Volkswagen – Automobile Magazine http://www.automobilemag.com No Boring Cars! | Reviews, Auto Shows, Lifestyle Fri, 18 Aug 2017 01:00:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 New Video Shows Volkswagen T-Roc Strutting Its Stuff http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-t-roc-flaunts-goods-new-video/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-t-roc-flaunts-goods-new-video/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 14:20:54 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1183267 Volkswagen will debut the T-Roc on August 23, but until then, it’s previewing the new subcompact crossover in its most revealing teaser video yet. This latest teaser shows off the headlights, taillights, bodywork, and parts of the model’s interior. As revealed in the video, the T-Roc features a bold design that departs from the somewhat-conservative look...

The post New Video Shows Volkswagen T-Roc Strutting Its Stuff appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
Volkswagen will debut the T-Roc on August 23, but until then, it’s previewing the new subcompact crossover in its most revealing teaser video yet. This latest teaser shows off the headlights, taillights, bodywork, and parts of the model’s interior.

As revealed in the video, the T-Roc features a bold design that departs from the somewhat-conservative look of VW’s other crossovers. Case in point: the new wide radiator grille with integrated headlights. Creases on the hood hint at the T-Roc’s athleticism, and the silver trim brings out the vehicle’s golden paint job. In back, the T-Roc features a bulbous rear end and unique taillight signatures.

Inside, it looks very much like a Volkswagen, save for the bold yellow accents on the interior. Simplicity dominates the cockpit, and in the center sits a familiar rectangular multimedia infotainment unit.

The T-Roc will ride on Volkswagen’s MQB platform and should offer a range of turbocharged gas and diesel engines in Europe. Production gets underway in the second half of this year. It’s unclear if the model is coming to the U.S. market or not, but if so, it would compete against the Mazda CX-3, Toyota C-HR, and Honda HR-V in quite a favorable market for crossovers.

The post New Video Shows Volkswagen T-Roc Strutting Its Stuff appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/volkswagen-t-roc-flaunts-goods-new-video/feed/ 0
Road Tripping to San Francisco in our Four Seasons 2016 Volkswagen Golf R http://www.automobilemag.com/news/road-tripping-to-san-francisco-in-our-four-seasons-2016-volkswagen-golf-r/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/road-tripping-to-san-francisco-in-our-four-seasons-2016-volkswagen-golf-r/#respond Wed, 16 Aug 2017 01:01:06 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1183158 SAN FRANCISCO, California — With time running out on our Four Seasons evaluation of the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R, we figured we’d get in one last extended fun run before we reluctantly had to hand the keys back to VW. Conveniently, I had an overdue visit to the Bay Area on my schedule, so I...

The post Road Tripping to San Francisco in our Four Seasons 2016 Volkswagen Golf R appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
SAN FRANCISCO, California — With time running out on our Four Seasons evaluation of the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R, we figured we’d get in one last extended fun run before we reluctantly had to hand the keys back to VW. Conveniently, I had an overdue visit to the Bay Area on my schedule, so I was more than happy to hop into the R and head north.

While there are several routes connecting Los Angeles with San Francisco, the most direct one is a straight-line shot through California’s Central Valley on The Five (that’s the I-5 or Interstate 5 for you non-Californians). Its long, flat stretches were favorable to the Golf R’s fuel economy, which approached 24 mpg instead of the low 20s we’ve been more commonly recording in and around L.A. That’s still a far cry from its EPA rating of 30 mpg highway, but when you’re trying to get a boring, six-hour-plus drive over with as quickly as possible, you’re not worrying about maximizing mileage.

Much of the traffic through the Central Valley consists of semi trucks, which often semi-block both lanes of traffic as one attempts to pass another with a 2-3 mph speed difference. Though brief slowdowns were often unavoidable, I was able to slip into the slightest of gaps thanks to the Golf R’s compact size, nimble chassis, and punchy 292-horse 2.0-liter turbo four. I made short work of the big rigs, as well as dawdling minivans, snoozing sedans, and texting pickups. I’ve often leveraged the R’s agile attributes on my regular commute as well, though the effort vs. return on SoCal’s packed I-405 is nowhere near as good. But the bottom line is no matter how or where you commute, the Golf R is a great car for impatient daily drivers.

Entertaining myself while the cruise control kept things at a steady, rapid pace was easy thanks to Apple CarPlay, which seamlessly let me stream from my iPhone while charging it at the same time. And thanks to The Five’s status as the main route between the state’s major population centers, the cell towers necessary to provide end-to-end coverage were built years ago, meaning I only lost signal a handful of times and for short periods — all due to unfavorable topography.

The long drive did change one of my opinions about the Golf R, bringing me in agreement with associate editor Jonathon Klein regarding the lack of the optional-for-2016 adjustable suspension. The ability to switch to a softer setting would have definitely been appreciated on the freeways rougher stretches. Fortunately, as I pointed out in my last update, the Dynamic Chassis Control package that includes the adjustable suspension is standard for 2017 — rendering any actual gripes about its absence moot.

My parting thought is not directly related to my roughly 1,000-mile weekend, though the subject of it certainly made the trip a lot more bearable: Volkswagen’s hot hatch has held up quite well despite the abuse it’s taken. Even with over 20,000 miles sitting on the odometer, the interior remains solid and rattle-free — when you’ve got a six-hour drive on your hands, the last thing you want to hear the whole time is some annoying squeak. Maybe it’s just built well, or maybe it’s the superior German adhesives (to use a years-old meme that pre-dates the coining of the term). Regardless, the cabin still looks, feels, and sounds good as new.

