Jump to content

A Brief VW Lineup Review


Frisky Dingo

Recommended Posts

This has been a long time coming, but wife and I recently relocated to the St Louis, MO area after living about 2 hrs south of here for 4 years. With the relocation came a new job, and the opportunity to do a ton more reviews and whatnot. I am now at a VW dealership that also specializes in doing a lot of high-end pre-owned vehicles, so this is a whole new world for me. I've already driven 911's, AMG's, Bentleys, Astons, etc, etc, but I want to keep this piece focused on VW models. I'm going to keep this fairly basic with a 'good' and 'bad' type rating system for the vehicles. I will try to add and expand when possible as needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll start with the Tiguan. Anyone who has conversed with me a few times knows I have a strong disdain for crossovers. They can't even go off roading!! Plus, they killed off wagons, dammit!! Anywho, VW's CUV, the Tiguan has been on the marketplace for some time, and this is the first experience I've had with them.

 

The Good- 

 

*Power- The 20.T gives impressive acceleration for this segment

 

*Handling- Nice steering and more-than-competent cornering ability makes for an entertaining drive.

 

*Size- With the compact segment having grown up around it, it now sits in a handy middle ground between your Rav4/CR-V and CX-3/Renegade.

 

 

The Bad-

 

*Ride- It varies from tolerable in the S and SE to terrible in the SEL and R Line.

 

*Interior- Plain, sterile, dated. Certainly not befitting it's price tag.

 

*Transmission- It's jerky and dim-witted. 'Drive' is too lethargic, and 'Sport' is too aggressive. It needs two settings in between.

 

*Price- Not in line with others on the market, or considering what you get.

 

*Gas Mileage- AWD models are only capable of upper 20's on the highway, which is rather poor.

 

 

The Sweet Spot-

 

The R Line gets you a decent amount of equipment, both in terms of cosmetics and features, for not a ton of money. It's a nice blend of the affordable S model, and the higher SE, with a dash of added aggression. Quite a looker honestly.

 

 

Would I Buy One?

 

No. There are better options out there for the money. While pretty decent rides in higher-trim specs, at that point they cost what some other bigger, nicer alternatives run.

 

 

Summary-

 

A decent buy if you want something different, or place a high emphasis on sportiness, but ultimately too fundamentally flawed to be a compelling choice for most.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I looked long and hard and drove a Tiguan before I bought my Escape because I liked how they looked and I loved the 2.0T but I couldn't find one that had a price/mileage/equipment ratio to my liking, at all. 

 

It definitely is a little smaller than the CUVs it competes with, and for me that was fine as I don't pack it regularly but I think that was one of it's largest downfalls in comparisons. 

 

I never really saw the "value" to it either which goes to the thing I said above about finding the right package for the price. I really liked everything about how it drove and power and fuel economy was acceptable to me at the time as it was a little older than the brand new stuff anyway and it also had a lot more power than the n/a 4's most offered. If I remember correctly the AWD system they use is one of the better ones out of the CUVs. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next up, I'll finish off VW's CUV/SUV lineup and do the Touareg. Having been on the market for some time now, this model has seen numerous powertrains through it's lifetime, including a V8 and even a V10 turbo diesel. Choices are now limited to the VR6 model with the stop sale of the TDI model, but I will base my review on both models.

 

 

The Good-

 

*Interior- Fit and finish is exemplary, layout is ergonomic, and materials are nice. 

 

*Power- In the diesel model. The TDI's low end grunt makes acceleration an effortless affair.

 

*Refinement- A very solid, substantial feel from behind the wheel. Pretty much vault-like.

 

*Size- Existing in that kind of middle ground like the Grand Cherokee, it's spacious without being massive.

 

 

The Bad-

 

*Power- In the gas model. This engine just does not make enough grunt to move this vehicle with ease. Needs a V8 option badly.

 

*Driving Dynamics- This is a heavy vehicle and it feels it. It has a slightly ponderous, lumbering feel in the turns.

 

*Price- There is without question more on offer from other makers for same or less money. Especially from a powertrain perspective.

 

*Limited Trims- VW really needs to expand this model's coverage, both on the bottom and top of the range.

