Volkswagen is hard at work trying to make more sustainable vehicles that drivers are going to want to operate in the future. To help create those high-tech vehicles that won’t release as many fossil fuels into the atmosphere, Volkswagen is working on advanced engine tech, like a costing internal combustion engine, they’re perfecting their hybrid technology and also trying out different fuel sources such as compressed natural gas to get around.
Driving without the Engine
One of the biggest wastes of fuel is running the engine when it’s not being utilized to drive the wheels down the road. Today most engines run even when they aren’t being used to drive the tires of the vehicle, and that burns up fuel just like driving does. That’s why most engines get significantly worse fuel efficiency in slow stop-and-go traffic than it does out on the highway where the engine is being fully engaged at all times.
To answer this issue Volkswagen developed an engine that does away with this problem. The engine relies on what it dubs as micro-hybrid technology to start and stop it depending on need. In other words, for situations where you are sitting in traffic and not moving, or where you are able to let off the gas to do something like coast down a hill, the engine would shut off entirely and save all that fuel that would otherwise be burnt. The small electric power system built into the engine would help it get started up again where it left off, and you would never even realize that it wasn’t running to begin with.
This advanced engine is going to be released in a few Volkswagen vehicles to start with and the overall offerings are due to expand over time. It’s a pretty cool idea though, and it’s more affordable to implement than say a full hybrid electric setup like you would find in the Prius.
A More Powerful Full Electric Setup
Volkswagen is working hard to make full-electric vehicles more capable. One of the major changes the automaker made to facilitate that is a new electric-architecture. The system will first show up in 2020 in the Budd-e5 and should offer an increased range with powerful and efficient driving mechanics. The more potent battery used in the vehicle will allow ranges up to 185 miles, which is pretty significant compared to most electric vehicles out on the road today.
Testing out Compressed Natural Gas
Volkswagen is also looking closely at compressed natural gas as a fuel source. The company wants to test out relying on this type of fuel to drive vehicles down the road because it’s a good way to reduce emissions over standard gasoline or diesel. Compressed natural gas produced by fossil fuels is more efficient and better for the environment than gasoline or diesel are. The fuel can be produced from biomethane though, and when the fuel is made in that manner it’s much better for the environment overall than the other fossil fuels are.
It’s a good time to be looking into alternative fuel sources, which is why it makes so much sense for Volkswagen to be experimenting with hybrid, full electric and natural gas technologies to make vehicles more efficient and sustainable.
The Volkswagen Golf is well-known as a leading compact car on the market today. It’s a capable vehicle that comes in many different shapes and types. The car’s quick too, with plenty of interior amenities that you would have to pay extra for with many other compact cars. It’s because of all those perks and more that the Volkswagen Golf was voted as the Best Small Car in 2017 according to New York Daily News Autos. It’s a great honor to earn such an award and it’s not easy to obtain either. There was plenty of stiff competition the Golf had to come up against.
How the Cars Were Ranked
The ranking process for all the 2017 vehicles was a stringent one that called on a full panel of 8 different journalists to look over a wide selection of 2017 car models. The vehicles came from a selection of 16 different categories, and the reviewers were asked to look the options over in the order they would recommend them out to friends, family or co-workers.
Why the Top Spot?
The 2017 Volkswagen Golf managed to take the top sport for Best Small Car in 2017 because it’s fun to drive in all its formats, it’s fitted with the latest tech, it comes in a wide variety of shapes and types, and it just has more to offer than most other small vehicles on the market.
Christian Wardlaw, the Editor of the ?New York Daily News Autos said that “No other small car touches the depth and breadth of purpose found within the Golf family” and “That it is fun to drive even in its most basic format and supplies all kinds of utility simply serves to cement the Golf’s superiority.”
Whether you want a pretty basic compact sedan, a hatchback with more storage space, or a performance car, you can find each of those things in the Golf family.