This was the last opportunity for us to really stretch the legs of our long-term VW hot hatch. I was glad to be the one behind the wheel for it and I remain as impressed as ever by it after my journey. Stay tuned four our Four Seasons verdict, where we’ll package a year’s worth of thoughts into one concise package. Based on my time with the car, Golf R fans will probably like what they read.

Our 2016 Volkswagen Golf R

MILES TO DATE 21,610
PRICE $37,570
ENGINE 2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/292 hp @ 5,400 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed dual-clutch automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine AWD hatchback
EPA MILEAGE 23/30 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 168.4 x 70×8. 56.5 in
WHEELBASE 103.5 in
WEIGHT 3,305 lb
0-60 MPH 4.5 sec
TOP SPEED 155 mph

The post Road Tripping to San Francisco in our Four Seasons 2016 Volkswagen Golf R appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/road-tripping-to-san-francisco-in-our-four-seasons-2016-volkswagen-golf-r/feed/ 0
Volkswagen I.D. to Undercut Tesla Model 3 by $7,000-$8,000 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/report-volkswagen-d-undercut-tesla-model-3-7000-8000/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/report-volkswagen-d-undercut-tesla-model-3-7000-8000/#respond Mon, 17 Jul 2017 16:06:55 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1176334 Volkswagen will begin selling a production version of its I.D. electric hatchback concept by 2020. And when it finally arrives, it should cost significantly less than the Tesla Model 3. Volkswagen is aiming for a price tag that is $7,000-$8,000 lower than the price of the Model 3, says Volkswagen chief strategist Thomas Sedran, speaking...

The post Volkswagen I.D. to Undercut Tesla Model 3 by $7,000-$8,000 appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
Volkswagen will begin selling a production version of its I.D. electric hatchback concept by 2020. And when it finally arrives, it should cost significantly less than the Tesla Model 3.

Volkswagen is aiming for a price tag that is $7,000-$8,000 lower than the price of the Model 3, says Volkswagen chief strategist Thomas Sedran, speaking at the Automobil Forum in Germany last week. That means the all-electric hatch should cost approximately $28,000, reports Electrek.

Volkswagen is clearly taking aim at Tesla as it prepares to launch its first in a completely new fleet of EVs that will also include production versions of the I.D. Crozz crossover and I.D. Buzz van concepts. VW boss Herbert Diess has expressed confidence that the German automaker will become a market leader in this arena. “We see Volkswagen as the company that can stop Tesla, because we have abilities Tesla doesn’t have today,” Diess told Automotive News recently. After all, VW Group owns a dozen brands and has the advantage in terms of scale.

The Volkswagen I.D. concept that debuted at the Paris Motor Show last year featured an electric motor with 168 hp. It is estimated to reach 62 mph in less than 8 seconds, while the Tesla Model 3 is said to hit 60 mph in under 6 seconds. Tesla says its entry-level model will achieve at least 215 miles of range on the EPA cycle, but VW lists range for the I.D. at between 249 and 373 miles based on the New European Driving Cycle. Realistically, the two models should offer roughly the same amount of range.

VW Group plans to launch more than 30 battery electric cars by 2025. The automaker wants to sell between 2 and 3 million EVs by that time, equivalent to 20-25 percent of projected total sales. The timeline for the rollout of the I.D. hatch in the U.S. remains unclear.

The post Volkswagen I.D. to Undercut Tesla Model 3 by $7,000-$8,000 appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/report-volkswagen-d-undercut-tesla-model-3-7000-8000/feed/ 0
First Drive: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan http://www.automobilemag.com/news/first-drive-2018-volkswagen-tiguan/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/first-drive-2018-volkswagen-tiguan/#respond Thu, 29 Jun 2017 09:02:27 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1171321 DENVER, Colorado — In case you haven’t heard it enough yet, crossover and SUV sales have been going gangbusters all over the world, driven heavily by soaring demand in the U.S. Volkswagen has mostly had to watch this feeding frenzy from the sidelines. America has always been the uncrackable nut for VW, but with the...

The post First Drive: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
DENVER, Colorado — In case you haven’t heard it enough yet, crossover and SUV sales have been going gangbusters all over the world, driven heavily by soaring demand in the U.S. Volkswagen has mostly had to watch this feeding frenzy from the sidelines. America has always been the uncrackable nut for VW, but with the aging Touareg being superseded by the handsome Atlas and the similarly dated first-generation Tiguan being replaced for 2018, things might be on a long-overdue upswing.

Slowly but surely, Volkswagen is making up for lost time. And for broken promises. VW suffered more than a flesh wound in the wake of its infamous Dieselgate scandal, but the prescription going forward is to introduce lots of new metal to win back customers. “We’re working to regain our customers’ trust and rebuild the brand,” said VW product and technology manager Mark Gillies. “New vehicles are the lifeblood to this business.”

We headed to Colorado for the launch of the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan, which should make VW into a bigger player in the critical mid-size SUV space, peeling customers away from stalwarts like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape.

The 2018 Tiguan rides on the same MQB architecture as the Golf and Atlas, sharing with those vehicles VW’s polished expertise in packaging. Although Europe gets both short- and long-wheelbase versions of the Tiguan, only the latter will be on offer here in the States. That means 10.6 inches of additional length compared to the first-gen Tiguan, as well as 58 percent more cargo capacity on two-row models. Front-wheel drive models come standard with a third row of seating, while all-wheel-drive models can add it as a stand-alone $500 option on any trim level.

