2022 Volkswagen Golf R Review: Practical Performance — for a Price

volkswagen-golf-r-2-0t-2022-01-blue-compact-exterior-front-angleThe verdict: The redesigned 2022 Volkswagen Golf R hatchback is a refined, entertaining and versatile performance car. Its well-roundedness doesn’t come cheap, however, and some shoppers might not appreciate VW’s newfound love of touch-sensitive controls.

Versus the competition: Competitors like the Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai Veloster N and Subaru WRX STI have racier styling, but none offer the blend of refinement and performance you get with the Golf R.

Last offered in the U.S. for the 2019 model year, the 2022 Golf R is based on the redesigned, eighth-generation Golf platform, which also underpins the 2022 Golf GTI. The regular Golf hatchback is no longer offered in the U.S.

 

The Golf R is offered in one well-equipped trim level with a standard six-speed manual transmission; the lone option is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, which costs $800. Our test car had the manual, and its as-tested price was $44,640 (including a $995 destination charge). In consideration of our December test drive, the car’s standard summer performance tires had been swapped for Pirelli Sottozero 3 winter tires.

Great to Drive

Everything about the Golf R driving experience is light and slick. It steers with a light touch, the clutch pedal depresses easily, and the shifter flicks easily between gears whether you’re shifting up or down. The shifter is on the taller side for a performance car, but it works well nonetheless.

One of the Golf R’s most impressive attributes is how forgiving its standard adaptive suspension is when in the Comfort setting, especially considering its low-profile 35-series tires. Our test car’s winter tires may have helped matters a bit thanks to their soft rubber compound, but the suspension soaks up bumps well. Selecting the car’s Race mode changes the experience by offering a firmer ride, weightier steering and a louder exhaust sound.

 

 
New
 

Comfortable, Minimalist Interior

The Golf R’s cabin has a sleek, minimalist aesthetic that includes many touch-sensitive controls, though not as many as the brand’s all-electric ID.4 compact SUV. The touch controls worked surprisingly well with gloved hands even without touchscreen-compatible material on some fingertips. Still, the touch-sensitive climate-control bar is difficult to use at night because it’s not backlit, and I occasionally hit the wrong steering-wheel control by mistake.

 

 

The standard 10-inch dashboard touchscreen includes controls for the climate system and heated and ventilated front seats, as well as the navigation and multimedia systems. The screen is intuitive, and it was easy to set up wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity. The multimedia system also includes wireless Android Auto.

The rear seat is a bit upright, but overall space for adult passengers is adequate. The outboard rear seats have seat heaters, and the 60/40-split backrest folds nearly flat with the cargo floor. There’s a center pass-through to the cargo area, and the Golf R has 19.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the backseat up and 34.5 cubic feet with it down, according to Volkswagen’s measurements. (We didn’t get the opportunity to apply Cars.com’s methods to this vehicle.)

Safety and Driver-Assist Features

As of publication, the Golf R hadn’t been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Standard active-safety features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, lane-keeping assist, rear automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights and Travel Assist, the latter of which works from 0-95 mph and uses the lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control systems to center the car in its lane and manage vehicle speed.

Should You Buy the Golf R?

If you need one car to do it all — carry people, carry stuff and take on a winding back road — the Golf R could very well be that car. It’s rewarding to drive and has a measure of practicality you won’t find in many high-performance cars. However, the R’s price premium over a Golf GTI — $14,100 over the base version and $5,650 more than the GTI’s well-equipped Autobahn trim level — is steep. This will give some shoppers pause, but those who take the plunge will be happy they did.

https://www.cars.com/articles/2022-volkswagen-golf-r-review-practical-performance-for-a-price-445788/

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake review

 

 At a glance

New price £38,230 - £54,435
Lease from new From £427 p/mView lease deals
Used price £23,615 - £43,560
Used monthly cost From £589 per month
Fuel Economy 30.4 - 235.4 mpg
Road tax cost £155 - £490
Insurance group 21 - 29How much is it to insure?
New
4.5 - 35.2
Miles per pound (mpp)
 What is mpp?

 PROS

  • Strong engines
  • Absolutely brilliant on the motorway
  • Comfortable high-speed ride

 CONS

  • If you want practical, buy a Passat
  • It doesn't feel as special as some premium rivals
  • Fiddly touch-sensitive controls
 

Whatever you do, don’t call the Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake an estate. Although it has a longer, taller roofline than its coupe sibling to give more load space, it sacrifices a little practicality for a bit more style.

If the term Shooting Brake has you scratching your head, think of classics such as the Reliant Scimitar GTE and Volvo P1800 ES, both of which followed the same formula. However, while they only had a pair of doors and a tailgate, the Arteon Shooting Brake has four usefully large doors to make accessing the rear seats a cinch.

As you’d expect from something designed to be desirable, it takes only the more powerful engines from the Passat on which it’s based. That means a bare minimum of 150hp, a punchy plug-in hybrid and even a hot 320hp R version.

What's it like inside?

The Arteon fastback received an update in 2021, and the Shooting Brake has all of these revisions from the off. The overall design of the interior has been refined over the outgoing model, with an updated infotainment set-up and revised controls. If it looks and feels familiar in here, it's because it's closely based on the Volkswagen Passat's interior, and save for a few details, they're largely identical.

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake (2021) interior view
 
Depending on which model you choose, the infotainment system's buttons have been replaced by touchpads - and for those that have, it’s become more complicated, not easier. The steering wheel pads are less-than satisfying than the old buttons, too. It takes a long time to get used to, is too easy to accidentally change something when you’re twirling the wheel, and doesn’t make the digital instrument cluster any easier to tackle.

The touch controls on the ventilation dials, too, are a case of making things more difficult than they need to be; you can tap or slide the temperature controls and, while there’s an indent for it that allows your finger to know exactly what it’s pressing, you still have to spend just a little too long looking at where you’re pointing. That’s especially worrisome as the controls are mounted low down, just in front of the gear selector.