About the Golf
The Volkswagen Golf comes with a 1.8 liter four-cylinder gas engine that’s turbocharged with direct-injection technology and puts out a total of 170 HP. That’s a lot of power for a compact vehicle like the Golf, and that’s just at the base level. The car comes with either manual or automatic transmission, comes in a variety of form factors, gets pretty decent fuel efficiency with 25 MPG city and 36 MPG highway and just has a lot to offer to drivers looking for a small vehicle overall.
The Volkswagen Golf has a lot going for it. It’s just the right size for many small families. It’s efficient, it’s fun to drive, it comes with nice features and is a nice looking vehicle in general. It’s a pretty solid package and it’s no wonder that so many autobuyers are interested in the vehicle each year. Even if you do decide that the Golf is the right vehicle for you though, you still have to decide which version of the vehicle is the right one, and with over 5 different trim levels to choose from, and additional options on top of that, making that decision is more difficult than you might think. That’s why we’re here to break down what we believe is the very best version of Volkswagen’s most versatile little vehicle.
Take a Look at the Golf Sport
While there are more prestigious versions of the Golf, the Golf Sport offers an excellent mix of value and desirable features. For a starting cost of just north of $28,000 you get the high quality plaid upholstery, 18-inch wheels, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as well as bixenon headlights. There’s even a proximity entry system and a push button to start the vehicle up. The features in the Sport make the vehicle feel like a luxury model, and what I listed above isn’t even everything that you get either.
Not only do you get the nice features when you opt for the Sport, you also get performance features that help the trim level earn its name. You’ll get a 10 HP power boost, as well as more capable brakes, and a powerful limited-slip differential. This is the most affordable trim model to come with all these performance enhancements, and that’s what makes it so darn desirable.
What You’ll Miss out on
By going with the Sport you will miss out on some features of the more expensive models. You’ll miss out on active-safety features, a Fender audio system and leather seats, but you’ll also save a bundle in the process. If those features mean enough to you, then it’s clear you should either get the Autobahn or SE trims, but if they don’t you’re better off with the Sport version of the vehicle.
The GTI Sport also comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission that makes the vehicle even more fun to drive around, but you can switch it over to a dual-clutch auto if you’re willing to add $1,100 to the purchase price. Either way the car is pretty darned quick with times of 5.9 seconds with the manual and 5.6 seconds from 0 to 60 with the automatic.
Choosing the right Golf to drive around isn’t always easy to do. Hopefully the explanation up above makes your decision process a bit easier to go through.
There’s a lot of new changes coming down the pipeline for Volkswagen in 2017, and as a fan of the brand it makes sense to stay on top of what’s coming up. Here’s an overview of what enhancements you’ll see in the Volkswagen lineup, what’s pretty much staying the same and what new releases are going to come out in 2018.
The Volkswagen Golf is going to benefit from a bunch of new changes this year, making it worth taking a look at if you’re planning on getting a new compact vehicle. The car will be offered with a Wolfsburg Edition trim. The GTI variation will now come with the Sport trim as well, giving you more power options to choose from. The e-Golf is receiving more power and a range enhancement and the Golf model is going to receive a whole host of updates in 2018 with an improved model.
The Volkswagen Beetle is always one of the more reserved vehicles that don’t receive too many changes in a model year. This year a Pink limited edition Beetle is being added for buyers to consider. There’s also going to be more aggressive bumpers on the 1.8T models of the Beetle.
The Tiguan gets a whole host of changes for the 2017 year of the vehicle. It will now come standard with a four-cylinder turbocharged engine across the whole range of vehicle. There’s a Wolfsburg and Sport trim of the vehicle available now, additional standard features were added to the vehicle and both the R-Line and SE trims were removed entirely.
While many VW vehicles are sitting still, the Passat is receiving a host of changes. The R-Line trim is getting more standard features, and both auto braking and forward collision warning are becoming standard throughout the lineup.
The Touareg is a popular SUV sold by Volkswagen and it’s getting some notable changes in 2017. For starters there will no longer be a Lux trim version of the vehicle, and a Wolfsburg trim option has been added. Just like the Passat it’s getting standard auto braking and forward collision warning. The vehicle will also be completely redesigned for the 2018 model year, so keep your eyes opened for that.