Unsurprisingly, the third row is suitable only for kids, but an average-sized adult could manage for short rides in a pinch, which is more than can be said for the jump seats in the Nissan Rogue. Where the Tiguan shines is in how easily the second row folds down and slides forward, revealing a generous opening for rear-seat passengers. In terms of overall size, the Tiguan is slightly larger than most of its key competitors, but still well shy of much larger Atlas.

Although the Tiguan shares its underpinnings with the Golf, dynamically, they feel more like distant cousins than close siblings. That starts with the Tiguan’s new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, the sole engine for U.S. models. Mated to an eight-speed automatic, the 184-hp “B-cycle” engine uses a modified Miller combustion cycle for improved efficiency, yielding 35 lb-ft more torque yet 14 fewer hp than the outgoing 2.0T.

The new engine is sluggish off the line as we climb from Denver up into the surrounding mountains, snaking through twisting ribbons of pavement and rough dirt roads aboard a front-wheel-drive Tiguan with three rows. Peak 221 lb-ft torque comes in early at 1,600 rpm and stays perfectly flat until 3,940 rpm, but the long pedal travel means the Tiguan is always a step or two behind where you expect it. Even in the meat of the rev range, from 4,400 rpm to 6,000, where the new EA888 four-cylinder makes max hp, the engine feels coarse and resistant. It doesn’t help that the eight-speed automatic transmission is occasionally lazy to downshift, although this can be mitigated by switching the shift lever into Sport.

A big caveat is that our entire route was at altitudes ranging from 5,100 feet to roughly 8,000 feet. No doubt the thin air was played a part in all that huffing and puffing, even with a turbocharger on board. However, when we previously drove a pre-production Passat with this engine, it disappointed compared to the pleasantly zippy 1.8-liter turbo it replaces. Volkswagen will also tag in the B-cycle 2.0-liter to replace the 1.8T in the Beetle, as well as the next-generation Jetta.

On the plus side, the Tiguan rides like a dream. It tracks confidently down the highway. Potholes and expansion joints are of little concern to the MQB-platformed family hauler, while bumpy dirt roads don’t transmit much in the way of nasty vibrations into the cabin. Germany engineered the Tiguan to satisfy Americans’ preference for easy driving, and in that respect it’s spot-on. The brakes, too, are not overly grabby and intuitive to modulate.

Steering feel and handling may be the victims of this focus on comfort — none of the Golf’s fun or even the Atlas’ poised capability come through. There’s a fairly large dead spot on-center, and although the steering does build weight as it approaches lock, it doesn’t gain much of anything in the way of feedback. In all-wheel-drive models with the Active Control rotary drive select knob, you can customize the steering or powertrain to your liking, but even these modes offer just minor improvements.

The Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape, and Hyundai Tucson may be more rewarding to drive, but the Tiguan could be on top when it comes to the interior. The redesigned cabin is also a big leap forward, expressing clean and intuitive design that will age well. Starting with the second-tier SE model (S is the base), VW’s new MIB II infotainment takes center stage. Integrated smoothly into the center stack, the 8-inch display boasts clear and bright graphics as well as Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (standard on all models). The seats are supportive and not overly bolstered, visibility all around is top-notch, and the multiple USB ports will keep the whole family charged up. Overall materials are good quality. We also noticed very little road or wind noise on our many highway miles.

Base Tiguan S models start at $26,245 with front-wheel drive, coming standard with 17-inch aluminum wheels, LED taillights, a rear camera, and a 6.5-inch display screen. The bulk of sales in the segment happen at right around $30,000, so the volume-seller is sure to be the SE, which comes in at $29,980. Most customers will be more than happy with the keyless entry, larger 8-inch display, synthetic faux-leather interior with heated front seats, an eight-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Spring for the $33,450 SEL to get bigger 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof (usually $1,200 on S or SE trims), navigation, adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go, and remote start.

Atop the heap is the $37,150 SEL Premium. That’s a lot of scratch, but it comes positively loaded to the gills with 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, leather seats and trim, Fender audio, a hands-free tailgate, a 360-degree camera, park assist, and VW’s version of Audi’s snazzy digital cockpit. It seems somewhat of an oversight to have the digital cockpit instrument display only available at such a high level, when it seems like the sort of thing people would easily pay for if the SEL trim were just a bit more expensive. That said, the a $850 Driver Assist package for lesser models includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert with autonomous braking, lane-keep assist, the 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise, and parking sensors with rear autonomous braking. Later on in the model year, the Tiguan will get an R-Line appearance package for $1,795 on SEL and $1,495 on SEL Premium trims.

Built in Mexico specifically for the U.S., the new Tiguan is undoubtedly a step in a more competitive direction for VW, even if it’s not a joy to drive. In fact, if you like the last Tiguan so much, you can still buy it — it’ll remain at dealers for the foreseeable future as the Tiguan Limited. VW says that it wants to spread itself across SUV segments as much as possible and demand for smaller-sized models is high enough to justify keeping the ol’ girl around. Given how much bigger the 2018 Tiguan is, VW doesn’t expect much cannibalization by the Limited.

