NEW YORK -- Volkswagen has lowered the base price of the revamped Passat by about $7,000, placing the mid-sized sedan in a more competitive position to challenge the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion.
The 2012 Passat will start at $20,765, including shipping, compared with $27,945 for the 2010 model.
VW will offer a choice of three engines in the Passat, including a diesel powerplant that it says has a range of nearly 800 mileson a tank of fuel.
The new Passat was designed for U.S. consumers and will be built at VW's new $1 billion assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. It goes on sale this fall.
With the new Passat, the brand wants to send the message that "VW is back" in the United States, said Christian Klingler, head of sales and marketing for the VW brand worldwide.
"Our intention with this Passat is to broaden the appeal to more customers," Klingler said.
Jonathan Browning, CEO of Volkswagen of America, said the "price puts us squarely in that mid-sized sedan segment. When you look at the offer, we are making sure it's affordable but very well equipped.