VW Monday: Passat vs. Tiguan

Kicker Temp VW Passat vs Tiguan

Touted as a “large family car,” the Passat is what you need when a Golf or Jetta just won’t cut it. It’s gone through six generations since 1973, which means it’s been perfected over the decades. Somewhere between the Jetta and Phaeton lies the Passat, with the Passat CC making a debut in 2008 as the “four-door coupe” that every family must have. There are technically two kinds of Passats available, the TDI and SE, but the TDI offers a few more options in that lineup. Drivers can choose from a TDI SE, TDI SE with sunroof, or TDI SE with sunroof and nav for those who truly want it all.

Technically a German company, Volkswagens are manufactured all around the world. However, when the massive new American plant opened in Tennessee, it was announced that this would be the new manufacturing home of the Passat. Drivers who want American made and German engineering get the best of both worlds with this machine. Plus, this ride was awarded the Motor Trend Car of the Year in 2012, which seals the deal for those who are on the fence about a Passat vs. another model.

MSRP for Passats starts just a hair under $27,000, making them an affordable option for many Utah drivers. Buyers can also get unbeatable warranties along with zero-pressure, genuine teams at their disposal from sales to parts and repair. If something goes wrong with your Passat, you can count on a locally owned business to get you back on the road. That’s crucial when you have a vehicle with heatable front bucket seats, a compass and valet function. With that kind of luxury at your fingertips, you deserve to enjoy every second behind the wheel (or in the passenger seat).

Remote keyless entry is standard on all models, with icy cold air conditioning idyllic for those hot summer days and leather or leatherette trim for that posh addition that ties it all together. Spacious, bold and with a just the right hint of elegance, there’s a reason Passats have built a reputation of excellence for over 40 years.

Meet the Competition

Only Volkswagen can deliver such a powerful and gorgeous crossover for under $24,000. The Tiguan is VW’s answer to those who need a part sedan, part SUV, and 100 percent fuel-efficient, powerful vehicle to get from Point A to Point B (no matter how many miles in between). It’s based on the PQ35 platform, the same as the Golf, and no matter the model you’ll get two-row seating and a powerful four-cylinder engine under the hood. Originally making its debut as a concept vehicle at the 2006 Los Angeles International Auto Show, and then again as a production model at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show, there was plenty of excitement built up well before the first Tiguan hit the US highways. The first Tiguan was manufactured as Auto 500, an experimental VW “company within company” right in Wolfsburg.

True German engineering at its finest, there are well over 750,000 Tiguans sold around the globe, but the US, Europe and Russia are the biggest fans. Euro NCAP awarded the machine a five-star safety rating, which is a must for any safety-minded driver. Named for a blend of tiger and leguan (German for iguana), the Tiguan was dubbed after a content hosted by Autobild, a German car magazine.

No matter which model you choose, enjoy six airbags, the Trailer Stability Program with ESP, Isofix for child seat anchors and an e-parking brake complete with an auto-hold function. The RCD 210 radio complete with CD player, four electric lift windows, and heated outside mirrors make every trip better, and that semi-auto climate control system has everyone comfortable and cozy. However, for those who opt fo the Sport & Style options, you’ll get a slew of additional features like chrome roof railing and a height-adjustable armrest. The Track & Field package? Hill descent assistance, ABS and EDS adaptation, and hill ascent assistance are at your fingertips.


Best of the Web: Tesla model Y? SUV

  • Tesla will unveil its Model Y SUV on March 14, CEO Elon Musk said in a series of tweets Sunday.
  • The tweets may exacerbate Musk’s clash with the Securities and Exchange Commission over the CEO’s unfettered use of social media.
  • Musk said that the SUV would cost 10 percent more than Tesla’s Model 3 sedan and have “slightly less range” for the same battery.


Best of the Web: Volvo to compete with Tesla model 3


Link to original story

(CNN Business)Polestar, a plug-in performance car brand that was spun off from Volvo, revealed its first all-electric car Wednesday. The Polestar 2 will be a direct competitor to the Tesla Model 3.