 

 

The Sweet Spot-

 

The Lux model is really the smart option here, with a large amount of features, but safely below the exorbitant price of the Exec trim. The TDI is a gem.

 

 

Would I buy one?

 

On the new market, no. Although it is a very nice vehicle, the Grand Cherokee offers more bang-for-the-buck in a similar package, and the price when loaded can put you in larger offerings with more power.

 

 

Summary-

 

If you have to have a German mid-sizer, this is probably the cheapest option available. It's attractiveness when compared to BMW and Mercedes quickly fades when compared to more mainstream offerings, such as the Jeep GC, Lexus RX, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, I'm moving on to the car line. I'll start with one of autodom's all-time greatest icons- the Beetle.

 

 

The Good-

 

*Design- Love it or hate it, you have to admit, this retro done right. The proportions, the details, everything is right on this one.

 

*Space- The interior is surprisingly roomy for the size of the vehicle. Back seat is actually usable.

 

*Powertrains- Both the 1.8T and 2.0T are used to good effect here. Plenty of power to have fun with, but still efficient. Manual availability on all trims.

 

*Quirkiness- In today's world of CAFE regs, safety ratings, and bottom lines, the fact that cars like this exist is really great.

 

*Price- You get quite a bit of kit for the money here. Both in terms of hardware, and equipment. A ~26K SEL is really a nice little car.

 

 

 

The Bad-

 

*Lack of diversity- This model could really benefit from an AWD, sport, and retro-themed variants,  They're not capitalizing on car's nature enough.

 

*Stigma- This is not a car that's going to get you oohs and ahhs, or make instant friends with enthusiasts at the gas station.

 

*Excitement factor- Though the car drives competently, it's not exactly thrilling, and is clearly geared towards the leisure crowd.

 

 

 

The Sweet Spot-

 

There's really no bad model in the range, so it's hard to go wrong. The R-Line is kinda overkill, though. My money would go to an SEL.

 

 

 

Would I buy one?

 

Probably not, but only because I wouldn't be in the market for such a car. If I were, then I would strongly consider it. It's a cruiser and fashion statement above all else, but there's no denying it has a certain appeal. 

 

 

 

Summary-

 

Though it may be lacking in appeal to enthusiasts, it's not geared towards us. When judged for what it is, it's a solid, and surprising little car. It does it's intended job really well, and there's a decent amount of value here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now for the Eos!

 

 

The Good-

 

*Power- The 2.0T is just a gem. It's great in everything they use it in.

 

 

 

The Bad-

 

*I'll make this easy- pretty much everything else.

 

 

 

The Sweet Spot-

 

There isn't one.

 

 

 

Would I buy one?

 

If I had 'eff you money'. Then I'd set it on fire and push it off a cliff.

 

 

 

Summary-

 

Go buy a convertible from somewhere else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The EOS is that bad?

 

I never sat in one, but I must admit, its an attractive car.

Sexism be damned, it feels like it could be a great, fun convertible for the fairer sex. At least by the judgement of its exterior looks.

 

Its funny though, that I also thought the same thing about the Pontiac G6 convertible. Look how that car helped Pontiac to get back on its winning ways....

 

 

The New Beetle.

I HATE it with a passion yet, Im very grateful it exits. For the same reasons you gave.

With all those safety and emissions and every other government regulations...plus all the anti-car zealousy that is going on today with all that autonomous driver-less BS we are being force fed ...cars like these, the non-appliance cars, the fact that they COULD exist IS GREAT!

 

If it takes a New Beetle to keep things fun on the street and to keep my sanity intact with all those boring appliances on the road by seeing a fun car from time to time, then so be it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The EOS is that bad?

 

I never sat in one, but I must admit, its an attractive car.

Sexism be damned, it feels like it could be a great, fun convertible for the fairer sex. At least by the judgement of its exterior looks.

 

Its funny though, that I also thought the same thing about the Pontiac G6 convertible. Look how that car helped Pontiac to get back on its winning ways....

 

 

The New Beetle.

I HATE it with a passion yet, Im very grateful it exits. For the same reasons you gave.