Practicality and luggage space

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake (2021) driving
 
The regular Arteon is already a very practical car, space-wise, with the Shooting Brake version offering a negligible improvement for passengers. Rear space is still great, even for tall adults both in terms of head and legroom, and Volkwagen has added some neat details like small pockets in the rear seats for things like your phone.

The estate-shaped boot is 565-litres in volume – putting it roughly on par with the BMW 5 Series Touring, Audi A6 Avant and Volvo V90. It’s only two litres more volume than the Arteon fastback, but the difference comes if you fold the seats down – the Arteon Shooting Brake offers 1,632 litres compared to the Arteon hatch’s 1,557 litres. For reference, the Passat offers up to 1,780 litres with the seats folded.

Plug-in eHybrid versions do have a smaller boot because the hybrid battery is mounted under the boot floor, pushing it upwards. Even so, 455 litres with the seats up is still a useful amount of space.

What's it like to drive?

The 190hp 2.0-litre TSI petrol is arguably all the Arteon you’ll need. It's a punchy performer, refined at cruising, and happily delivered a 45.6mpg average over 600-miles of testing.

Although it's quiet and a consumate motorway cruiser, there’s a raspy growl to it when you want it that we really like. The engine note is a lot like a Golf GTI's, but when you don't want to push things, there's still a useful band of pulling power between 2,500rpm and 5,000rpm. What this means is that there's instant motorway acceleration and no problems from steep inclines.

The DSG automatic transmission is responsive from a standing start and shifts smoothly, even if you like to manually change gears with the steering wheel's paddle shifters. It’s programmed to avoid shifting down even under heavy throttle loads, instead using the engine’s torque to gain speed. A 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds means it happily keeps up with the flow.

If company car tax is a consideration, it’s well worth considering the 1.4-litre TSI eHybrid. This posts an identical 7.6sec 0-62mph time but sits in a far lower BIK company car tax band. It’s not particularly rapid in electric only mode, with just enough oomph to keep up with traffic, but can kick the petrol engine into life after a brief hesitation and combines power sources smoothly. Economy depends entirely on how much running is done in electric mode, but over 50mpg isn’t too hard to achieve with infrequent charges.

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake (2021) driving
 
Handling

This is an excellent long-distance cruiser and is at its best on motorways. Along with ample soundproofing and low levels of wind noise, the Arteon feels planted on the motorway. On its large R-Line wheels and standard dampers it's not perfect, and although the high-speed ride is settled in town, on poorly-surfaced roads lumps and bumps can filter uncomfortably into the cabin.

Things improve if you’ve selected the DCC adaptive suspension (standard on the eHybrid and R) as it allows you to soften things off even more. It still fidgets a little over scruffy surfaces, especially on 19-inch and 20-inch wheels, while the softest modes to allow a bit too much float and wallow on undulating roads, though.

The driving position is excellent, although rearward visibility isn't great through the letterbox-like back window. All of the seats are supportive enough to have you shrug off several hours of driving without any hint of discomfort, with R versions proving even more figure hugging with a massage function, too.

R versions four-wheel drive systems do add an extra layer of driver involvement, proving happy to send a dollop of power to the rear wheels to help tighten your line when exiting a corner. A 3 Series Touring is still a little more nimble, but the Arteon Shooting Brake R is exceedingly capable for such a big car and able to entertain a little when pushed hard.

What models and trims are available?

The Arteon Shooting Brake's range is straightforward, with three models and a range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines to choose from. Model lines are the entry-level but well-equipped Elegance and sporty R-Line and hot R.

What else should I know?

We reckon its closest rival will be the Arteon fastback (or 'Gran Turismo' according to Volkswagen). Anyone looking at that stylish Volkswagen will clearly also consider this one - and it will come down to personal preference on styling as to which one you go for.

However the Arteon Shooting Brake will also be high on your list if you're looking for a stylish lifestyle-oriented five-door estate. You certainly have more options than you did a few years ago. The Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake and Peuegeot 508 SW are very similar in concept, and were joined in 2018 by the interesting Kia ProCeed Shooting Brake.

  • Best family cars 2021
  • Best estate cars 2021

Click through to see whether we recommend buying a Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake.

Should you buy one?

Yes, even though it's a hard car to recommend on purely rational grounds. We’re happy Volkswagen has made such a good-looking estate to try and counter the unremitting dullness of the Passat Estate. But you’re almost certainly buying the Shooting Brake for its looks – the boot is effectively no larger than the Arteon fastback with the rear seats in place, for starters.

And that's the thing. Given the straight choice between the Arteon 'Gran Turismo' (fastback coupe in non-marketing speak) and the Shooting Brake, we'll take the latter every day of the week. It might have little more room inside, but it's just a whole lot more desirable.

We're not keen on the Arteon's updated screen and controls – some of it works, some of it doesn’t quite hit the mark. It might get better with familiarity, but don't count on it. Where it really scores points in its ability to cover massive distances with ease. No doubt – the Arteon is a fantastic motorway cruiser, with an impressive ride even without adaptive damper trickery and a quiet petrol engine.

Which is the best Arteon Shooting Brake for you?

If you're buying it with your own money, the 190hp TSI petrol model is a brilliant all-rounder and a great combination of performance and economy. In our test period of this model, we easily achieved an average of 45mpg in mixed A-road and motorway driving, despite it being rapid and refined when you need more go.

But if you're a long-distance driver, and spend all day long in sixth gear, the 200hp TDI also looks to be a great option, with over 50mpg likely to be acheivable. As for the tax-efficient TSI eHybrid PHEV, it makes the most sense if you’re doing mostly short distances with frequent charges, but is surprisingly efficient on a longer trip, too.

The R is harder to recommend if you’ve got your sensible trousers on thanks to a list price that starts with a five and economy that’ll typically be in the low thirties unless you’re enjoying yourself. If you are using all 320hp, economy in the teens is easily achievable. However, if you're looking for a good-looking, smile inducingly quick, long-distance companion, and have outgrown a more traditional hot hatch, this one will be right up your street.

Is it as good as its premium rivals?

