Home » Volkswagen Reviews » Recent Articles:

First Drive: 2015 Volkswagen GTI
Moving forward while embracing the past

2015 volkswagen gti

It’s not EmKay… it’s Mark. As in Mark 7. I’m referring to the Volkswagen Golf GTI. More specifically, I’m talking about the all-new 2015 Volkswagen GTI. It’s been a fan favorite since the early 80s, and even further back for those that live outside the United States. There’s a reason for that, of course, since this is the car that most consider to be the grandfather of the hot hatch.

We’re not fortunate to swim in the massive sea of hatchbacks that our European friends get to enjoy, so for us the be-all end-all of hot hatchdom is the GTI. It’s important then, that the car continue to be improved. Such is the case with the newest jackrabbit. It’s been given more power, lightened up, has greater interior space, and continues to slide further into the realm of the premium automobile… all without rising in price or losing its charm.

Plaid seats? Check. Golf ball shifter? Indeed. Fun to drive? You bet your ass it is…

… Continue Reading

Review: 2014 VW Golf R. Grunt and Grip will Go Far


Before I start on the R, let’s pause to consider those cars which led us to its very creation, starting in the mid ’70s with the Golf GTI. It was truly the hero of Wolfsburg and probably did more to reinforce the image of Volkswagen than any other car before, probably even since. The MK1 GTI remains revered to this day for its lightness, simplicity and tactility, each of which were virtues that it inherited, because the basic Golf was light, simple and tactile.

As the Golf matured it put on weight and complexity and the effect of this was felt hard in subsequent generations of GTI. The name, too, became less meaningful. Look at the current generation of Golf and tell me that any of today’s lineup don’t make reasonable Grand Touring cars, and try and find me one that’s any less Injected than the GTI was. Fact is, they’re all great, especially the current GTI, but none of them feel remotely like the original did.

So, for now let’s sidestep the GTI and look at what happens when VW sets out to make a Golf really special in 2014. This is the new Golf R. And it’s amazing.

… Continue Reading

Quick Spin: 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SE 1.8T
The Jetta is back


If you are an ardent advocate of the maxim of less equating to more then the introduction of the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta should have caused you great internal debate. That’s because while the model offered far more room than before at a much lower entry price, the things taken away to provide that smaller hit to your bank account were what many an enthusiast holds near and dear. After the fact, Volkswagen’s decision to compete with the more mundane competition seemed to be the right one as sales of the Jetta increased nearly twofold with the new model. Still, missing pieces such as disc brakes and an independent suspension for the back end on all but the top model, as well as a downgrading of its interior materials, didn’t sit well with the marque’s fans, and induced a vociferous drum beat that the Jetta had lost its way.

For 2014, Volkswagen wants you to know that it’s found the way back.

… Continue Reading

Sampling some of the Volkswagen lineup
Including a bite of some forbidden fruit


Napa Valley in California is home to some of the greatest vineyards on the planet. It’s also home to some excellent driving roads littered with amazing bits of scenery that unfold outside of your window like large scale master works of art. It was here that I traveled in order to sample some of the latest bits of the Volkswagen lineup. There were a good mix of cars on hand, but I focused my attention on a chosen few. Well, I also called one vehicle to action on an important mission but I’ll get to that in a moment.

For now, let’s start with the vehicle that I started out my day with. Click past the break and we’ll begin.

… Continue Reading

First Drive: Volkswagen XL1
The future is now


It’s not very often that you get a chance to take a peek into the future. We live in the now, and all future products and practices are being hammered out behind closed doors, in science labs, and in the heads of engineers across the planet. Occasionally, however, someone pulls back the curtain and allows you to eyeball and experience what’s next.

I got a peek at the future, and I had to travel all the way to Wolfsburg, Germany to see it.

It’s called the Volkswagen XL1.

… Continue Reading

First Drive: 2014 Volkswagen GTD
Well suited for high-speed hot-hatch hijinks


“228… 229… 230… 231… 232!”

