2016 Volkswagen Touran 2.0 TDI R-Line review

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If you’re in the market for an MPV, the chances are that you need one for family transport. What if you really want something with a racier character, though? According to Volkswagen, the answer is the R-Line version of their compact seven-seat MPV the Touran.

Sitting at the top of the range, the R-Line brings a long list of standard equipment plus 18in alloy wheels, twin exhaust pipes, a body kit plus some R-Line badging inside and out. Mechanically, it’s no different to any other Touran, although you can only have this trim level with the range’s more powerful engines.

Importantly, the Touran’s practicality hasn’t been altered: you still get five normal sized seats plus a pair of smaller chairs that fold into the boot floor.

What is the 2016 Volkswagen Touran 2.0 TDI R-Line like to drive?

Being the sporty version, the R-Line can’t be had with the most frugal 1.6-litre diesel engine; as it can struggle when the Touran is fully loaded, we don’t see this as a problem. You can have a 187bhp 2.0 diesel, but we tried the lesser 148bhp version.

In the real world, this offers plenty of performance to easily get the Touran up to motorway speeds. The six-speed manual gearbox fitted to our test car had a light yet precise shift action and the steering was well weighted if devoid of feel.

As standard, you get a four-mode driving system that offers different settings for the steering weight, engine response and behaviour of the adaptive cruise control. You can select Eco, Normal or Sport or Individual, which lets you select a combination of the three, so you can have sporty steering but standard engine response. That said, Normal mode works well and we ended up leaving it in that most of the time.

The Touran has plenty of grip in corners and, although it’s not sporty, it feels safe and secure. Indeed, the only real change R-Line trim brings is a slightly poorer ride thanks to the bigger 18in wheels.

While sports suspension is an option, we fear your children may not appreciate a ride that may be firmer still. Adaptive dampers that can be made firmer or softer depending on your mood are another option, but a smaller-wheeled Touran from lower down the range will have a more comfortable ride.

What is the 2016 2016 Volkswagen Touran 2.0 TDI R-Line like inside?

Like the exterior, the interior gets sporty touches, including a flat-bottomed steering wheel with R-Line badging, stainless steel pedals, some carbonfibre-effect trim, plus sporty looking part Alcantara seats with R-Line embossing.

As this version sits at the top of the range, there’s also a standard fit sat-nav, DAB radio, three-zone climate control and adaptive cruise control. Factor in the solid-feeling plastics and controls that you’d expect from a Volkswagen interior, and you have a soberly attractive environment in which to travel.

Space for front seat passengers is as generous as you’d expect; it’s unlikely anyone will want for any more head room or leg room. The middle row is similarly generous in its spaciousness, especially with the seats slid backwards, although three adults will be cosy.

Once you’ve pulled the third row of seats out of their hiding place in the boot floor, you’ll find accommodation isn’t quite as roomy. There’s no dip for you feet to sit in so taller people will have their knees around their ears. Kids will be fine, but if you want to carry anyone bigger, you’re better off with an Alhambra or Galaxy.

Should I buy one?

Although the Touran might appear an expensive option, excellent resale values mean that when bought with a PCP, its pricing becomes pretty competitive. Even so, we would advise steering clear of the R-Line version unless you absolutely have to have something that looks a bit sporty on your drive.

Not that it would be a bad choice; the R-Line is still practical, has a classy interior and is pleasant if unexciting to drive. Ultimately though, SE or SE Family trim levels offer all the equipment you’d need in an MPV, and they have a better ride and will cost you thousands of pounds less.

Just remember that this is still a compact people carrier, if you intend to transport anyone approaching adult size in the third row for any length of time, a bigger MPV would be a more practical choice.

Article Courtesy of: http://www.whatcar.com/news/2016-volkswagen-touran-20-tdi-r-line-review/?

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VW Tiguan 2.0 TSI 180 Outdoor (2016) review

Make way! Make way – for the gen two Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s bigger! Roomier! Safer! Better equipped! But it is of course also lighter and more efficient. As the first VW GroupSUV to be based on the all-conquering MQB platform that underpins Golf and company, pretty much all of these things are a given about the 2016 Tiguan from the start.

In fact, putting aside the fact that the front end looks like it was styled after Geordi La Forge, there is little about the new Tiguan you couldn’t predict. Though given the success of the preceding model – VW UK’s third best-selling model after Golf and Polo – that should hardly be taken as a criticism. After all, Volkswagens and compact SUVs have plenty of contemporary individual cachet, so bringing the two things together is a quite sensible exercise in simply giving people what they want.

