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    Thread: Is the SEL Autumn Nut burl wood trim real wood or plastic like a Camry/Accord?

    1. Member
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      11-10-2011 05:40 PM #1
      I know that many people don't care about wood trim in a VW, but personally I like it as long as it is not the crappy wood grain plastic trim you find in many Japanese or domestic cars. Is the Passat's wood trim similar in construction to the trim in the CC VR6 Executive, for example? i know that even real wood trim is made of a very thin layer of wood encapsulated by a glossy finish layer. I am OK with that, but I am hoping that the cost cutting for the 2012 Passat does not mean that the wood trim is of the cheap patterned plastic variety you find in an Accord or Camry.

      By the way, in addition to the main wood or aluminum trim pieces on the dash, is there a thin matching strip running along the base of the windshield? I saw an interior picture of an SEL showing the A-pillar Fender tweeters and it looked like there was a thin strip of wood trim there. Is that strip made of aluminum (real or otherwise) on lower trim levels?
      Last edited by Ali B; 11-10-2011 at 05:43 PM.

    2. Member cheapa55TDI's Avatar
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      11-10-2011 06:28 PM #2
      I heard it's faux wood so it's fake. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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      11-10-2011 09:44 PM #3
      Plastic, as cheap as it is... Waiting for aftermaket options to be available. So sad that the SEL comes with a less appealing trim than the SE and S versions.

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      11-10-2011 10:37 PM #4
      I hated my fake wood at first but its slowly growing on me right now.

    5. 11-11-2011 01:52 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Milla View Post
      I hated my fake wood at first but its slowly growing on me right now.
      nope, i'm going to hate it the whole time until i can get it replaced with the brushed aluminum trim. the v6 se gets the fender system AND the brushed aluminum (so the trim says FENDER on it)

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      11-11-2011 08:34 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by teknokrat View Post
      nope, i'm going to hate it the whole time until i can get it replaced with the brushed aluminum trim. the v6 se gets the fender system AND the brushed aluminum (so the trim says FENDER on it)
      I've had cars with both fake and real wood trim and it was hard to tell the difference. I do think the brushed aluminum trim looks great in my V6 SE with all black interior and red lighting.

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      11-11-2011 01:14 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by mknieri View Post
      I've had cars with both fake and real wood trim and it was hard to tell the difference. I do think the brushed aluminum trim looks great in my V6 SE with all black interior and red lighting.
      It's hard to tell them apart when it's a well-made fake. What you find in low-end Japanese or Korean cars (Corolla, for example) screams cheap.

      As for the brushed aluminum trim, are you sure it's not silver painted plastic? When I got my 2010 CC R-line, I thought my dash and door trim was aluminum but it is apparently painted plastic. I have a hard time believing they would put real brushed aluminum in a lower trim Passat and put faux wood trim in the SEL. I have no complaints about how my CC's faux aluminum trim looks, though.

    8. Member daddywagon's Avatar
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      11-11-2011 01:39 PM #8
      Does anyone have any photos of the carbon fiber look on the Canadian Highline?
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      11-11-2011 03:15 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Ali B View Post
      It's hard to tell them apart when it's a well-made fake. What you find in low-end Japanese or Korean cars (Corolla, for example) screams cheap.
      Perhaps the problem is that I am not comparing "apples to apples". I look into the wood trim from my BMW and Mercedes and love they way they look... after I check the trim on my VR6 SEL I can't stop growing that perverse hate that makes me ask God for an aftermarket trim kit to be available soon.

      Sorry for venting in public.

    10. 11-11-2011 05:27 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by Ali B View Post
      It's hard to tell them apart when it's a well-made fake. What you find in low-end Japanese or Korean cars (Corolla, for example) screams cheap.

      As for the brushed aluminum trim, are you sure it's not silver painted plastic? When I got my 2010 CC R-line, I thought my dash and door trim was aluminum but it is apparently painted plastic. I have a hard time believing they would put real brushed aluminum in a lower trim Passat and put faux wood trim in the SEL. I have no complaints about how my CC's faux aluminum trim looks, though.
      i'm pretty sure the brushed aluminum is also plastic, but that doesn't bother me, i just frankly like the look and color better than a wooden look. feels like a model t or something... what is people's obsession with putting wood in high-tech things...