While we still need to see how this Tiguan’s engine fares at altitudes closer to sea level, until then, it’s safe to say Volkswagen should be on the shopping list if comfort, utility, and lots of available tech are priorities. Who knows, maybe this family-friendly crossover is the nutcracker Volkswagen has been long needed.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Specifications

ON SALE Late Summer 2017
PRICE $26245 (base)
ENGINE 2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/184 hp @ 4,400-6,000 rpm, 221 lb-ft @ 1,600-3,940 rpm
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5/7-passenger, front-engine, FWD/AWD SUV
EPA MILEAGE 21-22/27 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 185.1 x 72.4 x 65.3 in
WHEELBASE 109.8 in
WEIGHT 3,780-4,043 lb
0-60 MPH 8.2 sec
TOP SPEED N/A

The post First Drive: 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/first-drive-2018-volkswagen-tiguan/feed/ 0
A Rough Stretch for Our Four Seasons 2016 Volkswagen Golf R http://www.automobilemag.com/news/rough-stretch-four-seasons-2016-volkswagen-golf-r/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/rough-stretch-four-seasons-2016-volkswagen-golf-r/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 10:00:47 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1170557 Law enforcement aside, nothing stops a car party like an unplanned impact with a foreign object. For our Four Seasons 2016 Volkswagen Golf R that honor went to a chunk of retread that had come off a semi truck’s tire, which the driver was unable to evade. Not only did the front bumper get taken...

The post A Rough Stretch for Our Four Seasons 2016 Volkswagen Golf R appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
Law enforcement aside, nothing stops a car party like an unplanned impact with a foreign object. For our Four Seasons 2016 Volkswagen Golf R that honor went to a chunk of retread that had come off a semi truck’s tire, which the driver was unable to evade. Not only did the front bumper get taken out, the techs at Galpin Volkswagen found that the intercooler, radiator, condenser, and underbody panels were also in need of replacement.

Total damage? $5,417.27 and a month off the road (fortunately, we only had to cover the $500 deductible). If this were a house party, it’d be equivalent to someone falling down the stairs and taking out a wall along with some furniture. We’d have been better off if the cops had showed up and made everyone go home early.

A few weeks later, we noticed that the original Bridgestone Potenza tires were worn out, leaving the Golf R in need of new shoes. We ordered a new set from Tire Rack, but before the four new RE050s ever came in, costing $151.45 each, we had to drop $20 on a patch job when the right rear picked up a nail. The new shoes came in a couple of weeks later. Out of convenience we had them put on at the local Volkswagen dealer, which we’d visited a couple days after the nail incident for the Golf R’s second service. The regularly scheduled service set us back $125, while the tire mounting ran a considerable $80.

Despite the misadventures, our enthusiasm for the 292-hp German hot hatch has not waned — although associate editor Jonathon Klein did lodge a gripe over the absence of Dynamic Chassis Control and the associated adjustable suspension. “The standard springs offer a slightly bouncier ride,” said Klein, who owns a Golf R with DCC. “Adjustable suspension also means you can better customize individual preferences, and without that option, the car feels a little less personal and more sedate.” For 2017 models, Volkswagen clearly listened to its customers, who overwhelmingly opted to tick boxes for DCC and navigation – all new Golf Rs come in a single, fully loaded trim.

For my part I have spent plenty of time exploring the versatility of the hatchback body style as part of my ongoing (and escalating) surfing addiction. The large opening for the cargo area makes it easy to get anything shorter than an 8’ Wavestorm inside once you’ve got the seats folded, regardless of fin size and configuration, and there’s plenty of space left for the rest of the gear — wetsuit, bucket for the wetsuit, change poncho, towel, etc. Longboards like my 9’4” simply won’t fit lengthwise, but the Golf R’s low roof height makes roof-mounting an easy task. While I use a pair of foam blocks as a temporary roof rack, a permanent one is no trouble to fit, making the Golf R a good choice for enthusiasts that lead active lifestyles. Too bad there isn’t a rally version. No doubt the Golf R would look good with a roofrack and a set of mudflaps.

While there’s not exactly an expiration date on fun in the sun in Southern California, the clock is ticking on the Golf R’s year-long stint. We hope to squeeze one last adventure in before it heads home to Volkswagen, so stay tuned.

Our 2016 Volkswagen Golf R

MILES TO DATE 18,848
PRICE $37,570
ENGINE 2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/292 hp @ 5,400 rpm,

280 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm

TRANSMISSION 6-speed dual-clutch automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine AWD hatchback
EPA MILEAGE 23/30 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 168.4 x 70×8. 56.5 in
WHEELBASE 103.5 in
WEIGHT 3,305 lb
0-60 MPH 4.5 sec
TOP SPEED 155 mph

The post A Rough Stretch for Our Four Seasons 2016 Volkswagen Golf R appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/rough-stretch-four-seasons-2016-volkswagen-golf-r/feed/ 0
Deep Dive: Inside the New Volkswagen EA888 B-Cycle 2.0 TSI I-4 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/inside-volkswagen-ea888-b-cycle-2-0-tsi-i4/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/inside-volkswagen-ea888-b-cycle-2-0-tsi-i4/#respond Thu, 08 Jun 2017 05:01:56 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1166781 Starting with the all-new 2018 Tiguan, Volkswagen’s mainstream four-cylinder powerplant is being updated in the pursuit of improved fuel efficiency. A modified version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 used in the outgoing Tiguan and CC, it will also effectively replace the 1.8-liter TSI engine currently seen in the Passat, to start. The key update...

The post Deep Dive: Inside the New Volkswagen EA888 B-Cycle 2.0 TSI I-4 appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
Starting with the all-new 2018 Tiguan, Volkswagen’s mainstream four-cylinder powerplant is being updated in the pursuit of improved fuel efficiency. A modified version of the EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 used in the outgoing Tiguan and CC, it will also effectively replace the 1.8-liter TSI engine currently seen in the Passat, to start.

The key update to this new 2.0-liter “B-Cycle” four-cylinder turbo (codenamed EA888 3B) is the use of a modified Miller-cycle combustion process that closes the intake valves much earlier. The shorter intake phase means a longer expansion phase. A higher geometric compression ratio is used to make up for the reduced intake stroke along with the benefit of decreased internal temperatures. Variable valve timing on the intake camshaft adjusts valve openings depending on engine load, allowing for full power when needed and better efficiency at idle and under light load. Other significant changes include a modified cylinder head and a more responsive turbo.