Overall this is a year for some notable changes to the Volkswagen lineup, but the 2018 model year is the one with the most dramatic changes on the way. There will be a new model for the Touareg, Tiguan, and the Golf.
Few people associate Volkswagen with sporty vehicles, and the Passat (while sporty and somewhat powerful) is probably one of the last vehicles that you would think to bring to the track. It looks pretty tame after all. The smart people at Volkswagen saw the potential of the Passat though, and decided that it deserved to go fast and to get enthusiasts excited about driving again.
Top Notch Media
The R-Line comes with a 6-speaker audio system hooked to a very capable media setup as standard. You’ll enjoy USB connectivity, satellite radio, voice controls, and a slew of cool safety features when you opt for this upgraded performance Passat. That alone is enough for some buyers to consider going for this variation of the Passat.
Power without the Cost
The Passat R-Line is an interesting model from the lineup because it’s relatively affordable, but it packs that turbo power in as well. That means if you want a high-powered car that’s fun to drive around, the R-Line makes a lot of sense. You’ll get a 1.8 liter turbo-four engine that pumps out 170 HP and 184-lb.-ft. of torque. That’s not an insane level of power, but it’s certainly enough to make it a fund drive and to give you a reason to want to slam on the accelerator now and then.
A Pure Joy to Drive
There’s a lot to love about the Passat R-Line, but the best thing about the vehicle is how it handles on roads. The car hugs the ground, it whips around corners with ease and it has very precise steering. It feels a lot like a top-notch sports car in terms of handling, and that’s all you could really ask for out of a performance sedan.
Slight Exterior Enhancements
The R-Line also receives a few changes on the outside to make it look sportier. There’s the air intake to help power the turbocharger. There’s also grille, bumper and trim enhancements that all make it clear that it’s an R-Line edition of the Passat.
When you climb inside the Passat you’ll notice right away that there are special trim and doorsill sections specifically for the R-Line Passat. Not only that but the car is equipped with V-Tex leatherette seats that are heated up front.
Overall the Passat R-Line is a high-performance version of the sedan that’s much more enjoyable to drive around. It offers a lot for the sub 25k price tag that it comes with, and is an obvious choice for drivers that need a sedan, but want better performance out of it at the same time.
Volkswagen just made the latest e-Golf available for purchase in Germany and it packs a pretty impressive range compared to what’s on the market from most other companies today. It has a maximum range of about 185 miles, and offers a practical range of around 125 miles on a standard day-to-day basis. That means that most drivers will be able to commute to and from work with this vehicle without issue. It’s a very impressive vehicle with some other nice improvements as well. It’s slightly more powerful, and comes with some added safety features that you won’t find on the older e-Golf.
Improved Battery for Longer Range
The biggest news for the latest e-Golf is all the added range that it comes packed with. The battery pack in the vehicle offers 35.8 KWh, and that provides between 125 and 185 miles on a single charge. That means drivers could easily travel 60 miles both ways without worrying about charging the vehicle up in-between, and more careful drivers could travel even further.
With a power icnrease of between 20 and 30 HP, the latest e-Golf travels from 0 to 62 faster than ever before. It manages the feat in about 9.6 seconds, which isn’t lightning fast, but quick enough to help you comfortably merge on most highways.
Improved Safety Features
The latest e-Golf offers comes with emergency braking features that look out for pedestrians in the road. That’s a pretty impressive feature that will make urban driving a bit safer with the vehicle. Sure these improvements aren’t as dramatic as what’s being offered on soem new vehicles, like a few from Toyota, but the e-Golf range boost is impressive compared to all its competitors.
If you are looking for an affordable EV that combines class and a good solid range, the latest e-Golf will probably be a good bet when it finally makes it stateside. The only trouble is figuring out exactly when that is going to be. The same improvements are expected in the US, but there is no word on when the car is coming over here.
