Posts Tagged ‘volkswagen’

2019 Volkswagen Jetta Review

2019 VW Jetta Execline Review 3


Putting the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Execline to the Test

Calgary, AlbertaVolkswagen’s drive to rebuild in North America continues with the debut of an all-new Jetta as a 2019 model. This Mexico-built compact sedan has at last been dragged into the 21st Century with the deployment of the MQB modular chassis architecture already seen on countless other VWs and Audis, facilitating the deployment of cutting-edge electronics and driver assistance technologies, and improving the driving experience.

2019 Volkswagen Jetta Price

With a starting price of US$19,345 or C$22,395 for the lowest-priced S auto (US) or Comfortline (Canada), the better-equipped new Jetta is competitive against the outgoing car, which dates from 2011. In the US, the SEL trim option looks like especially good value at almost US$2,000 cheaper than before but with US$1,000 of additional equipment.

New Jetta Engine

There’s a single engine option across all grades, a 147-horsepower 1.4-liter gasoline turbo, paired with a standard 6-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed automatic. In the US, five trim grades range from S to the US$26,945 SEL Premium; in Canada there are only three, topping out at the C$29,095 Execline tested here.

2019 VW Jetta Execline Review 5
The design won’t be mistaken for anything other than a Volkswagen but that’s no bad thing. he 2019 Jetta’s looks benefit from its MQB underpinnings in the form of a shorter front overhang and longer wheelbase, opening the door to a more coupe-like silhouette. Pic: Graham Heeps

2019 Jetta Redesign: What’s New?

The 2019 Jetta’s looks benefit from its MQB underpinnings in the form of a shorter front overhang and longer wheelbase, opening the door to a more coupe-like silhouette. The chrome grille bars and strong horizontal crease along its side place the car firmly in VW’s current design language and the look is completed by LED lights front and rear. The design won’t be mistaken for anything other than a Volkswagen but that’s no bad thing.

The 17in rims on this Execline test car are said to have aerodynamic benefits but they’re no beauties; the thriving VW aftermarket scene will doubtless deliver more attractive options. Overall however, the new Jetta’s wind-cheating shape – with a drag coefficient of just 0.27, it’s a massive 10% more slippery than the old car – contribute to impressive fuel economy of 7L/100km (34mpg) combined, a figure that we easily achieved in a week’s mixed use.

Volkswagen Jetta for 2019: How Does it Perform?

Engine and chassis

The old Jetta was a standard bearer in North America for Volkswagen’s now discredited TDI diesel technology. There are doubtless plenty of diesel fans out there who’ll mourn its passing but alternatives are out there, notably in the form of the Chevrolet Cruze and its 1.6-liter ‘Whisper’ diesel motor.

However, the Jetta’s EA211, 1.4-turbo engine strikes an excellent balance between performance and economy. You might feel the effect of four adults on board but in general the power is more than adequate and the maximum torque of 184 lb-ft – available from only 1,400rpm – provides plenty of zip around town. Perhaps surprisingly, the Execline’s 8-speed auto does little to dilute the fun. There’s a Tiptronic manual shift override if you prefer to choose your own gears but a 6-speed manual gearbox is also available.

If mildly sporty, European-style sedans are your thing then it’s well worth a closer look. US buyers can add a six-year/72,000-mile transferable warranty to the Jetta’s list of virtues; Canadian customers make do with four years/80,000km.

The detuned-Golf GTI feel continues with the excellent, proven MQB chassis. There’s no mistaking the Jetta’s European roots, from the precise (if rather light) steering to driving dynamics that are definitely on the sporty side of the ride/handling balance, helped by the XDS electronic differential (standard here, available with the R-Line package elsewhere) that was once the preserve of the GTI. Sport mode adds weight to the steering, holds the gears for longer and sharpens the throttle response; there’s also a Custom setting that lets you have your Jetta, your way.