This new 2.0T makes 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, 14 hp and 35 lb-ft more than the 1.8T, while fuel economy is up by eight percent. If you’re wondering why Volkswagen didn’t just apply the B-Cycle combustion process (named after the engineer who invented it, Dr. Ralph Budack) to the existing 1.8T, there’s a good explanation. These changes actually reduce horsepower due to reduced volumetric efficiency, and less than 170 hp would have been uncompetitive across the automotive landscape. So, the decision was made to apply the B-Cycle to the EA888 2.0-liter, which, owing to its slightly larger displacement from a longer piston stroke, could spare the horses. The bigger engine is also better suited to higher loads, a concern when trends are moving more and more toward crossovers that are inherently heavier and less aerodynamic.

 

The 221 lb-ft of torque in this engine is up 14 lb-ft from the outgoing Tiguan’s but, as Volkswagen says, power is down from 200 hp to 184 hp. Also new for the Tiguan is an eight-speed automatic transmission.

We got the chance to drive in a pre-production Passat equipped with the new B-Cycle 2.0-liter turbo, and while it’s miles away from a barn-burner, it’s an incremental improvement over the 1.8-liter it replaces. The Passat is smoother off the line, less peaky, quieter, and max power arrives considerably earlier at 4,400 rpm rather than 6,200 rpm. That said, the 1.8T did have a more pleasant zip to it, and the new engine feels less eager to rev.

As far as the bigger, heavier 2018 Tiguan is concerned, the new engine and eight-speed automatic transmission will be a big boost to the lackluster fuel economy of the current Tiguan, which sits at 20/24 mpg city/highway. Expect the new Tiguan, when it is EPA-rated, to hit 30 mpg on the highway and perhaps 23-25 mpg city.

The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan will go on sale in late summer, with pricing to be announced in mid-June. The B-Cycle 2.0-liter will then expand to the Passat, the Beetle, and presumably then beyond in VW’s lineup.

 

The post Deep Dive: Inside the New Volkswagen EA888 B-Cycle 2.0 TSI I-4 appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/inside-volkswagen-ea888-b-cycle-2-0-tsi-i4/feed/ 0
First Drive: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon http://www.automobilemag.com/news/first-drive-2019-volkswagen-arteon/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/first-drive-2019-volkswagen-arteon/#respond Tue, 06 Jun 2017 04:01:57 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1166330 WOLFSBURG, Germany — For a few years after its 2008 launch, the Volkswagen Passat CC enjoyed a respectable level of sales success in the U.S. that peaked at 29,502 in 2011, when it accounted for 9 percent of the brand’s volume. Despite a facelift and a name change to just CC, its momentum receded rapidly; in...

The post First Drive: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
WOLFSBURG, Germany — For a few years after its 2008 launch, the Volkswagen Passat CC enjoyed a respectable level of sales success in the U.S. that peaked at 29,502 in 2011, when it accounted for 9 percent of the brand’s volume. Despite a facelift and a name change to just CC, its momentum receded rapidly; in 2016, the aging “four-door coupe” was VW’s slowest-selling model in the U.S. Despite the negative trend, the automaker is staying in the segment and is getting ready to replace the CC with the bigger, better-named, MQB platform-based 2019 Volkswagen Arteon.

Where the CC is about the same size as the smaller European-market Passat, the Arteon is almost the same size as the Tennessee-built Passat sold in the U.S. and the Nissan Maxima. A half-inch shorter in length than its conventionally styled sibling, the Arteon rides on a 1.4-inch longer wheelbase, and is 1.5-inches wider and 2.3-inches shorter in height. Compared to the CC, the Arteon is 2.4-inches longer and rides on a 5.2-inch-longer wheelbase; the stretch in wheelbase is entirely in the rear and allows the Arteon to provide rear passengers with an extra 0.6-inch of headroom (now totaling 37.2 inches).

The Arteon’s design is a big win. Its seamless, wide-banded front grille rounds out into high shoulders and a low roofline before shooting rearward to provide a sharp profile. Big, turbine-style wheels fill the four corners, offered in 19-inches for the U.S. and 20-inches for the rest of the world.

While the interior isn’t quite as striking as the swept exterior, it’s a nice, upscale place to lounge. VW’s signature gloss black surfaces and dark materials blend well with silver trim throughout the cabin. We spent most of our time in a range-topping Excellence model, where we enjoyed cushy leather seats and an option-soaked environment. VW’s new 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen is a much-needed upgrade, and it works in tandem with the sharp Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, a near carbon-copy of Audi’s similarly named Virtual Cockpit.

VW was mum on what powertrains we can expect on our shores, but did admit its newest 2.0-liter turbo-four is our best bet. In the cars we drove, the 2.0-liter put down a claimed 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, but those power figures are not finalized.

Europe’s Arteons will arrive with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission managing the power, but U.S. variants will receive a traditional eight-speed automatic. The DSG-equipped model felt fast enough, charging from zero to 60 mph in what seemed like the low six-second range. With the eight-speed, the U.S. Arteon is likely to be a little more sluggish.

On the Autobahn, our 4Motion all-wheel-drive-equipped tester was solid, big, and smooth — typically Teutonic. When we turned off the arrow-straight Autobahn and onto snaking German mountain passageways, it handled its bulk in a manner befitting the sleek appearance. The selectable drive modes allowed us to soften, stiffen, or smooth-out the ride and driver inputs, including steering, throttle, and shift points.

