Spotting the year

If you spot a 411 or 412 on the street it can be quite tricky to tell what year it is. Apart from some major redesigns that are easy to spot there were very few visible changes during its production run. This table will give you some hints. The safest route is still to locate the chassis number and look at the Chassis Number Chart.


  • Single headlights

  • Front VW logo on trunk lid

  • Black wheels with aluminum trim rings

  • 2- and 4-door models only


  • Dual headlights

  • Front VW logo moved to nose

  • Silver-colored wheels without trim rings

  • 411 wagon launched

  • Fuel-injected engines become available


  • Last year for three-spoke steering wheel

  • Last year for windshield wiper control as knob on dashboard

  • Matt black replaces fake woodgrain in dashboard


  • Four-spoke steering wheel

  • Windshield wipers controlled via stalk on steering column


  • Complete redesign and relaunch as VW 412

  • Wiper arms painted black instead of silver


  • 412 S and LS models (not for US market)

  • Parking light indicator in speedometer discontinued

  • Massive aluminum “5 mph” bumpers (US models only)

  • “Interlock” system with combined parking brake/seatbelt warning lamp to the left of the speedometer (US models only)lamp to the left of the speedometer (US models only)

  • Single turnsignal indicator light in clock, previously two separate lights were used.separate lights were used.