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2010 Volkswagen Golf Review – Utility and performance fitted into an economical package

Tuesday February 16th, 2010 at 10:22 AM
Posted by: Francois

2010 VW Golf
By Francis Cebedo

Strengths:

  • The base model is very satisfying
  • Exterior design is clean and attractive
  • Interior is excellent
  • Comes in 3-door and 5-door
  • Model selection is very broad with Diesel, GTI and high performance models coming
  • Fun to drive rating is off the charts for a base model aka practical car
  • Construction and feel is very solid
  • 5-cylinder engine is quite powerful with a very usable torque curve
  • Chassis handles nicely and feels like it can handle a lot more

Weaknesses:

  • Could use a center arm rest with storage
  • No interior options like leather are available
  • Radio has mediocre sound, poor FM reception and no steering wheel controls
  • Can’t get it as cheap as the competition

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Volkswagen |Tags:, || 4 Comments »


CarReview's Best Car Choices of 2009

Monday November 23rd, 2009 at 3:1111 PM
Posted by: ggaillard

New Year 2009-2010 SignpostContributing editors: Greg Gaillard, Alex Kramer, Kurt Gensheimer, Derek Mau

Despite 2008′s desperate measures to help auto manufacturers hold on to business as usual, 2009 brought only radical change leaving many old business practices and brands behind.

We have been spectators in this year of turmoil and watched the industry struggle to reinvent itself.  Two of The Big Three went bankrupt; one emerged with a global partner, the other became lean and focused.  Diesels are now faster than their gasoline counterparts. Nine out of ten EPA mpg champs are hybrids. VW bought Porsche while Porsche was buying VW.  Overall sales were millions of units short of expectations. Manufacturers now pin their hopes on the Chinese market, while Americans pray that the Volt is half as good as it needs to be. Somehow, during all of this turmoil Kia became cool.  What was once unthinkable has happened.

Amidst the mayhem consumer conservatism has redefined value to mean more than MSRP, monthly payments and residuals. Cars had better be good at what they do or people won’t buy them. The industry must meet the new expectation of great cars and real innovation. Tricky marketing and trend analysis will not build the product portfolios of the future.

While the industry was being shaken to its core, 2009 was a banner year for new technologies and remarkable products.  Read on to find out which cars persevered as CarReview’s best choices of 2009

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Posted in Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Dodge, Feature Articles, Ford, Honda, hybrid, Infiniti, Jaguar, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , || 3 Comments »


New BlueMotion Golf Is Most Economical Ever

Thursday October 15th, 2009 at 8:1010 AM
Posted by: tonyb

VW BlueMotion Golf

61.9 miles per gallon. That’s the number to keep in mind. The upcoming Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion (i.e. the diesel) will get you 61.9 miles to the gallon on the highway. Given that the latest Golf isn’t exactly light (it is a German car after all), and it’s loaded with all sorts of weight increasing safety features like air bags and door beams, that’s a really impressive figure.

Sure, it would be wonderful if carmakers could get off the dime and start rolling out series hybrid Volts and cars like that, let alone full-blown electric vehicles that are practical. But even if they do a NASA moon shot level of commitment, those are going to be a few years off. So for the foreseeable future, cars like the Golf BlueMotion looks to be a buyers best bet, economy-wise.

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Posted in Press and News, Volkswagen |Tags:, , || No Comments »


2009 Volkswagen Routan Review – A Cross-Cultural Minivan

Friday September 25th, 2009 at 1:99 PM
Posted by: Francois

By Francis Cebedo

Blings:

  • The exterior, though simple is quite attractive.
  • The interior dashboard is simple and elegant
  • Seats are excellent, especially the 2nd row seats
  • Handling and ride quality are good and an improvement over its Chrysler cousins
  • Good power and fuel economy

Dings:

  • All the knobs and electronics are Chrysler quality and not up to VW standards
  • Chrysler’s “stow and go” and “swivel and go” seating options are not available
  • Sliding doors are a bit noisy when opening and closing.
  • There are odd, as in huge storage compartments found in the floor and on the ceiling of the Routan
  • It doesn’t differentiate itself enough from the Chrysler.
  • Pricing rebates and deals of VW will not be as aggressive as Chrysler’s
  • It was named by the same group that gave us the Phaeton and Passat

Introduction
When a family has more than two kids in this country they tend to stray away from the VW mark. Even VW loyalists are lost to the clutches of Honda, Toyota and Chrysler minivans. The convenience of the power sliding doors is alluring and the potential of transporting part of the soccer team or the extended family is inviting.

