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Comments: 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show: 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan Grows Up

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On the eve of the Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen has introduced the second-generation Volkswagen Tiguan.

 

The new model looks to be a smaller version of the Tiguan. As for overall size, the Tiguan has grown 2.4 inches in overall length, 1.2 inches in overall width, and 1.3 inches lower. Overall weight has dropped 110 pounds thanks in part to the Tiguan moving towards the MQB platform.

 

The interior takes a lot of ideas from the Golf in terms of design with a similar dash design and placement of various controls. Available on the options list is a 12.3 screen in the instrument cluster that provides various information and a heads-up display.

 

For the European marketplace, Volkswagen will offer eight engines - both gasoline and diesel - ranging from 123 to 237 horsepower. Front-wheel and Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel drive will be available.

 

Volkswagen also revealed the Tiguan GTE concept which pairs a 1.4 TSI four-cylinder with an electric motor to produce a total output of 215 horsepower. A 13 kWh battery offers 31 miles of electric-only range.

 

Volkswagen says the 2017 Tiguan will go on sale in Europe next spring. As for the U.S., Volkswagen hasn't said when we'll be seeing it. But the German automaker has announced a seven-seat version destined for U.S. and China will be shown next fall.

 

Source: Volkswagen

 

 

Press Release is on Page 2


 

VOLKSWAGEN REVEALS ALL-NEW EUROPEAN TIGUAN AT THE FRANKFURT INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW

 

Sep 14, 2015

 

Based off the MQB platform, the new Tiguan revolutionises the compact SUV

  • Powerful, authentic SUV design of the new Tiguan was completely reconfigured
  • Tiguan is the first Volkswagen Group SUV to be based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB)
  • Longer, wider, lower – new vehicle architecture enables sportier proportions
  • Tiguan makes its debut at the IAA in an R-Line® version, a classic on-road version and a version with an off-road front end
  • Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring, active hood, Lane Assist and the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System are fitted as standard
  • 520 litres of cargo capacity (additional 50 litres) and considerably more space in the rear thanks to longer wheelbase
  • Broader range of power (92 kW / 125 PS to 176 kW / 240 PS) and up to 24 percent better fuel economy
  • Arrives on the market in April 2016
  • Volkswagen is also showing the Tiguan GTE concept in Frankfurt with a plug-in hybrid drive and 1.9 litre per 100 km fuel consumption
  • Newly conceptualised solar roof module for the Tiguan GTE increases its electric driving range


Wolfsburg / Frankfurt, September 2015 — After selling over 2.64 million of the first generation Tiguan SUV, Volkswagen is showing the newly developed European Tiguan at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. In this case, "new" means completely new, a revolution instead of an evolution. The second generation Tiguan is the first Volkswagen Group SUV whose design is based off the forward-looking MQB platform.

 


On-road, off-road and plug-in hybrid

 

Volkswagen is showing four versions of the new Tiguan simultaneously at Frankfurt. The production versions are the very sporty Tiguan R-Line®, the classic on-road model and a special off-road version. Meanwhile, the Tiguan GTE concept vehicle that has a 160 kW/218 PS plug-in hybrid drivetrain shows how the best-selling compact SUV could further develop. The Tiguan GTE is equipped with a solar module that generates renewable electricity that is fed into the battery, enabling up to 1,000 additional kilometres of zero emissions electric driving.

 

A-SUV segment is booming

 

According to Volkswagen forecasts, the A-SUV segment will increase its global sales from 8.17 million today to more than 8.93 million units by 2018, which represents 9 per cent growth. The new Tiguan is optimally tailored for the requirements in this market segment. Perfectly thought out from the first to the last millimetre, it appeals to millions of car drivers and their families as a spacious and flexible companion for their everyday business and personal lives – an all-round vehicle of a new era.

 

The first generation Tiguan launched at the end of 2007 and to date, more than 2.64 million units have been produced. Even though the next generation is ready to take over, Volkswagen earned first place in SUV new vehicle registrations in Germany once again in July 2015 – just as it did in the previous months and years. The general trend of rapid growth in the A-SUV segment is reflected par excellence in this model series. In 2014, more than 500,000 Tiguans were produced, which was 9 per cent more than in the prior year.

 

Product offensive – Volkswagen SUVs in all classes

 

For Volkswagen, the new Tiguan marks the beginning of an SUV product offensive. In upcoming years, the brand will be launching other innovative SUVs that are tailored to specific markets in a wide variety of segments worldwide. Volkswagen will be extending the range of SUV vehicles it offers, especially in the U.S. Forecasts indicate that the SUV share will also increase significantly in China and that additional SUV growth will also occur in Europe. Unlike in Europe, drivers in the U.S. and China prefer versions with a longer wheelbase, which is the reason the new Tiguan was systematically developed for two different wheelbases from the start. The "long" Tiguan will be introduced to specific markets starting in the Fall of 2016.

