FIRE DRILL; Classic Ghia survives a close call

John Godwin poses in his garage with his newly painted Karmann Ghia, which figuratively has traveled a long strange road after a fire in 2019.



VWoA Reports First Quarter 2021 Sales Surge

VW says it sold 90,853 units during Q1 2021, its best since 2013.  Last year’s number was 75,075.  Sorry, none of them “Voltswagens.”  It moved 474 of its battery-electric vehicles known as the ID.4, however.

Volk’s best sellers:  Atlas Family (30,520, +98%), Tiguan (27,265, +23%) and Jetta (22,714, +6.2).

While VW’s car deliveries skidded (-13%), its SUV sales increased 55%.  SUVs comprise 64% of the brand’s U.S. sales—a new record.


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.

Deep 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.


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.



May 22 , 2021
Dog-N-Suds Cruise Night
Dog-N-Suds Drive-In, 454 Center St., Grayslake, IL

Jun 12 , 2021
The 2021 Michigan Vintage Volkswagen Festival Weekend
Ypsilanti, MI - Watch for COVID-related updates.

Aug 28 , 2021
NIVA SuperDawg Invasion
SuperDawg Drive-In, 333 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, IL