AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Recapping the most watched videos from AutoGuide‘s YouTube channel this week, here’s a chance to catch up on what everyone else is talking about. This past week, AutoGuide was on hand for the official unveiling of the all-new, 2014 Toyota Corolla. Check out what the Japanese automaker has done to its entry-level, popular sedan.
Bland Like Unsalted Popcorn
Are you self-conscious? Don’t like to stand out in a crowd? Would you rather blend into the background than be the center of attention? Well, when it comes to the automotive world, you are in luck. Some vehicles seem to have skipped class when it came time for their styling lesson. This is not to say they are ugly, but more that they lack any style whatsoever.
We’ve all heard the clichés to describe these anonymously styled cars; plain vanilla, beige, white bread, etc. We like to think of them as stylistically-challenged. Regardless, if you don’t want to draw any undue attention towards yourself, here are ten vehicles that are guaranteed to blend into the landscape.
10. Acura TSX - 34.3%
How do you get Generation Y interested in cars? To answer that question perhaps the best move is to take a look at what cars they do already like.
Thanks to new stats provided by J.D. Power and Associates we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 cars with the highest percentage of buyers aged of 16 to 35 in 2012. And if there is one common theme, it’s that Generation Y isn’t big on domestics, with just one vehicle from the Big 3 making the list.
Kicking off the top 10 list is the Acura TSX, where 34.3 percent of its buyers were between the ages of 16 to 35. The entry-level sedan offers luxury amenities at a budget price, while providing owners with the reliability and comfort that Acura is known for. The Acura TSX had an average MSRP (the average price across all trim levels) of $32,251 last year.
Back Seat Space
A couple weeks ago our Top 10 target was the large-sedan segment. We looked at a diverse lineup of full-figured four doors, comparing them based on their theoretical maximum range. We multiplied the number of gallons in their respective fuel tanks by each of their highway economy ratings.
Against all expectations the Volkswagen Passat TDI drove away with top honors, and it did so by a wide margin. It wasn’t just the comparison’s valedictorian; it skipped two grades took all AP classes and still wound up with a GPA of 4.2. This diesel-powered “People’s Car” can devour nearly 800 miles on a single tank!
On the other hand, today’s big idea is small. We’re examining cars at the opposite end of the spectrum, specifically C-Segment sedans. We’re comparing a crowd of popular compacts based on, wait for it… rear-seat legroom! Which popularly priced car offers the most-spacious back bench? Which one will give an agoraphobic night terrors? Click ahead for all the details you can stomach.
Earlier, we detailed Volkswagen‘s changes to its 2013 lineup which included the addition of the 2013 Jetta Hybrid. And just like that, it’s old news as Rainer Michel, Vice President of Product Marketing and Strategy at Volkswagen of America, spilled some details on what the 2014 Jetta will be equipped with.
The Volkswagen Jetta will see a new top-of-the-line trim level called the SEL Plus later this year, though the more exciting news is that Volkswagen plans to replace its 2.5-liter inline-four with a 1.8-liter turbo-four next year.
The new high-end SEL Plus trim will see softer-touch materials in the interior, and like the GLI model, the American counterpart will more closely resemble all the upgrades and refinements seen in the European version, including electric power steering.
Volkswagen is recalling 168,000 diesel engine vehicles produced from 2009-2012 over a possible leak from the fuel injectors that could start a fire.
The vehicles in question are Volkswagen Jetta, Jetta SportWagen and Golf models as well as the Audi A3 TDI. 161,144 VWs and 7,131 Audis are involved in the recall, while no injuries or accidents have been reported so far. Volkswagen says that about 20 percent of the vehicles in question have fuel injector lines that could be potentially faulty. The company will begin notifying dealers and owners in November.
[Source: The Detroit News]
In a country where people can sue restaurants over coffee being too hot, the latest recall for the 2011-2012 Volkswagen Jetta is dubious, but legally sound.
According to NHTSA, some vehicles built between March 18, 2010, and Aug. 22, 2011 had a stainless steel exhaust tip installed at the port. The exhaust tip may stick out past the standard muffler’s length, and can burn someone’s leg if they get too hot.
Anyone affected by the recall can contact Volkswagen at 800-822-8987 or NHTSA’s vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236. The recall is expected to begin in November.
The results for the most successful cars of 2011 so far are in. Automotive data and marketing solutions company Polk has calculated the results from the first six months of 2011 new vehicle registrations and have come up with the top picks for non-premium and premium models.