 

"The Compact SUV."

 

The MQB architecture improves all aspects of the Tiguan. The proportions of the latest Volkswagen SUV are even sportier, the design is truly charismatic, and the vehicle's weight was reduced by more than 110 pounds compared to the previous model. A gigantic leap forward has been made in terms of the vehicle's interior and trunk space: the capacity of the trunk has increased by 1.8 cubic feet, to 18.4 cu ft, and the load space can be enlarged to 21.8 cu ft by sliding the rear bench seat forward, by up to 7.1 inches. When the rear seat is folded, the cargo capacity is 58.5 cu ft, a gain of 5.1 cu ft.

 

The engines are more efficient as well. A broad range of eight engines are offered, ranging in output from 92 kW / 125 PS to 176 kW / 240 PS. The engines are more powerful, yet they are up to 24 per cent more fuel-efficient than the Euro 5 engines in the previous model. The new 4MOTION® Active Control system also makes it easier than ever to adapt the all-wheel drive to all possible conditions. The Tiguan is now designed to tow loads up to 5,512 pounds.

 

The new Tiguan has class leading connectivity and driver assistance features. The assistance systems include standard Front Assist with City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring, Lane Assist and Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. Connectivity services include automatic accident notification, online traffic and parking space information, and a vehicle status report, while App-Connect integrates all current smartphone platforms with the infotainment system.

 

The result is a Tiguan which extensively redefines the A-SUV segment. It’s an SUV that satisfies all expectations – both on-road and off-road.

 

Safety plus

 

New features include a pyrotechnically activated mechanism – similar to an airbag – integrated in the hood. This mechanism raises the hood as soon as a person comes into contact with it in a crash. This increases the gap between the hard engine and the relatively soft bonnet and thereby reduces the intensity of dangerous head injuries.

 

Among the new Tiguan’s safety features, are the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, the Front Assist ambient monitoring system including City Emergency Braking and – a new feature – Pedestrian Monitoring as standard. If the radar-based Front Assist of the Tiguan detects a person walking into the road, the system warns the driver. In a second step, it brakes the car. The new Tiguan is also equipped with Lane Assist as standard. This camera-based assistance system warns and automatically countersteers if the driver begins to unintentionally depart from the driving lane without activating a turn indicator.

 

Exterior design

 

The new, larger dimensions and proportions elevate the Tiguan from the previous model. At 176.6 inches in length, the new model is 2.4 in longer, and its wheelbase has been increased by 3.0 in to 105.6 in. The new vehicle is 72.4 in wide, which is 1.2 in more than before. Meanwhile, its height was reduced by 1.3 in to 64.3 in on the base, front-wheel-drive model. The coefficient of drag of the new Tiguan was reduced to 0.31 as well, thanks to numerous aerodynamic improvements, such as the door mirrors that were perfected in wind tunnel testing and airflow simulations: this has resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in overall air drag losses on the body.

 

The front end of the new Tiguan has a significantly wider stance. This is attributable to an actual increase in physical width plus the visual effect of the horizontally aligned radiator grille and headlights. The Tiguan is the first Volkswagen SUV to be equipped with dual LED headlights. Above the headlights, a chrome strip runs across the front of the car. Above the radiator grille and the headlights, the V-shaped hood shoots toward the windshield.

 

The vehicle's side profile is extremely distinctive. The waistline is higher compared with the previous model, which emphasises the SUV style. The character line is also higher and extends over the entire silhouette. The door handles are seamlessly positioned in this line. Beneath the upper line, a horizontal surface follows as a break, and then there is the second character line. Designers talk of a "line dialogue" here. The lower of these lines emphasizes the flared, powerful looking wheelarches and the shoulder section.

 

In contrast to the previous model, the area above the character line is a flatter and has a more elegant band of side windows. This band extends into the dynamically angled D-pillars. The lowest section of the body is an anthracite-coloured area that wraps around the vehicle; the same colour is used for the rugged plastic trim around the wheelarches. A chrome trim strip separates the body colour surfaces and the anthracite cladding. This chrome accent is continued at the rear.

 

The lateral character line becomes a defining rear element above the rear lights. The line defines the upper border of the standard LED rear lights that have a sharp horizontal cut. This cut is continued as a line between the rear lights and forms a trailing edge that is important aerodynamically. The tailgate opening was increased compared to the previous model, too. The lower part of the tail features an anthracite-coloured area and an aluminium-look diffuser that is integrated with the chrome-plated trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes.

