Volkswagen simplifying options list, cutting back base models

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Volkswagen Australia is putting a focus on bringing cars into Australia with more standard equipment.

The brand says it’s killing the old-fashioned base models in some parts of its range, offering cars with higher starting prices and fewer options.

“A number of our entry variants are no longer available,” said Michelle Rowney, head of product for Volkswagen passenger cars in Australia.

“That’s because we listen to our customers, and entry-level is not why they come to Volkswagen. This is what they want, and this is what we’re giving them: added value, with more standard equipment and fewer options,” she said.

We can already see this shift upmarket in the Volkswagen range. The Tiguan range is skewed towards more powerful, well specified variants, while the 2022 T-Roc SUV will be a more upmarket car than its predecessor with an updated cabin and more soft-touch materials.

In the case of the Arteon, the only option is a panoramic sunroof on Elegance and R-Line models.

Although it was something of a flagship for Volkswagen, the pre-update Arteon still needed the Sound and Style Package ($2500) fitted to ensure it was fully-loaded.

The Golf and Tiguan R are only offered in one highly-specified grade, and like the Arteon can only be specced with a panoramic sunroof.

That focus on a simpler, better-specified range won’t spell the end of price-leading versions of the Polo city car when it touches down in April 2022.

Both the 70TSI and 85TSI turbocharged three-cylinder engines will carry on for 2022, although the starting price will likely rise due to a range of new additions to its standard equipment list.

LED headlights are now standard across the range in Europe, and matrix LED lights are available on top-end models.

Even the base model features a digital instrument binnacle, and the suite of safety equipment on offer has been expanded.

Pricing for the current Polo range kicks off at $21,490 before on-road costs, and extends to $32,890 before on-roads for the performance-oriented Polo GTI.

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