Still, the Mk1 Tiguan wasn’t exactly a fireball full of excitement. So, in an effort to see if the Mk2 can get anywhere near to quickening a pulse, we’ve bagged a go in the 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrol ‘off-road’ version with the ‘Outdoor pack’ and 177bhp. A combo that’s yours for an eye-watering £32,465.

Off-road version? Does anyone actually off-road in a Tiguan?

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

Do pavements count? As it happens, more than 75% of previous Tiguans sold in the UK were bought with 4Motion all-wheel drive (the sector average is 50%), and since its inception you’ve been able to get Tiguans with off-road bumpers front and rear, which dramatically increase the approach and departure angles. This £350 Outdoor pack is the new version of that.

So while it’s unlikely many owners intend to start chasing Defenders across the landscape, thus equipped, the new Tiguan can cope with a good bit of the rough stuff. All new 4Motion Tiguans get 200mm of ground clearance (officially qualifying it as an SUV and not a crossover according to some arcane European standard, apparently), while the increased torsional rigidity of the MQB structure also helps.

New for 2016 is the ‘4Motion Active Control’ – a circular mode selection device very much like a simplified version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response, which sets up all the electronic assistance systems as your adventure requires.

There are also some specific electronic information displays, but more useful still is the optional Area View camera system, which allows you to see precisely how close you are to putting a wheel over the edge of that ravine. Or parking space, as it might more probably be. The funky external 3D views are a great party piece, too.

Ok, fine. What about petrol engines – anyone buy a Tiguan with one of those?

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

Only about 5% of previous customers, something we can’t see this particular engine starting to change. Remarkably,Volkswagen has managed to make the 2.0-litre TSI sound more like a diesel than the 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI Bluemotion, while the 187bhp variant of that derv-churning four-pot is blessed with considerably more torque as well as more power. So if you want a punchy semi-premium Chelsea chariot, it might be worth waiting for that to open for ordering

Engine aside, what’s the new Tiguan like to drive?

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

We’d avoid the optional 20-inch wheels. They’re a strangely massive choice for an off-road model, and combined with all-terrain tyres they do rather dart around on anything but the smoothest surfaces. 18s are fine, by comparison. Which is kind of bonkers, when you think about it.

The steering is nicely progressive with no nasty surprises, and very much reminiscent in feel of a Golf or Passat – well weighted, precise but hardly a joy for your fingertips. Surprise, surprise. We didn’t get to try any variant of newTiguan on the standard suspension, but VW has upped its game when it comes to the adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control system, which now has much greater variance between settings.

Put it in Sport and it feels like someone’s accidentally fitted the dampers from a GTI. This might make sense if anything about the handling really made you feel like you wanted to throw it through corners. But it doesn’t. So sit back, relax and set it to Normal or the now quite floaty Comfort instead. VW’s DSG dual-clutch transmission is starting to feel a touch abrupt in comparison to some smoother rival units, but is keenly responsive in this application.

Anything to report about the inside?

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan

There’s been an air vent cull – which means just the normal number for Tiguan 2. You can optionally add the all-digital instrument display from the Passat (and various Audis), offering six different viewing modes once you figure out the steering wheel button combination to access them.

And some of the buttons surrounding the infotainment system now have multi-press functionality, accessing additional menu levels; in this way we were amused to discover that the Tiguan now comes with a lap timer. Because you never know.

VW has raised the seating position to give you a more commanding view. The new Tiguan certainly isn’t short of space inside, either – for passengers and luggage, with both the boot and rear legroom being better than before. Qualityis generally solid, but there are some unexpectedly cheaper-feeling plastics in places.

Verdict

Pulse quickened? No. But perhaps that’s the point. The new Tiguan improves the driving experience and the user experience without courting any kind of controversy – nailing the Volkswagen brand brief to a tee.

It’s pricey, though, and this is a fiercely fought sector, so we certainly wouldn’t treat this as the default choice when carslike the Kadjar, Kuga and CX-5 are so strong.

Article courtesy of: http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/volkswagen/volkswagen-tiguan-20-tsi-180-outdoor-2016-review/?

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Review – Pavement-Bound Off-Roader

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Low Angle Front 3/4, Image: © 2016 Kamil Kaluski/The Truth About Cars

When a concept car is introduced at a major auto show, it provides a glimpse into the future of an automaker’s next model. Some concepts are really cool. Some are not. Most never make it into production. A few do. The Baja Bug-inspired VW New Beetle DuneConcept was unveiled at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show. It was an off-road-ready New Beetle powered by a 2.3-liter VR5 that sent its power to all four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.

More than a decade later, a similar, but water-downed, Beetle Dune Concept was shown at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. That car was raised two inches, had a 210 horsepower engine, a cool ski rack, but was front wheel drive. That concept car finally made it into production this year with relatively minor changes — but should it have?