 

Interior

 

The completely redesigned interior of the Tiguan has a decidedly sporty yet typically SUV character. The central elements are the instrument cluster (available as the digital Active Info Display) and the infotainment system that is positioned high in the centre stack and angled toward the driver. The dash panel and centre console form a single unit. The centre console itself is dominated by an array of buttons that are laid out around the gear lever. As on the exterior, the designers also systematically applied the "form follows function" principle and create a cockpit style atmosphere. The designers also emphasised the SUV nature of the interior in their choice of surface textures.

 

Thanks to clever packaging, seating space has been significantly improved in the new Tiguan, which has 1.0 in more interior length. Three passengers in the rear seating area, for instance, have 1.1 in more knee room. The size of the luggage compartment has also increased. At 18.4 cubic feet, the cargo capacity of the new model has increased by 1.8 cu ft (with five persons on-board). In addition, the rear bench seat is asymmetrically split and adjustable longitudinally. The reclining angle of the seat backrest can also be adjusted. The cargo area can be enlarged to 21.8 cu ft by sliding the rear bench seat forward (by up to 7.1 inches). When the rear bench is folded, this results in a volume of 58.5 cu ft. If necessary, the backrest of the front passenger seat can be folded fully forward for stowing very long items. Last but not least, it is now even easier to load the Tiguan, because the load sill has been lowered further.

 

An electronic marvel

 

The new Tiguan is one of the world's most advanced compact SUVs, featuring an impressive array of innovations. First, there are technologies like the 12.3-inch Active Info display (interactive, fully digital main instruments with five information profiles) and the head-up display that is being offered for the first time in a Volkswagen SUV. Second, the vehicle's safety, convenience and connectivity have been taken to a new level by an array of driver assistance and infotainment systems.

 

Even the base Trendline model has a number of advanced standard features. These include Front Assist that features City Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring as well as the active hood and the Lane Assist lane departure warning system. In addition, the safety equipment is completed by a network of seven airbags, including a knee airbag on the driver's side, and the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System; it helps to avoid secondary collisions. Comfortline mid-level trims have the Driver Alert System as standard.

 

The top Highline trim is also equipped with adaptive cruise control (ACC), which utilizes radar to accelerate or brake the Tiguan and thus always maintain the correct distance to traffic ahead. If the SUV is equipped with DSG® in addition to ACC, it automatically handles stop-and-go traffic as well (traffic jam assist). Other Tiguan driver assistance systems include the optional Side Assist (lane-changing assistant), Pre-Crash proactive occupant protection (detects elevated collision potential, tensions the front seatbelts to preventively restrain the driver and front passenger and closes open windows and the sunroof to just a small gap), Emergency Assist (recognises if the driver is no longer responsive and brakes the car to a stop) and Area View (360 degree all-round view using four cameras that is especially useful off-road).

 

Comfort and convenience

 

The new Tiguan has a new three-zone automatic climate control system, called Pure Air Climatronic®. The technology, which is unique and so far only used by Volkswagen, keeps air quality at a consistently high level thanks to its air quality sensor and active biogenic filter, preventing pollutants from entering the car – from mold spores to allergens.

 

Fully redesigned seats have optional electric adjustment, while the available Smart Comfort Seats automatically travel downward and back to make it easier to enter and exit the vehicle when the ignition is turned off. In addition, the new ergoActive seat includes electric 4-way lumbar support and massage function.

 

Making trips long and short even more pleasant, the Tiguan has one of the largest panoramic sunroofs in the class (34.3 by 53.7 inches), which also features integrated ambient lighting. Other new comfort and convenience features include Easy Open / Easy Close (automatic opening or closing of the tailgate in response to a specific foot movement behind the Tiguan), a heatable steering wheel, and Volkswagen’s variable ratio electromechanical progressive steering.

 

Infotainment and connectivity

 

The Trendline trim is equipped with the Composition Touch radio system (5.0-inch monochrome touchscreen) as standard. The Tiguan Comfortline and Highline get the Composition Colour radio system (5.0-inch colour touchscreen) at no extra charge. The Composition Media radio system (8.0-inch colour touchscreen) is also available. Other options are the Discover Media and Discover Pro radio-navigation systems (both have 8.0-inch displays). All of these systems are part of the second generation modular infotainment matrix (MIB II).

