The Truth About Cars » volkswagen jetta http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 30 Jul 2015 16:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars » volkswagen jetta http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Contrast: Volkswagen’s U.S. Outpost Struggles As Volkswagen Canada Booms http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/contrast-volkswagens-u-s-outpost-struggles-volkswagen-canada-booms/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/contrast-volkswagens-u-s-outpost-struggles-volkswagen-canada-booms/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 12:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1111905 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 […]

The post Contrast: Volkswagen’s U.S. Outpost Struggles As Volkswagen Canada Booms appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
02 Volkswagen Golf family

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.

In fact, on the six occasions during the last nine months that U.S. Volkswagen-brand sales improved, sales were lower — distinctly lower – than they were at the same time two years ago. Statisticians may call it a dead-cat bounce or a return to the norm. You can call it a 3 percent year-over-year decline through the first-half of 2015 and U.S. market share of just 2 percent.

Elsewhere in North America, the story is markedly different. Volkswagen is a hugely forceful brand in Mexico, where VW’s market share through the first five months of 2015 stood at 14 percent. Across the northern border of America, Volkswagen is the fastest-growing volume brand through the halfway point of 2015. Volkswagen sales in Canada are up 21 percent so far this year, and the brand’s market share is precisely twice as strong in Canada as it is in the U.S.

Comparisons with the Mexican market are indirect at best. The product lineups don’t actually line up, for starters, and the industry is, on a per capita basis, comparatively tiny. But there are great similarities between the U.S. and Canadian markets, including the product portfolio in VW showrooms on both sides of the border.

So how does Volkswagen Canada fare so much better than Volkswagen of America? Ignoring the obvious themes of pricing schemes, general acceptance in the populace, and demand for diesel (topics we’ve touched on in the past), consider the achievements of specific vehicles which now propel VW Canada to new heights and fail to do anything of the sort for VW USA.

The Jetta, Golf, and Tiguan produce 84 percent of Volkswagen’s sales in Canada. In the U.S., that figure is 20 points lower, and the Tiguan is barely Volkswagen’s fourth-best-selling model.

Keep in mind that the U.S. new vehicle market is nine times larger, as is the SUV/crossover market, but the U.S. passenger car market is nearly eleven times larger than Canada’s.

01 Volkswagen Jetta

THE JETTA
As it is the United States, the Jetta sedan is Volkswagen’s best seller in Canada. But the Jetta is only America’s 20th-best-selling car — it ranks sixth in Canada, where all of the midsize cars which outsell the Jetta in the U.S. are far less popular. But Canadian Jetta volume is falling. Sales are down 8 percent this year. That’s in keeping with market trends, as seven of Canada’s eight-best-selling cars are in decline.

A total of 15,053 Jettas have been sold in Canada so far this year. Jetta sedan sales in the U.S. are 4.3 times stronger at 64,578 units. (Volkswagen USA has also sold 2,440 Jetta SportWagens as the wagon transitions to the Golf family, a nameplate it already wore in Canada.) Jetta sedan sales in the U.S. are down 2 percent after rising 0.1 percent in 2014, falling 4 percent in 2013 and 3 percent in 2012. In Canada, 2014’s record-setting performance marked the Jetta’s fifth consecutive year sales improvement.

2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI white

 

THE GOLF
Golf sales in the U.S. have steadily increased since the Mk7 car was introduced last year. It’s true: demand for compact cars is certainly greater, per capita, in Canada. U.S. compact car volume is only 6.6 times stronger, a much smaller differential than we see in the car market as a whole. But total Golf sales aren’t quite three times as strong in the much larger U.S. market than they are in Canada, where the Golf is now the eighth-best-selling car.

Only 2.5 percent of the new cars sold in the United States are Jettas and Golfs. The same two cars produce 6.7 percent of the Canadian car market, more than any other car save for the Honda Civic, Canada’s best-selling car in each of the last 17 years, and the Toyota Corolla. Volkswagen USA only sells around 3,240 non-GTI Golfs per month. In the much smaller Canadian market, that figure falls just 54 percent.

03 Volkswagen Tiguan

THE TIGUAN
SUV and crossover sales are booming on both sides of the border, but the Tiguan is a niche player in the United States and an increasingly popular component in the Canadian SUV/crossover sector. Every month, Americans buy approximately 483,000 utility vehicles, of which 0.5 percent are Tiguans. U.S. Tiguan sales have declined in each of the last two years after peaking in 2012 at a paltry 31,731 units. So far this year, Tiguan volume is up, but only to the tune of 4 percent. U.S. Tiguan volume is just 2.4 times stronger than Canadian Tiguan volume.

In Canada, the Tiguan’s share of the SUV/crossover market is nearly four times stronger than it is south of the border. Tiguan sales have increased in Canada in each of the last three years, reaching an all-time high of 10,096 units in 2014. 5,613 have been sold in the first-half of 2015, a 10-percent increase compared with the first six months of 2014. The Tiguan is Canada’s 15th-best-selling utility vehicle through the first-half of 2015; it ranks 51st in the United States.

THE OTHER STUFF
As for VW’s other models, Beetle volume matches the size of the respective markets, with U.S. sales nine times greater than in Canada.

Passat/CC sales are 14 times stronger in the U.S. than in Canada, but the U.S. midsize car market is actually 20 times the size of Canada’s.

Touareg sales are only three times stronger in the U.S.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

The post Contrast: Volkswagen’s U.S. Outpost Struggles As Volkswagen Canada Booms appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/contrast-volkswagens-u-s-outpost-struggles-volkswagen-canada-booms/feed/ 76
Capsule Review: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 “Quebec Special” http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/capsule-review-2015-volkswagen-jetta-2-0-quebec-special/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/capsule-review-2015-volkswagen-jetta-2-0-quebec-special/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 13:00:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1041193 Reader iMatt shares his experiences with the Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 “Quebec Special” Is the old 2.0L engine really as bad as the internet believes? I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d need to buy a second vehicle to compliment the Honda Fit shared by my girlfriend and I. That time finally […]

The post Capsule Review: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 “Quebec Special” appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
IMG_20150302_113211

Reader iMatt shares his experiences with the Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 “Quebec Special”

Is the old 2.0L engine really as bad as the internet believes?

I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d need to buy a second vehicle to compliment the Honda Fit shared by my girlfriend and I. That time finally came with a forced relocation at work and after taking many months to decide what I wanted in my next vehicle, I decided my top two priorities were value and comfort, neither of which being the focal points of the Fit.

I opted for a base model 2015 Jetta with the 2.0 L engine and 5 speed manual transmission with nary an option, not even A/C (ironically). Price after fees and taxes came to just over $17 000 CAD. Standard equipment did include amenities that were once optional such as cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, a trip computer, a back-up camera and a touch-screen head unit.

The plain exterior is a familiar sight nowadays, even with some minor tweaks for 2015. I appreciate the understated styling compared to the more stylized competitors such as the Mazda 3 or the Corolla. The Jetta just seems to have a more mature and refined air to it. My biggest complaint is that the base steel wheels look cheap and a tad undersized, luckily that’s easily remedied should I choose to do so.

The interior design reflects that of the exterior. I have to say though, I was surprised at how nice it feels. Hard plastics abound (don’t care) but materials are nice where they count. The instrument cluster and center stack are a joy to use on a daily basis, although I do lament the lack of an engine coolant temperature gauge. The gear shifter and steering wheel have nice shapes and so-so plastics but don’t offend. The 6-way adjustable driver’s seat is comfortable for my smallish frame but provides less thigh support than I would like. On the other hand, there is a fair bit of side bolstering. Larger people may find the narrow seats uncomfortable. The trunk is large as is the backseat.

My favourite attribute to the interior is the driving position combined with the low cowl. It reminds me a little of older Honda Accords providing excellent forward visibility with easy access to controls.

When I was researching this car, I could hardly find any actual reviews of the entry level engine. Even still, in most summaries, auto writers have no issue labeling it as an outdated boat anchor and as the engine to avoid at all costs. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one to try it out.

Starting with the facts: Displacement is a tad less than 2000 CCs. Output is rated at 115 HP @ 5000 RPM and 125 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM.

Initial impressions on the test drive were that the old engine is entirely adequate for normal use in town – I would even dare to say more than adequate. There’s enough torque to keep you ahead of traffic from stoplight to stoplight if that’s your thing. I found you still have to be mindful of being in the optimal gear. This engine won’t pull you out of wrong gear situations like other more powerful cars will.