One criticism of the driving performance would be the thudding (though never crashy) secondary ride. On 17in Tornado Metallic wheels at least, the Jetta isn’t great over bumps and holes in the road – just like the Atlas we drove last year, in fact. If it bothers you enough then you might want to consider swapping the low-rolling-resistance Bridgestone Ecopia EP422 tires for something a little more supple.

New VW Jetta Interior Cabin and Equipment


It’s a while since this reviewer has seen a center console angled toward the driver, but the 2019 Jetta has one. It certainly accentuates the car’s sporty, driver-focused ethos though I’m not sure it adds too much practical value. There are easy-to-use buttons and dials for the heating and ventilation controls and as in the higher grades of Atlas there’s also an 8-inch touchscreen that complements the ‘Digital Cockpit’ display in the instrument binnacle.

2019 vw jetta interior cockpit
The central touchscreen benefits from proximity sensing, reducing the need for repeated, distracting shoves of the finger when you don’t hit it right first time. In the US only for the time being, Volkswagen’s OnStar-style connectivity service, Car-Net, is available through a subscription after a free six-month trial. Pic: Graham Heeps

Screens and connectivity

The digital screens are clear to read and easy to reconfigure though I couldn’t find an analog-style speedometer dial among the available options. The central touchscreen benefits from proximity sensing, reducing the need for repeated, distracting shoves of the finger when you don’t hit it right first time. Smartphone-style pinch and swipe operations are also possible and there’s phone connectivity through Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the OS-agnostic MirrorLink system.

VW Car-Net connectivity service

In the US only for the time being, Volkswagen’s OnStar-style connectivity service, Car-Net, is available through a subscription after a free six-month trial. Remote vehicle access, emergency call, roadside assistance, errant-teen-monitoring speed alert notifications and a host of ‘Guide & Inform’ enhanced infotainment services are all on the menu. I’ve no quibble with paying extra for fuel price information and sports scores via SiriusXM, for example, but would have preferred safety-related services like automatic crash notification and emergency call to be provided free of charge.

New Jetta interior comfort

The new Jetta is a little longer and wider than before. Combined with an extra inch of wheelbase, this translates to comfortable occupant space front and rear, although the figures reveal that there’s actually marginally less legroom than before. We found the Sport Comfort leather seats on the Execline to be adequately supportive. The cabin gets ambient lighting at night but the well-finished dashboard could do with a splash of colour by day. The ambience is however enhanced by a panoramic sunroof and a 9-speaker BeatsAudio system, both standard on the Execline.

2019 VW Jetta Execline Review 6
The 2019 Jetta’s looks benefit from its MQB underpinnings in the form of a shorter front overhang and longer wheelbase, opening the door to a more coupe-like silhouette. Pic: Graham Heeps


The first car this reviewer drove was a 1981 Jetta, complete with 1.3-liter gas engine and 4-speed manual gearbox. The technology and complexity of modern vehicles makes them entirely different to drive, but this latest, seventh-generation Jetta embodies a little of the original’s responsiveness and feel of being connected to the road. If mildly sporty, European-style sedans are your thing then it’s well worth a closer look. US buyers can add a six-year/72,000-mile transferable warranty to the Jetta’s list of virtues; Canadian customers make do with four years/80,000km.

With sales of more than 3.2 million in the US alone since 1980, the Jetta has long been central to Volkswagen’s success in the North American market. With SUV sales on the rise, the compact sedan is no longer the lynchpin model it once was – witness the new Atlas and enlarged Tiguan – but the 2019 Jetta is plenty good enough to justify its continued place in the line-up.

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This post 2019 Volkswagen Jetta Review appeared first on by Graham Heeps.

The Chicken Tax


Politics and sound reasoning has time and again over history proven itself to be quite the oxymoron when used in the same sentence. No more so than now with Trump being elected in as the next US President. However, this story isn’t about Trump, rather, it is a retrospect on politics and its downstream impacts on society which brings us to the Chicken tax.