 

MIB II creates seamless connectivity with today's Apple and Android smartphones via App Connect. In addition to MirrorLink®, App Connect also integrates Apple CarPlay® and Google Android Auto™ into the infotainment systems. The Media Control app makes Volkswagen one of the first automakers to also offer an interface to the infotainment system for tablets. Volkswagen also offers a number of online services. Guide & Inform lets users access services such as latest traffic warnings, information on available parking spaces in nearby car parks (number of spaces and address) and information on filling stations (fuel prices and addresses). For the first time, Volkswagen is also offering Security & Service, which can be used to request assistance from the vehicle via a call centre. Some of the features integrated here are online road service call, automatic accident notification, service scheduling (to arrange maintenance appointments for the Tiguan with the service centre) and requesting the vehicle status report. Depending on the package that is selected, it may also be possible to use a smartphone to request vehicle status or parking location or activate the parking heater function.

 

The smartphone itself can be placed conveniently in a newly designed and innovative interface box. The highlight here is that the phone can be charged and coupled to the vehicle's outside antenna inductively.

 

Powertrains

 

There are a total of eight Euro-6 compliant engines, all of which have turbocharging, direct injection, a stop-start system and battery regeneration as standard. The four TSI® gasoline engines produce 92 kW / 125 PS, 110 kW / 150 PS, 132 kW / 180 PS and 162 kW / 220 PS. The four TDI® diesel engines produce 85 kW / 115 PS, 110 kW / 150 PS, 140 kW / 190 PS and 176 kW / 240 PS. The base engines of the new Tiguan are launched with front-wheel drive, but all of the other engines are available with all-wheel drive either as an option or as standard. Compared to the previous model with Euro-5 engines, the four-cylinder engines in the new Tiguan are up to 24 per cent more fuel-efficient. Compared to previous Tiguans with Euro-6 engines, there is up to 10 percent better fuel efficiency.

 

Not only are the engines more efficient, they are also more powerful. The highest powered TSI engine previously made 150 PS in Europe, but now has two 2.0-litre engines with 180 and 220 PS. With the diesel engines, the most powerful TDI used to make 184 PS. This engine now makes 190 PS, but the top engine is the newly engineered 240-PS unit with twin turbos charging and 2,500 bar of injection pressure. With 88 kW / 120 PS per litre of displacement, the 2.0 TDI has one of the highest specific power outputs in the A-SUV segment.

 

4MOTION all-wheel drive

 

Volkswagen offers the highly efficient 4MOTION all-wheel drive system in the new Tiguan, either as an option or as standard, depending on the chosen engine. Ground clearance of all Tiguan 4MOTION versions is 0.4 inches higher, at 7.9 inches. In addition, the Tiguan can be ordered with a special off-road front end package that allows for an approach angle is 25.6 instead of 18.3 degrees. The departure angle at the rear is 24.7 degrees for all versions, as is the ramp angle. Specially developed for the new Tiguan is 4MOTION Active Control – an off-road switch with four different modes. Regardless of whether the vehicle has an on-road or off-road front end design, the new Tiguan is engineered for towing more than 5,500 pounds.

 

The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system uses a fifth-generation Haldex® coupling that actively distributes torque to all four wheels before slip occurs. In normal driving, only the front wheels are driven, saving fuel. But as soon as there is a risk of losing traction, the rear axle is variably engaged within fractions of a second. Along with the Haldex coupling, the electronic differential locks (EDS) integrated in the electronic stability control (ESC) system act as a transverse lock for all four wheels.

 

The rotary/pushbutton switch for the new 4MOTION Active Control is located on the centre console. The driver uses it to activate four higher-level modes and various popup menus. When the driver turns the switch to the left, one of the Onroad or Snow profiles can be activated for on-road driving. When the driver pushes the switch in one of these modes, a popup menu appears on the infotainment system’s touchscreen, showing the driving profile selection with five profiles. When the switch is turned to the right, the driver can select one of the two off-road profiles: Offroad (automatic setting of off-road parameters) or Offroad Individual (variable settings). Here too, pressing the switch opens another menu level. When driving off-road, 4MOTION Active Control lets drivers switch the assistance systems in just seconds.

 

Trim lines and packages

 

The new Tiguan will be available in the Trendline, Comfortline and Highline equipment lines in Europe. All versions may be ordered with an off-road front end as an alternative. The Tiguan Comfortline and Tiguan Highline feature a sporty look with the 'normal' front end. The new R-Line packages make the SUV look even more dynamic. The Comfortline and Highline may also be ordered with the Design package or in the Exclusive equipment specification.

 

The R-Line packages can be ordered as either a total package of exterior and interior features or an alternative exterior package. On the exterior, the R-Line features "Sebring" 19-inch aluminium-alloy wheels or optional 20-inch "Suzuka" alloys. Previously, Tiguans could only have rims up to 19 inches in diameter.