When it arrives, the Arteon should start at around $35,000, much like the outgoing CC. That’s competitive with the likes of the Toyota Avalon and aforementioned Maxima, which don’t offer the Arteon’s stylish design or flexible hatchback body. While the Arteon feels and looks more premium than those two, making for a short debate, it’s also up against the likes of the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series, which start at around the same price.

The Arteon’s shapely body is its main asset against those luxury opponents as well. To get a similar profile from Ingolstadt or Munich, you need to step up to an A5 Sportback or 4 Series Gran Coupe, a roughly $43,000 proposition. For those more tempted by substance rather than badge, the Volkswagen Arteon, which can be outfitted with enough kit and caboodle to challenge those luxury alternatives, is sure to be a strong alternative when it arrives the U.S. in 2018.

2019 Volkswagen Arteon Specifications

ON SALE 2018
PRICE $35,000 (base, est)
ENGINE 2.0 turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/268 hp, 258 lb-ft (est)
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, FWD/AWD hatchback
EPA MILEAGE N/A
L x W x H 191.4 x 73.7 x 56.2 in
WHEELBASE 111.8 in
WEIGHT 3,400 lb (est)
0-60 MPH 6.5 sec (est)
TOP SPEED N/A

The post First Drive: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/first-drive-2019-volkswagen-arteon/feed/ 0
By Design: Volkswagen Arteon http://www.automobilemag.com/news/design-volkswagen-arteon/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/design-volkswagen-arteon/#respond Mon, 05 Jun 2017 04:19:37 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1158177 Volkswagen has made a great many product errors during its 79-year history, but it has been supported throughout nearly eight decades by two homerun vehicles and their derivatives: the original Porsche- and Hans Ledwinka-designed Type 1 KdF “Beetle” and Giorgetto Giugiaro’s most successful design, the Golf. Some of the offshoots, such as the Karmann Ghia...

The post By Design: Volkswagen Arteon appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
Volkswagen has made a great many product errors during its 79-year history, but it has been supported throughout nearly eight decades by two homerun vehicles and their derivatives: the original Porsche- and Hans Ledwinka-designed Type 1 KdF “Beetle” and Giorgetto Giugiaro’s most successful design, the Golf. Some of the offshoots, such as the Karmann Ghia sports models and the Type 2 Transporter, were fabulous successes in their own right. Others, such as the rear-engine 411 and 412, are best forgotten. Of all the mistakes, the most egregious was the Phaeton, a V-8 version of which we evaluated as part of a Four Seasons test. It was a big, comfortable car that was woefully unreliable and burdened with absolutely the wrong badge. Yet it was so smooth as a highway car that it contributed to the acquisition of the only speeding ticket I’ve had since AUTOMOBILE began. I honestly didn’t know I was over the limit.

In 1955, when I drove the second of three VWs I possessed in the ’50s, I was asked to take a Cadillac studio engineer from the GM Technical Center to a dealership to pick up his Coupe de Ville after a routine service. He was utterly astonished by the perceived quality of the Beetle, which was better than his own car. It was built when VWs were still painted by dipping them in a tank of enamel, resulting in a magnificent, lustrous finish everywhere. Driving our Phaeton from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to California, a friend and I overnighted in Kansas City so he could show the car to his friend who loved it and called his wife over to see “your next car.” She was entranced by the lines and the leather, but one look at the big VW badge on the nose and she all but shouted, “Never! What were you thinking?” She was outraged by the disparity between the high price and the low prestige.

But there would seem to be a place for a more luxurious VW without the cognitive dissonance embodied in the too expensive and thus essentially unsalable Phaeton. The sleek CC was an approach, if not a terribly successful one. But this Arteon follow-up to it, unveiled at the 2017 Geneva auto show, might be the car to achieve VW’s dream of moving upmarket with the ultimate economy brand. At any rate, I find the Arteon’s clean, crisp, and tastefully understated yet efficiently aerodynamic shape to be compelling. I can imagine buying this car and remaining well satisfied with its appearance into the 2020s.

I find the painted patch of the roof awkward and would certainly paint it black if I bought one. The wheels are nice but look too much like the front fan of an airliner engine and too sporty for a family four-door. I could easily do without the chrome vent on the front door and fender, but I don’t really object to it. Because it is a bit generic, I can imagine the car staying in production for many years without any need for costly refreshment. Altogether, it’s a good — if plain — design.

1. The band around the wheel opening is slightly concave. An unusual and intriguing choice.

2. In plan view this line swells outward toward the rear, providing a shoulder/shelf above the rear wheels.

3. The roof profile is extremely sporty, even when seen from the front, yet there’s plenty of rear headroom.

4. The sharp peak of the front fender flows into the body side, providing a little flat area that disappears by the time it reaches the rear of the back doors. Nice surface work.

5. The second longitudinal crease in the giant hood stamping disappears at the front but aligns with the curious painted piece below the opening cutline, giving more visual length to the hood. Again, nice unobtrusive work.

6. There is major plan view chamfering so the car is aerodynamically efficient, but the hood centerline is as long as possible, enhanced by the painted transverse piece below.

7. Grille texture is extremely well proportioned and emphasizes frontal width without imposing poor drag-producing corners.

8. The black bumper strike faces are an excellent idea, easy to repair if necessary.

9. Blacking out the lower center makes the car seem slimmer than it really is and gives the impression of a central nacelle around the engine compartment.

10. This slanted, canted surface provides a sense of really cramming air into the corner inlets, which are designed to channel the flow of air to the side around the front wheel, resulting in reduced air resistance.

