Volkswagen is celebrating a double victory at the 2020 What Car? Used Car of the Year Awards this week, with the up! and Passat Estate collecting trophies for their long lists of talents. Winning the Used City Car and Used Estate Car categories respectively, both claim their titles over fierce competition, earning high praise from the panel of judges for their wide range of attributes.


After much praise this year already, another win for the up! strengthens its reputation as the most talented offering in its segment, as well as its position as the most decorated car of 2019 in the Volkswagen line-up. The criteria the judges compare each car by includes space, economy, safety and ease of use, while also taking into account driving characteristics and suitability to a wide variety of roads and conditions. The Passat Estate’s cavernous boot capacity of up to 1,780 litres ticks the box for all-important luggage space, while its comprehensive equipment, high quality interior and unrivalled comfort secured its 2020 title.


This latest success comes amid a very fruitful awards season for the brand. Just last week the Touareg was named the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s best Towcar in its largest towing weight category, while the Arteon was named overall winner at the 2019 Tow Car Awards a few weeks prior.

Volkswagen’s used car efforts have drawn high praise from What Car? previously – at the 2019 What Car? Used Car of the Year Awards, Volkswagen triumphed in the category for Best Used Car Website for its Das WeltAuto approved used scheme.


The judging panel described the up! as “long having been one of our favourite city cars”, and hailed the Passat’s “practicality, refinement and high-quality interior”, leading them to award both cars their respective category wins.


Mark Pearson, Used Car Editor at What Car? said: “We’re delighted to hand our Used Estate Car of the Year Award to the venerable Passat. Even in a category that was jam-packed with so many spacious estate cars it stood out. It’s great to drive, too, and that you can have all this competence and classiness at such competitive prices only seals the deal for us.


“Meanwhile, the pert little Volkswagen up! won our Used City Car Award this year because it’s great to drive and comes with that lovely, classy interior that also offers up plenty of room for four. It’s refined, economical and practical, and it should be cheap to run, too. It’s a great overall package and terrific value.”


Barny Francis, National Used Car Manager at Volkswagen UK, said: “The up! and Passat are both very popular used models and it’s easy to see why when they win awards like this. The up! is already Volkswagen’s most affordable model and used examples represent even greater value for money, especially when purchased through our What Car? award-winning Das WeltAuto approved used car scheme.


“The Passat has long been a favourite among UK buyers for its genuine all-rounder status, and an ability to rise to challenges with unrivalled confidence and capability. It’s got a strong history of success, and with over 30 million sold worldwide since the first model in 1973, there is plenty of choice for used car buyers at our retailers.”


About the Volkswagen brand:

The Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is present in more than 150 markets throughout the world and produces vehicles at over 50 locations in 14 countries. In 2018, Volkswagen delivered 6,2 million vehicles including bestselling models such as the Golf, Tiguan, Jetta or Passat. Currently, 195,878 people work for Volkswagen across the globe. The brand also has over 10,000 dealerships with 86,000 employees. Volkswagen is forging ahead consistently with the further development of automobile production. E-mobility, smart mobility and the digital transformation of the brand are the key strategic topics for the future.


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The Golf is the most successful European car for more than four decades. A new chapter in the history of this best-seller begins today, 24 October 2019, with the world premiere of the eighth Golf – digitalised, connected, and intuitive to operate. Never before has a Golf been so progressive. With hybrid versions launched at the same time, it is electrifying the compact class. Its digital interior enables a new dimension of intuitive operation. Speeds of up to 210 km/h are possible with assisted driving. It is the first Volkswagen to use swarm intelligence from traffic via Car2X, meaning it can warn against hazards on an anticipatory basis. Its world premiere takes place in Wolfsburg, where the Golf was invented, and where it has been built and refined for the last 45 years. The new Golf will be available on the market in December.


“Over the course of seven generations, the Golf has impressed more than 35 million customers. The entire automobile industry expects a new Golf to set the standard”, explained Dr. Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG. In terms of its technology, the Golf is making the greatest leap forward since its debut. Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer of Volkswagen Passenger Cars: “This car is completely new. But of course, a Golf always remains a Golf. Because the underlying concept is timeless. This car has defined our brand over decades. The Golf has consistently made new technologies available for everyone.”


It is a fact that the new Golf makes sustainable mobility accessible to many people. What’s more, with this Golf Volkswagen is moving to digitalised, self-explanatory operation. Klaus Bischoff, Head Designer at Volkswagen: “In a world where complexity is ever-increasing, the new Golf allows the driver to operate the vehicle intuitively.” Practically all displays and controls are digital: the new instruments and online infotainment systems meld together into a display landscape featuring touch buttons and touch sliders. A windshield head-up display is optionally available to further enhance the range of information available.