The bulk of the 3000 kms I’ve put on the car thus far have come from mountainous highway driving on single lane roads. The grades are steep, corners sharp and in this region of Alberta, the pavement beat to a pulp from the plentiful heavy industrial traffic.

On rare stretches of straight and level road, the Jetta has no issues maintaining speeds of 80 – 90 MPH in 5th gear running around 3000 RPM – something that I was entirely not expecting. Passing on two lane highways is also drama free and can easily be done in 4th gear. Obviously you won’t get the effortless blast of acceleration afforded by more powerful cars, but it’s not the real world slug “enthusiasts” would lead you to believe it is.

Climbing steep grades of 7% or more will require a downshift to 4th gear, if not 3rd in some cases. Under no circumstances was I unable to maintain the posted speed limits.

Under all driving conditions, the engine has proven to be quiet and relaxed, able to do it’s job at relatively low RPMs; quite the opposite from the rev happy and noisy 1.5 L in the Fit. It even has a pleasant and unique sounding growl to it that I don’t normally associate with a 4 cylinder engine. At idle and at low engine loads, you can feel slight vibrations coming through the steering wheel. Personally, I like to be reminded I’m piloting a machine with moving parts compared say to any modern V6 sedan with an engine so isolated, you can’t even tll if it’s running. The mechanical feel is part of the driving experience, perhaps explaining why I’ve been partial to older Hondas for so long. I honestly and surprisingly have not been disappointed by this “boat anchor” of an engine.

The gear shifter is easy to use with somewhat notchy shifts at times but is still substantial feeling unlike a Honda Civic’s for example. I was a little let own and liken the feel to that of an old and tired Mazda 626 I used to own (note: 5000 km later, it seems to have loosened up a bit with a smoother action). Clutch take-up is lighter than what I was expecting but still heavier than the aforementioned Civic’s. It is easy to use and provides for no surprises.

Back on the winding roads, the ride and handling of the Jetta don’t egg you on in a playful way the Fit or a Mazda 3 do. It turns out the Jetta drives a lot like it’s styling suggests it would. The ride is on the stiff side of smooth and composed. Only twice on a 200 km stretch of bruised and battered highway did I bottom out the suspension travelling at higher rates of speed. The car feels very stable in most conditions. The same trip in the Fit was always a white knuckled affair – in a more fun but sore back kind of way. To get the same thrills in the Jetta, you’d have to travel at a pace that could land you in a lot of trouble.

Approaching the Jetta’s handling limits is smooth and predictable. Body roll, while present, is minimal and mid corner frost heaves don’t upset the balance of the car. Steering inputs are met with crisp responses but like I said earlier, the car just doesn’t change direction as eagerly as some other sporty feeling cars. Pushing the relatively high cornering limits, you can feel the moment the front tire begins to rollover onto its sidewall, not exactly fun but there it is. The steering has a lighter feel than I was expecting as well, lighter than what I would like.

The upside to the more sedate handling is a very competent highway ride. On one occasion, on these same torn up and bumpy roads, I asked my partner how fast she thought we were going without looking at the speedo, she knew why I was asking ;). Her guess was a good 30 MPH less than what our actual speed was. Somehwat faint praise, but it gives you an idea this car doesn’t feel like a cheap econobox out on the highway. Adding to the experience is a low wind and road noise level.

The brakes work. I can tell you that moderate braking from highway speeds or down steep grades is smooth and drama free. I haven’t attempted any emergency stops in reverse yet so I can’t comment on whether the rear disc brakes feel like a noticeable improvement over the old drums.

Fuel economy has been reported by the trip computer at around 8.0 L/100 KMS (29.4 MPG). This was in a driving style as explained above at temperatures ranging from -10 C to -25 C (14 F to -13 F). In my opinion, that is fantastic.

As I wrap up this review, I’ve noticed a few patterns emerge from my thoughts and reflections. The words drama free and comfortable continue to pop up throughout. I would like to reiterate that although this car and powertrain are fairly comfortable, especially for the price, it may not be ideal for lazy drivers or people who simply don’t like to drive. The powertrain does require attention to ensure you’re always making the best of the limited power available. For example, if you don’t like to plan your passing maneuvers, have trouble maintaining a constant speed even on small grades or just all around don’t pay attention to your driving, I would suggest you step up to a more powerful car.

If you’re like me however and take pleasure in anticipating the road or traffic ahead, enjoy interacting with your vehicle (and no, I don’t mean having it read your emails to you) and will sometimes go for a drive just for the sake of driving, then this car can provide a great driver’s oriented compromise.

In this neck of the woods, people (men) are quick to tell me all the time I NEED a pickup truck out here – that I’m crazy to travel on any highway in a 2wd drive vehicle. Some go as far as to say that cars shouldn’t even be allowed on the highway. I gladly point out my girlfriend got by just fine this past winter commuting within the city limits in our winter tire equipped Fit without so much as ever getting stuck.

Point being that cars are far more useful and capable than people give them credit for. The Jetta’s measly 115 HP isn’t so measly on it’s own merits and suits my needs just fine. Could I have afforded the payments on a more powerful version or even a shiny new pickup truck? -Certainly, but aside from bragging rights and rollercoaster acceleration, I’ve got other priorities at this point in my life. (Spoken like a true Canadian -DK)

IMG_20150302_113155 IMG_20150302_113211 IMG_20150303_183146 IMG_20150303_183300 IMG_20150303_183611 IMG_20150303_183957

The post Capsule Review: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 “Quebec Special” appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/capsule-review-2015-volkswagen-jetta-2-0-quebec-special/feed/ 209
A Modest Proposal: Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen 2.0T http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/modest-proposal-volkswagen-golf-sportwagen-2-0t/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/modest-proposal-volkswagen-golf-sportwagen-2-0t/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 17:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1024161 A Modest Proposal is a new feature where we advocate for more exciting variants of existing cars. Unlike other columns that do the same, we’ll take a look at products that actually stand a chance of making the business case, and how that can be met. I know, I know, not as fun as asking […]

The post A Modest Proposal: Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen 2.0T appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
jetta20tfront

A Modest Proposal is a new feature where we advocate for more exciting variants of existing cars. Unlike other columns that do the same, we’ll take a look at products that actually stand a chance of making the business case, and how that can be met. I know, I know, not as fun as asking for cab-over rear drive vans and station wagons. If you want that, you’re in the wrong place. -DK

With the introduction of the MKV Volkswagen Jetta, VW re-introduced the much-loved GLI as a full member of the range (rather than the late cycle special edition of the MKIV). But in Canada, it took the GLI a full model year to be introduced. Canadian customers got a model dubbed the 2.0T that featured the same 2.0T engine, a sports suspension and 17″ wheels. Among from the 2.0T were the the 18″ wheels, low profile tires, bodykit and plaid fabric seats, all of which came on the GLI. It was basically a “normcore” GLI, and it ended up being the car that replaced my father’s 2003 BMW 530i.

In retrospect, it couldn’t have been a more perfect car for my Dad. It had all of the GLI’s sport bits (suspension, engine, the option of a DSG gearbox), but nothing overly juvenile (hard ride, big alloys, aero kit). It was astonishing value, costing thousands less than an equivalent Acura TSX, while offering performance more akin to the Subaru Legacy 2.5GT – but without the spartan interior.

Driving the Golf Sportwagen, particularly the 1.8TSI version, made me long for a version like the 2.0T. It would have just enough power and handling capabilities to be a a lot of fun in spirited, everyday driving. At the limit handling would be dialed back due to the need for a bit more comfort than you’d get from a GTI or Golf R, not to mention longer-wearing tires, but the stock chassis and suspension setup is most of the way there. The old 2.0T, at least in the first few years, was only available fully loaded. You got your choices of colors and transmissions, but that was it. In return for spending big bucks on a Jetta, you got everything VW had to offer at the time. This kind of packaging presumably cut down on assembly complexities and let VW make money on a smaller car by loading it with margin-rich features. I think the same formula would work on the Sportwagen as well. The 1.8TSI engine is adequate for the Sportwagen, but if you want more real world grunt, you have to step up to the diesel – and that’s not always an appealing option for American consumers.

Why not just go all out and make the case for a Golf Sportwagen R? Well, this is called “A Modest Proposal”. We’re here to discuss combinations and variants that stand a chance of making it into the lineup with minimal fuss and maximum payoff for the auto maker. A Golf R is a lot closer to $40,000 than the $30,000 price tag of a loaded up TDI Sportwagen. No matter how many people on the internet are clamoring for one, it pales in comparison to the number of people that would buy one. On the other hand, a 2.0T variant that doesn’t need all-wheel drive, can be built in Mexico and sold for somewhere just south of $35,000? Not nearly as exciting, but a lot more realistic.