VW felt they had to offer a minivan in their line-up so they partnered with Chrysler for the task. Designing and building their own van did not support the economics and timing, so Volkswagen worked with Chrysler to create their version of the Chrysler Town and Country or Dodge Caravan.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , || No Comments »


ABT Tuning House Has A Go At The New VW Polo

Tuesday September 22nd, 2009 at 7:99 AM
Posted by: tonyb

If the rumors hold true, and Volkswagen does indeed bring their Polo here to the U.S. just what sort of car will we get? More importantly, just what sort of car could we make it into (I’m looking at you, Euro tuners)? The Polo is a small-ish hatchback that’s is below the current Golf, size-wise (or about where the Golf was one or two generations ago).

That’s a good place to start, because smaller usually means better performance. And even better, the Polo is not new, just new to these shores. It’s been around Europe for quite some time, so what happens if a respected Euro-tuner, let’s say ABT, the guys that do heavy mods to Audis as well as race them in the DTM series, were to get their hands on the current gen Polo?

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Posted in Press and News, Tuner News, Volkswagen |Tags:, , || 2 Comments »


Polo Three-Door Diesel Gets 71 mpg

Monday September 7th, 2009 at 8:99 AM
Posted by: tonyb

VW Polo

More news from the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show about the bound for the United States Polo from Volkswagen. The Polo, or some version of it, has been around Europe for quite some time. VW never brought it to North America because they felt it was “too small” for us. That might have been true, but times have changed and so has the Polo. The upcoming version is now about the size of the Golf from a few generations ago, and VW is supposedly bringing it to U.S.

Which is good on a number of levels. It should be small, tossable, fun to drive and economical to operate. It could also fill a nice niche for first time car buyers, and for those that use their car primarily for commuting or city driving, the Polo seems like a natural. And if VW is smart enough to bring the TDi diesel variant here, the gas mileage looks to be stunning.

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Posted in Press and News, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , , , || 2 Comments »


2009 VW Jetta TDI Review – Fuel efficiency for the driving enthusiast

Monday August 31st, 2009 at 10:88 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2009 VW Jetta TDI

By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • 236 lb ft of torque!!
  • Smooth shifting 6 speed manual transmission
  • Perfectly tuned chassis and suspension
  • Outstanding fuel efficiency

Cons:

  • Squeal-happy tires
  • Spartan interior

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , || 2 Comments »


VW Phaeton Returns To America

Wednesday August 19th, 2009 at 8:88 AM
Posted by: tonyb

VW Phaeton V12

VW’s Phaeton, a car with a lot going for it, but also one that was more of a question for a lot of prospective buyers, will return to these shores. That is, it will be back if you believe Volkswagen CEO Stefan Jacoby when he confirmed that the Phaeton will eventually return to the U.S.

The Phaeton was a much-loved idea for VW fans, but turned into lightning strike without any thunder. It almost seemed like many prospective buyers couldn’t wrap their minds around a luxury VW that went for more than an Audi 6-series. Which is an ironic turn of events, considering VW is the corporate parent of Audi,

But Volkswagen is going back to the Phaeton well one more time, according to the Detroit News. They interviewed CEO Jacoby, who confirmed that the Phaeton would come back to these shores, although he didn’t specify when.

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Posted in Press and News, Volkswagen |Tags:, || 4 Comments »


VW Will Rule Porsche

Tuesday August 4th, 2009 at 8:88 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Porsche 914

In the ongoing saga of who will buy out which car company, it looks like VW is going all in and plans to fully acquire corporate sibling and long time corporate rival Porsche. And by ” fully acquire” I mean that Volkswagen is planning to take full ownership of Porsche.

This is all according to Der Spiegel, the respected German news magazine, who said that VW is amending earlier plans to acquire only 50 percent of the German sports car maker and now want it all.

Der Spiegel says the sale will be done in two phases: Phase one is for VW to get 49.9 percent of Porsche, which was VeeWee’s initial plan from a few months back, and then phase two is for VW to buy the remaining shares outright. For Porsche’s end of the deal, they’ll get approximately 8 billion Euros to help counter their massive debts. In the end the Porsche family will end up being a 50 percent owner in a joint VW-Porsche company. By the time all of this is over, VW will make Porsche the tenth brand in the VW family.

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Posted in Porsche, Press and News, Volkswagen |Tags:, || No Comments »


V-dub Deezul Action

Monday August 3rd, 2009 at 10:88 AM
Posted by: Derek

VW Jetta TDI dieselLast year I totally got onboard the diesel train after driving a new Jetta TDI. Now I appreciate the value of diesel power a whole lot more after recently driving several hybrids in as many weeks. I’ve come to the conclusion that hybrids are as much fun to drive as a shopping cart with a broken wheel. And they require a totally different mindset from what I already have burned into my left hemisphere.

When gas prices were out of control last summer, diesel powered vehicles offered a little relief because more miles per gallon were possible with a gallon of diesel vs. regular petrol, plus they were an attractive alternative to the over-hyped, over-priced hybrids. The Jetta TDI I tested was quiet, drove like a real car, didn’t spew soot all over the rear bumper, and most importantly – didn’t smell like a carton of rotten eggs.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , || 1 Comment »


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