Volkswagen Recalls Certain Golf Models

 Recalls  Comments Off on Volkswagen Recalls Certain Golf Models
Jul 302018

2018 VW Golf

Latino Traffic Report has learned that Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain 2015-2018 Volkswagen Golf and Golf Sportwagen vehicles. The build of silicate on the shift lever micro switch contacts may enable the key to be removed from the ignition while the vehicle shift lever is not in “Park.” As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 114, “Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention.”

Golf Sportwagen

Removing the key while the shift lever is in a position other than “Park” increases the risk of an unintended vehicle rollaway that may result in personal injury or a crash.

Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will install an additional switch and circuit board, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 8, 2018. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-893-5298. Volkswagen’s number for this recall is 37L5.

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to

Car Review: 2018 Golf GTI

 Reviews, Volkswagen  Comments Off on Car Review: 2018 Golf GTI
Apr 212018

At Latino Traffic Report (LTR), we continue to root for the manual transmission, so whenever we get a test model delivered with one, it’s always a good day. Such was the case when the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0T SE arrived, equipped with a six-speed manual transmission (standard equipment) and lots of pep.

What makes a manual transmission so preferable, especially on a compact car, is that it ramps up the fun-to-drive experience of an otherwise lackluster model—most five-door hatches are built for efficiency and convenience, not fun. As a result, the GTI has received more than a dozen awards since its redesign in 2015.

Described by VW as its “hot hatch,” the GTI debuted in 1983 and since then has transformed the hatchback from a utilitarian car and into a sporty compact. Redesigned for the 2015 model year, the seventh generation of the Golf GTI included three available trim levels—S, SE, and Autobahn. They remain for 2018 but with a few improvements.

The four-cylinder, 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged direct-injection engine, built in Silao, Mexico, returns but it’s been improved in 2018 to produce 220 horsepower (achieved on premium fuel), and a torque peak of 258 lb.–ft. Paired to the six-speed manual transmission, it can achieve an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 25 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. During the test it achieved an average fuel economy of 27 mpg.

The available six-speed automatic transmission incorporates a launch control feature and a new Start-Stop System designed to save gas, earning an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

While not the top-of-the-line model, the GTI does sits above the Golf S and SE, expanding its list of standard features to include heated front seats, a sunroof, a blind spot monitor, rear traffic alert, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, and keyless access with a push button start.

For those who can’t step up to the GTI, standard features on all Golfs include cruise control, air conditioning, VW Car-Net App Connect, a rearview camera, LED headlights, and daytime running lights and taillights.

Known for sportiness, the Golf GTI is still a hatchback and as such, versatile, offering cargo carrying room of up to 52.7 cu. ft. with the rear seat folded flat. The infotainment touchscreen has also increased to 6.5 inches for 2018 on the base model. It measured eight inches on the test model.

Like other brands, VW has taken to using a warranty to tilt car buyers in their favor. The Golf GTI is covered by a transferable, six-year or 72,000-mile (whichever occurs first) bumper-to-bumper New Vehicle Limited Warranty.

Pricing for the 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI with a six-speed manual transmission starts at $27,265. The price as–tested, including black leather seating with red accent stitching ($695) and red ambient lighting came to $32,015.

Sí: The Golf GTI was fun to drive and included nice creature comforts like heated seats and a blind spot monitor.

No: While VW likes to call the GTI an affordable performance vehicle, it’s a little pricey, especially compared to the competition.

Launches: New VW Golf Sportwagen Stretches Fuel, Gas or Diesel

 Launches  Comments Off on Launches: New VW Golf Sportwagen Stretches Fuel, Gas or Diesel
Aug 192015

2015-03-10 vw-sportw

AUSTIN, TX—Volkswagen traveled to Austin this year to launch the 2015 Golf Sportwagen. Surprisingly affordable, the Golf lineup now adds versatility with this extended version, plus impressive fuel economy.

The manufacturer remains loyal to diesel powertrains and manual transmissions (technology known for stretching a tank of fuel), offering a 2.0-liter, 150-horsepower turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder TDI Clean Diesel, fitted with a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.2015-03-09 18.39.41

The base engine is the gasoline-powered 1.8-liter, 170-horsepower turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder TSI engine mated to a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

Both engines boast impressive fuel economy, with the diesel averaging an EPA estimated 35 miles per gallon (mpg), while the 1.8-liter should average 29 mpg. On the road test that took us into the Texas Hill Country, both engines performed well with the diesel and gas engines averaging 39.5 mpg and 31.9 mpg, respectively.

2015-03-09 18.59.49As an added treat, the launch also included new experiences for this 32-year Austin resident, including dinner at Rabbit’s, the East Austin landmark known as the place Latino wheeler dealers used to congregate, and lunch at the critically acclaimed Qui Austin restaurant, also on East Sixth Street. Owned by Top Chef champion, Paul Qui, the restaurant critic’s darling was oddly missing a sign on the outside—the clientele apparently “just know” where to find it. But I digress.

Like the Jetta Sportwagen it replaces, the Golf version will appeal to families, but also active folks with cargo carrying needs. The rear seats are split and fold down easily, expanding the cargo space to 66.5 cubic feet. Plus, the roof is lower to make it easier to load bicycles and such on top.

When it comes to safety, the Sportwagen lacks some modern technology like a blind spot warning system but the 2016 model should rectify that. Standard features include electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, the new Automatic Post-Collision Braki2015_golf_sportwagen_4707ng system that 2015_golf_sportwagen_3811continues to apply brakes after a crash to avoid additional collisions, and the roadside assistance program for three-years or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first).

Available safety technology includes parking sensors and forward collision warning.

On the inside, standard creature comforts include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, steering wheel controls, a 5.8-inch touch screen infotainment center with a capacitive sensor, Sirius XM Satellite radio, Bluetooth technology, air conditioning, VW Car-Net connected services, and V-tex leatherette seating.

The TDI adds keyless entry with push-button start and a rearview camera.

A panoramic sunroof is standard on all but the base model Sportwagen.

Hecho en México at the plant in Puebla, the 2015-03-10 golfwag.launch2015 Golf Sportwagen has a base price of $22,215 while the TDI, with a base price of $25,415, is $2,000 less than the outgoing Jetta version.

The VW Golf impressed auto writers enough to win the 2015 North American Car of the Year honors. More versatile and fuel efficient, its new sibling should grab a bit of the spotlight as well.