Category Archives: Volkswagen

2007 Volkswagen Eos Base Review

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Whenever you think of a Volkswagen and a convertible in the same sentence, the association”chick car” comes to mind. Like for example, if you see a Volkswagen Beetle convertible on the street, you automatically assume that it is driven by a girl. Talk about sexism. Volkswagen’s second convertible offering (up till 2014), the Eos was also subject to the chick car syndrome. I wouldn’t drive a Volkswagen Beetle or an Eos but that’s not because of the stereotype. I just dislike convertibles in general. I also dislike Starbucks and Nutella, so I have pretty popular opinions. Right? Anyhoo, the Eos debuted in 2007 in North America, and it boasted a metal hardtop roof, earning it the title of the cheapest metal hardtop convertible on sale at the time. Right now, here we have a 2007 Volkswagen Eos. Considering its reputation as a chick car, you would assume that it is driven by a girl. You are right: it is driven by my first prom date. She was a cheerleader in high school, she is pretty, and I assume she likes shopping. So she fits the stereotypes of a girl who drives a chick car ( I am assuming). But there is one caveat. This Volkswagen Eos is a stick shift. That’s right, I converted my prom date to manual as she initially wanted an automatic for her first car. The stick shift is also the reason why I wanted to review an Eos even though I have already reviewed a 2012 Eos. With the automatic equipped refreshed Eos in mind, how does the pre refresh manual equipped Eos compare?  Continue reading

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1997 Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6 Review

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Even though the Volkswagen Jetta is popular as a “chick car”, I never got around to reviewing one because as you might have guessed, I refused to review an automatic Jetta. When I was growing up, I always had a fondness for the third generation Jetta. I loved the boxy looks of it, and how with a spoiler and the blacked taillights, it resembled a sports sedan. My friend’s mom let me come to her office to review her coworkers’ cars, and she knew I only wanted to do manual cars, so she let me look around the parking lot. I came to this beautiful green Jetta, and I looked inside, and sure enough, it was a manual. Not only that, this is the top dog GLX VR6. I got so excited that I started sputtering facts about the VR6 engine and random details of the Jetta that she could not help but get annoyed. Moving back to the Jetta, the original Jetta debuted in 1979 as a sedan version of the Golf hatchback. It was literally a Golf with a trunk crafted on. Back then, European cars were typically hatchbacks, and sedan versions of the hatchbacks were basically a hatchback with a trunk instead of a hatch. The Mk1 Jetta (generations of the Jetta are classified by MK’s) was designed by Giorgetto Guigiaro, a famous car designer known for designing Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Given that European cars sold in North America at the time were expensive luxury cars, the affordable Jetta became the best selling European model in the continent. The MK1 Jetta was praised for its handling and performance, but less so for reliability. The second generation Jetta arrived in 1984, and it retained its title as the best selling European car in North America, and another redesign followed in 1993, boasting a more aerodynamic look as well as an increase in refinement and quality. The VR6 version here is the high performance version of the Jetta, and it comes with a 172 horsepower narrow angled six cylinder engine.  Continue reading

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2012 Volkswagen Golf R Review

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Even though this looks like an ordinary Golf, I can assure you it is not. It is not the TDI diesel, nor the sporty GTI. Rather, this is the high performance R model. The Golf itself is one of the world’s best selling cars, and it all started with the 1974 first generation (sold as the Rabbit in the U.S). Dubbed the MK1 (generations of the Golf are codenamed MK), the front engined and front wheel drive replaced the rear wheel drive and rear wheel engined Beetle. With this generation came the GTI version, one of the first “hot hatches.” In Europe mainly where hatchbacks are the norm, Europeans crave the hot hatchbacks for their blend of high performance and ultimate practicality. As the Golf grew in age and size, so did the GTI. It was not until MK4 generation (1997-2004) that Volkswagen upped the GTI with the R32. In contrast to the GTI’s four cylinder turbo engine (a GTI hallmark) and front wheel drive underpinnings, the R32 employed a 3.2 liter VR6 six cylinder engine and all wheel drive. With 237 horsepower, the R32 was faster than the GTI and considerably more expensive. When the next Golf debuted in 2005, GTI and R32 variants followed. Unlike the first R32, this generation R32 was not popular. It still came with a V6 and all wheel drive, but whereas the previous R32 was exclusively six speed manual only, this R32’s only transmission was a paddle shifter dual clutch automatic transmission. A car like the R32 is supported by a specific community, and the community values European driving dynamics which includes the need for a manual transmission. Volkswagen redesigned the Golf in 2008, and instead of a R32, the high performance variant of the Golf was named “R” which I think is due to the fact it uses a more powerful version of the GTI’s four cylinder turbo instead of its own V6. Having had the chance to drive a MK6 GTI, I was interested in how this MK6 R compares in terms of handling and performance.  Continue reading

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1969 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Review

