Thursday, 25 July 2024

With the demand for SUVs as high as it’s ever been, automakers are wise to cover all bases and offer additional models and vehicle styles to fit different buyers.

For Volkswagen, which already offers the Volkswagen Atlas three-row SUV, that means also having a shorter two-row version of the Atlas  — dubbed the Atlas Cross Sport — for folks who need fewer seats and are seeking a sharper look.

There’s a ton of strong competitors in the midsize SUV segment (including Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Passport, and many others), so the Atlas Cross Sport must clear a high bar to make a significant impact.

New for 2024 is an updated engine (a four-cylinder engine that replaces the previous model’s V6 but adds power), and some styling updates and additional standard tech features.

I recently spent some time in a 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SEL R-Line, a midsize SUV which catches your eye with its attractive, sloping roofline, and I’m back with a full report on this stylish ride.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

A global giant, Volkswagen continues to make its best effort to find its place in the SUV market in the United States.

One of their key offerings is the Tiguan, which slots in the middle of its SUV lineup between the smaller VW Taos and larger VW Atlas/Atlas Cross Sport options. It’s the highest-selling vehicle for Volkswagen in the U.S., with more than 71,000 Tiguans sold in 2023.

It’s competing with some strong vehicles, including Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Chevy Equinox, Ford Escape, Mazda’s CX-5 and CX-50, and more.

Standing out is tough in this segment, but VW pulls a bit of a wild card by offering the Tiguan with a third row, a feature most of the alternatives do not offer. 

There are no major changes for 2024, as the main changes for the 2024 model are additional features becoming standard on lower trim levels. (Note: A completely new design is anticipated for the 2025 model year.)

I recently spent time behind the wheel of a base model 2024 Tiguan, and I’m back with a full report on how it holds up in today’s SUV landscape.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

The current state of the full-size sedan is a curious one.

The status symbol everyone wanted in past generations, over time it has been relegated to the backburner as SUVs became the dominant force in the auto industry.

While luxury brands still offer high-end full-size sedans at astronomical prices, non-luxury brands are slowly bowing out of the full-size sedan market. One exception, for the short term, is Volkswagen, which still has the Volkswagen Arteon available (at least until 2024, which has been announced as the final model year).

I tested the 2023 Volkswagen Arteon, specifically a SEL Premium R-Line model, and I’m back with a full report on what this unicorn of a vehicle has to offer to car buyers still in the sedan market, who are resisting the move to SUVs.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

In the world of SUVs, Volkswagen is well represented. Their lineup includes a variety of options, including the Taos, Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport and ID.4 EV.

One other option they have — slotting in above the subcompact Taos and midsize Atlas — is the Tiguan, Volkwagen’s compact SUV offering, which manages to present a strong argument for itself even though it’s battling some very tough rivals from Honda, Toyota, Ford and beyond.

I recently drove a 2023 VW Tiguan, which has minor updates after a more involved refresh came with the 2022 model, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

Like most automakers, Volkswagen — one of the largest global OEMS — is fully embracing the arrival of electric vehicles.

While a bunch more EVs are scheduled in the near future (including the long-anticipated ID Buzz van), the one that they have put out as their opening salvo is the Volkswagen ID.4, a compact crossover that debuted in the 2021 model year. It houses five passengers comfortably and features a futuristic design and a respectable range per charge, plus solid tech and safety features.

Competition is stiff, as everyone from Hyundai and Kia to Ford and Chevy are putting out EVs in this size and category. But VW is committed to the EV space in the U.S., even building the ID.4 at its Chattanooga, Tennessee facilities.

I recently drove a 2023 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD Pro S model, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up in the growing world of EV options.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

As the appetite for SUVs continues to grow, lineups continue to expand. 

For Volkswagen, their latest entry slots in at the bottom of their lineup — a brand new subcompact SUV called the 2022 Volkswagen Taos.

It enters an expansive field of competitors including the Chevy Trailblazer, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-30, Hyundai Kona, Kia Soul, Nissan Kicks, Jeep Renegade, Toyota C-HR and more.

I recently spent some time behind the wheel of a 2022 VW Taos, and I”m back with a full report.

This two-row, 5-passenger SUV impresses by being roomier than many of its rivals in terms of rear seat comfort and overall cargo space, the inclusion of solid tech and safety innovations, and an enjoyable driving experience courtesy of its turbocharged power plant.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

Many new vehicles that are introduced are direct successors to an outgoing vehicle in the same class, but in some cases, it’s a whole new animal being introduced.

The second option is what applies to the Volkswagen Arteon, a large four-door hatchback with sedan-like styling which was introduced a few years back as VW’s stab at a near-luxury vehicle. That’s right, VW, which has never been known for its flash, is courting buyers who like their brand but want something a bit more upscale.

It’s their flagship ride, and competes with vehicles such as the Audi A5 Sportback, Genesis G80 and Acura TLX.

I recently spent some time in an Arteon, which gets a solid refresh for the 2021 model, and I’m back with a full report on how it holds up vs. this lofty competition.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

With SUVs continuing to dominate sales, it’s no surprise that many automakers are looking to grow their presence and lineup in this category. One automaker that’s had a tricky history with its SUVs, but is still sticking around and attempting to grow, is Volkswagen.

A few years back, VW introduced its 3-row Atlas SUV, and now they are starting to grow the Atlas family with the smaller, two-row midsize Atlas Cross Sport SUV — which is now in its second year and goes up against a bevy of popular vehicles including the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevy Blazer and Ford Edge, and literally dozens of other SUV options.

I recently drove a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport — which mostly carries over from the 2020 model but adds a new infotainment system and some more safety features — and I’m back with a full report on how it fits into the SUV landscape.

Published in SUV / TRUCK REVIEWS

 

 

The term “hot hatch”, aka a high-performance version of a mass-produced hatchback— has been part of the automotive lexicon for almost four decades. And while there may be a variety of competition today — including the Honda Civic Si and Subaru WRX — that was not always the case.

One brand that helped bring about the era of the hot hatch is Volkswagen, in particular with its GTI model. I recently spent some time in a 2019 VW Golf GTI Rabbit, and I’m back with a full report.

LOOKS

The GTI is a vehicle that's not trying to please all consumers, and knows its audience. It’s aimed at driving enthusiasts who like a little growl in their car, while also maintaining some sense of practicality that typical sports cars lack.

And despite being aimed at enthusiasts, that doesn’t mean it won’t have things that the non-enthusiast will like. For example, it’s well-designed, roomy and comfortably seats five passengers, so it can function very well as a daily driver and trips to soccer practice.

And it looks pretty awesome too, especially the Rabbit edition — which features 18-inch gloss black alloy wheels with all-season tires, a rear spoiler and black side mirror caps.

The exterior on my test vehicle had an attractive but simple Pure White paint scheme, and the overall look of the GTI is more classy and simple than some of its hot hatch competition — who can be a bit more outlandish in their designs.

Inside, the unique look continues with a sharp-looking red, black and white plaid seat design and other Rabbit Edition accents, including red stitched floor mats.

Published in CAR REVIEWS

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