The post A Modest Proposal: Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen 2.0T appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/modest-proposal-volkswagen-golf-sportwagen-2-0t/feed/ 37
Jetta Volume Plunges In January, Volkswagen’s Modest Improvement Continues http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/jetta-volume-plunges-january-volkswagens-modest-improvement-continues/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/jetta-volume-plunges-january-volkswagens-modest-improvement-continues/#comments Fri, 06 Feb 2015 14:36:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=994346 Volkswagen USA reported a 59-month low in Jetta sales in January 2015, just the second four-digit Jetta sales month in the last four and a half years, and a narrow ten-unit year-over-year overall brand improvement. The Volkswagen brand sold 23,494 vehicles in January 2014, down 19% compared with January 2013’s output. January 2015 sales were […]

The post Jetta Volume Plunges In January, Volkswagen’s Modest Improvement Continues appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Volkswagen JettaVolkswagen USA reported a 59-month low in Jetta sales in January 2015, just the second four-digit Jetta sales month in the last four and a half years, and a narrow ten-unit year-over-year overall brand improvement.

The Volkswagen brand sold 23,494 vehicles in January 2014, down 19% compared with January 2013’s output.

January 2015 sales were up 0.04% compared with January 2014 – which was the tenth of 18 consecutive year-over-year monthly U.S. sales declines – but, rather obviously, were down 19% compared with January 2013 levels.

January is not typically a sterling month for the Jetta, nor for most any vehicle competing in the U.S. marketplace. January accounts for more than 8% of the calendar but little more than 6% of the new vehicles sold in America.

In the four Januarys leading up to last month, the Jetta lineup averaged 10,678 U.S. sales. January 2015 sales were down 16% from that average.

VW Jetta Golf Passat sales chartFortunately, on a year-over-year basis, the Golf family produced a 145% increase, equal to 2487 extra sales. Passat sales ticked up slightly, rising 1% to 6305 units.

But every other Volkswagen stumbled. Beetle volume slid 32%. Sales of the CC were down 40%. The nearly departed Eos was off the pace by 15%. The Routan disappeared. Tiguan sales fell 17%. Touareg volume was down 11%. Subtract the Golf from the equation and Volkswagen sales in America were down 11% in January 2015.

As for the Jetta itself, much of its decline can be blamed on the Jetta SportWagen’s forthcoming demise. (The next wagon will be a Golf.) SportWagen volume plunged 51% to just 649 units. Jetta sedan sales slid just 2%.

Yet viewed in the context of potential rivals, the Jetta’s numbers, at 8320 sedan-only units, are disturbingly low for a brand’s best seller, particularly when we realize that America’s car market expanded by more than 8% in January, especially when the brand has such lofty expectations.

Toyota Corolla sales jumped 20% to 27,357 units, outselling the Jetta sedan by more than three to one. The Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, and Ford Focus all sold more than twice as often as the top VW. (The Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Elantra, and Nissan Versa were the other more popular small cars in January.)

Volkswagen
January
2015
January
2014
% Change
Jetta
 8,969 9,768 -8.2%
Passat
 6,305 6,236 1.1%
Golf
 4,199 1,712 145%
Tiguan
 1,473 1,777 -17.1%
Beetle
 1,389 2,034 -31.7%
CC
 531 881 -39.7%
Touareg
 482 544 -11.4%
Eos
 156 183 -14.8%
Routan
 — 359 -100%
Total
23,504 23,494 0.04%

Of course, the A6 Jetta is an aging car. Unfortunately, Volkswagen can’t rely on its newer model for significant U.S. volume, since the Golf is simply not capable of attracting a wide audience in America. The Golf family was outsold by the Camaro, Avalon, Challenger, Accent, and E-Class in January, and more than half the car’s sales were produced by the GTI and e-Golf. In other words, the mainstream Golf is rarely seen on Main Street.

It’s increasingly obvious that Volkswagen needs a CrossBlue-like family crossover to compete in America. But as we’ve mentioned before, even with such a model adding around 10,000 monthly sales – a positive forecast, indeed – Volkswagen would have only sold 33,500 vehicles in January. Or about 7300 fewer new vehicles than Subaru sold last month.

An affordably high-riding family vehicle is required, but it’s not the complete answer, not for the American marketplace.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

The post Jetta Volume Plunges In January, Volkswagen’s Modest Improvement Continues appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/jetta-volume-plunges-january-volkswagens-modest-improvement-continues/feed/ 97
Los Angeles 2014: A Modest Proposal For Volkswagen Of America http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-modest-proposal-volkswagen-america/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-modest-proposal-volkswagen-america/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:37:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=948545 Despite teasing us with the Volkswagen Golf R station wagon, it’s pretty clear that we aren’t going to get it in North America. A standard Golf R costs a hair under $37,000, and nobody is going to pay that much for the wagon version (and before you protest, remember that 3 people on the internet […]

The post Los Angeles 2014: A Modest Proposal For Volkswagen Of America appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
volkswagen-golf-r-variant-2014-la-auto-show-01

Despite teasing us with the Volkswagen Golf R station wagon, it’s pretty clear that we aren’t going to get it in North America. A standard Golf R costs a hair under $37,000, and nobody is going to pay that much for the wagon version (and before you protest, remember that 3 people on the internet does not make a business case for a new vehicle line). But maybe VW of America can meet us half way.

Back in 2006, Volkswagen offered a Jetta 2.0T, with the engine and suspension from the GLI, but without the body kit, big wheels, red brake calipers and tartan seats. I was fortunate enough to drive one during my college years, and found it a nice compromise between the boy racer GLI and the bog standard 2.5L Jetta.

Maybe we can get a Golf wagon 2.0T? Take the GTI’s engine and chassis tuning, but leave out the AWD, the big wheels and all the other expensive stuff that will lead to a bloated price tag and excess inventory (ahem, Golf R32).

 

volkswagen-golf-r-variant-2014-la-auto-show-01 volkswagen-golf-r-variant-2014-la-auto-show-03 volkswagen-golf-r-variant-2014-la-auto-show-05 volkswagen-golf-r-variant-2014-la-auto-show-06 volkswagen-golf-r-variant-2014-la-auto-show-07 volkswagen-golf-r-variant-2014-la-auto-show-08 volkswagen-golf-r-variant-2014-la-auto-show-09

The post Los Angeles 2014: A Modest Proposal For Volkswagen Of America appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/los-angeles-2014-modest-proposal-volkswagen-america/feed/ 40
Volkswagen USA Ends 18-Month Streak, Sort Of Increases October Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/volkswagen-usa-ends-18-month-streak-sort-increases-october-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/volkswagen-usa-ends-18-month-streak-sort-increases-october-sales/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 13:08:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=942153 As Isaac Newton didn’t say, to go up, Volkswagen had to go down. U.S. sales of Volkswagen brand vehicles declined 18% in October 2013, year-over-year, a 6182-unit decline in a market which expanded by 114,000 units, or 10%. Looking back, October 2013 was Volkswagen’s seventh consecutive month of decline, a streak which would continue all […]

The post Volkswagen USA Ends 18-Month Streak, Sort Of Increases October Sales appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Jetta TDI 2015As Isaac Newton didn’t say, to go up, Volkswagen had to go down.

U.S. sales of Volkswagen brand vehicles declined 18% in October 2013, year-over-year, a 6182-unit decline in a market which expanded by 114,000 units, or 10%. Looking back, October 2013 was Volkswagen’s seventh consecutive month of decline, a streak which would continue all the way through the third quarter of 2014.

Yet this sharp decline last year enabled Volkswagen of America to announce, “increased traffic in our showrooms,” and an 8% increase in total volume for October 2014. Increases, yes, compared with a period of dramatic decrease.

This is nothing new in the world of auto sales reporting. We examine year-over-year sales comparisons for seasonal purposes – month-over-month results are skewed by the fact that Americans buy far more cars in, for instance, March than in February. And in this case, year-over-year refers to a comparison between 2014 and 2013. Volkswagen is not lying or deceiving or following anything but standard industry practice by celebrating their increased showroom traffic and increased total sales as showroom traffic and total sales as October 2014 compares with October 2013.

But after a streak of some 18 months (a streak we discussed on TTAC last month, in a September Subaru-related chart, and in an August SUV article) we feel duty-bound to point out that, while the streak has ended, we did not just witness a Volkswagen USA burst.

