Germany's automakers seem to get their jollies by watching us scratch our heads. Instead of sticking to traditional automotive bodystyles, they've been deliberately blurring the lines between them and inventing new terminology with which to classify their creations. So we're left with low-slung sedans called "four-door coupes," crossovers marketed as "sports activity coupes" and slant-back luxury vehicles we wouldn't even know what to call. The upshot is that the customer is left with more choic
There are those European automakers that compete in the North American market and those which don't. Volkswagen, for its part, may stand firmly in the former category, but there are still entire model lines that remain out of reach for American buyers: diminutive hatchbacks like the Up! and the Polo, of course, but also entire brands like Seat and Skoda which (unlike Audi, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini) aren't offered Stateside altogether. But there's another brand within the Volkswa
Newest Golf Iteration Is Decidedly Better Than Par
Contrary to what you may have assumed, the Volkswagen Golf was not named after the sport. Rather, when the car was being developed as the successor to the Beetle, "Golf," which is German for "Gulf," was meant to pay homage to the Gulf Stream, a powerful and swift Atlantic Ocean current.
Dear Old Friend Reinvents Itself, And Its Segment, Yet Again
The whine of the turbocharger. The gentle whoosh of the hatchback's hydraulic lift supports. The mechanical ratcheting and clack of the parking brake. The growling exhaust note with that occasional gurgle.
What are auto writers always asking for from global automakers? "Give us your hip European wares," we plead, "give us your diesels and your manuals and your wagons, your tauter suspensions and Welsh B-road handling, your neat matrix lighting and your funky little Hello-Kitty-sized trailer hitches to haul the little Hello-Kitty-sized caravans that we'll also need you to start exporting."
Three cheers for the handbrake. For driving enthusiasts who live in climates where the winter months produce seemingly endless days of snowy, icy conditions, nothing cures the seasonal blues quite like finding yourself on an empty road, pulling the handbrake, halting the rear wheels and happily drifting around a turn. Hooligans, we are. And it's all great fun.
New Engine Makes Brand's Best-Seller Better Than Ever
In spite of a recent hiccup in sales that's led to the departure of Volkswagen of America CEO Jonathan Browning, the brand behind Das Auto says its metrics have improved everywhere else. According to the charts we were shown during a recent drive of the brand's lineup, its US sales have doubled in four years, the dealer network is growing, VW was ranked the highest non-premium passenger-car brand in JD Power's APEAL Study, it's raising its score in JD Power's Initial Quality Survey, warranty cla
The Tiguan pledged Volkswagen's R-Line fraternity way back in 2008, survived the hazing and humiliation to become a certified member of the ancient German trim-package society (by "ancient," we mean 10 years old). The 2014 Tiguan R-Line is the scion of that first-generation compact crossover and joins the Touareg, Beetle and CC in the brotherhood.
Despite all of the positive reviews it has garnered since its introduction in 2011, the Volkswagen Beetle still hasn't hooked me. It's nice to drive, and with a variety of engine choices (including diesel) and two different bodystyles, it's an incredibly versatile little car, ready to meet the needs of a whole host of customers. But personally, I just don't think I could wake up to that happy-friendly (yet sort of drowsy?) face every morning.
Can you name a fun-to-drive sedan with a manual transmission that can transport five adults and their luggage comfortably while sipping fuel at the rate of 50 mpg? The answer is the Volkswagen Passat TDI – a German antonym for "range anxiety."