If you thought that station wagons went out of style a long time ago, you would be wrong. While the cars may have dipped in popularity over the decades, it’s still going strong, as evidenced by the success of the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and the Subaru Outback. Both vehicles are quite capable, which makes deciding between them even more difficult. Here’s an overview of both vehicles and what they have to offer. Hopefully after reading through this review you’ll be able to pick the option that makes the most sense for you.
Wagon buyers may or may not care about the appearance of their vehicle. There are two distinct looks offered depending on what type of look you are going for. If you want to embrace the station wagon look and go for a vehicle that’s clearly a wagon, the Subaru Outback is for you. If you just want the utility of a wagon, without having to take on the look of one, the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack looks more like a little SUV than it does a station wagon. It accomplishes this altered look with a slightly lifted body, fender flares and careful roof sculpting that offers an SUV appearance.
One area that the Outback edges out the Alltrack is in towing power. The Alltrack isn’t recommended for any type of towing task, while the Outback can handle up to 3,000 lbs. If you’re hoping to tow a trailer the Outback is likely the best option.
The Golf Alltrack is the more capable of the two vehicles when you hop onto an actual road. It corners readily, feels smooth over most surfaces, has plenty of power and is just plain fun to drive around. The Outback feels clunky in comparison and doesn’t offer the nice tight performance that the Golf does. We can only assume it’s because the Alltrack is based on the very capable Golf Sportwagon that’s a blast to drive around. Manual lovers should also consider the fact that manual isn’t offered on the Outback but is an option on the Alltrack.
Station wagons are supposed to be all about space and utility and few wagons do it better than the Subaru Outback. It offers more legroom, more interior space and a bit more rear storage space than the Golf Alltrack does. This doesn’t mean it’s better, but it does mean you can cram a bit more gear into the back, which is good for outdoor lovers looking to squeeze stuff in every little bit of space available.
An Upscale Interior
The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack is finished with nicer materials and has a more upscale or luxury look to it than the Outback. The Outback has a more utilitarian look. It’s plain and makes it more of a utility vehicle than anything else. For some people that’s an appealing feature, but others will not like that aspect of the Outback so much.
For most people it really isn’t that difficult choosing between the Golf Alltrack and the Outback. The Outback is a rugged outdoorsy, spacious utilitarian wagon that’s meant for more difficult tasks. It isn’t as showy or nice looking, and that’s fine for the right person. It can be a bit dull to drive around though. The Golf Alltrack is nicer to look at, it’s appointed with better materials and more comfortable seats. It’s more fun to drive and has that manual shift option that’s going to win over plenty of enthusiasts. It’s a bit smaller within and doesn’t offer the rugged off-road performance as much. Pick the one that makes the most sense to you.
The Volkswagen Alltrack is an interesting vehicle that has quite a bit going for it. It represents a renewed interest in station wagons that’s going around the US and the hatchback is worth a look at. We were impressed by its speed, handling characteristics and overall quality when reviewing it.
Firm and Capable Handling
The Alltrack comes equipped with all-wheel drive and offers reliable traction in most standard driving conditions. That means if you are driving over dirt, snow or uneven paved surfaces you should have all the traction you need to keep moving effectively. It’s equipped with a solid suspension without much wiggle that offers a very planted feel, and the vehicle is blessed with very minimal body roll, making cornering a dream.
Quick and Smooth Acceleration
While you probably won’t pick up the Alltrack because you want a quick vehicle, this station wagon is surprisingly fast off the line. It travels from 0 to 60 in just 8.5 seconds and comes with a very capable 170 HP turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The engine is tied to a 6-speed dual clutch setup that’s nice and smooth throughout the gear range. Acceleration is silky smooth and going from starting to highway speed is a treat in this wagon.
Capable Safety System
Safety is becoming increasingly complex and important in modern-day vehicles. Which is why it’s such good news that the Alltrack comes with an available Driver Assistance Package that’s well worth the investment. With the purchase you get a capable adaptive cruise setup that will make sure you’re always going the right speed while on the highway. You’ll get emergency braking that triggers automatically in serious situations, and a forward-collision alert system that lets you know when potential problems are on the horizon. All these features together, along with the pretty standard safety features built into the vehicle, makes it a nice safe ride to take around on the roads.
