List Of TTAC's 2016 Ten Best Automobiles Today Is Mostly One Big Disagreement With The Marketplace At Large
Over the past few weeks, TTAC instituted a formula by which the Best & Brightest and TTAC’s editors and contributors would choose 2016’s Ten Best Automobiles Today and 2016’s Ten Worst Automobiles Today.
Earlier this week, the winners and losers were revealed. But does the TTAC Best & Brightest agree with the great American consumer? Are TTAC’s picks in keeping with the choices made by millions of new car buyers?
We’re answering those questions by looking at the market performance of each winner and by providing additional insight from a devil’s advocate. Do the winners deserve to be winners?
The automotive media slobbered over the redesigned 2015 Volkswagen GTI sporty hatchback ever since its introduction two years ago. I put 13,500 miles on mine over the past year and I agree that it is one of the great all-around fun cars available today.
I just went through the process of selling it, and that is when the real fun began.
TTAC News Round-up: Volkswagen E-Stall, Jeep Debut Has a Latin Flavor, and GM Has a Good Day in Court
If you didn’t think an electric car could stall, Volkswagen has a Golf-sized dose of reality for you.
That, Jeep’s Compass/Patriot successor wants to woo south of the Equator, General Motors gets some good legal news, there’s money in them there charging stations, and Volvo gets a PR boost … after the break!
Volkswagen dealers in the U.S. want to be compensated for financial losses stemming from the diesel emissions scandal, and if the results of a recent meeting with company brass is any indication, the demands will soon grow louder.
Alan Brown, chairman of Volkswagen’s U.S. dealer council, led a small delegation of dealers to Germany last week to talk reparations and get a firm grip on the company’s strategy, Automotive News reports.
The size of the settlement they were seeking is unknown, but the meeting with global brand chief Herbert Diess and new Volkswagen Group of America head Hinrich Woebcken didn’t yield any plan to compensate dealers.
Once again, I’m dazzled by those wheels, just like the Quantum we looked at last week. I’m a sucker for clean, well-styled factory wheels: Oldsmobile Rally wheels, Fuchs found on Porsches, Rostyles worn by so many British cars. The Volkswagen “Snowflake” wheel is another that is difficult to improve upon by the aftermarket.
For some reason, that hasn’t stopped VW enthusiasts from “improving” their cars with incongruous tire and wheel widths and double-digit camber settings. “Stance” culture isn’t exclusive to the Wolfsburg faithful, but it has infected too many good cars.
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.
During a month of great turmoil at Volkswagen’s German HQ, including expressions of real disappointment regarding the brand’s lackluster performance on the other side of the Atlantic, Volkswagen of America tripled its Golf sales total.
Yes, U.S. sales of the Volkswagen Golf line skyrocketed 206% in April 2015, year-over-year. Yet with only 5,508 total Golf sales last month, the Golf continues to be a low-volume compact car in the United States. Combined, the Jetta and Golf (which no longer share a platform) are still just upper-mid-pack players, nearly 900 sales back of the fifth-best-selling compact, the Ford Focus, last month.
The Golf family was, however, the key bright spot at Volkswagen of America in April. Brand-wide sales slid 3% in April 2015, the third consecutive month (and 21st in 25) that Volkswagen brand sales have decreased on a year-over-year basis.
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.
At the launch event for the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen in Austin, Texas, a chat with one gentleman from Volkswagen AG turns to a discussion of old Saab rally cars and his affinity for Swedish cars. The future of Saab seems up in the air, but in his mind, Volvo’s is more clear-cut. “These next few months will be crucial,” he says, as talk turns to the launch of the XC90, “this is their last chance to turn things around.”
By the end of the event, I’m convinced that VW has built a better Volvo than Volvo itself.
13 years ago, the Golf-based Volkswagen GTI produced 180 horsepower from a 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant. Over the last week, I’ve been driving a brand new Golf that’s also fitted with a 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder. It generates 170 horsepower.
In 2002, you could pair Volkswagen’s 1.8T with a 6-speed manual transmission. Our test car used a 5-speed manual.
Is this progress? Strangely, yes.
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 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.
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