• Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Every one of our Volkswagen Jetta and Passat reviews is guaranteed to include this word in the comments, aimed at its exterior design: "Boring." The brand says that's all about to change, telling a group of journalists during a tour of its design studio in Wolfsburg that designs will be more market specific; as Automotive News put it, that means "more aggressive" designs for the US that "will bare their teeth and flex their muscles," since the solid-yet-unoffensive look hasn't got VW past its two-percent market share here.

Yes, we've heard this before from the Volkswagen Group - Audi has been promising to pump up the volume on its designs for years now, we're still waiting to hear that music. But VW brand head designer Klaus Bischoff says that the look of the coming midsize crossover that will come in around the size of the Audi Q7 "has to be bold. It has to be a statement," and the results of US focus groups have already dictated design changes to the original idea. AN said it takes cues from the Cross Coupe GTE, with a notched grille, sculpted hood, and deep character lines along the flanks.

It sounds like baby steps for other models, though. The Passat gets a brand new design forward of the A-pillar, and new taillights. The new Tiguan has a shorter front overhang and a longer rear overhang, rounded wheel arches, and gets 2.2 inches longer. There'll be a long-wheelbase version of the Tiguan that grows by eight inches, which should give it livable room for four passengers in front and back. Beneath that will be a Golf-based crossover to compete in the compact segment with the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3.

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