Yes, a BMW 5 Series Touring is better to drive, while the Volvo V90 and Audi A6 Avant all feel much more premium-feeling inside. But the Arteon is cheaper than all of those in cash terms and arguably better looking than the lot. As elegant and appealing as it is, if you're after the best estate car for the money on rational grounds, you still have to look at the more compact BMW 3 Series Touring first.

But if you're sold on its looks, the Arteon is a good car, and far more than a simple case of style over substance.

https://www.parkers.co.uk/volkswagen/arteon/shooting-brake/review/verdict/

VW Tiguan eHybrid review: a popular plug-in review

 

The next step on Volkswagen’s journey to electrify all the things comes in the form of the Tiguan eHybrid, a plug-in version of one of Europe’s best-selling SUVs. It’s been a while coming, especially since the VW Group has had a suitable hybrid drivetrain running in its Golf and Passat GTE for years – not to mention the more recent Skoda Superb and Octavia, too. But here we are, at last, with the first plug-in hybrid Tiguan.

 Rather than being a standalone GTE model, the hybrid drivetrain is an engine choice available across the range. That should make cheaper models absolute darlings of company car fleet managers nationwide, though private buyers who fancy reducing their running costs (and have somewhere to park and charge) can benefit too.

The Tiguan eHybrid joined Volkswagen’s range in 2021, but before that the company let us loose behind the wheel of a near-production model. At the time of our drive we hadn’t yet learnt of the car’s WLTP all-electric range of 30 miles from its 10.4kWh battery pack and 180kW motor, nor the starting price of £36,185 for entry-level Life trim.

As well as its new powertrain, the Tiguan eHybrid benefits from the same facelift as the rest of the Tiguan range - read our Volkswagen Tiguan main review for more detailed information on those changes.

What powertrain does the Tiguan eHybrid use?

VW’s fitted the Tiguan with its familiar PHEV mechanicals. That means a smooth and refined 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine (not the more recent 1.5 TSI EVO - the 1.4’s specialised for hybrid duties these days) paired to an electric motor and 13kWh battery pack, joined to the wheels through a six-speed DSG transmission. 

Unlike some rivals, the Tiguan eHybrid is front-wheel drive only, but the battery pack sits under the rear seats to improve weight distribution. The key numbers are the same as you’ll get on its sibling cars - namely, 242bhp and 295lb ft, contributing to a top speed of 127mph and a more-than-rapid-enough 0-62mph figure of 7.5 seconds.

The WLTP figures were logged after our initial drive of the Tiguan eHybrid, and they reveal an electric-only range of up to 30 miles, fuel economy of 176.6mpg and a CO2 output of 38g/km. All of which puts the SUV on par with the plug-in Passat, and means you can anticipate impressively low running costs should you remember to keep the Tiguan eHybrid topped up at the mains as often as you can.

How well does it work?

The mechanicals are as good as you’d ever find in a Golf or Passat - there’s plenty of power, and the electric motor will run the car well above highway speeds if you’ve only a short distance to go.

The best part has been introduced with the upgraded sat-nav, though. In short, set a route and the Tiguan will use map data and speed limits to figure out where it should deploy its electrical power to best use.

So while a standard plug-in hybrid would use up all 30 miles of its juice straight away and spend the rest of the journey running as a large, heavy petrol car, the Tiguan knows to save electricity for towns and lower speed limits along the length of your route, optimising it so you’ll arrive at your destination with a just-flattened battery.

It’s seamless in operation and works very well - ducking in and out of numerous German villages on our test route saw the engine cutting in and out exactly when it should. And true to form, we arrived at our destination with only a couple of miles of range remaining, and an impressive combined economy figure of 56mpg - higher than we saw from the diesel on a similar route.

One small downside to note is that the fuel tank has shifted rearward to make way for the battery - it’s now under the boot floor and eats a not-inconsiderable 137-litres (or one whole Mazda MX-5) of boot capacity, leaving you with 437 litres total. Not bad, but no longer particularly impressive. Luckily the floor remains flat.

Any good to drive?

As it happens, very. Without the ‘GT’ part of the GTE moniker to live up to, the Tiguan eHybrid is free to be an efficient hybrid SUV with few performance pretensions besides the obvious Sport driving mode.

The end result stands out as one of the more refined SUVs we’ve driven in a long time - it’s quiet, comfortable and very relaxing to be in. There’s enough thrust from the electric motor that you won’t feel short-changed at town speeds, while the petrol engine kicks in quietly and near-seamlessly. 

Unlike the naturally-aspirated units you’ll find on most rivals such as the Toyota RAV4 and Kia Niro PHEV, VW’s TSI petrol doesn’t get at all thrashy when it’s called upon to provide thrust - this 1.4 was a wonderful engine on its own, and works brilliantly in this hybrid application too.

The ride is excellent - not quite as settled as the diesel, but it soon hunkers down into a nice loping gait on the motorway and smooths over surface imperfections with ease. As for handling, it’s the usual safe and secure VW affair - though if you make use of all the available power you’ll set the wheel squirming from torque-steer. 

Corner like a hero and you’ll notice plenty of body roll and some tyre squealing, too. Drive the Tiguan like… well, a Tiguan, and it won’t see you far wrong.

Verdict

It’s refined, well-built, decent to drive and cleverer than it ought to be. The benefits of the Tiguan’s recent facelift can be felt through well-integrated tech and comfort features, and the inherent VW-ness of the overall package is generally A Good Thing. Some small niggles on the boot space and dynamic front are shared with nearly all this car’s rivals, and can’t be seen as dealbreakers.

Hybrid SUV might be a pair of truly uninspiring words, but they’re important models and they’re here to stay for a while yet. The VW Tiguan eHybrid comes across extremely favourably next to its rivals - in fact, excluding firecrackers like the Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid, this Tiguan’s probably the PHEV SUV we’d opt for.

Specs

Price when new: £0
On sale in the UK: TBC
Engine: 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol + electric motor, 242bhp, 295lb ft
Transmission: Six-speed dual-clutch auto, front-wheel drive
Performance: 7.5sec 0-62mph, 127mph
Weight / material: TBC
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4509/1839/1675

https://www.carmagazine.co.uk/car-reviews/volkswagen/tiguan-hybrid/

Tested: 2022 Volkswagen Golf R Is the Hottest Hatch

More power, precision, and refinement come to VW's redesigned 315-hp hot hatchback.