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Despite the Beetle’s reputation as a lovable and hippie car, many individuals refuse to like the original Beetle, mainly because it was conceived by Hitler. As a solution to Germany’s unemployment crisis, Hitler came up with the idea to build the autobahns (special roads) for motor vehicles. He got to work on producing the “people’s car” that the average person would be able to afford. Ferdinand Porsche was tasked for the design and engineering of such a car. Hitler said the Beetle must have a top speed of 62 miles per hour, achieve more than 40 mpg, be able to transport a family (two adults and three children), and its engine must be air-cooled. It was then Porsche decided the Beetle should be rear wheel drive and rear engined. In 1938, production for the Beetle commenced. However, it was not until after 1945 that the Beetle really took off. During this time period, the Beetle was known as the Type 1, and “The Volkswagen”. Continue reading

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2005 Volkswagen Passat GLS Review

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In contrast to the success Volkswagen garnered in the Roaring Sixties, by the time the 1970s approached, Volkswagen was in trouble. The Beetle’s appeal was waning as it became outdated and competitors’ vehicles were leaving it in the dust. Introduced in 1973, the original Passat was a version of the Audi 80/Fox sedan (VW owns Audi), but the thing is that it was actually called the Dasher in North America despite being named the Passat everywhere else. It received positive reception for its practicality and responsive handling but did not sell that well. The Passat was redesigned in 1981-1982. Again, even though everywhere else it was known as the Passat, Volkswagen sold the Passat as Quantum in North America. Finally, the third generation brought the Passat name to North America in 1990. As the years passed, it slowly grew in size and fame. By the time the fifth generation appeared in 1998, the Passat was regarded as an excellent family sedan. With this generation, the Passat moved upmarket with a focus on luxury and comfort. It is actually based off the first generation Audi A4. For 2001, the Passat received a refresh.

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2014 Volkswagen Beetle GSR Turbo Review

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The original people’s car came to fruition in 1938. With its affordable price and practicality, the Beetle was a success. Its success prolonged the Beetle’s lifespan into the 1970s. By then rally racing had become huge. The rally racing created demand for Volkswagen to build a rally racing version of its Beetle. Volkswagen took a Super Beetle with the 1.6 motor and added performance upgrades, a bright yellow and black paint job. It even had a fire extinguisher in case of an emergency during races. The GSR was what the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru Impreza WRX are today albeit in a rear engine and rear wheel drive format. With the latest Beetle, Volkswagen revived the GSR edition. Just like the original GSR, the GSR has a limited run of 3500 units.

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2014 Volkswagen CC R-Line Review

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The Volkswagen Passat has always been one of Volkswagen’s most successful models. While it may be sensible, Volkswagen felt there was a need for a more exciting alternative to its family sedan. After watching the success of the Mercedes-Benz CLS, Volkswagen saw an opportunity to produce a mainstream four door coupe. Volkswagen launched the Passat CC (Comfort Coupe) in 2008. The Passat CC intended to give buyers a German, stylish, and affordable sedan. Even though the Passat CC sold lower than Volkswagen’s expectations, the Passat CC influenced the family sedan market. Other family sedans such as the Hyundai Sonata and Ford Fusion started adopting the swoopy roofline and a sportier look. Refreshed for 2012, the Passat CC underwent a name change to CC as well as exterior and interior updates.

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2012 Volkswagen Golf GTI Review

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Disclaimer: This GTI is not stock. Upgrades include K Sport Coil Overs, Boost Piping, Clutch Bleeder Block, 3″ Cat less downpipe, Awe Carbino Intake,  and an Audi S3 front mount intercooler.

Starting in 1974, the Golf was introduced as a front wheel drive replacement for the Beetle. This generation was sold as the Rabbit in the U.S. It would also spawn the world’s first Golf GTI version. Fast forward five more generations, and here we are at the sixth generation Golf GTI. By now, it is Volkswagen’s best selling car, and the world’s best selling car at more than 29 million built by 2012. As time progressed, the GTI has evolved to become a version notorious for hot hatch performance. Continue reading

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2012 Volkswagen Eos Komfort Review

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“Drop the top and let your hair fly in the wind

Volkswagen’s lineup has always included a convertible. It all began with the Beetle Convertible back in the 1960s. In the U.S, the Beetle ceased to exist in the late 1970s, and the Volkswagen Cabriolet (essentially a Golf convertible) was launched. Replacing the Cabriolet was the retro New Beetle Convertible. Then the New Beetle was discontinued as the Eos went on sale. The Eos arrived in Volkswagen’s lineup in 2007. Its novel feature was its metal hardtop and a sunroof embedded in within. It also came with a turbocharged four cylinder engine carried over from the Golf GTI and Jetta GLI. The Eos was refreshed in 2012, with styling revisions that now put it in line with Volkswagen’s latest design language. Continue reading

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