Posts from ‘Volkswagen’
Like many auto journalists, the editors of Consumer Guide Automotive attend manufacturer-hosted press events to get our first look at the newest vehicles hitting the market—that’s how we produce most of our First Spin test-drive reviews. However, we also attend “smorgasbord-style” press events that allow us brief access to a broad variety of new vehicles from a host of manufacturers, for quick-take impressions and helpful back-to-back comparison drives.
Which of the following events was more jarring? The addition of Elmo to the cast of Sesame Street, or the introduction of a front-wheel-drive Buick Electra? Both events, coincidentally, took place in 1985, and both events were met with a certain amount of grumbling.
If you were looking for a diverse collection of affordable sporty cars, you’d probably want to set the time-machine dial for 1984. You would be hard pressed to find a broader collection of fun-to-drive rides at any time other than the mid Eighties.
The 2019 New York International Auto Show is just around the corner, and Volkswagen will be displaying a concept version of a vehicle it says it doesn’t intend to bring to the United States market… at least not yet. The VW Tarok pickup concept was first shown at the San Paolo International Motor Show in Brazil late last year, and a production version is slated to go on sale in South America in the near future.
Class: Sporty/Performance Car
Miles Driven: 291
Fuel Used: 10.6
If you were a Volkswagen fan in America in the early Seventies, and you were looking for something sporty to drive, you were kind of out of luck. There was the coachbuilt-body Karmann Ghia—a car which was arguably gorgeous, but not really all that sporty. Mechanically identical to the contemporaneous Beetle, the Karmann Ghia was more of a casual touring car—it was a little too slow, and its handling a little too pedestrian, to be engaging. However, Brazilian VW fans of the day had it a little better.
Volkswagen unveiled the “hot-rod” version of its recently redesigned compact sedan at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show. The 2019 Jetta GLI gets its 228-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and other performance features from Volkswagen’s Golf GTI compact hatchback.
Volkswagen unveiled a thoroughly revamped version of its mainstream front-wheel-drive midsize sedan at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The 2020 Volkswagen Passat retains the basic powertrain and underpinnings of the previous Passat, but wears all-new body styling and a redesigned interior.
There are limitations to the marketing power of heritage and quirkiness, and it’s possible that no car manufacturer is more aware of this reality than Volkswagen. Case in point: VW recently made known its intentions to drop the retro-themed Beetle from its lineup. Both the soon-to-depart current-generation Beetle (2011-2019) and New Beetle before it (1998-2011) drew heavily on shopper nostalgia. Though they were quite conventional mechanically, these “homage” Beetles obviously borrowed their “throwback” styling inspiration from the legendary original Beetle, which was first produced in 1938.