Road noise is the last thing that you want to deal with while traveling down the highway, and it’s not an issue with the 2017 Alltrack. This vehicle comes with ample sound-proofing, leaving you with a nice quiet interior that dulls down all those exterior sounds nicely. There’s decent room at the front of the vehicle and the seats are supremely comfortable, though things are a bit cramped in back.
The 2017 Volkswagen Alltrack offers a nice mixture of speed, handling mechanics, safety and comfort, making it a good all around hatch for buyers interested in that sort of thing. It’s a good ride, and surprisingly fun to drive around as well.
When most people think of electric cars, they imagine that they will be sluggish, underpowered and pretty dull to drive around. There are a handful of vehicles out on the market today that prove that doesn’t have to be the case. Take the Tesla Roadster for instance. The car’s lightning quick and clearly an exciting sports car. Sure it’s not a realistic daily driver and it’s not the type of vehicle that most people can afford, but it’s clearly not boring either. Volkswagen’s potential upcoming I.D. GTI electric vehicle is another example of a full electric vehicle that isn’t going to be boring either. It’s still onlybeing considered as an option though, and might not make it to production at all.
Based on the ID Concept
Volkswagen recently showcased a very modern looking full-electric concept vehicle known as the I.D. It was modern looking with a very cool finish, and boasted decent driving specs. For comparison sake, the Volkswagen GTI can make it from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds. The I.D. does the same task in less than 8 seconds. That’s not quite the same, and the car will have to become faster in order to be comparable to the GTI, but it’s not a huge difference to overcome.
Styling and Power Changes
Before releasing the full-electric I.D. GTI model, it’s likely that Volkswagen will figure out a way to speed the vehicle up, while also changing the styling of the car. Volkswagen will want to make it look more like a performance vehicle, and give it that performance feel as well. Those are steps that will take some added time and planning, but steps that Volkswagen seems pretty confident about.
A Future Option
An electric I.D. GTI model is an exciting prospect, but it’s not something that you’ll see right away. The vehicle will take time to come out, and it’s likely a few years out from now. It’s likely that Volkswagen will release the next GTI and then come out with a full electric version as a subsequent release. The I.D. concept is expected to take another year or two before being transformed into a production vehicle.
Performance EVs are on the way though, and when they’re released they’ll be an exciting option that isn’t available to the everyday consumer yet.
Amazon’s Alexa service has been growing in popularity as more and more commercials show what the technology can do. While the tech is interesting when positioned in a house or at a business, it’s even more exciting when you think about it inside a vehicle. The Alexa voice-control technology gives you access to a bunch of features, features that Volkswagen owners will soon be able to use. That’s right, Volkswagen is going to offer the very first embedded version of Amazon Alexa voice to its owners in a vehicle.
Make Adjustments to Smart Home
One cool feature that a car integrated with Alexa offers is control of smart objects back home. With simple voice commands you can make adjustments to your thermostat, you can turn lights on and off, you can pretty much control any aspect of your home that’s attached to an Alexa setup back home, which we think is pretty cool.
Keep Tabs on the Vehicle
Turning your heat up or down from within your VW is pretty cool, but it’s not the only useful thing that buyers will be able to do with a Volkswagen that’s equipped with Amazon Alexa as standard. The smart system is able to pick up information from the Volkswagen itself. That means you can talk with Alexa about different vehicle stats as well. For instance, owners will be able to quickly ask how much fuel is in the car before heading out for work in the morning.
A Smarter System over Time
The Amazon Alexa system in Volkswagen will also learn the driver’s preferences over time and give out personalized travel information to help the driver get the most out of his trips.
Voice chat is a natural way to communicate while driving and that’s why the Amazon Alexa was a natural choice for the Volkswagen vehicles. It should be an exciting addition to the cars and any other vehicles that Volkswagen decides to use Alexa on.