 

Except for the wheelarches, all other anthracite body surfaces are painted in body colour, including the exclusive door trims which have the same visual effect as side sill extensions. The exterior design is finished by R-Line bumpers that have gloss black aerodynamic accents, a two-tone roof spoiler and a gloss black rear diffuser. The interior features R-Line seats (cloth and microfiber seat upholstery, optional "Vienna" leather upholstery), aluminium door sill guards with the R-Line logo that can be optionally illuminated, decorative stitching in Crystal Grey, special trim accents, stainless steel pedal caps and footrest, black headliner and a leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel with the R-Line logo.

 

Plug-in hybrid concept—with a solar roof!

 

Wolfsburg / Frankfurt, September 2015 — Demonstrating the future directions the Tiguan might take is the Tiguan GTE – the first plug-in hybrid SUV from Volkswagen, which the brand is showing at the IAA. This Volkswagen, which is being presented as a concept vehicle, develops a system power of 160 kW / 218 PS and can cover a distance of up to 50 km in "E-Mode" driving as an all-electric zero-emission vehicle. Its average fuel consumption (combined) is a mere 1.9 l/100 km; this equates to a CO2 emissions figure of 42 g/km. The relatively long electric driving range not only benefits from the externally chargeable lithium-ion battery with an energy capacity of 13.0 kWh, but also from a solar module that is integrated in the roof – a world exclusive. Under ideal conditions, the energy that it generates annually is sufficient to add up to 1,000 km of driving range (Germany 500 km, Southern Europe 800 to 1,000 km), depending on the regional solar radiation power.

 

TSI plus E plus DSG

 

The concept car is driven via its front axle by a direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine (1.4 TSI with 115 kW) and an electric motor. The lithium-ion high-voltage battery supplies the electric motor with energy. The Tiguan GTE operates with a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) that was specially developed for hybrid use. The electric motor was integrated into the gearbox housing. Additional components of the hybrid drive include the power electronics (converts DC power from the battery to AC power for the electric motor) and a charger. The Tiguan GTE can be driven in the described E-Mode or in one of the three other modes Hybrid, Battery Charge, or GTE. After starting the drive system, the concept vehicle automatically drives off in "E-Mode". When a minimum charge level of the battery has been reached or when there is very high demand for power, the drive system automatically switches over to the "Hybrid" mode. This means that "E-Mode" is deactivated, and the Tiguan GTE now behaves like a classic full hybrid vehicle. It charges the battery regeneratively during deceleration and automatically uses the TSI and/or electric motor according to the driving situation. By pressing the "E-Mode" button, the driver can manually switch to zero-emissions operation if necessary. Exclusively driven by electric motor, the Tiguan then has a top speed of 130 km/h.

 

GTE mode as boost function

 

The driver presses the GTE button to switch to GTE mode, which activates the sporty side of the concept car. This GTE mode is an exclusive feature of all Volkswagen vehicles with a plug-in hybrid drive system. The characteristics of the accelerator pedal, gearbox and steering are made noticeably more dynamic, and the tuning of the TSI is more performance oriented. In addition, in the GTE mode the TSI and electric motor work together in what is known as "boosting" which makes the full system power and the maximum system torque available. The Tiguan GTE then has a top speed of 200 km/h and accelerates to 100 km/h in a short 8.1 seconds.


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I really like the looks of the current generation and there's something about this that doesn't strike me as attractive. It did need to grow a bit as it was slightly undersized or the segment, good to hear it lost weight as well.

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I tend to like this more than the current generation.  I think the current Tiguan has a bit of a roller skate look, this to me being longer, wider, lower is a bit more squared off, and looks a bit more trucky.  VW needs some more crossover sales, this might help.

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improved, still bland outside but the German fanbois will eat it up.

 

The inside is much better.  Looks like it has a real trunk now too.

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Looks good with the big chunky wheels and nice interior. Will be interesting to see it in the flesh and pricing when it makes it over here.