The base price for the Polestar 2 will be around 40,000 euros, the equivalent of about $45,000. That’s roughly the starting price of a Tesla Model 3 today. Like Tesla, though, Polestar will produce more expensive versions of its car first. The Launch Edition of the Polestar 2, which will be made during the first 12 months of production, will cost about 60,000 euros, the equivalent of about $68,000.

Production will begin in early 2020 in China, home of Geely Holding Group, Volvo’s parent company and Polestar’s co-owner.

Volkswagen Wants to Be the Biggest Electric Car Company

Kicker VW electric

Volkswagen has more long-term goals in mind. Years ago, VW announced that it planned to become the largest automaker in the world, but since the company is already doing so well, that goal isn’t lofty enough. Detroit News has reported that Volkswagen is also angling to become the world’s largest maker of electric cars as well.

Now that’s a challenge worthy of German engineering. First of all, VW is lagging behind a host of other top automakers when it comes to the electric niche—it’s such a competitive field with the Nissan Leaf, steadfast Prius and even the drama-covered Tesla topping the popularity contest.

Lessons Learned

VW might not be topping the e-charts now, but the manufacturing giant does learn from past mistakes. Initially, all hopes were on fuel-efficient diesel machines and that makes sense. After all, Volkswagen is a European company and diesels get a lot of love there—but not so much in the US. However, while the company focused on diesel, the rest of the world got smart and realized: Fossil fuel has a shelf life, electric cars are easier and more comfortable, and electric technology like battery tech is evolving at an incredible speed.

Some estimate that electric vehicles will completely take over in the next 50 years, but it could happen even faster. In other words, VW has some catching up to do but brings a smattering of experience to the table. Fans are already itching for the new electronic VW Golf and the new e-up! got plenty of love at early shows.

The Big Questions

There’s no doubt that VW can deliver, but the question is: When? And are they actually going to sell? Will even devout VW fans sway to the competition? Only time will tell, but it’s not too late for Volkswagen to catch up with (and overtake) the competition. Right now, e-vehicles are anyone’s game and Tesla may be proving that too much too fast causes burnout (sometimes literally).

It’s likely that e-cars will be hitting the dealerships in abundance over the next year, and enthusiasts are keeping their eyes peeled for reviews and performance results. Would you be interested in taking an electric Volkswagen for a spin, or do you prefer the classics? They say there’s a top for every pot, and there might just be an electric car for every driver. Whether or not it happens to be a VW remains up in the air until test drives become available.

Which to Pick?

If you’re interested in a VW, take a peek at the e-Golf. The Golf is a Volkswagen legend, arguably one of the most popular, beloved and easily spotted VW on the roads. The compact car re-defined hatchback and has been a staple in the VW lineup since 1974. It’s undergone numerous transformations during the past few decades (it used to be the Rabbit and Caribe) and proudly touts a number of awards. Winner of World Car of the Year, runner up for European Car of the Year, and named numerous times on Car and Driver’s annual 10 Best list, drivers are truly getting a steal when they choose the Golf which has an MSRP price starting under $20,000. Where else can you get German engineering for such an affordable price tag than with the Golf?

Now in the seventh generation, Golf models include the A7 and Typ5G, both of which have been available since 2012. Situated on a MQB platform, the newest Golfs have close ties to the Audi A3. The seventh generation debuted at the Paris Motor Show to great aplomb. The Golf VII is a little larger than the Mk6, but seemingly magically lighter (depending on which engine you choose). With the GTI, drivers get 217 bhp in a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine. However, drivers can also choose the Golf TSI (inclusive of the GTI), Golf TDI (inclusive of the GTD), and Golf TGI. Select from a diesel engine, natural gas engine, or even the e-Golf which is powered via electricity.