    11. 11-12-2011 09:40 PM #11
      Yes can't wait for aftermarket options.. For whatever reason VW figured thats what Americans wanted.

    12. Junior Member darrelld's Avatar
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      11-13-2011 09:40 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Ali B View Post
      I know that many people don't care about wood trim in a VW, but personally I like it as long as it is not the crappy wood grain plastic trim you find in many Japanese or domestic cars. Is the Passat's wood trim similar in construction to the trim in the CC VR6 Executive, for example? i know that even real wood trim is made of a very thin layer of wood encapsulated by a glossy finish layer. I am OK with that, but I am hoping that the cost cutting for the 2012 Passat does not mean that the wood trim is of the cheap patterned plastic variety you find in an Accord or Camry.

      By the way, in addition to the main wood or aluminum trim pieces on the dash, is there a thin matching strip running along the base of the windshield? I saw an interior picture of an SEL showing the A-pillar Fender tweeters and it looked like there was a thin strip of wood trim there. Is that strip made of aluminum (real or otherwise) on lower trim levels?
      Insideline thinks the wood in the Passat is genuine.

      "Passat's superior versions of similar features. Its 18-inch alloy wheels and genuine wood trim surpass the Accord's 17-inch alloys and poorly rendered simulated wood trim."

      http://www.insideline.com/volkswagen...ison-test.html

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      11-13-2011 09:58 AM #13
      Yes. I think the brushed aluminum trim is indeed plastic. In fact, I heard one VW sales rep. call it something but can't remember the name or term he used.

    14. 12-12-2011 09:23 PM #14
      Anyone find any aftermarket trim ?

    15. Member cfurman's Avatar
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      12-12-2011 10:39 PM #15
      Had a friend that is a big BMW enthusiast that owns a 6-series hop in my car last week. Funny thing is that when he sat down the first thing he did was touch the wood. The first thing he said was "this is really nice"
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    16. 12-13-2011 09:02 AM #16
      It's pure plastic. The entire front panel of fake wood is one giant piece that pops right off. Saw a new B7 with the whole front dash removed the other day.

    17. Member cfurman's Avatar
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      12-13-2011 10:46 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by hhaller View Post
      It's pure plastic. The entire front panel of fake wood is one giant piece that pops right off. Saw a new B7 with the whole front dash removed the other day.
      The backing of it would be plastic... Even if real or fake wood. I wish there was a real VW spokesperson here to answer the question....

      IMO I like it and I was never a fan of wood in cars either.
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    18. Member mmhs19's Avatar
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      01-08-2012 10:50 PM #18
      I like my beige interior with the fake (surely it is) wood. It's very warm.

    19. Junior Member joereg's Avatar
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      04-29-2012 11:39 PM #19
      It's great to be back on vw vortex I just purchased my black on black tdi SEL. and after 4 days I really like it. The funny thing to me, is that if you have to ask while your in the car (I know some posters have not been) then it shouldn't matter....regardless.

      The trim is not real. From 10' away you may believe it is, but up close it looks fake. That's okay with me because the price point of this car does not justify real wood. IMO.

      Joe

    20. Member macaddiict's Avatar
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      04-30-2012 12:33 AM #20
      Me & the other half are considering a B7 Passat, and the UGLY wood trim is the only thing keeping us away from the SEL! Neither of us like it at all.

      We have test driven the competition -- while other brands also have wood on high end, it doesn't look quite so bad... the 2012 Passat wood reminds me of the wood in my mom's 1984 Pontiac Parisienne, ha! Nissan has done a nice job with their wood interior in the Maxima -- it is a grey color and more of a bamboo/horizontal line treatment rather than burled grandpa wood.

      Anyway, we have decided to stick to the SE simply to stay away from the wood ... well, and the Dynamica ... and the slow radio. Usually you pay more to stay away from the crap!

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      04-30-2012 01:16 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by macaddiict View Post

      Anyway, we have decided to stick to the SE simply to stay away from the wood ... well, and the Dynamica ... and the slow radio. Usually you pay more to stay away from the crap!
      Heh, easy there turbo. I like my "wood" trim thankyouverymuch. What's with these kids questioning wood (even real wood) in interiors anyway? Do you like leather? That's natural too, how about you rip that out? I'd speculate that wood evokes the feeling of fine furniture (as does leather and other fine finishes). It's not for everybody, but it works.

