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A LONG ROAD TRAVELED

Hildegard is Robert Beaumont's 1957 Beetle, which was parked for more than 40 years, unable to run. Slowly but surely, he's brought it back to life.

 

CLIFF LEPPKE'S CYBER SEAT

VWoA Reports 2020 Sales, VW Ends e-Golf Production

VW closed 2020 with a modest sales surge—beating overall industry trends likely due to demand for its SUVs.  VW of America says its 2020 U.S. sales were 325,784 (-10%).  While full-year sales were off, VW reports an uptick in deliveries during the fourth quarter and December.  The respective numbers are 94,330 (+11%) and 38,422 (+38%)—the best Q4 since 2014; the best December since 2012.  

VW’s top selling 2020 models were SUVs:  Tiguan (100,687) and Atlas family (87,362).  Jetta sedan sales were 82,662.

e-Golf Production Ends

Dec. 24, 2020:  The e-Golf’s chapter as VW’s first major move into battery electric vehicles ended last month.  The final one built rolled off the assembly line just before Christmas.  Since 2014, VW built 145,561 of them at its Dresden factory.  The e-Golf, despite its modest range, proved an EV favorite in Europe. 

Canceling the e-Golf is a gift of sorts.  It lets VW retool the Dresden facility to build its MEB long-range BEVs such as the ID.3

CLIFF LEPPKE'S VW REVIEWS

2020 VW Tiguan: It’s Loaded Before You Load It

VW says the 2020 Tiguan represents a value proposition.  In other words, it’s loaded.  Standard features include a driver’s assist pack and Car-Net with Wi-Fi.  You can top $40,410, when you pick the SEL Premium R-Line with 20-inch wheels, heated steering wheel, 360-view parking aid, 4-Motion and wireless phone charger.

The Tiguan’s chiseled bod covers a spacious interior.  Handling is responsive but this VW has several quirks.  For instance, VW hides the instrument “rheostat” on the eight-inch infotainment touchscreen where you cannot adjust the Digital Cockpit brightness while moving.  Setting seat heat or steering wheel warmth is confounding.  And, you must poke two steering wheel switches in order to disable lane-keep assist.

There are three USB-A ports, an 1/8-inch audio input, several 12-VDC sockets, two SD card slots, a CD player, plus a flinty ride.

Those exploring the Tiggy’s middle and rear environs confront hard plastics offset by pliable door-card inserts and carpeted bins.  The firm mid and the optional Lilliputian third-row seats are easily reconfigured.

Dip wells flank the stowage bay’s floor.  A retractable cargo cover stores in a cove.  VW illuminates this compartment well.  Operating the cargo cover snags the third-row’s shoulder belts.  My tester’s Easy Open rear lid didn’t work.

A 2.0-liter 184-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine with start/stop sips regular fuel.  It buttons to an eight-speed automatic.  I observed 24 mpg overall.  The EPA says 20-mpg city, 27 highway and 23 combined.

Unfortunately, this mill sometimes gurgles to loudly.  On highway trips, wind, road and engine murmur are subdued.  One bonus:  there’s some road sense.  Brakes are effective and automatic LED headlights lucid.  Acceleration from 60 mph is sluggish.

This Tiguan comes up short as a $40,000 chariot.  There’s a lot to like; it offers driver engagement.  Before you buy, check engine noise and try its user interface.

WHAT IS THE VWCA?

The VWCA (Volkswagen Club of America) is a not-for-profit hobby club for owners and enthusiasts of Volkswagen and Audi automobiles. Founded in 1955, the Club has followed the evolution of Volkswagen from the early air-cooled Beetle to the latest models to roll off the assembly line. We are not owned by, affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen AG or Volkswagen of America, the Importer. The Club is operated and managed solely by volunteer members who contribute their time and energy in pursuit of our motto, "to help Volkswagen and Audi owners enjoy their cars to the fullest." Read about the club's history.

 

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