Mazda hasn’t always proven capable of winning hearts and minds in the U.S. marketplace. But in buff book comparison tests, Mazda possesses a recipe for success.
Nine months ago, for instance, a 2016 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring spanked the Nissan Sentra and scored substantial victories over the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze LT and 2017 Hyundai Elantra Limited in a five-car Car And Driver comparison test. Only the 2016 Honda Civic EX came close. Car And Driver was quite right in pointing out the Mazda 3 overachieved “in a world where excellence isn’t always rewarded with sales.” TTAC’s east coast reviewers came to the same conclusion four months ago.
Indeed, U.S. sales of the Mazda 3 fell to a 10-year low in 2016. Now, with sales in 2017 on track to fall to a 13-year low, the Mazda 3 has lost a comparison test.
And not just to one car, but two. (Read More…)
Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that might not be the best of its range but represents a merciful departure from the rattletrap boxes of sadness which, not too many years ago, used to be hawked by OEMS as their base wheels. Here’s an example.
Sure, it’s easy to mock Volkswagen these days. The diesel emissions scandal has scuppered the brand in the eyes of a number of consumers, adding to traditional VW stereotypes such as high repair and maintenance costs. All the same, excluding an entire brand from consideration because of a single wayward trimline is akin to throwing out a fifty pound sack of potatoes because of one rotten spud.
In the past, Americans treated hatchbacks with a degree of disdain generally leveled at soiled copies of Utne Reader. The Golf is definitely one of the better hatchbacks out there. Does its base S model pass the Ace of Base litmus test?
The recent news that Volkswagen is pondering an all-wheel-drive Golf for U.S. customers surprised many.
“All-wheel drive is now part of the Volkswagen DNA,” commented Dr. Hendrik Muth of Volkswagen at the U.S. launch of the Alltrack.
That means Volkswagen will be taking on Subaru, the reigning king of all-wheel drive for the masses in the U.S. And since the Golf is already fairly dear in price, adding an all-wheel-drive option to the hatch will make Volkswagen’s compact a near-luxury item. At that price, why wouldn’t you just buy an Audi? It’s the brand with the all-wheel-drive expertise in the VAG clan.
But the reality of an all-wheel-drive Golf is now 20 years old.
Let’s take a look back at nine of the more interesting pre-Alltrack, pre-4Motion versions of the Golf that most U.S. customers have never even heard of.
Volkswagen is heavily considering adding an all-wheel-drive variant of the Golf hatchback to its North American lineup, TTAC learned during the media launch for the all-new Volkswagen Alltrack, itself an all-wheel-drive version of the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.
Dr. Hendrik Muth, vice-president of product marketing and strategy, explained the addition of 4Motion production to Volkswagen’s Puebla manufacturing facility in Mexico has opened up more possibilities, including the addition of all-wheel drive to the standard Golf hatchback.
Updated with details on all-wheel drive being standard equipment for Alltrack.
Volkswagen of America needs a winner as it reels from the ongoing diesel emissions scandal, and its forthcoming Alltrack — a jacked-up, all-wheel-drive version of the SportWagen — is hopefully just the ticket.
As Volkswagen prepares to launch the new model on American shores, it’s all hands on deck for the German automaker as it sends representatives from its internal training department to every single dealership in the United States.
Grits and poutine aren’t the only divisions betwixt us.
Celine Dion and two-year election campaigns aren’t the only factors that enable Europeans to tell us apart.
Catastrophic illness-induced bankruptcy and wait-time-fostering universal healthcare aren’t the only hallmarks of our unique approaches to public policy.
There are wildly divergent vehicular tastes between the United States and Canada, as well. (Read More…)
We don’t yet know the exact price of Volkswagen USA’s 2017 Golf Alltrack.
We are certain, however, that Volkswagen, a company with a brand image severely tarnished in the United States, will be able to do no better than slightly undercut the basic price of the Subaru Outback.
And that might be a problem. (Read More…)
Over the past few weeks, TTAC instituted a formula by which the Best & Brightest and TTAC’s editors and contributors would choose 2016’s Ten Best Automobiles Today and 2016’s Ten Worst Automobiles Today.
Earlier this week, the winners and losers were revealed. But does the TTAC Best & Brightest agree with the great American consumer? Are TTAC’s picks in keeping with the choices made by millions of new car buyers?
We’re answering those questions by looking at the market performance of each winner and by providing additional insight from a devil’s advocate. Do the winners deserve to be winners? (Read More…)
After three weeks of nominations, votes from our writers, and another round of votes from you, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is TTAC’s Best Automobile Today.
Is that really a surprise?
The automotive media slobbered over the redesigned 2015 Volkswagen GTI sporty hatchback ever since its introduction two years ago. I put 13,500 miles on mine over the past year and I agree that it is one of the great all-around fun cars available today.
I just went through the process of selling it, and that is when the real fun began. (Read More…)
If you didn’t think an electric car could stall, Volkswagen has a Golf-sized dose of reality for you.
That, Jeep’s Compass/Patriot successor wants to woo south of the Equator, General Motors gets some good legal news, there’s money in them there charging stations, and Volvo gets a PR boost … after the break!
Volkswagen dealers in the U.S. want to be compensated for financial losses stemming from the diesel emissions scandal, and if the results of a recent meeting with company brass is any indication, the demands will soon grow louder.
Alan Brown, chairman of Volkswagen’s U.S. dealer council, led a small delegation of dealers to Germany last week to talk reparations and get a firm grip on the company’s strategy, Automotive News reports.
The size of the settlement they were seeking is unknown, but the meeting with global brand chief Herbert Diess and new Volkswagen Group of America head Hinrich Woebcken didn’t yield any plan to compensate dealers.
Once again, I’m dazzled by those wheels, just like the Quantum we looked at last week. I’m a sucker for clean, well-styled factory wheels: Oldsmobile Rally wheels, Fuchs found on Porsches, Rostyles worn by so many British cars. The Volkswagen “Snowflake” wheel is another that is difficult to improve upon by the aftermarket.
For some reason, that hasn’t stopped VW enthusiasts from “improving” their cars with incongruous tire and wheel widths and double-digit camber settings. “Stance” culture isn’t exclusive to the Wolfsburg faithful, but it has infected too many good cars.
As my personal GTI is powered by gasoline, you might think this will be the first Volkswagen story you have read in the past three months that doesn’t mention Dieselgate.
You’d be wrong. (Read More…)
Following 18 consecutive months of year-over-year decline, U.S. sales at the Volkswagen brand have improved in six of the last nine months.
Yet those U.S. sales improvements send up deceiving smoke signals. While Volkswagen’s volume increased 6 percent in June, for example, the brand’s 30,436-unit total represented an 18-percent drop compared with June 2013 and a 20-percent decrease compared with June 2012. (Read More…)