      I understand your need to rationalize not getting the SEL, but you're missing out on far more than just faux wood and slow radio. I'm sure you'll be happy to pay out the wazoo to get the missing features you end up wanting after the fact, but no need to insult those of us who had presence of mind to get the SEL features out the gate. Less to do later!

      I might add that it's not 100% confirmed fake either. The backing is reasonably plastic or composite, as are all molded laminates that are made for crazy temperature swings like car interiors.

    22. 04-30-2012 06:44 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by writeb View Post
      Heh, easy there turbo. I like my "wood" trim thankyouverymuch. What's with these kids questioning wood (even real wood) in interiors anyway? Do you like leather? That's natural too, how about you rip that out? I'd speculate that wood evokes the feeling of fine furniture (as does leather and other fine finishes). It's not for everybody, but it works.

      I understand your need to rationalize not getting the SEL, but you're missing out on far more than just faux wood and slow radio. I'm sure you'll be happy to pay out the wazoo to get the missing features you end up wanting after the fact, but no need to insult those of us who had presence of mind to get the SEL features out the gate. Less to do later!

      I might add that it's not 100% confirmed fake either. The backing is reasonably plastic or composite, as are all molded laminates that are made for crazy temperature swings like car interiors.
      dude it's totally fake, i've already swapped my wood trim out for the brushed aluminum (also fake) trim in my black/black tdi sel, and it looks MUCH, MUCH better that way. and you bring up the leather seats... honestly, i could live without that too, but at least they are black and look good.

      how can anybody find wood on cars attractive after watching national lampoon's vacation? it's a joke, people. wood paneling had its day, it was called the 1970s.

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      04-30-2012 05:52 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by teknokrat View Post
      dude it's totally fake, i've already swapped my wood trim out for the brushed aluminum (also fake) trim in my black/black tdi sel, and it looks MUCH, MUCH better that way. and you bring up the leather seats... honestly, i could live without that too, but at least they are black and look good.

      how can anybody find wood on cars attractive after watching national lampoon's vacation? it's a joke, people. wood paneling had its day, it was called the 1970s.
      Meh, I googled the "best" modern style interiors with aluminum and carbon fiber, and while some look fair, they all used real leather I have yet to really see the CF look pulled off with class. The vast majority all look cheap and fake (of which they are). When the best implementations are pretty much 3M tape, you have to question things.

      I too like the modern lines of the brushed aluminum (I actually have a terrible affinity for a decent amount of chrome to boot, so sue me), but I think wood (look) as an interior upgrade has its appropriate place today too. It's just about execution.

      Cute. Nobody is talking about exterior panels. We're talking car interiors. When I want a good hoagie preserved, I'll look for some aluminum...

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      04-30-2012 07:54 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by teknokrat View Post
      i've already swapped my wood trim out for the brushed aluminum (also fake) trim in my black/black tdi sel, and it looks MUCH, MUCH better that way.
      any pics? the wood is gonna be the only thing that bugs me too. how much did it set you back? did you order from the dealership?

    25. Junior Member shredX's Avatar
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      04-30-2012 09:08 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by ArgyleVR6 View Post
      any pics? the wood is gonna be the only thing that bugs me too. how much did it set you back? did you order from the dealership?
      +1

      Curious on price and ease of install.
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      04-30-2012 10:12 PM #26
      I used to work for Lincoln, and at the time they had released the "Blackwood" truck. It had the same Burl Wood interior, that I know was real, so if the VW is fake they've done an excellent job making it look real.
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      04-30-2012 10:53 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by cfurman View Post
      Had a friend that is a big BMW enthusiast that owns a 6-series hop in my car last week. Funny thing is that when he sat down the first thing he did was touch the wood. The first thing he said was "this is really nice"
      He was being polite...

