2015 Volkswagen Golf, GTI: Car Seat Check

2015VolkswagenGolf

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)

VolkswagenGolfR400Concept

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 Debuts Fuel-Cell Concept Car at 2014 L.A. Auto Show

Golf_sportwagen_hymotion_4417

Fuel-cell vehicles have recaptured the alternative-fuel spotlight from electric and plug-in hybrids of late, and Volkswagen is the latest automaker to show its vision for a fuel-cell car with the debut of the Golf SportWagen HyMotion concept at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

It's a vision that may look very familiar to you, as the Golf SportWagen HyMotion is based on the new Golf SportWagen production car and has very few styling differences. It's a significantly different approach than Toyota is taking with its futuristic-looking Mirai fuel-cell car, which goes on sale in California late next year, but Volkswagen says its strategy is to put alternative-fuel drivetrains in high-volume models like the Golf family.

In this case, the alternative-fuel drivetrain is a fuel-cell system engineered by Volkswagen. The fuel cell combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity that drives an electric motor. The electric motor is related to the one in Volkswagen's all-electric e-Golf production car, and four carbon-fiber hydrogen tanks located in the floor of the car give the Golf SportWagen HyMotion an estimated range of 310 miles and a refueling time of about three minutes.

By Mike Hanley | November 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen Prices 2015 Golf R

Golf-R-15-1404-Dig

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)

2015 Volkswagen Passat Photo Gallery

2015 Volkswagen Passat

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat finished third in our $27,000 Midsize Sedan Challenge. "The oldest design in this group is still a leader in space and handling," said one of our judges. Check out our Passat photo gallery below.

Click on any image for a larger version.

Cars.com photos by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | November 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept: First Look

VolkswagenGolfR400Concept

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)

Volkswagen GTI Roadster Concept: First Look

Gti-roadster-concept

Looks like: Video game meets reality

Defining characteristics: Large rear wing, scissor doors, Gran Turismo Red exterior

Ridiculous features: It wears the GTI name, but is anything but in terms of styling

Chance of being mass-produced: Very unlikely since VW says its designers "were able to overlook production constraints like price and production feasibility" to build it

Volkswagen's newest concept isn't quite new — the GTI Roadster was originally created as a computer-generated concept for Sony PlayStation's "Gran Turismo 6" video game, and VW is bringing the car to life next week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The sleek convertible seats two and has a very real powertrain: Its twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 makes 503 horsepower and 413 pounds-feet of torque and is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive. VW says the car sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 192 mph.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 14, 2014 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta, Passat

2015VolkswagenJettaRecall

Vehicles Affected: Nearly 400 model-year 2015 Volkswagen Jetta and Passat sedans manufactured between Sept. 23 and Oct. 9 and equipped with manual front seatback recliners

The Problem: The seatback recliner retaining bracket may not engage correctly, resulting in unexpected movement of the seatback; this could distract the driver, increasing the risk of a crash.

The Fix: Volkswagen began notifying owners in October, and dealers will inspect the assembly of the seatback recliner retaining bracket, correcting it as necessary for free.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call VW at 800-893-5298 or 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 Matt Schmitz | November 14, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Volkswagen GTI Real-World Mileage With the Manual Transmission

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We already put a redesigned Volkswagen GTI through a mileage challenge as part of our recent $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge. It bested the field with its optional six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission during that contest. When a six-speed manual transmission model arrived at Cars.com's Chicago office right around the time of a road trip to Milwaukee it seemed like it would be a good opportunity to see how it compared.

Related: 2014 Mini Cooper S Versus 2015 Volkswagen GTI

EPA ratings for the two transmissions are almost identical. Both are rated at 25 mpg city and 28 mpg combined, but the manual gets slightly better highway ratings at 34 mpg versus 33 mpg highway for the automatic.

By David Thomas | November 13, 2014 | Comments (1)

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