Want something in the middle? The Golf GTE is a hybrid plug-in, perfect for both daily commutes and long, summer road trips through Utah’s stunning parks and forests. Different models come with different features. Choose from 15- or 17-inch alloy rims, steel or black grills, and different shades of tinted glass. A full-floor console with storage, fade-to-off interior lighting, and air filtration make any trip more enjoyable.

The Golf, no matter the model, has proven to be a great match for all types of drivers. A little sporty, a lot convenient, and with style to spare, going with a Golf is a sure thing (and thousands of “Golfers” can’t be wrong).


Best of the Web: cheaper model 3 for Tesla?

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Elon Musk just sent this memo to employees about the cheaper Model 3 and store closures

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to employees on Thursday night explaining the company’s decision to reduce headcount in its sales and marketing divisions.
  • The memo comes after the company announced it is finally launching its long-awaited standard Model 3 starting at $35,000.
  • As part of the announcement, Tesla said it would be moving all of its sales exclusively online.

Link to Original Story

Original Memo Below

Last month, I noted in my email that the fundamental issue Tesla must overcome is that our products remain too expensive for most people. We know there are many people who want to buy Model 3, but simply can’t afford to do so.

That is why we’re excited to announce today that we are now offering the standard Model 3 at $35,000. This is a significant milestone for Tesla, the culmination of years of hard work by employees across the company, and something of which you should all be very proud. You can read the details of the announcement on our blog: LINK HERE

In addition, we are also making the decision to shift all sales worldwide to online only.

Last year, 78% of all Model 3 orders were placed online, rather than in a store, and 82% of customers bought their Model 3 without ever having taken a test drive. Customers can now buy a Tesla in North America via their phone in about 1 minute, and that capability will soon be extended worldwide. We are also making it much easier to try out and return a Tesla without a test drive. You can now return a car within 7 days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. Customers are becoming increasingly comfortable making purchases online, and that is especially true for Tesla — which is a testament to the products we make.

As a result, over the next few months, we will be winding down many of our stores and significantly reducing our spend on sales and marketing, which will help make the price changes we’ve announced today possible. Shifting all sales online combined with other ongoing cost efficiency will enable us to lower all vehicle prices by about 6% on average, allowing us to achieve the $35,000 Model 3 price point.

A small number of stores in high-traffic locations will remain as galleries, showcases and Tesla information centers. At the same time, we will be increasing our investment in the Tesla service system and manufacturing, and I expect that headcount to grow next year.

Unfortunately, this means that some jobs will be impacted or transitioned to other areas of the business. This is a hard decision, but it necessary to make our cars more affordable. Our sales team has fought on the front lines of advancing our mission and has been our connection to hundreds of thousands of customers along the way. I want to express my sincere gratitude for all that you’ve done.

Kn the coming weeks, we will be evaluating all of our sales and marketing organization to understand where there are operation efficiencies, and how best to support the transition to online sales while also continuing to deliver a truly awesome and education Tesla buying experience.

We’ll be sharing more information on this transition soon.

Thank you,

Best of the Web: Musk Hints at Model 3 under $35K


Original Story Link

New York (CNN) Tesla has long promised a pared-down version of its Model 3 sedan that would be $35,000.

The electric car company announced Thursday, more than a year after Tesla began delivering Model 3s, that price point is finally available — but CEO Elon Musk said the company will have to close stores and lay off workers in order to make it financially sustainable to produce the cheaper car.

The Model 3 is “excruciatingly difficult” to make at the reduced price, Musk told reporters on a conference call.

The base model will have 220 miles of range, a top speed of 130mph, the company said in a blog post.

Best of the Web: Recent Tesla Fatality


A Tesla driver in Florida died in his burning car after he crashed into a tree. Witnesses said that they couldn’t enter the vehicle to help the driver because the door handles wouldn’t work and the airbags didn’t deflate.

Witnesses said that the vehicle was traveling at over 75 mph at the time of the crash.

Link to Original Story

There’s some video an onlooker tweeted at the original story.

