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New Upholstery Blossoms

The back seat of Cliff Leppke's 1964 Beetle, a Bahama Blue model that got a return to its original hue.

 

CLIFF LEPPKE'S CYBER SEAT

VW Says It Will Revive Scout SUVs and Trucks

Automotive News reports Volkswagen’s German officials confirmed it will launch a U.S.-based Scout subbrand, a rugged electric Pickup and SUV based on a new EV platform.  Scout will be a separate unit or brand with independent management.  It’s not certain, at this moment, who will sell the Scout—even VW’s U.S. dealers weren’t aware of the Scout’s comeback until last week.

VW acquired the Scout name when it bought, via its Traton truck unit, heavy-truck Navistar in 2020.  VW plans to show its first prototypes next year and start production in 2026.  VW plans to strengthen its position in the U.S. market where trucks rule.

International Harvester, the forerunner of Navistar, built a line of Scout utility vehicles from late 1960 through 1980.  No word yet if VW will re-introduce the IH’s larger Travelall, which competed with the Chevy Suburban.  

CLIFF LEPPKE'S VW REVIEWS

2022 VW Taos SE: An Enchanting Compact Crossover

2022 VW Taos SE:  Enchanting Economy-Size

VW’s Taos is 9.3 inches shorter than our Tiguan, making it just a skosh shorter than Toyota’s RAV4.  The Tao’s people-sitting area, however, is roomier than the RAV4’s. Tao’s cargo bay, alas, is smaller.  Thus, the Taos is a “small” compact with a “big” compact’s interior.

Bigger than Pint Size

It’s a stretch, however, for VW to present its Taos as having the panache of New Mexico’s artsy enclave.  But if one must live in a dot on VW’s atlas (or Atlas), near Hyundai’s Santa Fe and Tucson, why not borrow yet another Southwestern destination nameplate?  It’s certainly less troublesome than Tiny Touareg.

The FWD Taos’ virtues are decent fuel mileage and front/rear seating.  You sit atop suede/mesh swathed thrones with contrasting stitching.  This seems peachy, as there’s plenty of legroom front and rear.  Add a comfortable ride and you’ve got VW’s answer for those seeking a Golf-like wagon.

Inside, the Taos’ plastic-shell dash pad screams cheap.  It’s not a total loss; VW wrapped the heated D-shaped steering wheel in leatherette, covered the A pillars in cloth, hemmed the headliner and lent an upscale click to the dashboard’s switchgear.  VW incorporated the shifter’s lighted quadrant into the shift knob.  The center front armrest is too small and too short for elbow support.  The easy-fold split rear seat with pass through, face vents and USB-C ports.

Press the start button and VW’s 158-hp 1.5-liter turbo EA211 engine lights up.  This alloy-block mill has efficiency tricks:  low-friction cylinder liners, a “B” cycle engine induction scheme and variable-vane turbocharger.  My tester had a sudsy eight-speed automatic transmission.  I saw 37 mpg highway, 29 mpg overall using regular fuel.  The EPA’s numbers:  28-mpg city, 36 highway and 31 combined.

Ride and Handling

VW tuned this rig for comfort.  Ingress and egress are easy.  You’ll notice body roll.  Noise is well suppressed although some road textures intrude.  Steering is light but accurate.

The SE in red-over-black Cloud Tex and cloth interior lists for $28,440.  Add $1,200 for panoramic sunroof, $895 for IQ.Drive with semi-automated driving extras including adaptive cruise control with start/stop, Lane Assist and Active Blind Spot Monitor.  Add $395 for 18-inch black alloy wheels.  The bottom line is $31,325.

The FWD Taos price/equipment proposition is an enigma, though.  It’s like reserving a room at the El Monte Sagrado luxury resort and not getting the whole enchilada.  The view’s great but you must pay extra for full driver-assist peace and tranquility.

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.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Jun 03 , 2022
3rd Annual VW Campout
Kirk at bugstuff98@aol.com
Lowden State Park, 1411 N. River Rd. Just North of Oregon, IL


Jun 10 , 2022
Michigan Vintage Festival Weekend
Dan: [dan.pierce@mail.com] or Wayne: [wburling@gmail.com]
Frankenmuth, MI


Jun 11 , 2022
NIVA Fix-It Day - Mundelein, IL
Chris, Karpenko7178@ProtonMail.com
Mundelein, IL


Jun 17 , 2022
Funfest for Air-Cooled Volkswagens - 2022

Mid America Motorworks 17082 N. US 45 Effingham, Illinois


Jun 18 , 2022
Annual VWCA Membership Meeting
E-mail: vwclub@aol.com
Elk Grove Village, IL


Jun 26 , 2022
NIVA Bugfest IS BACK!

Fox Valley Volkswagen, 4050 E. Main Street Saint Charles, Illinois


Jul 03 , 2022
Bartlett (IL) Independence Day Parade
Kirk Schulz 630-837-7887 Firebugman@aol.com
Bartlett, Illinois


Aug 16 , 2022
Kooler By The Lake
Jason 'Miles' Axlerod: info@koolerbythelake.org or 847-886-2738
Kennedy Park, Kenosha, WI


Aug 21 , 2022
Bi-State VW Club's 27th Annual Show & Shine Picnic

Hampton, Illinois


Aug 27 , 2022
NIVA SuperDawg Invasion
www.niva_club.org
SuperDawg Drive-In, 333 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, IL


Sep 02 , 2022
Buses Nowhere Near the Arch #36 Annual Campout
Bill Bowman: bill@bnnta.com
Hannibal, MO


Sep 11 , 2022
33rd Annual Vintage Picnic - Rockford, IL

Alpine Park Rockford, Illinois


Sep 25 , 2022
NIVA's VW-Fest 2022
www.nivaclub.org
Volkswagen of Crystal Lake 5213 W. Northwest Hwy. (Ill. Rte. 14) Crystal Lake, IL