We recently drove a Europe-spec VW Golf R around our Michigan stomping ground and concluded that it stays true to the franchise. The new Drift mode may be the star in the highlight reels, but the Golf R's distinguishing trait is that it's so much more well rounded than your typical hot hatch.

2022 volkswagen golf r

HIGHS: Potent and refined powertrain, quicker than before, entertaining chassis.

The heart of the Golf R remains a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, but Volkswagen massaged the software and moving bits to a Civic Type R–beating 315 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, gains of 27 and 30, respectively. Most turbo fours this powerful feel as though they were tuned by Michael Bay, with their barely controlled, explosive power delivery. Not this one. The fourth-gen EA888, an iron-block holdout, is linear and refined in its work, even at its most violent. Engage launch control and the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic slips a clutch through most of first gear rather than slamming shut in the axle-shaft stress test we've grown accustomed to from other all-wheel-drive products. The transmission of our Euro-spec Golf R flicks through the gears at a furious pace as 60 mph arrives in a quick 3.9 seconds and the quarter-mile is dispatched in 12.5 seconds at 111 mph, placing it well ahead of the last automatic Golf R we tested.

 
2022 volkswagen golf r
An R button on the steering wheel pulls up a driving-mode-selection screen on the central display—this is the easiest-to-use function of the otherwise infuriating new infotainment system. All U.S. cars come standard with the R-Performance package. The pack's Special mode readies the R to tackle the Nürburgring by sharpening the throttle, livening up the transmission, and dialing in the 15-position electronically controlled dampers. This mode is also perfect for terrorizing your local twisties, where the driving experience can best be described as that of a Porsche 718 Cayman with a back seat. Yes, this Golf—with a transversely mounted four-cylinder in an economy car's body—is that good. The steering is quick if a touch short on feel while the 235/35R-19 Pirelli P Zero PZ4s howl at their 0.99-g limit. The firm brake pedal works the 14.1-inch cross-drilled front rotors with precision, stopping from 70 mph in 151 feet and from 100 mph in 304.

LOWS: Hefty price, maddening touch controls.

2022 volkswagen golf r
 The revised all-wheel-drive system abandons the previous model's center coupling for a pair of electronically controlled clutch packs, each dedicated to one of the rear-axle half-shafts. By varying pressure in the clutches, the Golf R can shuffle the left-right torque distribution to aid rotation. With Drift mode activated, the system delivers all the rear-axle torque to the outside tire in turns, but don't expect cinematic powerslides: The car is capable of routing only 50 percent of the engine's grunt to the rear axle.

That's fine by us, because the Golf R's thrills are more sophisticated than sliding sideways and sending up smoke signals. If you're more interested in speed, precision, and refinement, this is your hot hatch. Hopefully you've been saving like a grown-up, because the Golf R carries a very adult price, starting at $44,640.

(https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a37200521/2022-volkswagen-golf-r-us-drive/)

New Volkswagen ID.4 GTX 2021 review

VW ID.4 EV gets another electric motor and four-wheel drive in hot GTX form

It wouldn’t have been right for Volkswagen to use the illustrious GTI badge on its new range of electric performance cars. That’s not to say the ID.4 GTX isn’t fun in its own right, it just lacks the character of its petrol-powered forebears. It’s expensive, too; while a rear-wheel drive Ford Mustang Mach-E is better to drive and almost as fast. There is some work to be done on making the GTX nameplate as iconic as GTI, then – but if anyone can do it, VW can.

Volkswagen's world-famous GTI badge turned 45 this year. Celebrated since 1976 and having featured on a string of memorable performance Golfs, for many, its three letters define the hot hatchback genre.

But now VW is embarking on a new era – an era for the electric generation. All future Volkswagen EVs will feature the ID. badge; we’ve already seen the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5, and there are electric saloons, superminis, and even MPVs on the way. 

Of course, in addition to the various bodystyles, Volkswagen also has a range of GTI-inspired electric performance models in the works. Not to be confused with their petrol siblings, these EVs will all use the GTX name – starting with this, the ID.4 GTX.

Building on the standard ID.4 electric SUV, the GTX gets an extra motor on the front axle, boosting total power to a not inconsequential 295bhp. The result is 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds and a top speed pegged at 112mph.

That last figure is significantly down on the capabilities of the current Golf GTI. Not that it’ll matter to prospective buyers – spend much time hovering at or above the national speed limit and you’ll see the projected 301-mile range plummet. During our time with the car on a mixture of rural, motorway and urban roads, we were seeing 220-230 miles on a charge.

Yet the big question isn’t how far it’ll go before the batteries run flat – rather whether or not it captures any of the GTI magic that Volkswagen has become so famous for. 

The short answer is no. The GTX isn’t quite as agile as a Ford Mustang Mach-E, but that’s not to say it’s sloppy. The ID.4 offers adequate (if not spellbinding) performance, as well as decent-enough body control. The steering, if lacking a little in feel, appears weightier than on the standard car and is perfectly quick and direct. The brakes are up to the task of stopping this 2.2-tonne SUV, too – as you would hope.

 
Traction is also on point, allowing you to use that slug of torque to power out of tight corners with confidence. Our car was fitted with optional adaptive dampers, but we ended up leaving them in their default setting – in Comfort mode the GTX felt composed, whereas Sport gave the car an unsettled, bouncier ride. It’s still more comfortable than a Mach-E, though.

We may bemoan synthesised sound generators in diesel SUVs, but ultimately, with no soundtrack to enjoy in the ID.4, you’re left feeling somewhat detached from the driving experience. That’s ideal on the motorway, or indeed when you’re pootling from A to B without a schedule to keep or deadline to meet, but when you’re alone in the car and want to drive like the seat of your pants is on fire, the ID.4 GTX simply isn’t that engaging. 