With 30,313 October sales in 2014, Volkswagen’s volume last month was down 12% compared with October 2012. The brand’s market share fell from 3.14% in October 2012 to 2.33% in October 2013 and then rose only slightly to 2.37% in October 2014.

Volkswagen
October 2014
October 2013
October 2012
Jetta
14,607 11,710  13,476
Passat
6,513 7,258  8,355
Golf
4,076 2,249  2,914
Beetle
1,941 2,555  2,439
Tiguan
1,803 2,153  2,752
CC
593 1,289  2,238
Touareg
578 549 965
Eos
202 261 331
Routan
105 841
Total
30,313  28,129  34,311 

These figures are still disappointing for the brand, particularly when one takes into account the arrival of a new Golf. Total Golf family sales were up 81% year-over-year to 4076 units, a 40% increase compared with October 2012. But the Golf isn’t the major Volkswagen player in America that it is elsewhere, accounting for just 13% of the brand’s volume last month.

The Passat bears much of the responsibility for the low totals in each of the last two Octobers. 8355 were sold in October 2012, but Passat volume fell 13% to 7258 in October 2013 and then dropped to just 6513 units in October 2014. This marked the third occasion this year in which fewer than 7000 Passats were sold in a single month and the third-lowest Passat month since 2012 began.

The Jetta sedan is once again a savior for Volkswagen in the United States. 11,253 Jetta sedans were sold in October 2012, but sales slid 10% to 10,161 in October 2013. 13,372 were sold in October 2014.

Excluding the Jetta sedan and the Golf family from the equation, Volkswagen USA sales slid 18% in October 2014. That figure is relevant, odd as it may sound, as it reveals the decreasing appeal of Volkswagen’s other models. Beetle sales slid 24% in October 2014, the disappearing Eos was down 23%, Passat sales fell 10%, CC sales fell 54%, Tiguan volume was down 16%. Touareg volume was up 5%, or 29 units.

Moreover, it reveals a great deal about the brand’s current circumstances. October 2014 Volkswagen USA volume wasn’t particularly healthy; it just wasn’t as unhealthy as it was at this time a year ago.

But the streak has ended.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures.

The post Volkswagen USA Ends 18-Month Streak, Sort Of Increases October Sales appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/volkswagen-usa-ends-18-month-streak-sort-increases-october-sales/feed/ 38
Reader Review: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/reader-review-2010-volkswagen-jetta-sportwagen/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/reader-review-2010-volkswagen-jetta-sportwagen/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:51:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=874393 Reader Phil Brown shares his experiences with his Jetta Wagon Volkswagen still has the temerity to sell a compact station wagon in an American market scarfing up CUVs, and bless them for it. I should have been in the heart of the CUV market when looking for a new vehicle in 2010, but I ended […]

The post Reader Review: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
IMG_2501_mod

Reader Phil Brown shares his experiences with his Jetta Wagon

Volkswagen still has the temerity to sell a compact station wagon in an American market scarfing up CUVs, and bless them for it. I should have been in the heart of the CUV market when looking for a new vehicle in 2010, but I ended up in a MkVI Jetta Sportwagen. It isn’t brown and it doesn’t burn diesel, but after four years and 51K miles of ownership I can understand some of the fervor of wagon fans here on TTAC. There is just something so fundamentally sound and good about the way this car drives, the way it goes down the road, and the surprising utility it offers. With the recent ascension of the Volkswagen Golf to the MQB platform and the 1.8TSI engine on North American shores, I thought it would be an appropriate time to share my longer-term ownership experience of the outgoing platform.

The VW replaced a second-hand 1996 “champagne” beige Camry (how appropriate, for what better title could you give a 1996 Camry than the Champagne of Beiges?) which I had owned for 8 responsible years. Despite being the crème de la crème of 1990s sedans and exhibiting a build quality rarely seen in a Toyota showroom since, it was completely lifeless from behind the wheel and falling badly behind on safety features. Kids were coming. ABS, side airbags, and LATCH anchors were suddenly a priority, and I wanted at least a whiff of driver involvement. Time in a Focus ZX5 and the joker-faced Mazda 3 had opened my eyes to affordable driving enjoyment, and I wanted some of that in a package that could haul a couple of kids and their accompanying detritus.

DSCN0481_mod

Turns out that was a lot to ask from a $21K budget when a hatchback/wagon body style was mandatory. Lightly used CUVs were ruled out after realizing they were as dull as the Camry despite acing the functional criteria. It’s hard to swallow 4 years of payments on a used vehicle when you don’t actually like it. Every other hatchback or wagon had a fatal flaw, whether too small in the cargo area (xB & Soul), too small in the backseat (Mazda3), or too cheap and nasty to warrant the asking price (Matrix). The Jetta Sportwagen was about the only offering left, and poking around one at an auto show left a really good impression. Subsequent test drives only improved on that.

I never thought I’d walk into a VW dealership after seeing the pages of Consumer Reports splattered like a crime scene with black dots from the infamous Mk IV days, but once those Mk Vs landed in 2005 the dots turned to white and red. So I put aside brand bias and worked with a very professional and low-pressure sales manager to order a base S model with the 5 cylinder engine and 5 speed manual from the factory. Five weeks later, the Mexican-assembled wagon arrived wrapped in bug-splattered plastic.

Most will openly wonder why on God’s Green Earth one would special order a gas Sportwagen instead of picking a TDI already on the lot. The answer is $4500, the price difference between the cheapest TDI with its obligatory bundled options and an already well-equipped base 2.5S. Being trendy and undersupplied, TDI Sportwagen inventories were low in my area that year and the dealers weren’t about to budge a nickel on them. I wasn’t seeing $4500 worth of value there, but time will tell if the higher depreciation and fuel costs wash out the initial price savings.

Regardless of engine choice, this car treats both the driver and passengers well. It provides some feedback and involvement without beating up or cramping passengers, and provides class-atypical levels comfort and refinement without completely anesthetizing the driving experience. The suspension and structure absorb broken pavement, potholes, and jarring ripples with poise and composure that no Civic or Elantra can manage, yet the handling is still responsive. The steering provides respectable feel and precision at speed, with no center dead zone and none of the tiring dartiness some quick ratio systems provide. The driving position is excellent and seat comfort is superb. It is hushed, stable and confident on the highway and just eats up miles for hours on end without fatiguing you. I’m six feet tall and can still find a good driving position with twin rear-facing toddler seats behind me, although anyone taller will have trouble. An SUV’s worth of cargo capacity resides behind the backseat so I can haul both kids and gear. Without the family aboard, I can turn off the traction control and dump-n-ride the clutch to shriek the tires across half an intersection if I’m feeling like an abusive imbecile. That is a smile you cannot get from a CR-V.

DSCN1365

The interior of this generation of Golf/Jetta received unanimous praise in the media, and it is well-deserved because the materials quality is closer to an entry-level luxury car than a $20K compact. Happy little details are hidden everywhere, from the glovebox lined in faux felt to the brilliant tilt-and-telescope center armrest to the standard heated seats to the real metal door pulls that release the latch with such a satisfying feel and sound. The speedometer is absolute genius, marked in 10 mph increments until 80 and in 20 mph increments beyond, so you can have your stupid obligatory 160 mph speedometer and not sacrifice legibility in the 0-80 mph range. The interior shows no wear on the touch points, so whatever shoddy craftsmanship plagued the MkIV interiors is not present here.

The interior and solid structure can perhaps be cheerfully compared to Audi, but several things remind you this car was built to a low price. The HVAC fan roars like a tornado and the air conditioning is a bit tepid. There is no modern infotainment technology to speak of. No trip computer. No Bluetooth. No USB integration. You get AUX and a CD slot with a stereo head unit that is laughably basic even if the sound that it routes through the eight speakers isn’t bad. My biggest complaint involves the brakes, which are mushy and require a surprisingly good stomp to extract all of the mediocre performance despite being four-wheel disc. The unparalleled bitching about the 2011 Jetta’s rear drums was amusing considering it stops in a shorter distance than my car.

