Front Wheel Drive – Night blue metallic paint – Black leather interior – 6.5” touchscreen – 5 passenger – 168” long like a Chevy Trax – Heated front bucket seats – Weighs 3,086 lbs. – Panoramic sunroof and illuminated door sills and door panels – XM radio and premium Fender 8 speaker stereo – 1.8 liter Turbo 4 with 220 horsepower – torque is 258 lb.ft. – Zero to 60 in 5.7 seconds 6 Speed DSG automatic transmission – 18” Austin aluminum alloy wheels and all-season radials – $31,165.00 list price – 27 MPG combined mpg, 24 city and 32 highway – 13.2 gallon tank – Built in Puebla, Mexico
Habanero Orange metallic – Titan Black cloth interior with seating for 5 – 6.5” touchscreen – Blind spot monitor and autonomous emergency braking – AM FM Stereo sound system – 184 horsepower 2.0 liter turbo 4 / 221 lb. ft. torque – 8 Speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and four driving modes – Rear vision camera – M.S.R.P is $27,495.00 EPA rating is 21 MPG city , 23 MPG combined rating and 27 MPG highway (15.9 gallon tank) – 3,858 lbs. – 185” long, 110” wheelbase 66” height, 72” wide – Built in Puebla, Mexico
Front Wheel Drive – Tornado Red paint/Titan black and Clark plaid interior – 5 passenger – 168” long like a Beetle or Chevy Sonic – Heated front bucket seats – 5 Star NHTSA Safety rating – weighs 3,031 lbs. – XM radio and premium 8 speaker stereo – 6.5” Touchscreen with backup camera – 2.0 liter turbo four with 210 horsepower, torque is 258 lbs. ft. – 6 Speed Tiptronic Automatic transmission – 3 driving modes – Paddle shifters – 18” aluminum alloy wheels and 225/40R18 summer radials – $27,515.00 list price – 27 MPG combined mileage, 24 in city and 32 on highway – 13.2 gallon tank – Built in Puebla, Mexico
Volkswagen Beetles were built from 1938 to 2003, and over 20 million have been manufactured and sold worldwide since the inception of the car in Germany. A man named Porsche designed the car, and along with the rear engine placement, the car was air cooled, without liquid coolant or a radiator.
What is commonly called a “New Beetle” with coolant, a front engine, and front-wheel drive, has been marketed on and off since 1997. Such a car is what I picked up at General Mitchell Airfield in Milwaukee to drive on a midwest vacation. It was a 2016 Turbocharged Sandstorm Yellow metallic unit with “Dune” equipment specified, including a rear spoiler, raised suspension, ten-spoke polished alloy wheels, exclusive bumpers and air intakes, black exterior cladding, aluminum pedal covers, and special badging and decals.
Power for my front wheel drive test car was supplied by a 1.8 liter, 170 horsepower (184 lb. ft. of torque) four cylinder gas engine with an EPA mileage rating of 25/city, 34/highway, 28 combined MPG. The fuel tank capacity was 14.5 gallons. The transmission on hand was a six-speed automatic, and it seemed sturdy and somewhat enjoyable. For having a turbocharger, the engine had a definite grumble to it, belying the high RPM turbo operating in the power department. Turbochargers whir at about 150,000 revolutions per minute – roughly 30 times as fast as the engine. They are nice in Colorado, spinning faster at that altitude and mitigating power loss that can be associated with naturally-aspirated (i.e. fuel injected) engines. I can’t say I hated having turbocharged power in Illinois and Wisconsin – the technology is just great.
Inside the four passenger Volkswagen, a Fender premium stereo was on hand as well as heated cloth and leatherette buckets with yellow piping and stitching, Bluetooth connections, pushbutton starter, flat-bottomed steering wheel, rear view camera, and satellite radio. The theme inside was tasteful and coordinated well with the outside styling. Beetle “Dune” looks was great, featured a wider track, honeycomb grill, LED tail lights, and while on our trip several tourists stopped by to comment on our ride.
Acceleration of the 3,093 lb. VW was great fun, road manners were on target, and handling/guidance were fine, as well. It’s a pretty quiet sedan and visibility is fine. List price was $25,065.00 for the 2016 that I drove and that included freight. The only optional uncharge was for the Sandstorm paint, at $250.00. The Volkswagen Beetle has a niche market and doesn’t sell over 400,000 per year (in the U.S.!) like the old days, but still has a nice following and a fan in this reviewer.
On a Friday in July, the Volkswagen Tiguan was taken to Pirate Radio (104.7 FM) for “Stu’s Reviews” during the morning show, and both George Gray and Matt Arguello looked over the VW and made remarks on-air:
M.S.R.P. of this test Tiguan was $38,105.00, including freight, and the SEL 4Motion (all-wheel drive) model came handsomely equipped (including trailering equipment). The drive train consisted of a 200 hp, turbocharged, 4 cylinder, 2 liter engine with 207 lb. ft. of torque. And behind it was a 6 speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic shifting and sport mode.
Highway driving and manners of the Tiguan are nice, to be sure. The interior had that Teutonic luxury look that you might expect, and on hand were the navigation system, satellite radio, tilt/telescope, heated buckets, fold down rear seat, Bluetooth and media device interface, and a huge panoramic power sunroof that extended over the back seats. It was a lot of fun around town, especially so if you employed the Tiptronic transmission. And doing so involved a city fuel economy rating of 20 mpg (26 highway, 23 combined). I observed 22.5 during my week with the car, and it required premium unleaded gasoline. Weight of the Tiguan was 3,434 lbs. and its wheelbase was 102.5”. Styling was sleek and European, and the car rode on attractive, 19” alloy wheels with Pirelli Scorpion radials.