There’s some work to be done on making the GTX badge fit in a driver’s car context, then, but the rest of the package is as complete as you’d expect. Practicality is excellent – the 543-litre boot is unchanged from the standard ID.4, and there’s space under the floor to store the charge cable. Note: a three-pin charger is a £180 option.

 
The cabin is roomy too, while quality takes a jump in the right direction thanks to new fabrics on the dashboard. The GTX-branded seats are supportive and comfortable; the only other tell-tale sign that this is the range flagship comes courtesy of the small badge and red flash at the base of the steering wheel.

Prices are high. The ID.4 GTX starts from £48,525 but for that you get 20-inch wheels, a 12-inch infotainment system with nav, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a head-up display, keyless entry and Matrix LED lights. Above this sits the GTX Max, adding a panoramic glass roof, three-zone climate control, adaptive dampers and a heat pump for around £7,000 more.

That infotainment system is still a bit laggy, and it’s not the most intuitive set-up to use. The temperature sliders are fiddly too, and Volkswagen still refuses to light them at night – making them impossible to operate after dark. The instrument cluster on the other hand is simple but effective, de-cluttered by removing surplus information; the car’s speed sits front and centre, just as it should.

Model:  Volkswagen ID.4 GTX
Engine: 77kWh battery, two electric motors
Power/torque: 295bhp/310Nm
Transmission:  Single-speed auto, four-wheel drive
0-62mph:  6.2 seconds
Top speed:  112mph
Range/Efficiency:  301 miles, 3.7mi/kWh (WLTP)
On sale:  Now

2022 VW Jetta GLI Proves That VW Still Cares about Drivers

Although it drops the previous base trim, the GLI still can be had with a six-speed manual.

Despite Volkswagen's push toward electric vehicles, the company is providing assurances that it's still dedicated to the sport compact car. Want evidence? The new-generation Golf GTI and Golf R have clearly been developed with driving enthusiasts in mind. VW's American arm pushed for six-speed manuals in both of those cars and convinced its corporate overlords in Germany that such a move would be rational and wise. Consider that a love letter to the American driver, because our counterparts in Europe won't find that option available when they place their orders.

2022 volkwagen jetta gli s
Updated for 2022, the Jetta GLI wears a newly styled grille and front bumper with red detailing. The rear bumper has been revised as well and sports a honeycomb-patterned lower valance and larger-diameter exhaust outlets. The GLI's cabin receives new red contrast stitching to accent the black leather upholstery and new touch-sensitive steering wheel controls.

The GLI remains a lovely driving partner. During our test drive through the hill country near Asheville, North Carolina, the GLI's eager steering and crisp-shifting six-speed manual made running through the area's narrow mountain passes a joyful exercise. Although it isn't as tied-down as the new Golf GTI, the GLI does its best impression of that performance icon. On the highway during normal cruising and commuting, the GLI settles into Jetta mode, meaning it's refined, comfortable, and easygoing.

The updated exhaust system sounds a bit ruder for 2022, particularly when driving in Sport mode, which allows more of the GLI's newly baritone voice to enter the cabin. This soundtrack may delight boy-racer types, but we found ourselves needing to activate the Normal driving mode to quiet the cabin when cruising. Ultimately, we're not convinced this does much to enhance the GLI's appeal.

2022 volkwagen jetta gli s interior
Same goes for the new touch-sensitive steering-wheel controls. Their glossy black finish gives an added pop of premium appearance, but on several occasions when driving the snaking roads west of Asheville, we managed to inadvertently change the radio station midcorner by accidentally bumping the tuning button. Moreover, the volume control slider is fussy and imprecise.

Back in 2019, we tested GLIs with both the six-speed manual and the optional dual-clutch automatic. Those cars managed to hit 60 mph in 5.8 and 5.6 seconds, respectively. The automatic was also slightly quicker than the manual through the quarter-mile, with a time of 14.1 seconds at 101 mph versus 14.3 seconds at 102 mph. Since Volkswagen has made no updates to the car's powertrain or chassis, we expect similar times from the 2022 model.

2022 volkwagen jetta gli s
The nicely tailored interior gives off strong Audi vibes, which is good because for 2022 Volkswagen has eliminated the entry-level GLI trim, leaving only the loaded $31,990 Autobahn model. Opt for the dual-clutch automatic, and the price climbs to $32,790. The GLI's nearest rival, the Honda Civic Si, is all new for 2022 and will start at just $28,315.

But VW may find that the GLI's biggest competition is inside its own showroom: The 2022 Golf GTI starts at $30,540—granted that's for a base model with less equipment. But the Golf's hatchback body style, its performance legacy, and its more modern styling may draw buyers away from its Jetta sibling. The 2022 model's updates help keep it fresh, though, and the GLI's fun-loving attitude is something every driver can appreciate.

(https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a38224750/2022-volkswagen-jetta-gli-drive/)

New Volkswagen Multivan eHybrid 2022 review

We find out if the new Volkswagen Multivan eHybrid can breathe life into the sparse plug-in hybrid MPV segment

Verdict

There’s no doubt that the new Volkswagen Multivan is better than the old Caravelle in a number of key areas. There’s more space inside, the styling is up to date and the addition of a plug-in hybrid adds an extra layer of appeal for company car buyers and businesses. High pricing could be its downfall, however, and the launch range isn’t very strong. There’s also the eagerly-anticipated, similarly sized VW ID.Buzz, which might steal some thunder when it’s released next year. 

The new Volkswagen Multivan is under plenty of pressure to succeed, not just because it replaces the popular T6.1 Caravelle MPV (which will be sold alongside the newcomer for a while), but because it also brings in a new plug-in hybrid capability to VW’s van-based people carrier. 

The twist is that the new T7 Multivan isn’t really based on a van. Instead, it runs on the MQB platform which underpins a wide variety of VW Group products like the Cupra Formentor and Volkswagen Golf. In theory this should make the Multivan significantly more engaging to drive, improving upon the van-like driving characteristics of the old Caravelle. From launch, all powertrains have a petrol engine - a 134bhp 1.5-litre TSI kicks off the range, then a 201bhp 2.0-litre TSI and finally a plug-in hybrid with a 1.4-litre TSI paired with a 10kWh electric motor for a total of 215bhp. 