At the Kicker our hearts go out to the friends and family anytime there is a fatal car crash. We do want to put things in perspective though. Tesla is under a lot of scrutiny by virtue of the fact that they are a new company with a very different vehicle. We don’t repost these events to join the eco-chamber that can happen when accidents by one automaker are put in a constant loop while accidents by other automakers isn’t deemed newsworthy. Its probably unfortunate timing for Tesla that this comes days after consumer reports downgraded their safety rating of the Model 3.

VW Monday: A Jetta or a GTI?

Kicker Temp VW Jetta vs GTI

Whether the traditional Jetta Sedan is more your speed, or you prefer the Jetta Sportswagen, you’re sure to find the right machine to “jet” off into the sunset. The sedan starts with an MSRP of under $16,000 and the Sportswagen at just under $21,000, so either model is a wise move. The popular family car has been on the market since 1979 and was originally intended to fill a “sedan need” that the Golf just wasn’t cutting for certain drivers. In total, there are six generations of Jetta and they keep getting better with each reincarnation. The original move was to simply add a trunk to the Golf’s hatchback, plus some unique styling—particularly with the front bumper. It’s available with two or four doors, and the Sportswagen boasts a five-door approach. Seating up to five people, over 14 million Jettas have been sold around the globe. And millions of drivers can’t be wrong.

Every generation features a bigger and stronger car. The Jetta is VW’s top-selling model and it’s no surprise why. Reviewers have always raved about the incredible handling, roomy interior (which gets bigger with each generation), and the sleek lines of the car. For those who want a dependable car with plenty of luxury to boot, the Jetta is a great choice. It can easily fit a family (even for those longer trips), has exceptional handling that can manage those four distinct Utah seasons, and VW is of course known for staying power. It’ll last thousands of miles as long as you give it the TLC it deserves.

Every new sedan has clearcoat paint, body-color rear bumpers, trunk rear cargo access, and stunning black grills. A six-way driver seat ups the comfort, and a 14.5 gallon fuel tank means you can go for miles without refilling. Select from a Base model, S, SE, or SE with connectivity if you really want to go high tech. For the Sportswagen, choose from S, SE, TDI, or SE with a sunroof. Heatable front comfort seats are standard in every Sportswagen, so drivers are sitting pretty on those winter trips to Alta or Park City.

Your Other Option

Part of the Golf family, the GTI was originally a concept car that was inspired by the Golf Mk5. It features an incredible 6.0 liter W12 engine compliments of Volkswagen Phaeton. It’s basically a “souped up” Golf for those who love their machines but want even better performance. There’s a twin-turbocharged engine under the hood that bolsters an extra 200 bhp, bringing the grand total to 641 bhp. Claims that the GTI could go from 1-62 in just 3.7 seconds, when it first became available in 2007, everyone was clamoring for a GTI—and nothing has changed. Featuring rear wheel drive with a six-speed automatic gearbox to boot, it’s a fantastic driving machine but still has all the interior comforts drivers have come to expect from Volkswagen.

A modified body was in order to make room for that massive engine, so a GTI looks like a wider Golf—but it’s easy to spot with that rear spoiler which optimizes handling. In order to maximize grip, you’ll find that W12 engine nestled right in the middle of the vehicle. You’ll find the MSRP starting at just a smidge over $25,000, making a GTI a cost-effective sports machine. However, with four doors and plenty of interior cabin room, it can also pull double duty as a commuter car, road trip haven or the go-to car to haul the kids around. It’s a multi-tasking machine for your multi-tasking life.

Whether the original Wolfsburg attention catches your eye or you’re after the special Driver’s Edition, a GTI is a great accessory for any driver. Those 18-inch alloy wheels come in both models along with light tinted glass and a black grill. The Driver’s Edition also features a projector beam high intensity low/high beam, express open/close sliding and tilting glass, and an instrument panel-covered bin.

Who said beauty and brawn couldn’t mix? With the GTI, drivers get absolutely everything they want, and power to spare.