Volkswagen is making quite a number of changes to its vehicles for the 2008 model year. Most changes are minor, like color deletions and trim level naming switches. Other changes, though, are more significant - like extra power for the 2.5-liter five cylinder engine used in the Rabbit and Jetta. That motor gets a useful twenty horsepower boost to 170 hp and now produces 177 ft-lb of torque - seven more than last year.
The newfound thrust comes courtesy of a new intake and software to take advantage of the extra breathing capability. The intake, however, doesn't fit under the hood of the New Beetle, which will soldier on with the 150-horsepower version. A replacement New Beetle (a New-New Beetle?)is due for 2009, and we expect it to get the extra twenty horses then.
Otherwise, the trend for Volkswagen's lower end models like the Rabbit, Jetta, and New Beetle leans toward de-contenting. Whether in the name of making the vehicle more affordable to produce, or just because the features aren't selling well, some of the fancier options for those three models won't be available for 2008. The New Beetle gets the most cuts, with fog lights being taken away from all trims, along with front floor mats, leather seating, and rain-sensing wipers. The Jetta loses its automatic climate control, leather seats, and Homelink feature.
At the upper end of the lineup, previously optional equipment will become standard. New Passat owners will enjoy standard power driver's seats, window shades, and upgraded interior details on all trim levels. The Eos remains largely the same, but the Touareg receives some more comprehensive updates. Minor styling changes will carry the SUV until its next major redesign, and luxury features like parking assist, a power liftgate, and satellite radio become standard.
Below you'll find the entire list of changes for 2008.
RABBIT* New 170-hp, 177 lb-ft 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine standard on two- & four-door* Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) now standard* New trim level naming: Rabbit S (two- and four-door)
GTI* 15mm ride height reduction on both two- and four-door* Sirius satellite radio now standard* Reflex Silver is now special order only* Climatronic deleted from all trims* New trim level naming: GTI and GTI Autobahn
NEW BEETLE / NEW BEETLE CONVERTIBLE* New trim level naming: S and SE* Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) now standard* Fog lights deleted from all trims* New sixteen-inch alloy wheel S* New seventeen-inch alloy wheel on SE* Temporary use spare tire* Delete Shadow Blue on sedan and convertible* Delete Platinum Gray on convertible* Delete reflex silver on convertible* Laser blue no longer available with gray interior* Black not available with crme top* Delete front floor mats* Delete Leather seating surfaces from all trims* Delete rain sensing wipers on all trims* Leatherette now named V-Tex* Cold weather package available on S as stand alone option
GLI* Reflex Silver is now special order only* Climatronic deleted from all trims* New trim level naming: GLI and GLI Autobahn
JETTA* New 170-hp, 177 lb-ft 2.5L five-cylinder engine standard* Delete 2.0T engine (only available on GLI)* Automatic only available with SEL* Temporary use spare tire* Laser Blue replaces Shadow Blue* Delete Wheat Beige* Front and rear lower valance in black textured color on S and SE* Body color front and rear valance on SEL* 2.5 badge included on S* Sixteen-inch steel wheels with full covers standard on S* Delete Climatronic from all trims* Delete leather seating surfaces from all trims* Power recline standard on all trim levels* Seventeen-inch wheel standard on SEL* Delete Homelink from all trims* Cold weather package now optional on S* Sixteen-inch alloy wheel now optional on S* Sunroof now optional on S* Premium sound package (includes amplifier and 250W) now optional on SE* New trim level naming, S, SE, and SEL* Leatherette now named V-Tex
PASSAT Sedan and Wagon* New trim level naming, Turbo, Komfort, Lux, and VR6* Leatherette now named V-Tex* Temporary use spare tire* Chrome window trim now standard on Turbo* New sixteen-inch alloy wheel on Turbo* New seventeen-inch alloy wheel on Komfort* Delete Shadow Blue* Delete Wheat Beige on wagon* Heated washer nozzles only available on VR6* Bi-Xenon headlamps w/ AFS now standard on VR6* Manual side and rear sunshade now standard on sedans* Manual side sunshades now standard on wagon* Power twelve-way driver seat now standard equipment* Heated front seats optional on Turbo and Komfort* Leather steering wheel now standard equipment* Leather shift knob now standard equipment* Delete Pure Beige leather comfort seats* Delete gray leather and V-Tex* New interior trim on Turbo* Three-spoke leather multi-function steering wheel included with Lux* Dynaudio now optional on Lux* Adaptive Cruise Control optional on VR6* 4Motion is only configuration available with VR6 wagon* Manual transmission only available on Turbo
EOS* New trim level naming, Turbo, Komfort, Lux, and VR6* Leatherette now named V-Tex* Lux only available with automatic transmission* Winter starting assist mode standard on VR6* New seventeen-inch alloy wheel on Lux* New eighteen-inch alloy wheel on VR6* Delete Wheat Beige* Rear Park Distance Control included in Lux and VR6* Chrome front grille louvers included on VR6* Power twelve-way driver seat now standard equipment* Leather steering wheel now standard equipment* Leather shift knob now standard equipment* Leather parking brake handle now standard equipment* Wind blocker now standard equipment* Ambient lighting deleted on Turbo* Micritech interior trim now included in Turbo* Center sliding armrest now standard equipment* Heated front seats now optional on Turbo* Seventeen-inch alloy wheel optional on Komfort
Touareg* New exterior colors (White Gold, Galapagos, Alaska Gray, Cranberry)* Chrome grille with logo and chrome eyebrows standard on VR6 FSI* Chrome matte grille with logo and chrome eyebrows, chrome air intakes, chrome grille slats standard on V8 FSI and V10 TDI Twin Turbo* Darkened Taillights* New, central headlights design* Sporty, more aerodynamic rear spoiler* Electronic Parking Assistance now standard equipment* Power Liftgate now standard equipment* Nineteen-inch Wheels with all-season tires optional on VR6 FSI, included in V8 FSI and V10 TDI Twin Turbo* Larger screen for Multi-function Indicator included with optional Technologie Package* New Option Packages* Dynaudio now available in package for all trims* Sirius Satellite Radio now standard equipment* Next generation Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) now standard equipment* ABS-Plus standard* ESP Innovations standard* New front seat design, more comfortable front seat side bolsters, new seat stitching design now standard equipment* Gray seat trim in leather and leatherette deleted* Silver Metallic Plastic interior trim standard on VR6 FSI with leatherette* Servotronic steering no longer available on 3.6L VR6 FSI* Comfort Suspension replaces Sport Suspension on VR6 FSI