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    • By William Maley
      I happen to be a big fan of the Kia Soul. Its daring looks, spacious interior, and overall value make it an interesting option in the compact class. It seems many others would agree as the Soul is one of Kia’s best selling models. To help keep it up there, Kia has introduced a new turbo engine for the top-line Exclaim (!) model along with minor changes for 2017. Let's see how these changes affect the Soul.
      Aside from the turbo engine, Kia made some design tweaks to the Exclaim to have it stand out from other Soul trims. This includes a new front bumper, red accents, 18-inch alloy wheels, a twin-tip exhaust, and exclusive colors like this copper color seen here. The little changes really make the Soul stand out even further than before. Moving on to the turbo engine, it is a 1.6L four-cylinder packing 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. This is only paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. If you really want a manual with your turbo-four, Kia will gladly sell you a Forte5 SX which features the same engine. There is a brief moment of turbo lag when you step on the accelerator, but the engine comes into its own after this with power building smoothly. There are no issues with getting up to speed when merging or making a pass. The dual-clutch transmission is a bit of a mixed bag. In stop-and-go traffic, the transmission exhibits some jerkiness and lazy shifts. We also noticed the transmission was slow to respond in terms of downshifting, making us think the programming for this transmission was focused on fuel economy. At higher speeds, the transmission is better with rapid and smooth shifts. The turbo engine has the highest fuel economy fuel economy figures in the Soul lineup with an EPA rating of 26 City/31 Highway/28 Combined. We saw an average of 25.3 mpg during our week in mostly city driving, which is slightly disappointing. With the turbo engine and racy looks, you might think that this particular Soul is fun to drive. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is not the case. Out on a winding road, the Soul is competent with minimal body roll and okay steering. This would be ok if it weren’t for the sporty image that is being portrayed by the exterior. We do wish that Kia had made some changes to the suspension to make it slightly sportier.  The upside to not messing with the Soul’s suspension is it mostly retains the smooth and comfortable ride of other models. Mostly is the keyword as the 18-inch wheels do introduce some harshness to the Soul’s ride. There is a fair amount of wind and road noise, most of this due to the Soul’s boxy shape. The Soul’s interior is still as sharp looking as it first was when the current model was launched in 2013. Little touches such as the uniquely styled air vents and orange accent stitching give the Soul a bit of whimsy. The extensive use of soft-touch materials gives off an aura of quality. Driver and passenger get power seats which make finding a comfortable position very easy. Those sitting in the back will appreciate the large amount of head and legroom, due to the Soul’s boxy shape. Our test Soul came with optional Technology Package that includes an 8-inch touchscreen with Kia’s UVO infotainment system and navigation. It is beginning to show its age in terms of the graphics, but it is still one of the most intuitive systems on sale today. A simple layout and redundant physical buttons make it breeze to use. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is an added bonus. The Exclaim begins at $22,650 and comes well equipped. Standard features include automatic climate control, 7-inch touchscreen with UVO, Bluetooth, leather and cloth wrapped seats, push-button start with proximity key, and automatic headlights. Opt for the technology to get the 8-inch system, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, heated seats and steering wheel, and power folding mirrors. For only $26,995, you get a nicely equipped vehicle. Our test vehicle is slightly more expensive at $27,620 due to an optional panoramic sunroof which we would skip. Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Soul, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Kia
      Model: Soul
      Trim: ! (Exclaim)
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI Four-Cylinder 
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 201 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/31/28
      Curb Weight: 3,232 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gwangju, South Korea
      Base Price: $22,650
      As Tested Price: $27,620 (Includes $850.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Technology Package - $3,000.00
      Panoramic Sunroof - $1,000.00
      Carpeted Floor Mars - $120.00