11. These are enormously impressive wheels on the R-Line model, looking very much like the front fan of a jet engine. But they’re really not appropriate for a family sedan. I’m sure there will be many other options.

12. In this high view you can see how the fenders are really cut back.

13. The dark glass roof is pleasant for occupants but is not particularly harmonious.

14. The metal roof panel could well be painted black to blend with the backlight and forward roof glass. Its profile is excellent.

15. This very small airflow trip strip across the back is doubtless something developed in the wind tunnel, but it looks just fine here, not too big or pretentious.

16. This substantial indentation allows for a hard crease line across the tail. It also provides a place for snow to accumulate.

17. The thin piece of bright metal carrying all the way around the rear end aligns with equally dimensioned trim along the bottoms of the doors.

18. Rear reflectors are tucked under the slightly protruding, slim rear bumper strike face.

19. It’s amazing how much class a trim piece that’s not just an equal-width rolled molding can impart to a car. It is well worth the additional cost.

20. The indented body sides strengthen the door panels, and if they can fill with snow, at least they move away from the body, with the cut lines well below. Again, a nice touch.

21. I’d leave this trim piece off, but it’s sufficiently unobtrusive to be unobjectionable.

22. Not entirely plain upholstery but pretty visually dismal all the same.

23. The interior of this variant is pretty drab and dark, but the controls on the door are nicely placed, and the grab handle is convenient.

24. Nice steering wheel with some functional controls, but why not some color to liven things up a little?

25. Having a screen rather than mechanical instruments is nice, but once again a bit of color would be particularly welcome.

26. At least the nav screen sparkles.

27. And this thin blue accent line is the only touch of color in the physical hardware. A pity.

The post By Design: Volkswagen Arteon appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/design-volkswagen-arteon/feed/ 0
One Week With: 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-volkswagen-golf-alltrack-review-one-week/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-volkswagen-golf-alltrack-review-one-week/#respond Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:17:50 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1165144 SHAMONG, New Jersey — A 2002 Range Rover, a 2012 Jeep Wrangler, and a 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack go playing in the woods. One member of this trio is clearly not like the others. And yet, despite being little more than a slightly lifted wagon butched up with some plastic cladding, the Alltrack never demanded...

The post One Week With: 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
SHAMONG, New Jersey — A 2002 Range Rover, a 2012 Jeep Wrangler, and a 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack go playing in the woods. One member of this trio is clearly not like the others. And yet, despite being little more than a slightly lifted wagon butched up with some plastic cladding, the Alltrack never demanded assistance during our expedition through Wharton State Forest, a 115,000-acre park in the middle of New Jersey’s famous pine barrens that features over 500 miles worth of unpaved roads.

While major portions of the park are accessible by almost any car, exploring historic sites in Wharton’s deeper confines requires one that, at the very least, offers up some additional ground clearance. The Alltrack sits 0.6-inch higher than the Sportwagen and an extra 1.2 inches over the Golf Sportwagen (6.7 inches versus 5.5). It’s not much, but it’s enough to make a difference. We blitzed through multiple flooded ruts with water as high as the Alltrack’s ground clearance like a walk through the park. When the surface became deep, loose sand, its part-time all-wheel-drive system seamlessly sent power to the rear axle to keep things moving. Obviously no rock crawler, the Golf Alltrack will, however, comfortably reach most hard-to-access trailheads.

Playtime in the pine barrens was followed by a six-hour trek (sans Range Rover and Jeep) up to the town of Northfield in central Vermont to visit an old friend. The Golf’s suspension competently ironed out pothole-ridden stretches of highway and offered a comfortable cruise on smooth portions of the New Jersey Turnpike befitting its Autobahn-bred heritage.

The Alltrack‘s long-distance comfort and on-road stability are matched by its ability to tackle curvy, mountainous two-lanes like Vermont Route 100 and Route 12. The chassis and suspension tuning demonstrated natural and progressive behavior. Despite its higher center of gravity and 64-pound weight gain over the Golf Sportwagen 4MOTION, loading up the Alltrack’s tires in a long, swooping corner with “Sport” mode engaged yields grins and keeps tailgaters at a distance on off-ramps. Predictably, the familiar DSG six-speed twin-clutch automatic makes good use of the 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque sent through it by the 1.8-liter turbo-four.

It rides with a little more stiffness than the standard Sportwagen, which is noticeable on unpaved roads with washboard surfaces. On the upside, the Alltrack’s extra suspension travel and excellent rebound rates eat up freeze-thaw road dips (frost heaves) as well as an SUV while maintaining a car-like seating position. In all, it’s not surprising that the Alltrack is starting to gain traction in New England, particularly Vermont, which has an affinity for the German brand that dates back decades.

While our time with the Golf Alltrack was mostly positive, we did encounter some electrical gremlins. The passenger-side daytime-running light malfunctioned and, on the trip back from Vermont, the infotainment system completely blacked out several times (each time, I “fixed” it by disconnecting the battery).

Aside from those issues, the 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack proved itself to be a capable, functional, and stylish automobile that may even threaten Subaru’s Outback. Sufficiently different from the Sportwagen to carve out its own niche, the Alltrack has the style and handling of a bonafide member of the Golf family; it just happens to be the most adventurous one of the clan.

