The small wagon, one of the most practical body styles, is back with the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagon. The small wagon mostly gave way to the more sporty hatchbacks in the 1990s, but Volkswagen seems confident in the body style, launching the wagon version of its Jetta sedan. There isn't much difference between the Jetta sedan and the Jetta SportWagon when it comes to the drive train or cabin electronics, which is really too bad. We were hoping for Volkswagen's next-generation navigation system, which we saw in the Passat CC at the 2008 Detroit auto show. And the … Read more
Sanyo and Volkswagen announced an agreement on Wednesday to make lithium-ion batteries for hybrid electric vehicles, turning up the competition in the field for energy-efficient cars.
Sanyo intends to open a factory to make the batteries in 2010 and Volkswagen plans to introduce a car with them the same year, according to a Bloomberg report. The first car to get the batteries will be an Audi AG, Reuters reported.
The pact also calls for the two companies to make software to electronically control the batteries.
Sanyo already provides nickel metal hydride batteries for Ford and Honda.
Lithium-ion batteries are growing … Read more
Although we frequently see car models get updated at car shows, it's uncommon to see a completely new model. We've gathered new cars that debuted at the recent batch of auto shows here, so you can see what to expect in showrooms.
After reviewing the pricey Volkswagen Touareg 2, we were happy to see a more likely people's car in the form of the humble 2008 Volkswagen Jetta. While you have to pony up about $20,000 to get one, the Jetta is definitely on the affordable end of the scale, especially when you take into account its standard features that are sure to make any commute safe and comfortable. The Jetta offers a good value proposition in no-frills style.
It's also the first car that we've seen where we were happy that it didn't include a navigation … Read more
As we pulled the 2008 Volkswagen Touareg 2 up a rocky slope for its photo shoot, we started thinking about taking the car through even more hostile terrain, such as out near Moab, Utah, or from San Francisco to Dakar. With the Touareg's four-wheel drive, lockable center differential and adjustable ride height, it seems like it can handle all obstacles, slopes, and surfaces. But we were restricted to paved roads during our time with the car, which we didn't really mind as the leather interior, comfortable ride, and modern exterior are perfectly at home in an urban environment. … Read more
At the 2008 Geneva auto show, Brian Cooley takes a look at an old favorite that's been redesigned and is ready to roll: the 2009 Volkswagen Scirocco. Unfortunately, unlike its predecessor, this Scirocco will not be hitting U.S. shores anytime soon. .
When we saw the Volkswagen IROC concept at the Paris Motor Show in 2006, we knew that Volkswagen had a two-door sports hatch up its sleeve, and today the wraps came off. The 2009 Scirocco (IROC was fortunately dispensed with) revives the nameplate after a 16-year absence, and from the look of the display models, the new car has been worth the wait. The Scirocco retains some of the side-profile design cues of the IROC with a rising beltline, plus a hidden B-pillar and a meaty C-pillar holding up a swooping roof.
At the front end, the new Scirocco seems … Read more
Volkswagen rolled out its new Routan vehicle at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, reinforcing Chrysler's idea that the minivan is alive and well. Frankly, we don't care for the conventional minivan look of the Routan. The minivan segment was pioneered by Volkswagen way back in 1950--with the Type 1 Transporter, or microbus--so we would expect something more interesting looking than the Routan. The Routan offers minivan amenities in the form of three rows of seats, with second row captain's chairs, and 32.7 cubic feet of cargo space. Without the third row seats, there is 83 cubic … Read more
"Have you heard about the new 16-valve Skoda...it's got eight valves in the engine and eight in the radio." The old ones, as they say, are the oldest--and how times have changed since Skoda was the laughing stock of the auto world. The Czech carmaker, which is part of Volkswagen group, has announced that its flagship Superb sedan (that's its name--we'll have to reserve judgment until we see its official unveiling at this year's Geneva auto show) will come with VW's latest hard-drive-based touch-screen navigation system.
The RNS 510 system, which includes … Read more
VW joins the four-door coupe craze and blends in a bossy new technology. We take a first look from the 2008 Detroit auto show.