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2006 New Car Model Guide, Model Guide, New Car Reviews, Volvswagen Cars, Trucks, & SUVs


2006 Volkswagen New Car Model GuideVolkswagen of Germany revamps sedans in 2006 with a larger mid-size Passat plus best-seller Jetta in brash style packing a sparky engine. Also, the roly-poly New Beetle -- VW's most recognized car -- scores a new standard five-cylinder plant as Touareg the SUV boosts output from a new direct-injection V6.

Volkswagen Phaeton
2006 Volkswagen Phaeton

The full-size Volkswagen sedan amounts to an ultra-premium limousine on a stretched wheelbase with luxury gear aboard. VW's 4Motion all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is standard, along with an air suspension, xenon high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, automatic interior climate system with four-zone temperature controls, plus a navigation system and deluxe digital audio package with 12 speakers in a leather-lined cabin.

Phaeton brings two powertrain options as model nomenclature follows engine patterns -- Phaeton V8 and Phaeton W12. Phaeton V8 contains a 4.2-liter V8 producing 335 hp and connecting to a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic clutch-less shifter. Phaeton W12 carries VW's W-shaped 12-cylinder engine at 6.0 liters and this year with a 24-point power boost to 444 hp through a five-speed Tiptronic automatic. Also new for 2006 is the option of Active Cruise Control (ACC) on either V8 or W12 model, along with Bluetooth cell phone preparation.

Volkswagen Touareg
2006 Volkswagen Touareg

The SUV from VW is a five-door model with a tight unibody structure. It's sleek in style, large in scale for the mid-size class and provides a spacious cabin with seats for five plus plush appointments. Touareg employs VW's four-wheel-drive (4WD) traction device labeled 4XMotion, which provides uncanny stick-it-down traction for all wheels, plus optional locking rear differential and an air suspension. Engines contain six, eight or even ten cylinders.

For 2006, the base plant is new -- a 3.6-liter VR6 with direct injection and output of 276 hp, which marks a 36-point improvement over the previous 3.2-liter VR6. Optional is a 4.2-liter V8 worth 310 hp or a massive turbo-diesel 5.0-liter V10 that knocks out 310 hp. Touareg V10 TDI also has a six-speed automatic transmission, electronic stabilization program (ESP) and a device called Hill Descent and Climb Assist to keep wheels tethered to a steep grade.

Volkswagen New Beetle
2006 Volkswagen New Beetle

VW's compact two-door coupe and convertible show styling changes for 2006 featuring revised fascias, fenders and side sills with keen lines drawn around wheelwells and a bold face set with large oval headlamps and a mesh grille. The standard engine this year is also new -- a 2.5-liter five-cylinder rig which achieves 150 hp through a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic shifter.

Equipment upgrades consist of a traction control system (TCS) with ESP added to all models. New Beetle Cabriolet amounts to a convertible conversion worked out by Karmann Coachworks in Germany. The fabric-lined top has three layers for insulation plus a rear window constructed from glass and imbedded with a defroster element. The top opens and closes by manual mode or optional semi-automatic power controls. Gecko Green and Salsa Red are fresh paint shades for '06.

Volkswagen Passat
2006 Volkswagen Passat

The mid-size Passat sedan grows up with a new design in 2006 that positions this car closer to the luxury class. Passat's body expands by three inches in length and width, which translates to more room for riders in the five-seat passenger compartment.

VW casts two Passat models segmented by powertrain. Passat 2.0T is the entry issue in front-wheel-drive (FWD) format with a new 2.0-liter four-in-line engine below the hood. It adds a turbo-charger and direct fuel injection to generate 200 hp through a manual six-speed transmission or six-speed electronic automatic with Tiptronic sequential shifter. Passat 3.2 VR6 is the uplevel trim using a 3.6-liter V6 cranked to 280 hp. VW's 4Motion AWD system is optional on the VR6 version, where standard equipment includes curtain-style air bags and ESP, leatherette seat trim, twin-zone automatic climate controls and a deluxe sound system with six-disk CD changer.

Volkswagen Golf
2006 Volkswagen Golf

VW's subcompact series of three-door and five-door hatchbacks use a stiff platform fitted with precise mechanical controls like power rack and pinion steering, an independent suspension and disc brakes. Golf continues in two trims as the base GL and uplevel GLS.

A naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine worth 115 hp is standard, but VW's direct-injection 1.9-liter turbo-diesel with unit-injector technology is available for 100 hp and high fuel economy ratings. For 2006, several models fade away (the three-door GL and five-door GL TDI) as VW awaits the arrival of an entirely new design for Golf in the spring of 2006.

Volkswagen GTI
2006 Volkswagen GTI

A variation of the Golf three-door hatch with firm suspension settings and superior equipment goes by the tag of GTI. VW's 1.8-liter turbo four-pack is the powertrain here for the 2006 GTI GLS, delivering 180 hp through a five-speed Tiptronic automatic. GTI's cabin pitches two bucket seats in front of a two-place jump seat with space in the hatchback bay for gear.

Heated seats and heated windshield washer nozzles go to the list of standard equipment for GTI 2006, along with ESP and 17-inch alloy wheels. As with Golf, a revised GTI riding on the new platform of Golf arrives early in 2006.

Volkswagen Jetta
2006 Volkswagen Jetta

Crisp body styling for the Jetta sedan features a brash face with chrome grille flanking oversized corner lamps and aerodynamic lines sweeping up a canted windshield and across the arching roof. Jetta's five-seat cabin has more room than a car in the compact class should contain and more fine materials and fancy appointments than a car with affordable price points usually provides.

Primary powertrain is VW's 2.5-liter five-cylinder plant making 150 hp. A new 2.0-liter four-pack with turbo-charging and direct injection nets 200 hp for Jetta 2.0T or GLI and ties to a six-speed manual or optional six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automatic Tiptronic. Jetta Value Edition is the entry issue with the 2.5-liter plant plus a lower MSRP, and Jetta TDI brings a 1.9-liter turbo-diesel worth 100 hp. Bi-xenon HID headlights are now standard on the GLI, with a DVD navigation system optional on Jetta's top models.