But the T7 Multivan is aimed at those transporting up to seven people, so it’ll need to impress passengers just as much as the driver. That’s where the new car’s party-piece rear seating comes into play. A rail system means the middle and back rows of seats can slide forwards and back or be turned 180 degrees independently of each other. To make the seat removal process easier, the seats are 25% lighter than the old Caravelle’s and on higher spec models the rail system is electrified, allowing for all seven seats to be heated. You can also spec the Multivan with just six seats and of course you can remove the rear and middle seats if you’d like to use the Multivan as a van. 

There’s more good news for passengers as the central table can slide the length of the cabin, giving front, middle or rear passengers cup holders and a handy height adjustable fold-out table. Four USB ports are also available for rear passengers, with two up front. 

On all models, the infotainment system is the same as you’d find on the new VW Golf and while there have been plenty of critics of VW’s menu layout, the 10-inch screen is crisp and the responsiveness of the touchscreen is among the best out there. With this central screen interface coupled with Volkswagen’s 10.25-inch ‘Digital Cockpit’ and head-up display, the Multivan does feel like a quality item from the driver’s seat. It’s also easy to switch between hybrid and EV-only modes with a dedicated button below the central screen. 

Crucially the Multivan offers more cabin space than the outgoing Caravelle, with 469-litres available in the boot with a seven-seat layout and 1,844-litres with the rear seats removed. Upgrade to the long-wheel base model and the total maximum with rows two and three removed rises to 4,005-litres from the 3,672-litres in the short-wheel base model. 

Plenty of storage bins throughout the cabin is always useful in a car designed to take seven, although don’t be surprised to see the creviced rail system quickly fill up with food and muck if there are children, or messy adults, regularly on board. Touch points like the steering wheel and the dash have a premium feel to them but you also don’t have to search for long in the rear cabin area to find some cheap scratchy plastics.

 You’d be forgiven in thinking the Multivan has taken a huge leap forward from the old Caravelle in terms of driving dynamics thanks to the MQB platform, in reality the Multivan still feels fundamentally like a van. There’s decent body control in the bends, despite the retention of the Caravelle’s old suspension set-up, but the steering is incredibly light and devoid of feedback. 

The range-topping eHybrid plug-in model comes with a 1.4-litre petrol TSI engine mated to a 10kWh battery. It’s the same unit found in the Golf and Passat GTE, so that means there’s a fairly hefty 215bhp offered through a bespoke six-speed automatic gearbox to the front wheels. 0-62mph takes 11.6 seconds and the Multivan eHybrid never feels as quick as the power figure suggests. The performance is adequate with this powertrain but never feels overly punchy. The power delivery is smooth but when the four-cylinder petrol engine decides to kick in you do get an audible clatter. 

 If you want to squeeze out the Multivan’s maximum fuel efficiency, then you’ll have to accept a 204-minute charging time from 0-100% using a 3.6kW charger. The 30-mile electric-only range is hardly groundbreaking for a modern plug-in hybrid either but in EV-only mode the Multivan is quiet, comfortable and the brake regeneration system is nicely weighted. 

Out of the three powertrains available from launch (a 148bhp diesel variant is coming in Spring 2022), the eHybrid is the best suited to the Multivan’s chassis. The slightly heavier plug-in hybrid set-up actually gives the Multivan a more composed feel on rougher roads. In the 134bhp 1.5 TSI, the reduction in power means the seven-speed DSG gearbox found in the both non-hybrid models is more prone to unwanted kickdowns and ultimately holds on to revs just a bit too long.

VW is still yet to release a price for the new Multivan but expect the range to start from £45,000 for the non-hybrid versions, topping out around £60,000. The eHybrid plug-in model will be the most expensive, costing from around £55,000 when it goes on sale in January 2022. Rivals like the Citroen Spacetourer and Mercedes V-Class offer similar practicality, but without the option for a plug-in hybrid. So if you want an electrified people carrier of this size and you don’t choose the Multivan eHybrid, you’ll have to go the fully-electric route. Volkswagen will also have a new entrant into that category next year with the funky electric ID.Buzz that could further dent the new plug-in hybrid Multivan’s prospects.

Price: £55,000 (est)
Engine:

1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol + 10kwh e-motor plug-in hybrid

Power/torque:

215bhp/350Nm

Transmission:

Six-speed DSG automatic transmission

0-62mph: 11.6 seconds
Top speed: 118mph
Economy/CO2: N/A
EV Range: 31 miles
On sale: January 2022

(https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/road-tests/356467/new-volkswagen-multivan-ehybrid-2022-review-pictures)

Volkswagen Taigo review

Stylish Coupe-SUV take on the T-Cross looks promising

 PROS

  • Excellent engines shared with T-Cross
  • Wide model range promised
  • Standard digital cockpit across the range

 CONS

  • Sloping roof means less practicality
  • It won't go on sale until 2022
 What's a Volkswagen Taigo? It's the result of more platform gaming from the VW Group as its latest small family car bridges the gap between the Polo and T-Cross models with a Coupe-SUV bodystyle. It's a growing indicator of how seriously the German firm is treating the crossover market – with a total of six individual SUVs from the T-Cross to the Touareg.

Direct rivals aren't that numerous. Popular Coupe-SUVs such as the Toyota C-HR, Renault Arkana and (arguably) the Citroen C4 are generally in the class above. But the sleek Ford Puma is definitely going to appear on many of the same shopping lists, as is the larger Kia XCeed and Mazda CX-30.

What’s new about the Volkswagen Taigo?

The concept of the coupe-shaped SUV has largely been the preserve of more expensive models in manufacturer model ranges, but the new Taigo is Volkswagen’s first foray into this increasingly popular market segment.

It’s flatter and longer than the T-Cross it so closely based on, but has the same ground clearance. This means it’s obviously higher and roomier than a Polo, yet despite the swooping rear roofline, this five-seater is said to be able to swallow even the tallest rear-seat passengers.