2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack Specifications

ON SALE Now
PRICE $26,670/$31,350 (base/as-tested)
ENGINE 1.8L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/170 hp @ 4,500 rpm, 199 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed dual-clutch automatic (6-speed manual, early 2017)
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD wagon
EPA MILEAGE 22/30 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 180.2 x 70.8 x 59.7 in
WHEELBASE 103.5 in
WEIGHT 3,422 lb
0-60 MPH 7.8 sec
TOP SPEED 130 mph

The post One Week With: 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-volkswagen-golf-alltrack-review-one-week/feed/ 0
Going Off-Road in the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion http://www.automobilemag.com/news/going-off-road-2018-volkswagen-tiguan-4motion/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/going-off-road-2018-volkswagen-tiguan-4motion/#respond Fri, 26 May 2017 07:05:45 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=1164004 JEROME, Michigan – The weekend mud club at Bundy Hill is your usual cast of characters, from the battered old Wrangler and Cherokees to more lithe and stripped-down dune buggies. A moderately sized three-row family crossover, let alone one from Germany, is about as common here as a polar bear. Nevertheless, Volkswagen felt confident enough...

The post Going Off-Road in the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
JEROME, Michigan – The weekend mud club at Bundy Hill is your usual cast of characters, from the battered old Wrangler and Cherokees to more lithe and stripped-down dune buggies. A moderately sized three-row family crossover, let alone one from Germany, is about as common here as a polar bear. Nevertheless, Volkswagen felt confident enough in the capability of the all-new 2018 Tiguan to have journalists navigate steep grades, ford mud puddles, and plow over soft sand.

Despite the show of, frankly, impressive capability, this latest generation of Tiguan is engineered more for spaciousness and efficiency than slinging dirt and climbing mountains. It rides on the same modular transverse (MQB) architecture as the plucky Golf and the midsize Atlas, a platform that improves packaging and driver-assistance technology availability while also slashing 110 pounds off the crossover’s curb weight.

Although the new Tiguan has already been on sale in Europe for more than a year, we’ve had to wait patiently for Volkswagen to kick off production of the long-wheelbase model, known abroad as the Tiguan Allspace, as the standard-wheelbase variant was not intended for North American consumption. The Puebla, Mexico-built, the 2018 Tiguan is a fair bit larger than its predecessor, adding 4.4 inches of wheelbase, 10.7 inches of overall length, and 1.2 inches of width (a dimensional tweener, it’s slightly bigger than compacts like the Honda CR-V but smaller than the likes of the Ford Edge and Dodge Journey). Thanks to that extra size, it is not nearly as claustrophobic as before, especially for back-seat passengers.

With the 2018 Volkswagen is also introducing third-row seating that’s standard on front-wheel-drive models and optional with 4Motion all-wheel drive. Don’t plan on carrying your entire paintball crew, however. This third row is most definitely a kids-only zone, as even my towering 5-foot-2-inch frame struggles back there.

Our pre-production test vehicle is a fully loaded SEL Premium model with all-wheel drive.

We start on gentle dusty trails, but the path soon turns ragged with piles of sand and scattered rocks. Switching into off-road mode on the center-mounted rotary dial proves a good decision, optimizing the all-wheel drive Tiguan SEL Premium we were driving for the terrain with a flatter acceleration curve, unique ABS setting, later meddling from the stability control and traction control systems, and greater locking ratio for the center electronic differential lock. (Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive normally operates in front-wheel-drive mode until the system detects slip, at which point the differential can send 100 percent of available engine torque to the rear axle.)

Although the 2018 Tiguan has a new 2.0-liter turbo-four, codename EA888, under its hood, it actually makes less power (but more torque) than the outgoing engine, with 184 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque sent to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic. Essentially a replacement for Volkswagen’s 1.8-liter turbo-four, EA888 is notable for its new “B-cycle” combustion process, which increases the compression ratio and torque at the expense of power. With 3,940 lbs of all-wheel drive Tiguan to pull, it had to put in work as we charged our way up the first big hill, our foot hard on the gas to maintain enough momentum to reach the crest. Once on the other side, we firmly press the brakes as the Tiguan starts to roll downhill and let hill descent control guide us down nice and easy.

Our exclusively off-road drive did not provide an opportunity to evaluate the ride quality or handling as drivers on the road will experience it. However, at no point did the Tiguan (riding on standard steel springs, while European models have an optional air suspension) feel perturbed by the punishment it took over every inch of this purpose-built off-road course. Chassis stiffness was on full display in those gut-wrenching moments when the Tiguan ahead of us in line is seriously articulated to the side, one wheel way up in the air and the others grinding it out to find solid traction.

We did, however, get the chance to sample the powerplant on road, albeit in a pre-production Passat. While power delivery is smooth, it’s about as motivating as a cat poster once low-end torque fades. When we drive the Tiguan again on the road as part the official launch program in mid-June, we don’t expect it to have quite the same punch as the Honda CR-V’s peppy 1.5-liter turbo. We’ll also get more time to poke around the Tiguan’s new interior, which has taken a big leap forward with a crisp-looking display screen and an optional virtual cockpit that trickles down from Uncle Audi.

Pricing will be announced in mid-June, ahead of the late summer on-sale date. We expect front-drive models to remain where they are, at around $26,000, while the last-gen Tiguan (which will continue to be sold as the Tiguan Limited) will likely see a drop to somewhere around $23,000.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion Specifications

ON SALE Late Summer 2017
PRICE $26,000 (base)
ENGINE 2.0L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/184 hp, 221 lb-ft
TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic
LAYOUT 4-door, 5/7-passenger, front-engine, FWD/AWD SUV
EPA MILEAGE N/A
L x W x H 185.2 x 72.4 x 653 in
WHEELBASE 109.9 in
WEIGHT 3,940 lb
0-60 MPH N/A
TOP SPEED N/A

The post Going Off-Road in the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan 4Motion appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

]]>
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/going-off-road-2018-volkswagen-tiguan-4motion/feed/ 0