Five hybrid drives for the new Golf

With the new Golf, Volkswagen has started a hybrid offensive. As the first model of the brand, the eighth Golf will be available in no less than five hybrid drive versions. Its debut also celebrates 48V technology: a belt starter generator, 48V lithium-ion battery and the latest generation of efficient TSI engines form a new mild hybrid drive in the eTSI. Tangible benefits: consumption has been cut by up to 10% (on the basis of WLTP) and the vehicle is extremely agile and comfortable when moving off. Volkswagen will offer the Golf in three eTSI output stages: 81 kW / 110 PS, 96 kW / 130 PS and 110 kW / 150 PS.


The eighth generation of the best-seller will also be available as two plug-in hybrid drive variants. A new efficiency version generates 150 kW / 204 PS while the very sporty GTE delivers 180 kW / 245 PS. Both Golf versions with plug-in hybrid drives will launch with a new 13 kWh lithium-ion battery on board that enables larger electrically powered ranges of approximately 60 kilometres, and temporarily turns the Golf into a zero-emissions vehicle.


Efficient petrol and diesel – consumption savings of up to 17%

The drive options for the new Golf also include a petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI) and natural gas drive (TGI), two three-cylinder petrol engines with 66 kW / 90 PS and 81 kW / 110 PS, two four-cylinder diesel engines with 85 kW / 115 PS and 110 kW / 150 PS, and a TGI with 96 kW / 130 PS. The new TSI variants have particularly low consumption values and emissions thanks to elements including the innovative TSI Miller combustion process. An innovation in the TDI powertrains: Volkswagen uses twin-dosing technology (two SCR catalytic converters) to significantly reduce nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) by up to 80%; in addition, TDI consumption is lowered by up to 17% compared with its predecessor.


Consistently connected and Car2X as standard 
The systems have not only been linked to each other, but thanks to an online connectivity unit (OCU), they have also been connected to the world outside the Golf. The standard OCU featuring integrated eSIM links to “We Connect” and “We Connect Plus” online functions and services. The new Golf is also the first Volkswagen to connect with its environment as standard, via Car2X: signals from the traffic infrastructure and information from other vehicles up to 800 metres away are notified to the driver via a display. The Golf also shares these warnings with other Car2X models. Swarm intelligence is becoming a reality, representing the beginning of a new phase of traffic safety.


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Powerful like a genuine sports car, casual like a versatile CUV – the new T-Roc R is the new star of the T-Roc family. Generating a mighty 221 kW/300 PS, the compact Volkswagen R powerhouse accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. The vehicle reaches a top speed of 250 km/h before the electronics limit the forward thrust of the new top-of-the-range T-Roc version.


The cutting-edge 2.0-litre power unit featuring TSI technology and intelligent 4MOTION all-wheel drive lends the most powerful T-Roc outstanding handling characteristics. Turbocharging and direct injection already generate an impressive torque of 400 Nm at low engine speeds. Thanks to its ample speed range, the T-Roc R is always within the ideal performance spectrum in practically every situation, The high-performance brake system guarantees effective deceleration. A standard function called Launch Control makes sure the vehicle accelerates perfectly. When pushing it to the limit, the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) can be manually deactivated. The standard 7-speed DSG gearbox has been specifically adapted to the impulsive mapping of the T-Roc R. The tried and tested 4MOTION all-wheel drive distributes the standard overdose of power between the front and the rear wheels within milliseconds, as required and depending on the wheel slip. This results in the best-possible traction – including in adverse weather, such as in wet conditions or in snow, as well as on challenging terrain.


A highly distinctive exterior too 

Bumpers in R styling, air intakes with black fins and the R logo in the black radiator grille are typical hallmark features of the high-performance Volkswagen R family. LED headlights guarantee perfect illumination of the road and exemplary visibility of the vehicle. The daytime running lights have been integrated vertically into the front bumper that has been specifically designed for the T-Roc R. This already makes the product line’s top-of-the-range version unmistakeable from a distance. The LED tail light clusters are glazed in dark red, typical of R styling. The two twin tailpipes on the rear left and right have been chrome-plated. The optional “R” Performance titanium exhaust system made by specialist Akrapovič is characterised by a distinctive sound, striking tailpipe design and a weight that has been cut by approximately seven kilos.


Sports steering wheel with flattened lower section in R trim with paddles
The multifunction sports steering wheel is covered with leather and features a flattened lower section. Striking stitching in Crystal Grey and the R logo make it a genuine eye-catcher. Featuring pleasant, thick padding, it feels perfect in the driver’s hands, providing a very direct sensation for the T-Roc R’s progressive steering. The gear ratio makes for an optimised steering response that is more direct and controlled, conveying perfect contact with the road surface. In combination with the standard sports running gear, this boosts driving dynamics on curvy roads – as well as makes everyday driving more comfortable, for instance when manoeuvring and parking. The rear of the sports steering wheel features two paddles for manual gear changes. Drivers can engage the seven gears of the dual clutch gearbox with lightning speed thanks to these conveniently positioned paddles.


