Volkswagen Atlas is company’s largest vehicle, challenging traditional large SUVs. Photo credit: John Gilbert Older son, Jack, and co-driving wife, Joan, waited patiently to move on. Photo credit: John Gilbert Where will it all end, this apparent runaway escalation in number and size of Sport-Utility Vehicles? For Volkswagen, we figure the end is here, in the form of the large, and extremely spacious Atlas. Our test drive timing made the Atlas the perfect vehicle to help us find the perfect piece of blueberry pie. The Atlas is the largest vehicle Volkswagen has ever built, and it is a new dimension from a company that has made its impact by building compact, fuel-efficient and fun cars, such as the Beetle, Golf, former Rabbit, Jetta, and on up to the larger Passat and longer Sportwagon. We loaded up a new Atlas with four adults, my camera bag, spare hiking shoes, a windbreaker/rain jacket each, just in case, and a cooler full of sparkling Perrier … [Read more...] about Atlas can find anything — except blueberry pie
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Redesigned Volkswagen Jetta for 2019 shows a much more luxurious exterior, and also features a new platform, engine and interior. Photo credit: John Gilbert Even from the rear, the Jetta has an Audi-like appearance, high end for a vehicle that starts under $20,000. Photo credit: John Gilbert For decades, I’ve been a loyal fan of Volkswagen. It dates back to when I was a kid and my mom bought a 1960 Volkswagen Beetle, equipped to survive Northern Minnesota winters with an add-on gas heater, which was an amazing device that could transform 20-below winter nights — at the pull of a switch to activate the 747-like roar of the under-dash device — to 90 above tropical temperature in about two minutes, asfter which you could choose 20 below or 90 above, without compromise. Following along through the era of Rabbits, then Golfs and GTIs, and Jettas, with side-trips to a Scirocco or Corrado here or there, there were frequent family members who got exceptional service … [Read more...] about 2019 Jetta writes impressive new chapter for VW
Last Updated Jun 16, 2010 10:43 AM EDT The Volkswagen Group (including Audi) is profitable, but Volkswagen's U.S. arm is not -- it's been struggling with low sales of its entry-level cars, such as the Golf and the Jetta. For 2011, VW made the bold and probably smart move of lowering the price of admission for the new Jetta, introduced in New York yesterday, to $16,000 (from $17,735). It's also consciously trying to court a more youthful image, which is why it introduced the car in New York with a pop star and a celebrity chef. Picture a Jetta with a surfboard sticking out of the trunk, camping gear in the back seat, and two twentysomethings up front listening to an iPod through the auxiliary input. During the weekday, one or both is headed for a high-tech job in the city. That's the new and influential consumer VW is going after with the $16,000 Jetta. And that price buys a well-equipped car with air-conditioning, CD, power locks and keyless entry. Power comes from a 115-horsepower … [Read more...] about The $16,000 Jetta: VW’s New Entry-Level Assault on Toyota and Honda
Last Updated Apr 19, 2011 10:24 AM EDT Volkswagen of America President and CEO Jonathan Browning, in introducing the 2012 Beetle in New York, called it "an updated classic, and unmistakably a Beetle." Indeed it is, but one of the cutest cars in the world just got a bit more, well, butch. That would undoubtedly be a shrewd move if we were talking about the Dodge Ram pickup, but the VW Beetle has long appealed disproportionately to women. More than 60 percent of the Beetle's buyers last year were women, says a TrueCar survey. Isn't that what the bud vase was all about? But when the curtain parted at the Beetle introduction, it revealed a more macho car -- one that's lower, longer and wider, with bigger wheels and a blunter, squared-off nose. The changes are relatively subtle -- there's a lot of the New Beetle's DNA still in evidence -- but no one's going to be able to overlook the testosterone injection. The Beetle (in base, turbo and TDI diesel versions) goes on sale in September. … [Read more...] about The Bug Goes Butch: Why VW’s Appeal to Men is a Dangerous Bet
Volkswagen's introduction of its new diesel Beetle was one of the main events at this week's Chicago auto show. With gasoline prices headed north again, the question arises for budget-minded car shoppers: Are the Beetle TDI -- available this summmer -- and other diesel cars worth their extra cost? Some Volkswagen loyalists clearly think so. About 20 percent of VW buyers pay the average $1,500 extra compared with gasoline models to get the diesel-engine Golf, Jetta and Passat. But the high price of diesel fuel and the recent dramatic gains in gas mileage for some gasoline models mean that you should consider your driving patterns and personal finances carefully before choosing a diesel. You might consider a diesel if: -- You do mostly highway driving. Volkswagen estimates that the diesel Beetle will be rated at 29 mpg in city driving and 39 on the highway, compared with 22 city, 30 highway for a 2.0 Turbo gasoline Beetle. The Golf TDI is rated at 42 mpg on the highway. -- You care … [Read more...] about Is the new VW Beetle diesel worth the money?