Though it's a smaller player in the U.S. market than the domestic and many Asian automakers, Volkswagen is a global automotive juggernaut, grouped with Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and two brands not sold in the U.S., Skoda and SEAT. In the U.S., Volkswagen is known for premium cars and SUVs with high-quality interiors that command higher prices than do comparable mass-market vehicles. A diesel-car veteran, VW offers TDI clean-diesel versions of several cars and crossovers.
Broader than ever, the VW product line starts with the compact Golf two- and four-door hatchback and its revered performance version, the GTI. Sedan and wagon shoppers are satisfied by the Jetta, which was recently redesigned and is now larger than the average compact and more affordable than before. The 2010 model is the last for the iconic New Beetle, in hardtop and convertible forms. This will leave the compact retractable-hardtop Eos as VW's sole drop-top. The midsize Passat sedan and wagon continue, accompanied by the newer CC, a four-door based on the Passat that has a coupelike roofline.
VW's two crossovers are the compact Tiguan and the midsize Touareg. The Touareg, which shares a platform and six-cylinder engine with the Cayenne from majority owner Porsche, was recently redesigned and is now lighter and more efficient. It also offers an optional hybrid drivetrain, VW's first, which is also shared with the Cayenne.
In an unprecedented and questionable move, VW teamed with Chrysler to produce the Routan, a minivan that's based heavily on the Chrysler Town & Country and built at the same factory.
Headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen Passenger Cars is part of the Volkswagen Group, majority owned by Porsche AG.
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