Smart connectivity and modern driver assist systems

The impressive 8-inch TFT touchscreen in tablet design can be paired with a smartphone in seconds. If desired, selected apps for Android and iOS can be displayed in large format and operated using App-Connect. This also applies to elements such as phone book entries, playlists and calendar entries. The optional Comfort mobile phone interface enables contactless high-voltage battery charging. Alternatively it is also possible to link tablet PCs and iPads using Wi-Fi. Select different profiles and displays using the multi-coloured Digital Cockpit.


Like all T-Roc models the R version is equipped with cutting-edge driver assist systems. These include the standard Driver Alert System and the automatic Emergency Call Service as well as the Hill Start Assistant and Hill Descent Control. Further optional driver assist systems make the T-Roc R even safer. The appealing driver assist system package includes elements, such as ACC stop & go adaptive cruise control, Traffic Jam Assist, Rear Traffic Alert, Lane Assist lane keeping system, Blind Spot Monitor and Front Assist Autonomous Emergency Braking.


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A successful launch year for the new Passat: just a few weeks after its release, the Passat, refined with a far-reaching update, wins the “Best Company Car in 2019” award. The new edition of this Volkswagen best-seller had already secured first place in important comparative tests, underlining that the new Passat is also among the best business models on the market.



The “Best Company Car” award, initiated by the editorial team at AUTO BILD as a reader’s choice competition, was won by the new Passat in the high-volume “mid-size” category. The Passat is the blueprint for vehicles in this award category. Direct quote from AUTO BILD: “These company cars are mostly driven on national highways and motorways, in mid- to long-range journeys. Extensive comfort and assistance systems make long trips more pleasant and safer...” In fact, with the equipment details that come fitted as standard – such as LED headlights and LED tail light clusters, the Front Assist area monitoring system plus Pedestrian Monitoring, Lane Assist lane keeping system, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Keyless Start, an infotainment system including a mobile phone interface, smartphone connection via App Connect, and many mobile online services – the new Passat offers an excellent price/performance ratio even in the basic version (from €31,930).


The engines of the Passat are efficient and sustainable – from turbocharged petrol engines (TSI) through turbo diesel engines (TDI) to the Passat GTE with plug-in hybrid drive (160 kW/218 PS). In comparative testing by renowned automotive trade journals, the new Passat came out on top time and time again. Two examples: In the AUTO ZEITUNG test, the Passat Estate 2.0 TDI with 140 kW/190 PS beat its key competitors: As judged by the testers: “With the model maintenance measures undertaken, the VW Passat Estate has cemented its dominant position in the mid-size category...” In the comparison performed by AUTO BILD, the Passat 2.0 TSI with 140 kW/190 PS also takes top place. The panel members summarised its quality features as follows: “A roomy vehicle interior, balanced driving characteristics, fantastic multimedia and safety...” – In short: a perfect business car.


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The Volkswagen Wolfsburg plant receives the "Lean & Green Management Award 2019" in the "Automotive OEM" category for its efficient and sustainable production. More than 250 plants from more than ten countries and 20 different industries participated in this competition.


"We are proud that our persistent work has been successful in saving resources and that we have been awarded the prestigious 'Lean & Green Management Award'," said Stefan Loth, Plant Manager of Volkswagen's Wolfsburg plant. "At the Wolfsburg location, we prove that efficient vehicle production and conserving resources at the same time is not only possible, but makes sense. For the production also carries an ecological responsibility. The deliberate use of raw materials and energy plays a key role in our environmental commitment. „


In terms of production efficiency, Volkswagen's main plant focuses on its "PQM" strategy - productivity, quality and crew. Every year more than 400 workshops take place, where the Wolfsburg workforce improves processes and thus reduces the production costs per vehicle. The plant consistently uses the Volkswagen production system, which describes the basics, standards and methods by which the manufacturing processes are designed, executed and constantly further developed.


The Volkswagen main plant is also on course for sustainability and the implementation of the environmental program “Zero Impact Factory”. An important building block for protecting the environment and promoting biodiversity are, for example, the process water basins located on the plant site. Thanks to the internal operating water cycle, every drop of water passes through the system about four to six times, helping to keep water consumption per vehicle very low.


The "Lean & Green Management Award" is awarded annually with the consultants Growtth® Consulting Europe and Quadriga Consult and the trade publication AUTOMOBIL INDUSTRIE. The award was recently ranked as one of the highest rated sustainability awards in Germany in a study by the University of Hohenheim.



The Volkswagen plant Wolfsburg will receive the award at the beginning of November at this year's congress in Regensburg.


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