The front-wheel-drive Taigo also includes IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist, which is VW's less-than-snappily name for its partially automated driving system or adaptive cruise control. There’s predictive distance control and lane merging assistance.

Volkswagen Taigo review (2022) interior view
 
What’s it like inside?

Volkswagen have made a big play about how emotional the Taigo’s design is. It describes the Taigo as ‘fully digital and always on’, which means you can access online streaming services in the car, in addition to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also wireless charging for smartphones and a multitude of online apps to manage your Taigo online.

There’s a choice of four different infotainment systems: Composition with a 6.5-inch display, Ready2Discover with an 8.0-inch display (comes as standard in Style and R-Line), Discover Media with an 8.0-inch display, and Discover Pro, offered in 9.2-inch format.

In addition, VW also makes a big play of the Taigo’s Digital Cockpit. The Digital Cockpit Pro allows you to fine-tune this to your heart’s content. Keeping things digital, climate control is performed via a touchscreen too. Once you’ve stopped playing with all the screens, the fundamentals are good. Though the coupe-style roof means that the Taigo can’t quite match the T-Cross for storage space (455 litres), it’ll still swallow 438 litres. 

Volkswagen Taigo review (2022) boot space
 
What engines are available?

There are three petrol engines, two three cylinders (95 and 110hp) and one four cylinder (150hp), which marshalled via either five- or six-speed manual gearboxes or a seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. We’ve yet to see fuel economy and CO2 figures for the Taigo’s engines.

What models and trims are available?

Volkswagen has rationalised its trim lines across the range for clarity, and describes the Taigo’s lineage as having a Y shape.

The aforementioned Digital Cockpit is standard to all Taigos, and the next rung up the trim level ladder, the Life, adds a front armrest with a USB-C interface, multifunction steering wheel in leather and electric foldable exterior mirrors. From here the trims diverge, with the R-Line offering a more sporty look inside and out than the more luxury-focused Style. The XDS electronic differential lock is an option on the R-Line and Style, and a towing bracket is an option on all Taigos.

For those looking to get busy with the options list, you can choose from a panoramic sliding/tilting sunroof, Digital Cockpit Pro with 10.25-inch display, ArtVelour seat covers, voice control, Black Style design package for the R-Line and the ‘beats’ sound system with 300 watts and six speakers.

When does it go on sale?

The car was scheduled for late 2021 when it was unveiled in late July, but we’ve not heard a firm date for its arrival.

(https://www.parkers.co.uk/volkswagen/taigo/review/)

Volkswagen Beetle GT by JP Performance & Prior Design

JP Performance and Prior Design have promised to create a body kit for a real Volkswagen Beetle GT car like the one seen in the Gran Turismo Sport game, and now that promise has been fulfilled.

The body kit makes the "Beetle" look like a true successor to the Beetle RSi, the rarest model Volkswagen has ever made, more precisely just 250 units, and even better than Volkswagen's own 2011 Beetle R concept. The most striking feature are the fender extensions that are connected to the aerodynamic wings on the front and rear bumpers, thus obtaining the "DTM effect". Interestingly, two exhaust pipes come out of the front fenders.

The Beetle GT would not be complete without the yellow LED lights on the modified front bumper, which also features a wide lower intake and a prominent splitter. On the side there are black extensions of the sills that correspond to the increased width of the car, and there is also a set of five-spoke alloy wheels with ultra low-profile tires. The rear end is equally impressive thanks to the huge spoiler and diffuser in the standard bumper.

The body kit is available separately, but JP Performance also offers some mechanical changes. Audi’s 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder engine seems perfect for this project. The last "Buba" was based on the MQB platform of the Volkswagen Group, which means that it is compatible with numerous performance parts borrowed from Volkswagen's Golf GTI and Golf R and Audi's TT RS and RS3.

Since the engine is tuned, it probably develops more than the standard 394hp and 500 Nm of torque.

The creators of the body kit claim that Volkswagen and Polyphony Digital have given their approval, and a total of 53 sets are available to customers. The body kit fits all the latest generation "Bugs" models that were produced between 2011 and 2019. The body kit costs 5,990 euros, and the price of the performance improvement is still unknown.

Tested: 2022 Volkswagen Taos Plays Big Among Subcompact SUVs

Nearly as large as the compact Tiguan, the Taos is an attractive new entry point for VW's crossover lineup.

The all-new 2022 Volkswagen Taos is the product of a familiar pattern in the car business. As a particular vehicle segment grows in popularity (in this case, crossovers), manufacturers tend to enlarge and differentiate their entries to make room for new models that fill the newly created gaps in their lineup. With VW's range of SUVs in the United States swelling to include the compact Tiguan, mid-size Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport, and the electric ID.4 (sort of an SUV, we guess), a vacancy opened up in the increasingly popular subcompact space, among the likes of the Jeep Compass, Kia Seltos, and Subaru Crosstrek. It also helps that VW won't be offering Americans a regular TSI version of its latest Golf hatchback, which we're still sore about. At least the Taos is a compelling little crossover on most fronts.

2022 volkswagen taos sel rear

"Little" is sort of misleading, though, as the Taos is one of the larger players in its class. Its MQB-based architecture rests atop a wheelbase of either 105.6 inches for the all-wheel-drive variant or 105.9 inches for the front-driver. It has a huge back seat for a subcompact SUV, and its capacious and easily accessible cargo hold can swallow 25 cubic feet of stuff behind the rear seats (28 cubes if you forgo all-wheel drive). On the road, if you don't know to look for its distinguishing design cues—a broad LED lightbar that connects the standard LED headlights plus chrome TAOS lettering on the rear liftgate—you can easily mistake it for a (slightly) larger Tiguan. VW says the name Taos refers to the rugged, picturesque town in New Mexico. We didn't go there for our drive, but we did traverse our local Michigan haunts in both of the vehicle's primary configurations.

2022 volkswagen taos sel interior

HIGHS: Cavernous interior for a small SUV, impressive fuel economy, attractive base price.

