Partnership Aims to Create EV Charging 'Corridors'

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In a bid to try to mitigate range anxiety as a reason for consumer avoidance of electric vehicles, BMW and Volkswagen have announced that they're teaming up with EV charging station network provider ChargePoint to create new charging "corridors" along both the East and West coasts.

Related: More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

The goal is to have 100 DC Fast chargers installed in and between major metropolitan areas on both coasts. One section will encompass the Interstate 95 corridor between Boston and Washington, D.C., while the other connects the areas of Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. The goal is to space these chargers about 50 miles apart, or the average usable range of current EVs at highway speeds. Each station will consist of up to two 50- or 24-kilowatt 480-volt DC Fast chargers, as well as several Level 2 240-volt chargers. Users will access the charging stations via a ChargePoint membership, which allows them to scan a card and plug in.

By Aaron Bragman | January 23, 2015 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: Nearly 38,000 Volkswagen Cars

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Vehicles Affected: Volkswagen is recalling some model-year 2014-15 Jetta sedans manufactured March 28 to Nov. 24, 2014, model-year 2014-15 Passat sedans manufactured April 7 to Nov. 18, 2014, model-year 2014-15 Beetle coupes and convertibles manufactured March 31 to Nov. 27, 2014, and model-year 2015 Golf and GTI hatchbacks manufactured July 1 to Nov. 20, 2014.

The Problem: A sealing cap at the fuel rail could fail, allowing fuel to leak into the engine compartment. In the presence of an ignition source, a leak can result in a fire.

The Fix: Volkswagen will replace the fuel rails with new parts for free.

What Owners Should Do: VW hasn’t yet provided an owner notification schedule. Owners can call Volkswagen at 800-893-5298 and reference recall number 24Bi, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236 or go to www.safercar.gov for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Newman | December 31, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Volkswagen Golf Real-World Cargo Space

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Volkswagen's redesigned 2015 Golf is perhaps one of the best surprises of the year thanks to its luxury-car-like refinement and increased versatility. The Vee-dub's new shape is an important part of its great usability for 2015 with cargo capacity up by approximately 8 percent compared to the outgoing Golf. Plus, the load floor is 0.7 inches lower and the cargo opening is 1.9 inches wider.

Related: 2015 Volkswagen Golf, Golf TDI: First Drive

"It's sometimes easy to forget that the Golf is one of the longest-running hatchbacks in the industry, and it remains extremely practical. The cargo area is 22.8 cubic feet with the seats in place to the top of the seats and has 52.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space. The seats fold down with a pull of a lever near the headrest in a 60/40-split configuration and lie flat without any other adjustments," Cars.com reviewer David Thomas says in his First Drive.

See how well common cargo items fit inside the new Golf's cargo area, below.

By Joe Bruzek | December 4, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Volkswagen Golf, GTI: Car Seat Check

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Both the Volkswagen Golf and its performance variant, the GTI, entered their seventh generation with 2015 redesigns. The cars haven't exactly set sales records ablaze in the past, though a reduced starting price for the Golf, a win for the GTI in Cars.com's $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge and a Top Safety Pick Plus award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety should at least spark some interest among car shoppers not already carrying a torch for the five-seat hatchbacks. Another selling point — for families with small children — should be the Golf's and GTI's accommodation of child-safety seats. Much like in 2012, when we tested the Golf R, the cars earned high marks in our tests. Check out the Car Seat Check below for more.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | November 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept Photo Gallery (21 Photos)

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The Volkswagen Golf R 400 concept debuting this week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show is part track toy, part tribute to the German automaker's racing history. As such, the hot hatch's exterior design drives the point home quickly. The body is widened, and bumper and rear fenders flared for maximum aggressiveness. Further flourishes include 19-inch wheels, a wraparound carbon-fiber splitter on the lower side, a rear roof spoiler and abounding glossy black carbon and faux-carbon-fiber trim along with LED accents.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The track theme extends to the interior, with sport bucket seats embroidered with "R" badging, glossy carbon and yellow contrast stitching, and white ambient lighting around the door accents and stainless-steel doorsill plates. Oh, and lest you think it's all for show, under the hood is a 394-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that rockets the R 400 from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds.

Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | November 23, 2014 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen Prices 2015 Golf R

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Volkswagen today announced pricing for the latest addition to its sporty hatchback lineup, the 2015 Golf R. The Golf R will arrive in dealerships early next year, initially available only as a four-door and with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Prices start at $37,415 for the base Golf R and $39,910 for the technology-loaded DCC and Nav trim; both prices include an $820 destination charge.