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    • By William Maley
      I’m one of the few people who actually like the current Toyota Prius - I named it one of my favorite vehicles last year. It offers excellent fuel economy and noticeable improvements to the interior and handling. So what happens when you add a plug to it? You end up with the Prius Prime which is much better than the last-generation Prius Plug-In and makes for an interesting alternative to Chevrolet Volt if you happen to be on a budget.
      The regular Prius was already a model that you either loved or hated the design. The Prime only exacerbates this as it comes with new front and rear styling to set it apart. The front end gets a new black treatment for the middle that makes it look like it is wearing a mask to hide its identity. A set of quad-LED headlights come from the Mirai and makes the Prime look futuristic. The back features a new tailgate design with what Toyota calls a “dual wave.” It may look ridiculous when put next to the standard Prius, but I dig it. One more thing about the rear tailgate; it happens to made out of carbon fiber to help reduce some weight out of the Prime. The weight loss is not really that impressive as the tailgate only drops 8 pounds from the curb weight. Move inside and the Prime is mostly similar to the Prius I drove last year with an abundance of soft-touch materials, color screens for the instrument cluster, and comfortable front seats. The key differences? You’ll only find seating for two in the back and cargo space is slightly smaller (19.8 vs. 24.6 cubic feet) due to the larger battery taking up some of the precious cargo space. One key item Toyota is proud of in the Prius Prime is an 11.6-inch, vertical touchscreen that controls many of the vehicle’s function such as navigation, audio, and climate control. But you may notice our test Prime doesn’t have it. That’s because the larger screen is only available on the Premium and Advanced models. The base Plus sticks with the 7-inch touchscreen with Entune. From reviews I have been reading about the Prime with the larger screen, it is a mess. The user interface is a bit of mess, performance is meh, and the screen washes out when sunlight hits it. The 7-inch system doesn’t have all of these issues - aside from the sunlight one. Entune may look a little bit dated, but the interface is easy to wrap your head around and performance is pretty snappy. The Prime’s powertrain is the same as the standard Prius; 1.8L Atkinson-Cycle four-cylinder engine and two electric motors/generators producing a total output of 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. Where it differs is the battery. The Prime comes with a 95-cell, 8.8-kWh Lithium-ion battery pack. This allows for 25 miles of electric motoring - 14 miles more than the last-generation Prius Plug-In. In electric mode, the Prius Prime feels confident when leaving a stop as the electric motors provide that immediate thrust of power. This is a vehicle that will make other drivers question their thoughts about the Prius. When the Prime is put into the hybrid mode, it feels and goes like a slower Prius. A lot of this is due to extra weight brought on the larger battery - about 300 pounds. You will notice the vehicle taking a few ticks longer to get up speed, especially on hills or merging on to a freeway. How much range was I able to squeeze out of the Prime? I was able to travel between 24 to 27 miles on EV power. Average fuel economy landed around 75 mpg with mostly city driving. When I first got the Prius Prime, I had to plug it in to get the battery charged up. On a 120V outlet, it took 5 hours and 30 minutes to recharged - exactly the time listed by Toyota. If you have a 240V charger, a full recharge only takes 2 hours and 10 minutes on 240V When the battery is halfway depleted, it took about 2 hours and 30 minutes to fully recharge. The Prius was quite a shock when I drove it last year as it drove surprisingly well. It provided decent handling and the steering felt somewhat natural. The same is true for the Prime.  You would think after four-generations of the Prius, Toyota would have finally figured out how to make the regenerative brakes feel like brakes in a standard car. But this isn’t the case. Like in the Prius I drove last year, the Prime exhibited brakes that felt numb and having to push further on the pedal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The Toyota Prius Prime is a huge improvement over the old the Prius Plug-In Hybrid as it offers a better EV range, short recharging time, and a much nicer interior. The exterior will put some people off and Toyota still needs to work on improving the Prius’ brakes. We have to address the elephant in the room, the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt does offer a longer range (53 miles), much better brakes, and a sharper exterior. The Prius Prime fights back with a larger interior, shorter recharging times, and low price. If I had the money, I would be picking up a Volt Premier as I think it is the slightly better vehicle. But if I only had $30,000 to spend and wanted something fuel efficient, the Prius Prime would be at the top of the list. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Prius Prime, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Prius Prime
      Trim: Plus
      Engine: 1.8L DOHC, VVT-i Atkinson Cycle Four-Cylinder, Two Electric Motors
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, ECVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 95 @ 5,200 (Gas), 71 @ 0 (Electric), 121 (Combined)
      Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 5,200 (Gas), 120 @ 0 (Electric)
      Fuel Economy: Electric + Gas, Hybrid City/Highway/Combined -  133 MPGe, 55/53/54
      Curb Weight: 3,365 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $27,100
      As Tested Price: $28,380 (Includes $885.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Special Color (Hypersonic Red) - $595.00
    • By William Maley
      I’m one of the few people who actually like the current Toyota Prius - I named it one of my favorite vehicles last year. It offers excellent fuel economy and noticeable improvements to the interior and handling. So what happens when you add a plug to it? You end up with the Prius Prime which is much better than the last-generation Prius Plug-In and makes for an interesting alternative to Chevrolet Volt if you happen to be on a budget.