 

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Rear 3/4, Image: © 2016 Kamil Kaluski/The Truth About Cars

What makes the production Beetle Dune different?

Its suspension is raised half an inch and the track is half an inch wider. The Dune supplements that with a special Sandstorm Yellow color, stickers, bigger fog lights, and a special grille. Black wheel-arch extensions are supposed to add a rugged looks, and the silver side sills are a throwback to the running boards on the original Beetle. At rear, a whaletail-like spoiler is added, perhaps to improve stability and enhance downforce, but the cool ski rack unsurprisingly did not make it to production. Pure White and Deep Black Pearl colors are also available.

The theme continues inside with more Sandstorm Yellow trim and a badge. The cloth manual seats are supportive and allow easy access to the rear bench. The Dune comes standard with the new MIB II infotainment system. There’s no navigation available in the Dune, but there is an audio system capable of playing tunes via CD, aux input, USB port, and satellite radio. If that is not enough, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink apps allow easy smartphone connectivity. The 6.3-inch touchscreen also works with the backup camera and beep-beep parking sensors.

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Interior, Image: © 2016 Kamil Kaluski/The Truth About Cars

 

That jacked-up suspension and wider track do wonders for looks of many cars and 4x4s, as it gives them a purposeful rally or expedition stance, both of which were applied to the 4Runner TRD Pro, for instance. Dark trim and big fog lights have turned Subaru around from a dying carmaker to an SUV-selling champ. In modern CUV-loving days, numerous other examples exist of added off-road trim turning a conventional vehicle into a huge sales success.

Yet, somehow, it just doesn’t work on the Beetle.

Perhaps it’s due to the fact that this exercise is applied to a vehicle already trying too hard to be cool. Perhaps it’s because most automakers at least attempt to follow-up this stance costume with some all-wheel-drive hardware. But not the Beetle Dune. There is not even a button with a snowflake on it that would enable some kind of a magical snow-belt driving mode. Nothing.

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Collage, Image: © 2016 Kamil Kaluski/The Truth About Cars

 

The Beetle Dune remains front-wheel drive and otherwise mechanically identical to the Beetle 1.8T. The turbo four-cylinder engine makes 170 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque sent to a six-speed automatic transmission. VW decided not to offer the Beetle R-Line 2.0T engine or their fantastic DSG transmission, both of which were present on the 2014 concept car. Likewise, while bigger at 235/45-18, the tires are R-rated all-seasons. This further limits any kind dirt or snow road venturing that any extreme sport-loving outdoorsy dude with a flat-brim hat may attempt.

On the street, the Dune actually drives fine. The suspension does a great job of absorbing road irregularities, providing for a smooth ride. Despite the raised suspension, body roll is minimal, and the car feels very planted. The 1.8T engine makes good power at low engine speeds and pulls this Bug with ease. The automatic transmission shifts quickly and when in sport mode could be mistaken for a DCT. Even though the steering rack feels a bit slow with 3.1 turns lock-to-lock, the Dune is not a boring car to drive.

But here is the Dune’s second problem: the base Beetle does all those driving things better. Some years ago, I reviewed a Beetle TDI (R.I.P.) and it was genuinely fun to drive. But the Dune, due to its suspension changes, bigger wheels, and an additional 80 pounds of trim, marginally loses out to the base Beetle in the fun-to-drive quotient.

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Collage, Image: © 2016 Kamil Kaluski/The Truth About Cars

 

To gather more opinions of the Beetle Dune, I attended a local Cars and Coffee where the Dune intrigued many; some looked closer, few took pictures, and two kids asked to sit in it. When I told them that it had a 395 hp Golf R400 engine and all-wheel drive, they were blown away. In a highly unscientific study on Facebook, the majority of my friends either hated it or were neutral toward the Dune. Roughly half of those that were neutral said that they would like it a lot more with more lift and all-wheel drive, resulting in something similar to a two-door Subaru Crosstrek, or — you know — the actual Beetle Dune Concept car.

The Volkswagen Beetle Dune starts at $23,995. The attention grabbing Sandstorm Yellow Metallic paint is $250. With destination charge, this Beetle Dune came to $25,065, or roughly two grand more that a similarly equipped Beetle 1.8T SE. The only realistic competitor to the Dune seems to be the slow-selling Mini Paceman, which is less expensive in its most basic form but skyrockets from there.

The concept car from 2000 was rather inspirational. It showed that VW could think outside the box, that it was trying to appeal to younger buyers, and that it was willing to take changes. Sixteen years later, the production Dune has a problem: it’s all show, it lacks creativity, it’s trying to highlight a dud, and the young people know it.