Fifty-three years ago, with political tensions rising at the height of the Cold War, United States imposed a 25 per cent tariff on imported brandy, dextrin, potato starch and small pickups in retaliation to tariffs on imported American chicken imposed by countries like France and Germany. Well, the Cold War is over, and 53 years after the tariff was imposed brandy, dextrin and potato starch no longer have a 25% tariff. However, light trucks did not didn’t get off easy. The tariff remains in place today to protect U.S. domestic automakers from foreign competition.

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Evolution of the GTI


There aren’t too many vehicles that have as long standing lineage as Volkswagen’s Golf which is now in it’s 7th generation. But ever since the introduction of the first generation, the Golf has been establishing its place in automotive history. Introduced to the world as a modern economical front wheel drive car, the Golf was created to be an everyday commuter providing ample space in a small package. At a time when emission regulations were becoming more stringent and performance automobiles were not the hot topic, a group skunkworks team was formed at Volkswagen who put in design, engineering and marketing time after-hours to create truly the first hot hatch in automotive history. Branded as the Golf GTI, the car was never thought to be a success story, but customer response proved otherwise.

The GTI first took to the public eye at the 1975 Frankfurt Motor Show. Keeping the recipe simple, the engineers at Volkswagen raided the parts bin and gave the light weight commuter Golf a sport tuned suspension and a bump in the horsepower department. Fitted up front in the mk1 GTI was a 1588cc four-cylinder engine with a ground breaking K-Jetronic mechanical fuel injection system which made 110hp. By today’s standards that is not a lot of power. However, big power was never in the design plans for the GTI. It was about creating a well rounded package resulting from the sum of its parts. The mk1 GTI, to this day, is still a highly sought after car because it defined simplicity in engineering. The car is forgiving on the road for a daily driver, but had just enough performance to make it one hell of a weekend canyon carver.

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Volkswagen’s Three Row SUV Spotted


A very exposed large SUV from Volkswagen has been spotted testing out in China. The North American market hasn’t seen or heard much about the large three rowed SUV since the concept vehicle debuted at the Detroit Auto Show back in 2013. With the SUV market being so dominant in North America, it is still a wonder if the large SUV will make it onto North American soil.

Curiously, the vehicle is first spotted in China before the US given the great demand of these types of vehicles here. Currently the car spotted in China is called the Teramont, but it will likely get rebadged if it hits North American soil. Not shockingly, the production car looks a lot like the CrossBlue concept. True to current VW standards, the front headlights get the full LED package and the angular design element continues to the rear. The Teramont really looks like a jacked up version of the current generation Passat that’s available in the European market.

Here’s to hoping that we get another SUV in the Volkswagen lineup because as it stands it’s a little thin.

Protecting Consumers from VW Buyback Scandals


By now, we know that Volkswagen has officially released a strategy to compensate their customers who currently own one of their affected 2.0L TDI diesel powered vehicles. The details on how the company will operationalize the program is yet to be made official, but we do know that customers can either sell their car back to Volkswagen as part of the buy back program, or fix the vehicle through VW’s recall. With the buy back program, customers will get maximum compensation for the value of their vehicle from prior to the emission scandal. The problem doesn’t reside with Volkswagen, it’s the vultures that are out there waiting to put a scam in place on owners who might not know the full details to Volkswagen’s compensation strategy.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has already stepped in to make sure that consumers are fully aware on what options they have, and also some tips on how to protect themselves. What consumers should watch out for are scammers who want to purchase their vehicles at a lower price than the buy back and in turn flip the vehicle back to VW for some quick cash. Owners should also watch out at the dealership and know their own rights with this compensation program. Owners will not have to spend their compensation money at the dealership, the money is free for them to choose to do what they want.

With the full details of the compensation program still to come, consumers will have to wait a little bit more to determine their own course of action.

Volkswagen 3.0L Diesel Cheat Details


Volkswagen’s dirty diesel scandal has mainly been on their 2.0 TDI motor. We have heard that their 3.0L V6 diesel motor was also being investigated for having a cheat software installed. Specifically, vehicles using the company’s 3.0L diesel motor has been installed with a software that turns off emission control equipment after a predetermined period of time.