I enjoyed spending a week with the Tiguan, plus taking it to Pirate Radio; if I was in the market for a small SUV such as this VW, Toyota’s RAV4, or Honda’s CRV, I would be taking a long look at the Volkswagen.
I remember the first time I laid eyes on a Volkswagen Beetle, in Grant, Nebraska in about 1963. A young man in town named Charlie Brixius had purchased a used one (perhaps a 1959), and made quite a splash driving it up and down Main Street over and over. We all did that back then – gas was cheap, the pace was leisurely, and that was the place to be seen. The U-turns were made at the same intersections on the north and south end of this town of 1,000 population, and some of the guys out cruising were lucky enough to have a girl sitting in the middle of the front seat for the ride.
Charlie never had a girl sitting in the middle of his front seat, because the “bug” had two bucket seats in the front of the four-passenger, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive VW. Neither did I, as I rode a Honda 50 scooter/cycle.
Volkswagen Beetles were built from 1938 to 2003, and over 20 million have been manufactured and sold worldwide since the inception of the car in Germany. A man named Porsche designed the car, and along with the rear engine placement, the car was air cooled, without coolant or a radiator.
What is commonly called a “New Beetle” with coolant, a front engine, and front-wheel drive, has been marketed on and off since 1997. Such a car is what was brought to me a week ago for testing, a 2016 Turbocharged Tornado red unit with “R-Line” equipment specified, including a spoiler, “twister” alloy wheels, extra gauges, aluminum pedal covers, and special badging.
Power for my test car was supplied by a 2.0 liter, 210 horsepower (207 lb. ft. of torque) four cylinder gas engine with an EPA mileage rating of 23/city, 31/highway, 26 combined MPG. The transmission on hand was a six-speed manual, and it seemed sturdy and somewhat enjoyable. For having a turbocharger, the engine had a definite grumble to it, belying the high RPM turbo operating in the power department. Turbochargers whir at about 150,000 revolutions per minute – roughly 30 times as fast as the engine. They are nice in Colorado, spinning faster at our altitude and mitigating power loss that can be associated with naturally-aspirated (i.e. fuel injected) engines.
Inside the Volkswagen, a Fender premium stereo was on hand as well as sunroof, heated leather buckets, Bluetooth connections, navigation, pushbutton starter and satellite radio. The theme inside was two-toned black and gray and somewhat kicky. Styling was great with ten spoke polished alloys and attractive black trim work low on the outside.
Acceleration of the VW was great fun, road manners were on target, and handling/guidance were similar. It’s a pretty quiet sedan and visibility is fine. List price was $32,270.00 for the 2016 that I drove and that included freight. It has a niche market and doesn’t sell over 400,000 per year (in the U.S.!) like the old days, but still has a nice following and a fan in this reviewer.
The number one selling Volkswagen is the Jetta, produced since 1979. It is currently in it’s sixth generation form, this new design having been introduced in June of 2010 as a 2011 model. For 2015 the Jetta received a mid-cycle update in the front/rear styling and in standard equipment offerings. A Platinum Gray metallic Jetta SE four-door sedan was brought to my home on a recent Monday morning, and I immediately got inside to check out the optional equipment. Heated leatherette seats, heated mirrors, and Sirius satellite radio: check. Power lumbar “V-tech” Titan black leatherette bolstered buckets and leather wheel: check. Touchscreen radio/CD changer and Bluetooth and IPod connection: check. Pushbutton start (on the console along with the emergency brake) and five-speed manual transmission: check. Although most of the buzz with Volkswagen has recently been about the new masculine (supposedly) Beetle introduction, this Jetta is almost the newest VW in the lineup and, as mentioned earlier, the most popular. It’s easy to see and feel why, because this is a real nice car.
I jumped in and took off for Interstate 25 for a test drive and a chance to do some mall shopping somewhere along the way. A real firm ride is in store for the operator; a feeling of quality (and quietness). The steering wheel is rather thick with many controls, and the five-speed transmission quite manageable. The turbocharged four cylinder (EA888), 1.8 liter, 170 hp (6,200 rpm) engine provides an ample amount of power. More, in fact, than would seem available with that horsepower rating. Torque is 184 lb. ft. (1,500 – 4,750 rpm), and the highway fuel economy rating is 37 mpg on the highway, 25 mpg in the city, and a combined mpg figure is 29. The fuel tank holds 14.5 gallons.
Guiding the Jetta up the Interstate is pleasurable. Once again, the ride is firm, but handles the aging Interstate quite well. I had plenty of punch for changing lanes and running by service trucks and seniors. At the mall parking lot I stepped outside to view the styling of the VW. It’s good, if not spectacular, and looks particularly nice from the front with the new 2015 grill treatment. The mirrors have lighting stripes on them and up front are good-looking fog lights. The Jetta has a wheelbase of 104.4″, overall length of 183.3″, and the car weighs 3,047 lbs. Backseat legroom is suitable for a big human being, and the trunk is the biggest in its class, at 15.5 cubic feet. In the center of the back seat is a flop-down armrest/cup holder, and this VW had no power moonroof
This is the best-looking Jetta to date, and has 16”, Sedona ten-spoke alloy wheels to dress it up. Tires mounted on them are 205/55R 16” mud and snow radials. Base price for the SE was $18,995.00 and a lighting package ($995.00) and freight ($820.00) were added, bringing the M.S.R.P. to $20,810.00. Bottom line; I could see myself owning a car like this. The styling, roominess, drivability, and value puts the car high on the list of its segment competition.