The numbers moved slowly but they kept coming. I couldn’t tell though because my eyes were focused on the road ahead. It was marked with the occasional imposing truck, dented Skoda Octavia, or unwavering bridge support. My driving partner had his eye on our speedometer, however, because I had my foot flat down on the throttle pedal of the all-new 2014 Volkswagen GTD. Those numbers he was calling out were the kilometers per hour as we were exploring the speed limits of this little oil burner. The team at Volkswagen had told us earlier that the car had a max speed of 143 miles per hour, or 231 kilometers per hour.

We just hit 144 miles per hour… time to ease off that throttle a bit.

… Continue Reading

Quick Spin: 2013 Volkswagen Beetle TDI

VW Beetle TDi (7)

The most important thing when driving new vehicles is to keep an open mind. Before driving any car for the first time one may have preconceived notions; an opinion based previous experiences or perhaps what we have read or heard from other sources. Then there is the time when you drive a vehicle which you have zero interest in, and the fact that it’s in the worst color ever, does not help things – makes it difficult to stay open minded.

This is how I felt about Volkswagen’s new for 2012, Beetle. The only thing it had going for it was the fact that it was powered by Rudolph Diesel’s compression ignition engine which was connected to a six-speed DSG transmission. Otherwise, I wanted nothing to do with the yellow bug, which to me is just another retro redesign of an iconic car without actually being iconic. I was just going to drive it to New York City (Edgewater, NJ actually, mom’s house) in order to attend the New York Auto Show, and drive it right back to Boston. That’s it.

Funny thing happened along the way…

… Continue Reading

First Drive: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Turbo Hybrid

A hybrid sedan that’s a bit more Knight Rider than it is Captain Planet

The average hybrid driving experience can be summed up in one wozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… sorry, I feel asleep just thinking about driving one. There are a few exceptions, but sitting behind the steering wheel of almost all hybrid vehicles is a total snore fest. Most folks don’t really care about experiencing a bit of a thrill behind the wheel though, and the main focus of a hybrid is to provide A-to-B transportation in an efficient manner. That’s fine for a lot people, but there are some who want to smile when traffic parts, roads bend, and road signs blur past the side windows.

Is it possible to you have your fuel efficiency cake and enjoy eating it too? It is now… thanks to the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid.

Sure, other automakers have produced sporty gas-electric vehicles, but they’re far more sporty and the fuel economy often falls far from EPA estimates. We’re not against the sporty machines from the likes of Infiniti (M-hybrid) or Lexus (GS 450h), but you should know you’re fooling yourself if you think those cars are green even in the slightest. The only green there is the money you’re spending to put more fuel back in them.

VW has gone a different route with its Jetta Hybrid. Has the pairing of a small, turbocharged four-banger with an electron-huffing motor and battery pack paid off? You can bet your fuel-sipping ass it has…

… Continue Reading

Review: 2012 VW Golf R – Not Just Par for the Course

Golf balls.

That’s what kept going through my mind as I threw the 2012 Volkswagen Golf R at the curving mountain roads above Pasadena’s Rose Bowl. Sure, the GTI has for decades been a Golf (or Rabbit) with cojones, but the 259-horse R ups the ante in all the places where it counts. So, is it a hole in one – the best small sporty VW the company has ever offered here in the States?

Well, that’s what we’re here to find out.

… Continue Reading

A quick look at some new members of the Volkswagen lineup

Volkswagen is working hard to become the largest automaker in the world. It’s a quest that demands strong sales figures from all parts of the Volkswagen Group family, with most of the pressure placed on Audi and VW itself. An internal goal was announced last year, which pegged the VW sales target at 800,000 units per year in the United States.

The automaker wants to hit that goal by 2018. To reach that target, Volkswagen sales will need to climb 14 percent per year, every year from here on out (thanks for that number Forbes, we’re not good at the maths). That’s rather ambitious, but dealers around the country are getting help thanks to the Volkswagen product planning department.

The current lineup features a family of cars that’ve been refreshed, updated, or are all-new. Let’s take a closer look at a handful of them.

… Continue Reading


Hooniverse Marketplace

Featuring Top 2/3 of vehicles Available in Marketplace

Read more

Subscribe via RSS