2012 Volkswagen Cars

Volkswagen

Translated from German as "the people's car," that's what Volkswagen has exemplified during its long, checkered and yet proud history as a global brand. Launched as a populist platform in pre-war Germany, Volkswagen became a very important element of West German regeneration after World War II, both economically and symbolically. Volkswagen began selling cars in the United States in the mid-Fifties. The Type 1 (not officially called "Beetle" until decades later) became a smash success in America, with its distinctive ladybug shape, engine in the rear, and a Madison Avenue advertising campaign that catered to young American sophisticates with clever pitches. The "Bug" became associated with cultural touchpoints from the Sixties war-protest movement to Disney's Lovebug movies. After phasing out the Beetle in the early Seventies, VW's next global car was the Golf, a sprite subcompact that it eventually built and sold as the Rabbit in the U.S. It never became a huge hit with American consumers. Consequently, Volkswagen spent the next couple of decades trying to recover momentum with new models, always in the mold of lively, affordable, reliable little cars benefiting from sound German engineering, including Jetta and Passat. VW also revived the Beetle several years ago, re-establishing it as a significant niche product -- far from its populist origins.

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2012 Volkswagen Cars

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Volkswagen News & Reviews

2016 FIAT 500X: First Drive Review
April 24, 2015 
The 500X adds utility to the FIAT stable, but it isn't quite as fun as the frisky little 500.   Read more
7 Plug-In Hybrids and Electric Vehicles That Are Fun to Drive
April 22, 2015 
Our latest list proves that buying an electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid doesn't necessarily mean you'll have a dull driving experience.   Read more
CPO Program Review: Volkswagen
April 22, 2015 
We've rounded up everything you need to know about Volkswagen's certified pre-owned program.   Read more
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