With all those safety and emissions and every other government regulations...plus all the anti-car zealousy that is going on today with all that autonomous driver-less BS we are being force fed ...cars like these, the non-appliance cars, the fact that they COULD exist IS GREAT!

 

If it takes a New Beetle to keep things fun on the street and to keep my sanity intact with all those boring appliances on the road by seeing a fun car from time to time, then so be it.

 

 

Eh, I may have overembellished a bit on the Eos, but I have a hard time restraining my disdain for the car. They're expensive, boring to look at and drive, and I'd much rather see VW build a proper sport roadster to slot below the Boxster. In truth, it's fine for a Sunday cruise to your favorite winery, and they actually have a usable rear seat, but still. They might as well be a nicer, smaller Sebring, imo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moving on to the 'normal' cars, I'll do the Jetta.

 

 

The Good-

 

*Interior space- By far the roomiest car in the class. The rear seat rivals many cars in the midsize segment. 

 

*Powertrains- From the base 1.4T, up to the 2.0T in the GLI, the turbo engines offer good power coupled to great fuel economy.

 

*Value- A low starting price, and generous options give you solid bang-for-the-buck.

 

 

 

The Bad-

 

*Styling- It's not really bad, but it's bland and anonymous. It also looks physically large.

 

*Interior- You can tell this is one area of the car where VW pinched pennies. It's towards the rear of this segment.

 

*Driving dynamics- There's a decent ride here and competent handling, but it's not exactly fun. The engines are in need of a more engaging chassis.

 

 

 

The Sweet Spot-

 

Hard to go wrong with the SE w/ or w/out Connectivity or the Sport. The Sport would get my money.

 

 

 

Would I buy One?

 

Probably not, because I simply prefer the Golf. But if my wife wanted a cheap, efficient sedan with room for the whole family, I'd highly consider one.

 

 

 

Summary-

 

This car is a model of VW's mentality on catering to the US market. By all accounts, this car was at most a lateral move from the previous car in terms of driving dynamics, refinement, and build quality. It suscribes to the 'bigger is better' philosophy, and while it certainly makes it a stand out in it's own way, I'm not sure it's better for it. I would like to see this car's replacement be a comprehensive product.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting personal reviews on their auto's, have to say much I would not disagree with you on as they really are bland boring auto's. VW just has no passion in their styling. The Farfegnugen design is old and dated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...
On 3/18/2016 at 10:43 AM, Frisky Dingo said:

I'll start with the Tiguan. Anyone who has conversed with me a few times knows I have a strong disdain for crossovers. They can't even go off roading!! Plus, they killed off wagons, dammit!! Anywho, VW's CUV, the Tiguan has been on the marketplace for some time, and this is the first experience I've had with them.

 

The Good- 

 

*Power- The 20.T gives impressive acceleration for this segment

 

*Handling- Nice steering and more-than-competent cornering ability makes for an entertaining drive.

 

*Size- With the compact segment having grown up around it, it now sits in a handy middle ground between your Rav4/CR-V and CX-3/Renegade.

 

 

The Bad-

 

*Ride- It varies from tolerable in the S and SE to terrible in the SEL and R Line.

 

*Interior- Plain, sterile, dated. Certainly not befitting it's price tag.

 

*Transmission- It's jerky and dim-witted. 'Drive' is too lethargic, and 'Sport' is too aggressive. It needs two settings in between.

 

*Price- Not in line with others on the market, or considering what you get.

 

*Gas Mileage- AWD models are only capable of upper 20's on the highway, which is rather poor.

 

 

The Sweet Spot-

 

The R Line gets you a decent amount of equipment, both in terms of cosmetics and features, for not a ton of money. It's a nice blend of the affordable S model, and the higher SE, with a dash of added aggression. Quite a looker honestly.

 

 

Would I Buy One?

 

No. There are better options out there for the money. While pretty decent rides in higher-trim specs, at that point they cost what some other bigger, nicer alternatives run.

 

 

Summary-

 

A decent buy if you want something different, or place a high emphasis on sportiness, but ultimately too fundamentally flawed to be a compelling choice for most.

Agree, dated interior and it just is not class competitive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/29/2016 at 0:24 PM, dfelt said:

Interesting personal reviews on their auto's, have to say much I would not disagree with you on as they really are bland boring auto's. VW just has no passion in their styling. The Farfegnugen design is old and dated.