DSCN1346

The engine won’t fool an Audi owner either, but for $20K why should it? VW’s 2.5 liter 5 cylinder is controversial, I believe it deserves a final defense. The 5 cylinder was never going to engender anything but irritation from journalists narrowly focused on acceleration stats or how vigorously the needle swings to redline. Well, ignore their regurgitated groupthink because this is an affordable workhorse that is more relaxed and well-suited to everyday driving than most C-segment engines it competed with. The oft-quoted torque peak occurs above 4000 rpm, but 90% of that is available at 2000 rpm, so it pulls better at those engine speeds than a GLI with its sleeping turbo. Going for a hole in traffic doesn’t usually require a downshift. You can move out nicely in 3rd gear at 30mph and that gives you an advantage against a lot of other average cars that need to wake up and downshift before they can provide much thrust. In Everyday Car and Driver Land, this is more important than a 0-60 sprint.

If those sprints still interest you, the tires will chirp going into second but the engine doesn’t really rev eagerly and feels pretty much done by 5000 rpm. Expect an automatic Sonata to keep pace with you. Expect the GLI to flatten you. You’re just not going to win many stoplight races. Rest in peace anyway, noble 5-cylinder. You were a decent effort considering VW has approximately zero interest in normally aspirated engines.

I find the notorious fuel economy of this engine to be…adequate, but getting less so each year, as the industry extracts more power from the same amount of fuel. I get 28-34 mpg on the highway depending on whatever. It’s a 3200 pound car with 170hp so I wasn’t expecting 40 mpg, but cars of this weight and power should be getting 10-15% better. A section of the brain fixates on that, even if it doesn’t really dent the pocketbook.

I suppose we need to discuss reliability. No VW review is complete without stories of hellacious repair records, preferably of experiences 10, 20, or 30 years ago extrapolated far beyond the proper scope of inference to every VW model and powertrain produced today. Look, either you believe data collected by Consumer Reports and TrueDelta or you don’t. Those sources show the MkV Golf/Jetta far outperforming the MkIV and achieving parity or better with the rest of the industry, particularly for 5-cylinder cars. This is my personal experience: in 51K miles I’ve had one repair stop, a faulty ignition coil at 15K miles that didn’t leave me stranded or make me late to anything. The rear seat ski pass-through likes to jam as well and I have had that addressed 3 times during oil changes. Apparently it is a model-wide design flaw, but it’s not as if the window is dropping into the door. Otherwise, the car has been flawless. I don’t expect an easy 200K, but if I can run it for 10 years and 150K miles without headache you won’t ever see me criticizing this model’s reliability on the comment boards. Bulletproof reliability beyond 200K is something for the second owner to worry about, as the Camry taught me that 15 years of perfect operation is a critical asset only if you want to keep the car for 15 years.

I’ll probably pay for that reliability gap when I try to sell this thing in a world where used Civics fetch such high prices, and I’m fairly certain the manual transmission will be a resale hurdle as well. That’s OK. The modest gain in resale at the tail end of the depreciation curve is not worth driving a car I do not enjoy for a full decade. Volkswagen converted a skeptic here, and should this wagon not implode on me in the next 100K miles and render me an embittered hater of all budget German metal, I may just move into a GTI.

DSCN1346 DSCN1347 DSCN0481_mod DSCN1365 DSCN1367 IMG_2501_mod DSCN1346

The post Reader Review: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/reader-review-2010-volkswagen-jetta-sportwagen/feed/ 171
Volkswagen Builds The Enthusiast’s Dream Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/volkswagen-builds-the-enthusiasts-dream-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/volkswagen-builds-the-enthusiasts-dream-wagon/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 04:01:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=781161   The wagon you’re looking at is actually not an enthusiast’s dream. It’s not a diesel, nor rear-drive. It may not have a manual, either. But it’s still a tasty bit of forbidden fruit. Spotted by AutoGuide and their team of crack photographers, the Golf R Wagon is a bit like a baby Audi RS6. Using […]

The post Volkswagen Builds The Enthusiast’s Dream Wagon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
volkswagen-golf-r-wagon-spy-photo-01

 

The wagon you’re looking at is actually not an enthusiast’s dream. It’s not a diesel, nor rear-drive. It may not have a manual, either. But it’s still a tasty bit of forbidden fruit.

Spotted by AutoGuide and their team of crack photographers, the Golf R Wagon is a bit like a baby Audi RS6. Using the Golf R’s 296 horsepower 2.0T engine and all-wheel drive, Volkswagen has created the ultimate version of what will be the next generation Jetta Sportwagen.

As far as we know, this is just a prototype, and we probably wouldn’t see this car in America. But we can at least gaze from afar.

 

volkswagen-golf-r-wagon-spy-photo-01 volkswagen-golf-r-wagon-spy-photo-02 volkswagen-golf-r-wagon-spy-photo-03 volkswagen-golf-r-wagon-spy-photo-04 volkswagen-golf-r-wagon-spy-photo-05 volkswagen-golf-r-wagon-spy-photo-07 volkswagen-golf-r-wagon-spy-photo-08

The post Volkswagen Builds The Enthusiast’s Dream Wagon appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/03/volkswagen-builds-the-enthusiasts-dream-wagon/feed/ 24
Volkswagen Cuts Sales Targets For US Dealers http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/volkswagen-cuts-sales-targets-for-us-dealers/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/volkswagen-cuts-sales-targets-for-us-dealers/#comments Wed, 24 Jul 2013 23:30:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=496971 Despite planning to sell 486,000 units in America this year, Volkswagen has trimmed its sales targets to 440,000 units, after shedding market share in the first half of 2013. The slowdown is sales has caused Volkswagen to offer aggressive incentives on vehicles, such as 0 percent financing across the board, while workers at its Chattanooga […]

The post Volkswagen Cuts Sales Targets For US Dealers appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
AngelesCrest-009-450x300

Despite planning to sell 486,000 units in America this year, Volkswagen has trimmed its sales targets to 440,000 units, after shedding market share in the first half of 2013.

The slowdown is sales has caused Volkswagen to offer aggressive incentives on vehicles, such as 0 percent financing across the board, while workers at its Chattanooga plant have been laid off. Inventories of VW cars remain high, and have risen to 105 days supply as of July 1st, up from 92 days in June. Dealers are crying out for key products like a mid-size crossover, but so far, Volkswagen has only announced a revival of the failed Phaeton luxury car.

On the dealer side, Volkswagen has been struggling with an unhappy dealer body, which was ranked last in a NADA survey. A reworking of VW’s bonus complicated bonus system for dealers, which ended up undoing some of the changes made in January 2013, helped boost satisfaction levels, but dealers are still facing a tough time after three years of rapid growth.

The post Volkswagen Cuts Sales Targets For US Dealers appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/volkswagen-cuts-sales-targets-for-us-dealers/feed/ 49
Volkswagen Kills Its Five-Banger, Revives The 1.8T http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/volkswagen-kills-its-five-banger-revives-the-1-8t/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/volkswagen-kills-its-five-banger-revives-the-1-8t/#comments Wed, 10 Jul 2013 18:44:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=494802 Volkswagen is reviving a historic (or infamous, depending on your perspective) nameplate for the 2014 model year, as it drops the 2.5L 5-cylinder engine. In its place is a 1.8L four-cylinder engine making 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The new 1.8T engine luckily has no relation to the prior 1.8T, which ate coilpacks […]

The post Volkswagen Kills Its Five-Banger, Revives The 1.8T appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
450x336xIMG_1682-450x336.jpg.pagespeed.ic.dWxC93-79x

Volkswagen is reviving a historic (or infamous, depending on your perspective) nameplate for the 2014 model year, as it drops the 2.5L 5-cylinder engine. In its place is a 1.8L four-cylinder engine making 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.

The new 1.8T engine luckily has no relation to the prior 1.8T, which ate coilpacks like Takeru Kobayashi at a Nathan’s buffet. The new 1.8T will be in place on the Passat, Jetta and Beetle, as well as the next-generation Golf when it debuts as a 2015 model.

Also big news for the much maligned Jetta: all versions will get an independent rear-suspension, replacing the much criticized beam axle suspension. The penalty for this is electric power steering. Can’t win ’em all, right?

The post Volkswagen Kills Its Five-Banger, Revives The 1.8T appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/volkswagen-kills-its-five-banger-revives-the-1-8t/feed/ 94
Review: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI vs 2013 Jetta Hybrid http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/2013-volkswagen-jetta-tdi-vs-jetta-hybrid/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/2013-volkswagen-jetta-tdi-vs-jetta-hybrid/#comments Fri, 31 May 2013 18:14:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=490234 “Have you driven the new Jetta Hybrid?” popped up in my Faceache message box. It came from Captain Leslie, an E-3 Sentry driver, consummate professional, a current Jetta TDI pilot (with a manual), and friend from a tour in the Middle East and Oklahoma City. Unable to resist her profile smile, I went in search […]

The post Review: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI vs 2013 Jetta Hybrid appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

“Have you driven the new Jetta Hybrid?” popped up in my Faceache message box. It came from Captain Leslie, an E-3 Sentry driver, consummate professional, a current Jetta TDI pilot (with a manual), and friend from a tour in the Middle East and Oklahoma City. Unable to resist her profile smile, I went in search of the elusive electrically motivated VW in a sea of 2.5L sorority mobiles. As she has saved my ass in the past, I shall attempt to repay the favor. Leslie, skip the Hybrid, get another TDI… but make sure its a Golf…wagon…in brown…with a manual.