These results look at model-level performance and determine which ones are doing well so far this year. It’s also important to note that the March Japanese earthquake/tsunamis have had an impact on these results, and the inventory shortages for Toyota and Honda caused by the disaster have impacted the June 2011 CYTD (Calendar Year To Date) retail results for these brands.
Here’s a list of the winners so far, along with the June 2011 CYTD year-over-year improvements in new retail registrations.
1. Hyundai Sonata (+32%)
2. Volkswagen Jetta (+69%)
3. Ford Fiesta (not on sale in 2010)
4. Chevrolet Cruze/Cobalt (+178%)
5. Jeep Grand Cherokee (+170%)
Other non-premium models that performed well in the first half of 2011 include the Optima, Regal, 200/Sebring, Durango, Elantra and Equinox.
1. Cadillac CTS (+54%)
2. BMW 5-Series (+56%)
3. Jaguar XJ (+273%)
4. Porsche Cayenne (+178%)
5. BMW X3 (+276%)
An honorable mention goes out to the Volvo S60, another premium model that has performed well in 2011.
The Mustangs in question are those from the 2011 and 2012 model year equipped with a manual transmission, with reports from owners stating an inability to shift into gears while merging into high speed traffic or while turning left across oncoming traffic. A total of 32 complaints have gone through NHTSA on the Mustang.
On the Volkswagen Jettas equipped with TDI, seven complaints have been filed alleging a leak from the fuel line to the fuel injector. NHTSA has also received one complaint from a VW Golf equipped with the 2.0L TDI. Incidents are being reported between 2,470 to 7,764 miles and could impact 40,000 Jetta TDI vehicles.
Both of these cases may or may not result in recalls.
[Source: Detroit News]
We often take our own personal safety for granted, but in Mexico, the situation is quite different to say the least. While full-size SUVs are generally the vehicle of choice when armoring comes in to play, they’re not always the most discrete, and Volkswagen is cognizant of this.
For about $70,000, Volkswagen will sell you a previous generation Jetta (known as the Bora) with factory installed armoring that can stop small caliber rounds from entering the car. Although it uses the same 2.0T engine and DSG gearbox, the car is much more discrete than the GLI performance model, and with the extra weight, a good deal slower as well. Then again, staying alive, rather than having fun behind the wheel, is the point of this car, and the 2.0T motor is there out of necessity.
The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta just got a lower base price, but it all came at a cost: a lower ranking to boot. Among small sedans, the Jetta came in dead last among its competitors in a Consumer Reports test.
The $15,995 base price meant that VW skimped on minor details such as the interior and suspension, resulting in a laundry list of faults—shoddy handling, lack of cornering grip, cheap interior plastics and finish, a long braking distance, a reluctant transmission, and a 2.5-liter five-cylinder that doesn’t let you forget the $15,995 base price. Consumer Reports put it simply, “a shadow of the agile, well-finished car it once was.”
Some of the other cars tested were the equally-new Chevrolet Cruze and Hyundai Elantra: the Cruze received a midpack Very Good rating, while the Elantra was the overall winner with CR’s official recommendation.
Read AutoGuide’s 2011 Volkswagen Jetta review here
With its target of 800,000 sales still firmly in mind, Volkswagen is taking its next step towards achieving their goal, and the company is looking to their dealers for help, as they continue to roll out all new vehicles designed with American consumers in mind.
With the new Passat and Beetle set to be launched by year’s end, Volkswagen’s CEO, Jonathan Browning, is focusing on the dealer network as a means of helping boost sales. Browning noted in an interview with Ward’s Auto that the existing dealer network was capable of handling as many as 500,000 sales per year, but said that more franchises will be needed and “radical change” will be implemented. After all, the brand’s peak sales of 582,000 cars came in 1970.
Browning declined to elaborate on the exact number of dealers that needed to come into the fold, or the exact changes he was looking for, but noted that Volkswagen’s internal projections did not anticipate “pre-crisis” sales levels. On the product front, Browning said that diesels, which account for some 20 percent of VW sales, will be expanded through other product lines, but not every vehicle will be offered with that option. A 7-seater vehicle is also in the cards, and could be based off the Bulli concept shown at this years Geneva Auto Show, or the Touraeg SUV.
[Source: Wards Auto]
Volkswagen is recalling 71,403 2011 Jetta models due to a problem with the vehicle’s wiring. The issue affects the vehicle’s horn and anti-theft system, and Volkswagen said no injuries have been reported.
Owners can check their vehicles build date to see if it falls within the specified range (March 2010 to March 2011) by checking the sticker on the driver’s side doorjamb. Jetta owners can call VW at 800-822-8987 or NHTSA at 888-327-4236. No timeframe has been announced for the recall.