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      05-01-2012 02:51 PM #28
      Hey, as long as it doesn't look like the crap they used to applique into US cars in the 70's & 80's, then I'm good. The woodgrain trim on our SEL lends just the right amount of warmth to the cabin.
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    29. 05-01-2012 08:39 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by ArgyleVR6 View Post
      any pics? the wood is gonna be the only thing that bugs me too. how much did it set you back? did you order from the dealership?
      too lazy for pics but just look up a v6 se with black interior and there ya go.

      the interior trim pieces (there are 9 parts total) cost around $500ish if i recall correctly, and yes i bought them from the dealership.

      i was able to install 7 of the 9 pieces myself, but the last 2 pieces involved the wiring around the push button start and the gearshift, so i had the dealership do those. (for free!)

    30. Junior Member joereg's Avatar
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      05-16-2012 11:01 AM #30
      Sorry to belabor this subject, but I thought potential buyers should know the truth about this trim. Upon my purchase, I assumed that the trim was fake wood, considering the price point of the Passat. I've owned several vehicles with real wood and this trim didn't seem to have the "depth" character that other woods have. A few days ago, I noticed that the light caught an area of the trim that gave it that appearance of "depth".

      So now I wanted to know for sure and I contacted VWOA directly to get the truth. Here was their response. "Congrats on your new Passat! It is real wood. The ordering guide states so, we would not be able to say that if it were anything otherwise."

      So if anyone is NOT going to purchase this car based on the fact that the wood trim is cheap plastic, and not REAL wood, you should reconsider your decision.

      FYI, Joe

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      05-16-2012 11:11 AM #31
      my issue is not whether its real or fake wood...but rather is appears to be and looks like fake wood.

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      05-16-2012 02:16 PM #32
      Looks real enough to me. And go figure! It is real after all...

    33. Junior Member darrelld's Avatar
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      05-16-2012 02:24 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by joereg View Post
      Sorry to belabor this subject, but I thought potential buyers should know the truth about this trim. Upon my purchase, I assumed that the trim was fake wood, considering the price point of the Passat. I've owned several vehicles with real wood and this trim didn't seem to have the "depth" character that other woods have. A few days ago, I noticed that the light caught an area of the trim that gave it that appearance of "depth".

      So now I wanted to know for sure and I contacted VWOA directly to get the truth. Here was their response. "Congrats on your new Passat! It is real wood. The ordering guide states so, we would not be able to say that if it were anything otherwise."

      So if anyone is NOT going to purchase this car based on the fact that the wood trim is cheap plastic, and not REAL wood, you should reconsider your decision.

      FYI, Joe
      Always looked real to me, more like real wood than my previous Lexus.

      Thanks for confirming.

    34. Junior Member shredX's Avatar
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      05-16-2012 04:15 PM #34
      Interesting thread. I thought I heard it was fake, so I wanted to swap it out.
      Now, I'll just sit back and enjoy NOT spending $500+.
      '12 Passat VR6 SEL

    35. 05-16-2012 06:38 PM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by joereg View Post
      Sorry to belabor this subject, but I thought potential buyers should know the truth about this trim. Upon my purchase, I assumed that the trim was fake wood, considering the price point of the Passat. I've owned several vehicles with real wood and this trim didn't seem to have the "depth" character that other woods have. A few days ago, I noticed that the light caught an area of the trim that gave it that appearance of "depth".

      So now I wanted to know for sure and I contacted VWOA directly to get the truth. Here was their response. "Congrats on your new Passat! It is real wood. The ordering guide states so, we would not be able to say that if it were anything otherwise."

      So if anyone is NOT going to purchase this car based on the fact that the wood trim is cheap plastic, and not REAL wood, you should reconsider your decision.

      FYI, Joe
      ok this astounds me, seriously. i call total BS.

      i OWNED the trim, i HELD it in my hands as i replaced it. you can literally see the BROWN PAINT on the BLACK PLASTIC once you remove the pieces. not to mention the pieces were just as light as the "brushed aluminum" (also fake) pieces i replaced them with.

      if it IS real wood... it must be a RAZOR thin piece backed with plastic, and painted and glazed to look nice. but i seriously, seriously doubt it, from hands-on, eyes-on personal experience.

      by the way, the official name simply says "autumn nut burl"... it NEVER says the word "wood". look at vw.com.
      Last edited by teknokrat; 05-16-2012 at 06:41 PM.

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