So far, the 3.0L diesel engines are not part of the larger recall and buy back program which recently got approved and solidified at Volkswagen. That program is restricted to their 2.0L diesel motor only. How customers will receive compensation for this scandal is yet to be determined as Volkswagen will need to come up with a fix and recall plan for those impacted vehicles as well.

Volkswagen Gets Early Green Light for Diesel Fix


After a long wait, owners of those dirty diesels from Volkswagen may finally get some clarity on what to expect next. The United States District Court has given a preliminary green light to Volkswagen’s proposed fix to bring their 2.0L diesel vehicles into compliance. The settlement totalling $14.7-billion in the US also includes customer restitutions, a buy back plan, as well as the hefty fines resulting from the diesel scandal.

Owners will have to wait for the paperwork to process, but there should be information coming from Volkswagen in the mail to let owners know what their options are moving forward. The next official step will happen at the final approval hearing on October 18, 2016.

VW to Stop Sale in Korea


As the investigation continues with Volkswagen’s diesel scandal in the US, the company continues to face challenges around the world where their vehicles are sold. Most recently, Volkswagen has suspended sales of a number of their vehicle models in South Korea. The halt to sales will last for at least three months.

According to circulating news, South Korean government has been investigating the diesel scandal to determine the impact the diesel vehicles have on regulations. The South Korean government was likely moving forward with a decision to revoke a number of certifications from Volkswagen which will limit the vehicle models which are currently allowed to be sold in the country. Volkswagen choose to stop sales before the local government could make the decision for them, and therefore Volkswagen’s Golf, Jetta, and Tiguan will be part of the halt sale plan.

A spokesperson for Volkswagen Korea stated that “This decision doesn’t mean that Volkswagen is pulling out of Korea, which is a very important market to us. We’ll reapply for certification of our cars if the government revokes it. The process may take several months.”

Volkswagen Will Sell Less Diesels in the Future


This certainly isn’t shocking news coming from the automaker that they will focus less of it’s energy in the diesel market moving forward. With the diesel scandal that sent shockwaves through the automotive industry, Volkswagen has been on the mend with their company brand since the fallout.

Since last September, Volkswagen has faced a stop sale on all 2.0L diesel vehicles, and have had issues with their 3.0L diesel engines as well. What the company has started to do is beef up their branding and marketing around electric vehicles. Similar to how they brought up the image of clean diesel with a racing series, the company is looking at supporting an EV racing series to bring electric vehicles to the forefront. For now, VW will still sell diesel cars from 2017 through 2019 as long as regulators give them the OK to start sale again. The reality is that diesels as an industry is so tainted that it might not ever recover.

Volkswagen Executives Knew About Emission Software


Since last September when Volkswagen’s emission scandal made headlines there has always been a wonder on who at the company knew about the planning and execution of the emission cheating software. Not long after the investigations began, it was said that a PowerPoint presentation was discovered at Volkswagen which detailed the cheating software which could be used at the company. Then it was claimed that only a small group of engineers knew about the cheating software. Well, a recent lawsuit filed by New York and Massachusetts attorneys general accuse ex CEO Winterkorn and current VW CEO Matthias Müller of being aware about the devices.

According to a report by The New York Times, the suit draws on internal documents that claim Müller knew about the decision to not equip Audi vehicles with the proper equipment needed to meet US standards in 2006. The suit claims that the automaker, with Müller’s go ahead, knowingly chose to install the devices onto its vehicles and is the first document that connects the executive to the ongoing scandal.

Further allegation in the lawsuit points to a number of leaders and executives at Volkswagen which could have had their hands in the emission scandal. This includes Wolfgang Hatz, former head of engine and transmission development at VW, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, former head of development for VW, and Ulrich Hackenberg, former head of development for Audi. Both Winterkorn and Müller have denied any malpractice.

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