Capt Leslie and her 185K mile, manual TDI

Sajeev pointed out my fondness for VAG products and warned me to be vigilant in my impartiality (cough, Panther Love for all) to render a verdict in true TTAC fashion. Having owned numerous Audis, a SEAT Toledo V5, Golfs, and a MKV Jetta TDI, I might have difficulty. But no, thank you VW for screwing up the Jetta enough to make this issue a nonstarter!

The latest Jetta does not live up to the previous generation. Before me was a stretched mk4 Jetta, only missing some of the details (Vellum Venom here). The MK VI Jetta looks attractive enough; readily identifiable as a Volkswagen, with neat creases, and all that Euro technocracity. But it’s a bit boring compared to the beauties made in Korea. The MK IV forged a bold path and the MK V at least caused controversy, however VW played it too safe with the MK VI. At least it’s not ugly.

 

The Jetta’s most interesting external aspect are the taillights: sporting a complex lighting pattern for a slightly upscale look. And…thats it.

The taillights are especially helpful when attending accident scenes.

Step inside: virtually identical, the Jetta TDI and Hybrid showcase the latest in Germanic interior design: perfectly aligned plastic, a cutting edge notion in 1979 when Audi switched to black plastic in the Audi 4000 over the faux wood in the Fox. It’s straight forward, easy to use and looks like it’ll last forever, but exhibits no flair or panache. I’m thinking VW hired a hipster and they rehashed the mk5 interior…but ironically.

The comfortable seats still impress. The leatherette is attractive and will prove durable. Space is good, with the biggest complaint coming from the Hybrid, where the battery pack robs crucial trunk room, and makes the rear seat pass through about 30% smaller than the regular TDI.

Now about that infamous plastic dash. I know why VW equipped the low and mid-range Jettas with an injection molded dashboard so hard that Viagra should file a patent lawsuit:  Americans do not touch the dash, or care about squidgy bits like the Europeans, or so I have been told. They care about price and value for money.

Nicely put together, but not exciting to look at.

This fact explains why most Americans buy Corollas. VW once stood in a “just above average” slot, slightly aspirational and cool but avoiding BMW douchiness. Catering to a cheaper price point made VW just another player in this saturated market.

“But look at the engineering precision and how well it’s put together!” say the engineers (or more likely the marketers). Yes, the engineers dotted their “i’s” with this design, but failed to realize they spelled penis instead of pencil.

I learned in Germany that you don’t buy a Golf for looks, as the Focus and anything French blow it away. You buy one for the dependability and the drive, true VW trademarks in the homeland. The Jetta, a be-trunked extension of the Golf philosophy, should follow this mantra of safe looking, yet wholly hooligan mannerisms. Flogging the TDI and Hybrid like I stole them, I found that not all is lost in Wolfsburg.

The TDI with a manual induces grins from the open road to city traffic. With the 2.0L, direct injected, common-rail diesel, VW engineered the finest motivator in the American line-up. Wind it up to the low redline and feel a surge of torque launching you through traffic. The numbers on paper suggest a middling 0-60 time but the thrust provided in real-time proves most addictive. I found myself punching the throttle just to induce grins.

Pitching the car into a corner netted more surprises. The front end moved around a corner like a GTI. Generous applications of the throttle failed to induce excessive understeer, or surprising amounts of torque steer. The Jetta TDI hunkered down and blew through the apex with a bit of turbo whistle. Wow.

I think the average looks and interior were a ruse so the police think you can’t possibly speed in an efficient bar of soap.

I also found lift-off oversteer very possible with more speed and ham-fisted steering inputs. Careening around University Ave intersection onto the Marsha Sharp Freeway, I could lift off the throttle, step out the back-end and nail the go pedal in true Nürburgring fashion while netting an honest 40mpg. The cheap trailing beam rear suspension was not a handling detriment save for the fiercest bumps, which allowed just a bit of skipping. The steering was alive and communicative, provided you ignore the slightly artificial electric feel at lower speeds.

So what of the Hybrid? The “green” Jetta handles exactly the same, yet the leather wrapped steering wheel was a tad nicer. The same wonderful corner entry and roll transition urge you on to illegal speeds. The main difference? Power delivery: the TDI surges while the Hybrid just….goes.

IMG_2724

Instead of a tachometer denoting engine revs, a dial ranging from 1-to-10 presents a percentage of available power currently being utilized. A tantalizing “boost” zone glares at you past the 10 mark. My goal was to live in “boost” as much as possible. Not the point of a hybrid, but I am still an enthusiast. I kick Priuses like the Taliban kick puppies!

The Hybrid proves an engaging drive, with a lackluster engine note and not quite sharp throttle responses. The TDI emerges as the clear driver’s victor, especially when real world fuel economy figures are factored in. The Hybrid says 48mpg highway to the TDI’s 42, but the TDI managed 40mpg in mixed driving, with the Hybrid only scored 38mpg. The Hybrid is not a green and happy GLI, it’s an expensive alternative to the TDI for the hippy crowd. Just behold those blue Hybrid badges tattoo’d at every corner!

IMG_2725

The TDI comes across as cheaper, more reliable, comes in a manual, and will hold its value (look at those used mkV TDI prices!). The Hybrid, well…it’ll be an interesting Murilee junkyard find in 20 years.

Now Captain Leslie knows the truth: I suggest she keeps her current manual shift Jetta TDI (with 185,000 trouble free miles!) and save the money for her upcoming wedding. Leslie, if you have some scratch left over, get a Jetta Sportwagen TDI, which is just a Golf TDI with a big trunk. The current Jetta TDI and Hybrid are good, but after being a command pilot over Afghanistan, you won’t have the wool pulled over your eyes: the new Jetta is not superior to yours.

At least the bartenders Courtney and Elise from The Roof in Lubbock seem to really like it!

The post Review: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta TDI vs 2013 Jetta Hybrid appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/05/2013-volkswagen-jetta-tdi-vs-jetta-hybrid/feed/ 61
Slow Growth In 2013 Will Put The Brakes On Volkswagen’s Ambitious Stateside Growth http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/slow-growth-in-2013-will-put-the-brakes-on-volkswagens-ambitious-stateside-growth/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/slow-growth-in-2013-will-put-the-brakes-on-volkswagens-ambitious-stateside-growth/#comments Thu, 03 Jan 2013 19:37:01 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=472314 Remember when Volkswagen’s goal of 800,000 units in America seemed utterly implausible? TTAC does. But Volkswagen, which was in the dumps not too long ago, is now more than half-way to their goal, selling 438,000 units in the United States, a 35 percent jump over last year. But that kind of growth isn’t likely to […]

The post Slow Growth In 2013 Will Put The Brakes On Volkswagen’s Ambitious Stateside Growth appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

Remember when Volkswagen’s goal of 800,000 units in America seemed utterly implausible? TTAC does. But Volkswagen, which was in the dumps not too long ago, is now more than half-way to their goal, selling 438,000 units in the United States, a 35 percent jump over last year. But that kind of growth isn’t likely to carry over for 2013.

VW USA CEO Jonathan Browning is taking a “cautious” view regarding growth in 2013, despite his prediction of a 15 million unit market in 2013. The slow growth could come as a result of white-hot products, like the Passat, Jetta and Beetle, losing some of their luster as a result of being on sale for a longer period of time. Updated products like the new Golf and a rumored three-row crossover are still on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Audi’s target of 200,000 units by 2018, an integral part of Volkswagen Group’s 1 million unit goal, is even closer. Audi has sold just under 140,000 units in 2012, and the 60,000 unit gap should be easier to close given the continued growth in the luxury segment. A new A3 will be competing with the Mercedes-Benz CLA and a revamped BMW 1-Series, while the A4 and other crossover variants in Audi’s “Q” range should help add even more volume. Audi’s rising profile among American consumers seems unlikely to dissipate any time soon either.

