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. Sun, 03 Aug 2014 03:00:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 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 is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » volkswagen jetta http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com 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 […]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 […]

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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.

 

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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?

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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 […]

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“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.

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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!

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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!

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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 […]

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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?

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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 […]

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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.

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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. […]

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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
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2011
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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

 

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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 […]

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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…

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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

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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 […]

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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.

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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 […]

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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

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