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Side, Image: © 2016 Kamil Kaluski/The Truth About Cars

But there’s some good news … the Beetle Dune will soon be available as a convertible!

[Images: © 2016 Kamil Kaluski/The Truth About Cars]

Article courtesy: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/05/2016-volkswagen-beetle-dune-review-pavement-bound-off-roader/?

 

Volkswagen Vento open for booking – facelifted Polo Sedan gets 1.2 TSI, 7-speed DSG, ESP; RM80k-90k est

Volkswagen Group Malaysia (VGM) has announced that the facelifted version of the Polo Sedan, now renamed the Volkswagen Vento, is now open for booking. To be made available in Trendline, Comfortline and Highline variants, the revised B-segment sedan is expected to be priced between RM80k-RM90k.

Exterior changes include a larger grille with three chrome slats, a redesigned front bumper, rectangular fog lights, new tail light graphics, a reprofiled rear bumper and chrome highlights on the bumpers and bootlid. These revisions give the Vento a markedly different look compared to the Polo hatch.

A teaser image that accompanied the announcement also show the twin round beam headlights that were used on the initial CBU Polo Sedan and 1.2 TSI hatch, replacing the simpler rectangular units introduced on the previous CKD models.

Inside, the changes are more minor, limited to a Mk7 Golf-style flat-bottomed steering wheel (with phone controls on the right spoke), a silver finish for the centre console and new fabric seat upholstery. The new wheel was introduced on the updated Polo Sedan last year.

The biggest news is under the bonnet – the Highline variant will get a 1.2 litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 105 PS and 175 Nm, mated to a seven-speed DSG dual clutch transmission. No mention of the engine and gearbox combo being available on the other variants, so expect these to soldier on with the current 105 PS/153 Nm 1.6 litre MPI naturally-aspirated mill and six-speed auto.

Also new on the Highline model is ESP stability control, finally entitling the sedan to a five-star ASEAN NCAP safety rating. The active safety net joins the existing four airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist and ISOFIX child seat anchors.

Article courtesy of: http://paultan.org/2016/05/09/volkswagen-vento-open-for-booking-rm80k-90k-est/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Paultanorg+%28paultan.org+-+The+Automotive+Industry%3A+Cars%2C+News%2CTechnology%2C+Test+Drive+Reports%29

Volkswagen Chattanooga Builds First Midsize SUV Test Body

Volkswagen Chattanooga has reached an early production milestone with the completion of the first assembled metal test body for the upcoming Midsize SUV.
 
The production of the first assembled metal test body is an early step towards the full production of the Chattanooga-made Midsize SUV, scheduled to begin production late this year and hit the market in 2017. The first test body build is for the purposes of
checking the calibration of body shop equipment and processes. The body is then passed on for further testing and development.
 
This milestone was commemorated with a group photograph that included management and body shop team members who contributed to its production.
VW Midsize SUV

The First-Ever V6 Volkswagen Amarok Looks Like A Perfect Rugged Euro-Truck

The First-Ever V6 Volkswagen Amarok Looks Like A Perfect Rugged Euro-Truck

For the first time ever, the Volkswagen Amarok will be available with a 3.0-liter V6 TDI producing 220 horsepower and 405 pound feet at 1,500 RPM. In Europe, of course.

Isn’t this a truck that could do so well in America as well? Volkswagen doesn’t think so, because while they will flood the U.S. market with a wide range of SUVs and crossovers in the next five years, the Amarok is not part of that army.

In Europe, the 3.0 V6 will be available in three tunes ranging from 160hp to 220hp, linked to three different drive systems, including a rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive variant with a six-speed manual, and a permanent all-wheel drive model with a Torsen differential linked to an 8-speed automatic.

With this gearbox, VW claims a combined fuel consumption of 7.6 liters/100 km (an equivalent of 31 not EPA-rated mpg), while the most powerful Amarok V6’s maximum towing capacity is rated at 3.5 tonnes (3.92 US tons).

The First-Ever V6 Volkswagen Amarok Looks Like A Perfect Rugged Euro-Truck
3.0 TDI. Photo credit: Volkswagen
The First-Ever V6 Volkswagen Amarok Looks Like A Perfect Rugged Euro-Truck

Despite how American buyers might feel about TDI engines following the Dieselgate, Audi is still planning to bring its V8 TDI to the States, hidden in the most powerful SQ7 ever.

Article courtesy of: http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/the-first-ever-v6-volkswagen-amarok-looks-like-a-perfec-1774208606?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+jalopnik%2Ffull+%28Jalopnik%29