This is unquestionably the year of the recall in the United States with an estimated 544 campaigns so far (and counting) that cover around 52 million cars. The repairs are almost starting to seem normal at this point, but apparently the same can't be said for China. That country's buyers are protesting Volkswagen for its handling of one recent safety action.
Volkswagen is recalling about 1.1 million vehicles in China and North America in a newly announced campaign affecting the rear suspensions on some models. For the US, the action covers about 442,265 vehicles, including 400,602 examples of its 2011-2013 Jetta and 41,663 units of the 2012-2013 Beetle and Beetle Convertible. According to Reuters, the recall affects a further 126,000 vehicles in Canada and about 581,090 in China, including related market-specific models like the Sagitar.
Volkswagen is not messing around when it characterizes its new MQB architecture as modular. It's already underpinning the VW Golf, Audi A3, Seat Leon and Skoda Octavia, and will soon form the basis for many more. And here is the latest.
Is $6,465 too much to get someone thinking about buying a Nissan Leaf to opt for the Volkswagen e-Golf instead? That's the price difference between the current EV sales champion, which now starts at $28,980, and the just-announced price for the e-Golf, which will sell for $35,445 in the US when it arrives in about ten states (basically, the ZEV states that follow California's lead in zero-emission vehicle rules) this November and will qualify for the federal tax credit of up to $7,500.
Inexpensive, small pickup trucks used to be everywhere in the US, whether they were from Japanese brands like Datsun or Toyota, the truly weird Subaru Brat or even from Europe with the Volkswagen Caddy based on the Golf. These days that market has completely disappeared, but if you're willing to pick up some tools to build your own, there's a company out there bringing the Caddy back as a kit for the Jetta.
Volkswagen has followed up on a stop-sale order from earlier this month, announcing a voluntarily recall of 26,400 vehicles that are powered by the brand's 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The new mill replaced the despised 2.5-liter five-cylinder in the Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Beetle Convertible last year. Weirdly, though, of the 26,452 units covered in the recall, only 1,655 are customer vehicles.
This is the New Midsize Coupe in the metal, and as a demonstrator of the versatility of the Modular Transverse Matrix platforms, Volkswagen says it's what "customers all over the world can look forward to over the next few years." Wider than a Passat, shorter and lower than a Jetta and weighing less than a Jetta, these are the cues a sport sedan on the MQB-B platform could wear.
In the years before Volkswagen would admit that its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant would build the Passat, it referred to the vehicle the New Midsize Sedan. The sketch above is of sleek four-door called the New Midsize Coupe concept, to be introduced shortly at the Beijing Motor Show, but it warps the dimensions along the Passat-Jetta continuum: it's about 1.2 inches lower and the same amount shorter than the Jetta, but 2.3 inches wider – which makes it a touch wider than the Passat.
Look closely, kids – you're staring at the face of a refreshed Volkswagen Jetta. Yeah, it's hard to tell, what with the only noticeable changes consisting of slightly updated headlamps and taillamps, and some other aerodynamic tweaks. But the big news for the 2015 Jetta is what you can't see.
Volkswagen has offered up the lightest of refreshes on its Jetta for 2015, making subtle styling tweaks to the front, rear and interior while adding a few doses of new equipment. One of the biggest tweaks is the new, 2.0-liter TDI engine, which is now more efficient, returning 45 miles per gallon on the freeway (compared to 42 mpg on the 2014 model) while retaining the previous engine's 236 pound-feet of torque.
Volkswagen has issued a stop sale on several models in the US while the automaker waits for parts to repair a transmission fluid leak. About 25,000 cars with the EA888 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission are covered under the stoppage, which includes models of the Jetta, Passat, Beetle and Beetle Convertible. All of the affected models were built after February 1.
LeMons racing is a wonderful example that setting limits can actually breed creativity. The series mandates that all entries must cost $500, not counting safety equipment, and that cap forces teams to be ingenious in how they build a racecar. Take for example this diesel-powered Porsche 911, which its creators have dubbed Ferkel the Nein-11, that will be racing in the Sears Pointless race this weekend in Sonoma, California.
Diesel lovers rejoice. Volkswagen is bringing the latest iteration of its 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine – dubbed the EA288 – to the 2015 model year Golf, Jetta, Passat, Beetle (2013 model pictured above) and Beetle Convertible, and the cars will be on sale in the second half of 2014.
What do the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda3, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta all have in common? Well, actually, lots. They are all four-door sedans that fall into the so-called C-segment, and they are all trending downward in sales. This data comes courtesy of Wards Auto, and, while not all such vehicles are down – the Hyunai Elantra has been trending upward – the deficit reportedly rings in at six-percent overall for the segment.
2015 Porsche Macan Turbo, Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 sales, Ford Sync moves to QNX, Head-Up Displays
Episode #369 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Steven Ewing and Michael Harley talk about the 2015 Porsche Macan, what slow global sales of the Toyota GT86 may mean for performance upgrades, Ford moving to BlackBerry's QNX platform for the next version of Sync, and a possible new wave of head-up displays. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the ti