      The regular Prius was already a model that you either loved or hated the design. The Prime only exacerbates this as it comes with new front and rear styling to set it apart. The front end gets a new black treatment for the middle that makes it look like it is wearing a mask to hide its identity. A set of quad-LED headlights come from the Mirai and makes the Prime look futuristic. The back features a new tailgate design with what Toyota calls a “dual wave.” It may look ridiculous when put next to the standard Prius, but I dig it. One more thing about the rear tailgate; it happens to made out of carbon fiber to help reduce some weight out of the Prime. The weight loss is not really that impressive as the tailgate only drops 8 pounds from the curb weight. Move inside and the Prime is mostly similar to the Prius I drove last year with an abundance of soft-touch materials, color screens for the instrument cluster, and comfortable front seats. The key differences? You’ll only find seating for two in the back and cargo space is slightly smaller (19.8 vs. 24.6 cubic feet) due to the larger battery taking up some of the precious cargo space. One key item Toyota is proud of in the Prius Prime is an 11.6-inch, vertical touchscreen that controls many of the vehicle’s function such as navigation, audio, and climate control. But you may notice our test Prime doesn’t have it. That’s because the larger screen is only available on the Premium and Advanced models. The base Plus sticks with the 7-inch touchscreen with Entune. From reviews I have been reading about the Prime with the larger screen, it is a mess. The user interface is a bit of mess, performance is meh, and the screen washes out when sunlight hits it. The 7-inch system doesn’t have all of these issues - aside from the sunlight one. Entune may look a little bit dated, but the interface is easy to wrap your head around and performance is pretty snappy. The Prime’s powertrain is the same as the standard Prius; 1.8L Atkinson-Cycle four-cylinder engine and two electric motors/generators producing a total output of 121 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque. Where it differs is the battery. The Prime comes with a 95-cell, 8.8-kWh Lithium-ion battery pack. This allows for 25 miles of electric motoring - 14 miles more than the last-generation Prius Plug-In. In electric mode, the Prius Prime feels confident when leaving a stop as the electric motors provide that immediate thrust of power. This is a vehicle that will make other drivers question their thoughts about the Prius. When the Prime is put into the hybrid mode, it feels and goes like a slower Prius. A lot of this is due to extra weight brought on the larger battery - about 300 pounds. You will notice the vehicle taking a few ticks longer to get up speed, especially on hills or merging on to a freeway. How much range was I able to squeeze out of the Prime? I was able to travel between 24 to 27 miles on EV power. Average fuel economy landed around 75 mpg with mostly city driving. When I first got the Prius Prime, I had to plug it in to get the battery charged up. On a 120V outlet, it took 5 hours and 30 minutes to recharged - exactly the time listed by Toyota. If you have a 240V charger, a full recharge only takes 2 hours and 10 minutes on 240V When the battery is halfway depleted, it took about 2 hours and 30 minutes to fully recharge. The Prius was quite a shock when I drove it last year as it drove surprisingly well. It provided decent handling and the steering felt somewhat natural. The same is true for the Prime.  You would think after four-generations of the Prius, Toyota would have finally figured out how to make the regenerative brakes feel like brakes in a standard car. But this isn’t the case. Like in the Prius I drove last year, the Prime exhibited brakes that felt numb and having to push further on the pedal to bring the vehicle to a stop. The Toyota Prius Prime is a huge improvement over the old the Prius Plug-In Hybrid as it offers a better EV range, short recharging time, and a much nicer interior. The exterior will put some people off and Toyota still needs to work on improving the Prius’ brakes. We have to address the elephant in the room, the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt does offer a longer range (53 miles), much better brakes, and a sharper exterior. The Prius Prime fights back with a larger interior, shorter recharging times, and low price. If I had the money, I would be picking up a Volt Premier as I think it is the slightly better vehicle. But if I only had $30,000 to spend and wanted something fuel efficient, the Prius Prime would be at the top of the list. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Prius Prime, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Prius Prime
      Trim: Plus
      Engine: 1.8L DOHC, VVT-i Atkinson Cycle Four-Cylinder, Two Electric Motors
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, ECVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 95 @ 5,200 (Gas), 71 @ 0 (Electric), 121 (Combined)
      Torque @ RPM: 105 @ 5,200 (Gas), 120 @ 0 (Electric)
      Fuel Economy: Electric + Gas, Hybrid City/Highway/Combined -  133 MPGe, 55/53/54
      Curb Weight: 3,365 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $27,100
      As Tested Price: $28,380 (Includes $885.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Special Color (Hypersonic Red) - $595.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Volkswagen is planning a lineup of electric vehicles which include a hatchback, crossover, and small van. But a new report says the German automaker has ambitions to launch an electric vehicle with a pricetag of about 18,000 euros (about $21,000).
      Sources tell Bloomberg the model in question will be a subcompact crossover and begin selling sometime after 2020. According to Reuters, the model is currently known as "MEB entry". Volkswagen is planning a production volume of 200,000 vehicles that will take place at three factories. This vehicle hasn't been approved by Volkswagen's supervisory board. According to sources, a discussion on the vehicle is expected to take place during their next meeting on November 16th - the same meeting that is reportedly where a discussion on possible expanding their partnership with Ford is expected to take place.
      Sources also mentioned another electric model, the I.D. Aero. The midsize sedan and wagon would be built at Volkswagen's Emden plant in Germany. Emden is currently home to the production of the European Passat sedan and wagon, but sources say production of the model would move to the Czech Republic in 2022. Having the Aero take the Passat's place would help keep jobs at Emden.
      Volkswagen declined to comment.
      Source: Bloomberg (Subscription Required), Reuters

      View full article
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