Volkswagen as a whole still has to close a substianial gap to reach their ambitious targets, but rather than being a farcical pipe dream, their goals now look achievable – something nobody could have predicted in 2010. Then again, the peanut gallery panned the new-for-America Jetta and Passat, and who’s laughing now?

The post Slow Growth In 2013 Will Put The Brakes On Volkswagen’s Ambitious Stateside Growth appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/slow-growth-in-2013-will-put-the-brakes-on-volkswagens-ambitious-stateside-growth/feed/ 56
QOTD: The Year’s Most Important Stories http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/qotd-the-years-most-important-stories/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/qotd-the-years-most-important-stories/#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2012 18:35:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=470027 As the year comes to a close and we choose our most reviled cars of the year, it’s also worth reflecting on the most compelling narratives of the year. At TTAC, we pride ourselves on covering stories that other outlets overlook. Whether it’s territorial disputes in China, overcapacity in Europe, a manufacturing boom in Africa […]

The post QOTD: The Year’s Most Important Stories appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

As the year comes to a close and we choose our most reviled cars of the year, it’s also worth reflecting on the most compelling narratives of the year.

At TTAC, we pride ourselves on covering stories that other outlets overlook. Whether it’s territorial disputes in China, overcapacity in Europe, a manufacturing boom in Africa or implosion in Australia, we do our best to deliver compelling content to you, the readers, and we’re always amused and intrigued by your comments. But our news judgement and yours don’t always align.

The floor is open to what mattered most to you. We’re cognizant of the fact that not everyone likes low-cost cars or Chinese sub-brands, so let us know what kept you reading this year.

Personally, low-cost cars and the proliferation of modular platform kits are most interesting to me right now.

The post QOTD: The Year’s Most Important Stories appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/qotd-the-years-most-important-stories/feed/ 34
September 2012 Sales Breakdown: Chrysler, Volkswagen Win Big http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/september-2012-sales-breakdown-chrysler-volkswagen-win-big/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/september-2012-sales-breakdown-chrysler-volkswagen-win-big/#comments Tue, 02 Oct 2012 20:03:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=462544 September saw big gains for Volkswagen and Honda, two brands that have been pilloried by the motoring press for apparently sub-par products, while Chrysler led the Big Three in gains, if not volume. Honda and Acura combined sales were up 31 percent overall, with the CR-V posting a 14 percent gain in a very competitive crossover market. […]

The post September 2012 Sales Breakdown: Chrysler, Volkswagen Win Big appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

September saw big gains for Volkswagen and Honda, two brands that have been pilloried by the motoring press for apparently sub-par products, while Chrysler led the Big Three in gains, if not volume.

Honda and Acura combined sales were up 31 percent overall, with the CR-V posting a 14 percent gain in a very competitive crossover market. Kia and VW were up 35 and 38 percent overall, while Chrysler posted a 12 percent gain overall, while Ford sales were flat and GM posted a 2 percent gain. Over at Good Car Bad Car, Tim Cain has put together sales rankings for September, as well as some interesting observations on the winners and losers of this past month.

Automaker Sept. 2012 Sept. 2011 Pct. chng. 9 month
2012
9 month
2011
Pct. chng.
BMW Group 26,692 25,779 4% 235,216 219,584 7%
    BMW division 21,761 21,750 0% 186,397 177,679 5%
    Mini 4,899 3,999 23% 48,531 41,635 17%
    Rolls-Royce 32 30 7% 288 270 7%
BMW Group 26,692 25,779 4% 235,216 219,584 7%
Chrysler Group 142,041 127,336 12% 1,250,670 1,009,414 24%
    Chrysler Division 24,850 23,559 6% 241,466 157,551 53%
    Dodge 47,356 40,075 18% 391,912 345,444 14%
    Dodge/Ram 73,770 65,439 13% 611,272 534,209 14%
    Fiat 4,176 2,773 51% 32,742 13,861 136%
    Jeep 39,245 35,565 10% 365,190 303,793 20%
    Ram 26,414 25,364 4% 219,360 188,765 16%
Chrysler Group 142,041 127,336 12% 1,250,670 1,009,414 24%
Daimler AG 25,984 23,900 9% 214,374 186,294 15%
    Maybach 4 3 33% 36 27 33%
    Mercedes-Benz 24,950 23,428 7% 207,027 182,510 13%
    Smart USA 1,030 469 120% 7,311 3,757 95%
Daimler AG 25,984 23,900 9% 214,374 186,294 15%
Ford Motor Co. 174,454 174,860 0% 1,685,068 1,599,711 5%
    Ford division 167,652 167,842 0% 1,621,188 1,534,622 6%
    Lincoln 6,802 7,018 –3% 63,880 64,841 –2%
    Mercury –% 248 –100%
Ford Motor Co. 174,454 174,860 0% 1,685,068 1,599,711 5%
General Motors 210,245 207,145 2% 1,967,715 1,902,149 3%
    Buick 14,673 13,599 8% 137,262 140,092 –2%
    Cadillac 12,579 12,741 –1% 103,512 113,190 –9%
    Chevrolet 149,801 147,611 2% 1,420,383 1,353,933 5%
    GMC 33,192 33,194 0% 306,558 294,934 4%
General Motors 210,245 207,145 2% 1,967,715 1,902,149 3%
Honda (American) 117,211 89,532 31% 1,066,458 859,797 24%
    Acura 14,366 10,010 44% 115,773 89,146 30%
    Honda Division 102,845 79,522 29% 950,685 770,651 23%
Honda (American) 117,211 89,532 31% 1,066,458 859,797 24%
Hyundai Group 108,130 87,660 23% 974,728 860,319 13%
    Hyundai division 60,025 52,051 15% 539,814 492,914 10%
    Kia 48,105 35,609 35% 434,914 367,405 18%
Hyundai Group 108,130 87,660 23% 974,728 860,319 13%
Jaguar Land Rover 4,640 3,851 21% 41,224 34,965 18%
    Jaguar 1,004 1,111 –10% 9,550 9,315 3%
    Land Rover 3,636 2,740 33% 31,674 25,650 24%
Jaguar Land Rover 4,640 3,851 21% 41,224 34,965 18%
Maserati 269 198 36% 1,984 1,705 16%
Maserati 269 198 36% 1,984 1,705 16%
Mazda 24,135 25,521 –5% 209,482 191,315 10%
Mazda 24,135 25,521 –5% 209,482 191,315 10%
Mitsubishi 4,806 5,803 –17% 46,122 65,875 –30%
Mitsubishi 4,806 5,803 –17% 46,122 65,875 –30%
Nissan 91,907 92,964 –1% 866,484 774,079 12%
    Infiniti 9,445 8,479 11% 86,596 72,181 20%
    Nissan Division 82,462 84,485 –2% 779,888 701,898 11%
Nissan 91,907 92,964 –1% 866,484 774,079 12%
Saab Cars North America 429 –100% 4,647 –100%
Saab 429 –100% 4,647 –100%
Subaru 27,683 20,934 32% 245,463 195,550 26%
Subaru 27,683 20,934 32% 245,463 195,550 26%
Suzuki 1,921 2,026 –5% 19,149 20,284 –6%
Suzuki 1,921 2,026 –5% 19,149 20,284 –6%
Toyota 171,910 121,451 42% 1,571,424 1,194,523 32%
    Lexus 20,386 14,995 36% 170,990 135,647 26%
    Scion 6,743 3,838 76% 56,490 37,607 50%
    Toyota division 144,781 102,618 41% 1,343,944 1,021,269 32%
    Toyota/Scion 151,524 106,456 42% 1,400,434 1,058,876 32%
Toyota 171,910 121,451 42% 1,571,424 1,194,523 32%
Volkswagen 51,656 39,111 32% 450,802 344,617 31%
    Audi 12,302 9,725 27% 100,694 84,981 19%
    Bentley 239 151 58% 1,644 1,260 31%
    Lamborghini 40 29 38% 360 253 42%
    Porsche 2,736 2,170 26% 25,015 22,664 10%
    VW division 36,339 27,036 34% 323,089 235,459 37%
Volkswagen 51,656 39,111 32% 450,802 344,617 31%
Volvo Cars NA 4,977 5,042 –1% 51,626 52,155 –1%
Volvo Cars NA 4,977 5,042 –1% 51,626 52,155 –1%
TOTAL 1,188,899 1,053,770 13% 10,900,131 9,519,032 15%

Numbers in this table are calculated by Automotive News based on actual monthly sales reported by the manufacturers and may differ from numbers reported elsewhere.
Source: Automotive News Data Center
Note: *Estimate

 

The post September 2012 Sales Breakdown: Chrysler, Volkswagen Win Big appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/10/september-2012-sales-breakdown-chrysler-volkswagen-win-big/feed/ 51
Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T Returns In 2014 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/volkswagen-jetta-1-8t-returns-in-2014/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/volkswagen-jetta-1-8t-returns-in-2014/#comments Wed, 18 Jul 2012 16:11:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=453259 Members of Generation Why will fondly remember the Volkswagen 1.8T powered Golfs and Jettas of the early 2000’s – or if they don’t, they probably knew someone who swore that the turbocharged Volkswagen mill was a gift from Our Lord and Savior Herr Schmaus himself. Yes, it was plagued with ignition issues and a rather […]

The post Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T Returns In 2014 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

Members of Generation Why will fondly remember the Volkswagen 1.8T powered Golfs and Jettas of the early 2000’s – or if they don’t, they probably knew someone who swore that the turbocharged Volkswagen mill was a gift from Our Lord and Savior Herr Schmaus himself. Yes, it was plagued with ignition issues and a rather unsophisticated character, but you could chip it, broooo (as one Golf MKIV owner so eloquently put it).