I do like the Jetta, Golf and CC, rest of the lineup: :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/26/2016 at 11:59 AM, Frisky Dingo said:

Now for the Eos!

 

 

The Good-

 

*Power- The 2.0T is just a gem. It's great in everything they use it in.

 

 

 

The Bad-

 

*I'll make this easy- pretty much everything else.

 

 

 

The Sweet Spot-

 

There isn't one.

 

 

 

Would I buy one?

 

If I had 'eff you money'. Then I'd set it on fire and push it off a cliff.

 

 

 

Summary-

 

Go buy a convertible from somewhere else.

Agreed, dated and odd design!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/29/2016 at 0:08 PM, Frisky Dingo said:

Moving on to the 'normal' cars, I'll do the Jetta.

 

 

The Good-

 

*Interior space- By far the roomiest car in the class. The rear seat rivals many cars in the midsize segment. 

 

*Powertrains- From the base 1.4T, up to the 2.0T in the GLI, the turbo engines offer good power coupled to great fuel economy.

 

*Value- A low starting price, and generous options give you solid bang-for-the-buck.

 

 

 

The Bad-

 

*Styling- It's not really bad, but it's bland and anonymous. It also looks physically large.

 

*Interior- You can tell this is one area of the car where VW pinched pennies. It's towards the rear of this segment.

 

*Driving dynamics- There's a decent ride here and competent handling, but it's not exactly fun. The engines are in need of a more engaging chassis.

 

 

 

The Sweet Spot-

 

Hard to go wrong with the SE w/ or w/out Connectivity or the Sport. The Sport would get my money.

 

 

 

Would I buy One?

 

Probably not, because I simply prefer the Golf. But if my wife wanted a cheap, efficient sedan with room for the whole family, I'd highly consider one.

 

 

 

Summary-

 

This car is a model of VW's mentality on catering to the US market. By all accounts, this car was at most a lateral move from the previous car in terms of driving dynamics, refinement, and build quality. It suscribes to the 'bigger is better' philosophy, and while it certainly makes it a stand out in it's own way, I'm not sure it's better for it. I would like to see this car's replacement be a comprehensive product.

Quite happy with our current SE TDI but selling it back.  I want something more engaging, like the Focus ST we test drove before we bought the Jetta.  And yes, the Golf is a better car, I just needed something with a lockable trunk.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 3/26/2016 at 2:15 PM, oldshurst442 said:

The EOS is that bad?

 

I never sat in one, but I must admit, its an attractive car.

Sexism be damned, it feels like it could be a great, fun convertible for the fairer sex. At least by the judgement of its exterior looks.

 

Its funny though, that I also thought the same thing about the Pontiac G6 convertible. Look how that car helped Pontiac to get back on its winning ways....

 

 

The New Beetle.

I HATE it with a passion yet, Im very grateful it exits. For the same reasons you gave.

With all those safety and emissions and every other government regulations...plus all the anti-car zealousy that is going on today with all that autonomous driver-less BS we are being force fed ...cars like these, the non-appliance cars, the fact that they COULD exist IS GREAT!

 

If it takes a New Beetle to keep things fun on the street and to keep my sanity intact with all those boring appliances on the road by seeing a fun car from time to time, then so be it.

I do not hate it, but for me the retro thing has grown old, even with the Gorgeous Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, A Horse With No Name said:

I do not hate it, but for me the retro thing has grown old, even with the Gorgeous Camaro, Mustang, and Challenger.

Yeah.....Ive just about had it with retro looks too. Except maybe for the Challenger, I do need a substantial re-fresh on it though like the Mustang. The Mustang with me has another year or two left in the tank but.

No go on the Camaro.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, oldshurst442 said:

Yeah.....Ive just about had it with retro looks too. Except maybe for the Challenger, I do need a substantial re-fresh on it though like the Mustang. The Mustang with me has another year or two left in the tank but.

No go on the Camaro.

It isn't like the Camaro isn't drop dead gorgeous, lighter, better handling, and a much better car than the already fantastic car it replaces. It is just that I am ready for something else.  Not sure what.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...