Powering the Taos is a new 1.5-liter version of the EA211 turbocharged inline-four—a 1.4-liter EA211 is found in the Jetta sedan. Aided by the boost of a variable-geometry turbocharger, the engine purrs willingly to its 6400-rpm redline and produces a respectable-if-not-quite-spirited 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, the latter from just 1750 rpm. That's less grunt than you'll get from a top-spec 175-hp Seltos 1.6T or a 250-hp Mazda CX-30 Turbo, but it's perfectly adequate for casually merging onto highways. Standard front-wheel-drive models pair the turbo-four with a conventional eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive versions get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, which VW calls a direct-shift gearbox (DSG). The company says this split allowed it to focus both on greater fuel efficiency with the eight-speed and a sportier driving character with the dual clutch.

2022 volkswagen taos sel
Our test car was a front-wheel-drive SEL model, which ambled to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds and covered the quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds at 87 mph, making it slightly quicker than the latest Subaru Crosstrek with a 2.5-liter flat-four and significantly fleeter than a Jeep Compass. The more-powerful turbocharged Kia Seltos, however, is roughly a half-second quicker both to 60 and through the quarter-mile.

That said, the front-drive Taos is the fuel miser's choice, earning an EPA combined estimate of 31 mpg, versus 28 mpg for all-wheel-drive models. Our example fared well in the real world with a 30-mpg average, and it posted an impressive 40 mpg on our 75-mph highway test, beating its federal rating by 4 mpg. Both the aforementioned Subaru and Kia managed only 30 mpg on our highway run. But the all-wheel-drive model's DSG isn't as convincing in its role as a sporty transmission. While its shifts are generally quick and well-coordinated at speed, it lacks the eight-speed's unobtrusive smoothness, being relatively clumsy around town and under quick on-off-on throttle applications. Only all-wheel-drive variants get a drive-mode selector with Normal, Eco, Sport, and Individual settings, but even in its most aggressive mode the dual clutch hesitates between upshifts when accelerating briskly. There are no steering-wheel paddle shifters, so we mostly let the DSG pick its own gears rather than use the shifter's sluggish manual gate.

2022 volkswagen taos sel

LOWS: Modest performance, some cheap-looking interior plastics, clumsy optional dual-clutch transmission.

The other significant difference between the two drivelines is the rear suspension. The front-wheel-drive Taos features a torsion beam at the rear, while the all-wheel-drive model employs a multilink setup. This is why there are two wheelbase lengths. The multilink's greater composure and more substantial feel make the all-wheel-drive Taos our clear choice. Though the all-wheel-drive Taos adds a claimed 255 pounds of additional mass, its more sophisticated suspension fosters greater driver confidence by bringing better body control. We'll have to wait for a second test car to see if this more-refined character translates to better grip than the modest 0.83 g that the front-driver exhibited on the skidpad.

Braking ability is adequate and is controlled via an easy-to-modulate pedal, despite some mushiness in the first inch or so or travel. We recorded a so-so 176-foot stop from 70 mph. All of the examples we've driven have rolled on 18-inch wheels (17s are standard, 19s are optional), with our test car's wrapped with Bridgestone Turanza LS100 all-season tires. With decent ride comfort and reasonably low levels of interior noise—68 decibels at a 70-mph cruise; 73 at full throttle—road isolation is good for a vehicle that starts at $24,190. Just don't expect Golf levels of agility from the Taos's extra girth and higher center of gravity.

2022 volkswagen taos sel
From the low liftover height of its cargo floor to its rear climate-control vents to its ability to easily accommodate six-plus-footers front and rear, the Taos's interior is highlighted by its functionality. This subcompact feels solidly built, and material quality is mostly commensurate with its price, although the hard, shiny plastic dashtop panel looks chintzy, especially in the top-spec SEL models that go for more than $30,000. While not boldly inspired, the Tao's cabin does benefit from contoured trim pieces and contrasting colors that lend it some character. Soft-touch materials are soft enough and well placed, and there's VW's familiar and nicely thick-rimmed steering wheel. Seating choices include cloth upholstery for base models, leather at the top of the range, and a leatherette/cloth combo with grippy inserts for mid-level SE trims. All offer good comfort and excellent visibility.

At 72.5 inches, the Taos is actually a hair wider than the one-size-up Tiguan and feels similarly spacious in terms of elbow space. Unlike the Tiguan, there's no available third row of seats. Base models get an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster and a 6.5-inch center touchscreen, with the displays in higher trims increasing to 10.3 and 8.0 inches, respectively. We like that the Taos sticks with VW's more familiar infotainment system rather than adopting the newer, less-intuitive version in the ID.4 that we're still warming up to. Ambient lighting, automatic headlights, and VW's App Connect smartphone integration system all are standard.

 

2022 volkswagen taos sel
Additional microprocessors control the IQ.Drive bundle of active-safety features: stop-and-go adaptive cruise control with semi-automated assistance, active blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, automatic forward-collision warning, and emergency braking. IQ.Drive is a $895 to $995 option on lesser S and SE trims and standard on the top SEL. Notable extras include a heated steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, and a yet-to-be-released Basecamp appearance package that will add a touch of off-road flair.

Coincidentally, the starter S model's competitive $24,190 base price is the same as that of the outgoing Golf hatchback that the Taos more or less replaces. Budget $28,440 for the SE trim and a somewhat substantial $32,685 for an SEL model like our test car, plus another $1450 to $2045 if you want all-wheel drive. Depending on the configuration, those prices position the Taos awfully close to certain versions of the grander Tiguan, which starts at $26,440. Yet, considering the Taos's generous packaging and strong roster of equipment, potential Tiguan buyers won't have to sacrifice much if they step down to this new lower rung in the brand's model range. The Taos isn't the fun-to-drive substitute for the Golf that we'd prefer, but it does make a solid anchor for VW's SUV lineup.

(https://www.caranddriver.com)

Featured Posts

Contact Info

  • New car reviews - Read the definitive new car reviews. Find your perfect new car by browsing our independent, informative and helpful car reviews.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Top
We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…