Related: Volkswagen Golf R: Up Close

VW says the all-wheel-drive Golf R is the fastest and most powerful Golf ever to hit the U.S. market. The 292 horsepower from the R's 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder represents a 14 percent power boost over the previous version, while torque is up 15 percent from the outgoing car's 243 pounds-feet. But those gains don't come at the expense of fuel economy; VW says the new R gets 30 mpg with the dual-clutch automatic compared with its manual predecessor's 27 mpg. Meanwhile, its zero-to-60 mph sprint improves by nearly 1.7 seconds to 4.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 155 mph.

By Matt Schmitz | November 19, 2014 | Comments (3)

Volkswagen Golf R Variant: First Look

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Competes with: Ford Fiesta ST, Nissan Juke, Hyundai Veloster
Looks like: An amped up grocery-getter
Drivetrain: A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission making 296 horsepower and 280 pounds-feet of torque
Hits dealerships: Spring 2015 for Europe; U.S.-market release is unspecified

We recently said goodbye to Volkswagen's Jetta SportWagen and hello to the 2015 Golf SportWagen; Volkswagen unveiled a sporty variant of the compact wagon at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Don't be fooled by its mild-mannered appearance. The Volkswagen Golf R Variant compact wagon may look all Clark Kent on the outside, but it's wearing its red-and-blue Underoos beneath.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

Volkswagen is positioning the Golf R Variant as "one of the sportiest compact all-arounders," able to accommodate a family of five one moment and then take a few turns around the track the next.

By Matt Schmitz | November 18, 2014 | Comments (1)

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept: First Look

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Looks like: A Volkswagen Golf R that came back from summer break between junior high and high school rocking a more athletic build and edgier fashions for freshman year
Defining characteristics: Sharper edges, defining creases and a squared-off shape on the outside; race-ready appointments on the inside; amped-up engine under the hood
Ridiculous features: Bolstered-and-badged sport seats with supersized head restraints resembling a sad space invader
Chance of being mass-produced: Seems pretty esoteric, most fitting as a tribute to VW's racing history

Attention race fans and hot-hatch enthusiasts: Volkswagen has taken its performance-focused compact hatchback, the Golf R, and tricked it out for the track. Following its global debut earlier this year at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show, the rally-sport-themed Golf R 400 concept will make its first North American pit stop next week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. The concept car's purpose is to pay tribute to VW's racing history.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

According to the automaker, the Golf R 400's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine gets a hefty 100-plus-horsepower boost to 394 hp compared with the regular R's 292 hp, which VW says is delivered at roughly 200 hp per liter — on par with the output of a supercar. That's in addition to a torque increase from 332 pounds-feet from 280 pounds-feet. Power to the all-wheel-drive system is channeled through a six-speed manual transmission for a zero-to-62-mph sprint of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 174 mph. Two driver-selectable modes include ESC Sport for "spirited driving" and Race mode for "high-speed track driving."

By Matt Schmitz | November 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Mini Cooper S Versus 2015 Volkswagen GTI

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In our recent $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge the Volkswagen GTI bested a field of eight contenders to take the win. However, the redesigned Mini Cooper was not part of that test. Things don't always work out the way you want, but getting a new Cooper S with a manual transmission at the same time as a new GTI with a manual transmission seemed like karma telling us we needed to go driving. OK, maybe it was just a really good excuse to get out of the office.

Related: $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge

Both cars were similarly equipped to the gills with sticker prices totaling more than $33,000 including destination — not exactly "cheap." When all was said and done after a Chicago-area drive route traversing city, suburban and highway roads, the face-off was ridiculously close with the final scoring decided by one point overall.

By David Thomas | October 29, 2014 | Comments (14)

Unexpected Family Car: 2015 Volkswagen Golf

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When my husband and I became parents, we embraced our new roles with enthusiasm - except when it came to what it might mean for us out on the road. No disrespect, but we just aren't the minivan types and we both enjoy smaller cars with a little more pizazz than your average family crossover. But it didn't take long for us to realize how much a car seems to shrink with a rear-facing car seat in the backseat and a stroller in the trunk. We chose the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta as our family car, which had the largest backseat and cargo area in its class at the time. Now life's become a little simpler with a preschooler, and Mama's thinking about a new car.

Related: 2015 Volkswagen Golf, Golf TDI: First Drive

The timing was right for my family to test the 2015 Volkswagen Golf. I had some concerns about this stylish compact hatchback, but we were off to a great start with its family-friendly lower Latch anchors. The Golf's anchors are covered by plastic doors that flip up to reveal the anchor. No digging, no sweating to install my daughter's car seat; we were off and running.

By Carrie Kim | September 26, 2014 | Comments (5)

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