Autoblog got to sit down with Rainer Michel, Vice President of Product Marketing & Strategy for Volkswagen of America, who confirmed the engine changeover. The 1.8T will be replacing the 2.5L 5-cylinder, bought by many but loved by (almost) none. The new 1.8T has nothing in common with the MKIV motor. It is based on the existing 2.0T engine, and make 158 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. It’s only a  matter of time before there’s a Stateside ECU reflash…

The post Volkswagen Jetta 1.8T Returns In 2014 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/volkswagen-jetta-1-8t-returns-in-2014/feed/ 40
Volkswagen Passat Sales Up 25,000 Percent During VW’s Best Year Since 1973 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/volkswagen-passat-sales-up-25000-percent-during-vws-best-year-since-1973/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/volkswagen-passat-sales-up-25000-percent-during-vws-best-year-since-1973/#comments Thu, 05 Jul 2012 18:08:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=451435 Volkswagen is on track to have their best year in America since 1973 – and all it took was a revamped product lineup that got largely negative reviews from the automotive press. Sales for the first half of 2012 are up 35 percent versus the same time-frame in 2011. June sales were up 34 percent […]

The post Volkswagen Passat Sales Up 25,000 Percent During VW’s Best Year Since 1973 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

Volkswagen is on track to have their best year in America since 1973 – and all it took was a revamped product lineup that got largely negative reviews from the automotive press.

Sales for the first half of 2012 are up 35 percent versus the same time-frame in 2011. June sales were up 34 percent versus 12 months ago. Sales of the Passat are at an all-time high, with the TDI accounting for 21 percent of the mix. Dealers apparently can’t get enough TDIs to fill demand, and VW is hoping to bring more of the engines from their plant in Poland to the Chattanooga, Tennessee factory. Year to date, sales of the Passat are up nearly 25,000% according to independent analyst Timothy Cain. Sales of the Jetta are also strong, capturing the 14th best-selling car spot in America so far, ahead of the Kia Optima and Chrysler 200. So much for being one of the biggest flops of 2011.

The post Volkswagen Passat Sales Up 25,000 Percent During VW’s Best Year Since 1973 appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/volkswagen-passat-sales-up-25000-percent-during-vws-best-year-since-1973/feed/ 48
Junkyard Find: 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1996-volkswagen-jetta-trek-edition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1996-volkswagen-jetta-trek-edition/#comments Wed, 27 Jun 2012 13:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=450398 Back in the 1990s, Volkswagen and Trek Bicycles got together for a co-branding deal that shook the world (if you define “the world” as “a couple of zip codes in Marin County“): Golfs and Jettas with sporty-looking upholstery, roof racks, and matching Trek bikes! 15 years later, all but the most fanatical VW and/or bicycle […]

The post Junkyard Find: 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Back in the 1990s, Volkswagen and Trek Bicycles got together for a co-branding deal that shook the world (if you define “the world” as “a couple of zip codes in Marin County“): Golfs and Jettas with sporty-looking upholstery, roof racks, and matching Trek bikes! 15 years later, all but the most fanatical VW and/or bicycle zealots have forgotten the Trek Limited Edition VWs, which makes this an especially rare Junkyard Find.
The snazzy wheels and bike rack are long gone from this example, found in a Denver self-serve yard last week, but it’s still an even rarer find than a genuine Etienne Aigner Golf.
Rather than the scenes depicting drunk 350-pound dudes blasting seagulls with shotguns in the liquor-store parking lot that one will find embroidered into the upholstery of the super-rare Bakersfield Sportsman Edition Ford F-150 from the same era, the Trek Edition Jetta’s seats feature healthy stick-figure VW drivers doing healthy aerobic activities. There’s basketball, running, and— of course— bike riding.
The upholstery in this car smells worse than the Spandex undies of the winner of the Death Ride, but a good cleaning might render it suitable for use in a Trek Jetta restoration.

15 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 01 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

The post Junkyard Find: 1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek Edition appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/junkyard-find-1996-volkswagen-jetta-trek-edition/feed/ 73
Volkswagen Jetta Getting 1.8T Engine – It’s 2002 All Over Again http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/volkswagen-jetta-getting-1-8t-engine-its-2002-all-over-again/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/volkswagen-jetta-getting-1-8t-engine-its-2002-all-over-again/#comments Tue, 24 Apr 2012 17:41:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=441488 Ahh, 2002, those were the days. I was 14 years old, had my first girlfriend and an avid reader of Sport Compact Car. I was thoroughly convinced that the Nissan 240SX was the best car in the world but also had a thing for the Volkswagen Jetta with the 1.8T engine. The MKIV Jetta 1.8T engine […]

The post Volkswagen Jetta Getting 1.8T Engine – It’s 2002 All Over Again appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>

Ahh, 2002, those were the days. I was 14 years old, had my first girlfriend and an avid reader of Sport Compact Car. I was thoroughly convinced that the Nissan 240SX was the best car in the world but also had a thing for the Volkswagen Jetta with the 1.8T engine.

The MKIV Jetta 1.8T engine may have been easily upgraded to produce more power, but they were also some of the worst cars of that era in terms of reliability. Friends who later purchased them used (despite my advice) ended up having all kinds of problems with them. Volkswagen is bringing back the 1.8T, but fortunately not the one that was afflicting with defective coilpacks.

The 1.8T engine will become the “premium” engine in the new Jetta, replacing the 2.5L 5-cylinder engine. The new trim, dubbed SEL Plus, would be the top Jetta, but still below the GLI. With 158 horsepower (in European trim), the new 1.8T wouldn’t quite measure up to the old motor, but the 185 lb-ft of torque sweetens the deal. The long-rumored 1.4T will remain solely in the Jetta Hybrid for now.

The post Volkswagen Jetta Getting 1.8T Engine – It’s 2002 All Over Again appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/04/volkswagen-jetta-getting-1-8t-engine-its-2002-all-over-again/feed/ 72
NAIAS: Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/naias-volkswagen-jetta-hybrid/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/naias-volkswagen-jetta-hybrid/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2012 17:29:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=424952   The Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid combines two entities hated most by car fans – the new Volkswagen Jetta, and hybrids – on to which auto enthusiasts can project their deep-seated anger issues. Volkswagen says that fuel economy should be at 45 mpg combined while 0-60 will come up in 9 seconds. This may not be […]

The post NAIAS: Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

The Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid combines two entities hated most by car fans – the new Volkswagen Jetta, and hybrids – on to which auto enthusiasts can project their deep-seated anger issues.

Volkswagen says that fuel economy should be at 45 mpg combined while 0-60 will come up in 9 seconds. This may not be “…fun out on the highway…” as another blogger termed it, but we were intrigued to see that Volkswagen is using a 1.4L turbocharged engine making 150 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque as the gasoline side of the equation. A 7-speed DSG gearbox is used to put the power to the ground. Why can’t we just get this motor in place of the 2.0L 4-cylinder and 2.5L 5-cylinder engines?

The hybrid system it self seems underwhelming with a tiny 1.1kWh battery allowing the car to move gas free for a mere 1.2 miles at speeds of up to 44 mph. Minor styling changes, weird looking alloy wheels and hybrid badging round out the visual changes. VW made no pricing announcements for the Jetta Hybrid

The post NAIAS: Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/naias-volkswagen-jetta-hybrid/feed/ 22