking for all-wheel drive, Volkswagen says it has no plans to do so.
Price is one issue. Base prices on the U.S. Passat range from $20,845 to $33,525, the heart of the midsize family-sedan market. The CC starts at more than $30,000, and the all-wheel-drive model is the most expensive at $42,245 including destination. Adding all-wheel drive to the Passat TDI would push prices higher and deeper into the same range as the CC.
SUVs are another reason. Many buyers want all-wheel drive, but most prefer that it be installed in an SUV, especially a car-based vehicle masquerading as an SUV (today’s crossovers). Offering all-wheel drive on the Passat might not greatly increase Passat sales, but it could draw buyers away from Volkswagen’s SUVs, the Tiguan and Touareg.
Moreover, the U.S. Passat is built at a new plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., and VW probably wants to keep production as simplified as possible for the time being to improve efficiency and quality.
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