Seat Time: 2014 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Lux

September 2nd, 2014 at 12:29pm

2014 Volkswagen Touareg

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Chip Drake
Manufacturer: Volkswagen
Make: Volkswagen
Model: Touareg TDI Lux
Type: Premium SUV, 4-door and tailgate
Competitors: Mercedes-Benz M-Class; Infiniti QX70; BMW X5; Acura MDX
Price: As tested — $56, 785 (with $910 destination charge included)
Made in: Brataslava, Slovakia
Drivetrain: 3.0L, 240 horsepower 406 lbs-ft torque TDI Clean Diesel
EPA Ratings: 20city, 29highway, 23combined

Final Impression:

2014 Volkswagen TouaregWhat’s not to like about this vehicle? Yes, I’m asking you “what’s not to like about the 2014 VW Touareg TDI Lux” because for the life of me, I can’t find anything to complain about. I like the exterior styling as well as the Night Blue Metallic paint along with the 19-inch alloy wheels. It’s a nice looking stylish package. And did I mention the tailgate? It has a powered one that lifts efficiently with plenty of cargo room in back to haul the tons of donations we had to take to our local Goodwill/Salvation Army during the week I drove the vehicle. To say it’s a natural when moving items from one place to the other is obvious.

Yet it’s the other benefits of this SUV are the ones that really hit the mark for me. Let’s start with the luscious Saddle Brown interior and the comfort of the seats. I wouldn’t mind taking this sled on a drive to Alaska, especially with that 3.0-Liter, 240-horsepower turbocharged V6 clean diesel engine. I drove the vehicle for seven days around Metro Detroit going well over 450 miles only to find I had nearly a third of a tank left when I grudgingly turned it back in. And safe to say that if I’m willing to drive more than 14,000 miles round trip (to Juno and back), but more importantly with my wife as a passenger who is easily Ms. Best Ergonomic 2014, that you can be sure those 12-way power, heated front seats, 4MOTION AWD and its all-independent suspension are more than doing their jobs because there isn’t a fussier person on the planet when it comes to ride and comfort than my wife. I often wonder why no OEM has hired her as its own “tush tester.”

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AD #1448 – Another Jumps Nissan Ship, No JV’s for Suppliers in China, Historic Car Identified

September 2nd, 2014 at 11:49am

Runtime: 7:44

- Another Defection at Nissan
- China Not Forcing JV’s on Suppliers
- Uber May See German Ban
- Corvette Museum Sinkhole to be Filled
- Historic Car Identified
- Volt Owners Shock Chevy

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AAH #255 – Plug-ins, Spin Loss and Powertrains of the Future

August 29th, 2014 at 4:08pm

Audio-only version:

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UP FOR DISCUSSION:
- Was Ross Perot Right? More Move to Mexico
- China & India Go After Western Automakers: Is This the Beginning of the End?

SPECIAL GUEST: Larry Nitz, GM Powertrain Executive Director, Global Transmission & Electrification

All that and much more with Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production, Stephanie Brinley, IHS Automotive and Gary Witzenburg, AutoMedia.com.

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone and Hyundai

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AD #1447 – VW’s Plan to Boost Sales, Buick Envision Revealed, First Impressions: Acura TLX

August 29th, 2014 at 11:52am

Runtime: 7:25

- VW’s Plan to Grow U.S. Market Share
- Buick Envision Revealed
- Equinox Production Moves to Mexico
- Is the Acura TLX a Turning Point for the Brand?
- Can You Identify This Car?
- Are New Cars Becoming too Expensive?

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ATW #1828 - America’s Auto Bubble

August 28th, 2014 at 6:00pm



Mark Wakefield, AlixPartners, Jeff Schuster, LMC Automotive, Charles Chesbrough, IHS Automotive. Topic: Car sales.

Auto sales in America have recently been on a tear. In fact, some suggest the SAAR might actually challenge those heady days of 18 million units. Enter AlixPartners whose newest study indicates that U.S. sales may have already peaked. Joining host John McElroy to discuss this topic and more are Mark Wakefield from AlixPartners, Charles Chesbrough from IHS as well as Jeff Schuster from LMC Automotive.

AD #1446 – Mexico “Even Steven,” China Opts for Coal over Oil, The Upside of Recalls

August 28th, 2014 at 11:48am

Runtime: 5:57

- Mustang Production Kicks Off
- Saab on Life Support
- Mexico “Even Steven”
- China Opts for Coal over Oil
- The Upside of Recalls

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AD #1445 – Volvo Reveals XC90, AutoVaz in Trouble, Subprime Concerns Overblown?

August 27th, 2014 at 11:45am

Runtime: 7:12

- Volvo Reveals XC90
- AutoVaz in Trouble in Russia
- Anti-UAW VW Workers to Form own Union
- Subprime Concerns Overblown
- GM’s Corrosive Issue

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Seat Time: 2014 Volkswagen CC Executive

August 26th, 2014 at 3:00pm

2014 Volkswagen CC

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Chip Drake
Manufacturer: Volkswagen
Make: Volkswagen
Model: CC Executive
Type: Mid-Size Sports Sedan
Competitors: Acura TSX, Buick Regal, Hyundai Azera, Infiniti G37, Nissan Maxima
Price: As tested – $38,260
Made in: Emden, Germany
Drivetrain: 2.0L turbocharged inline four-cylinder with direct injection mated to a six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission
EPA Ratings: 22 MPG city/ 31 MPG highway/ 25 MPG combined

Final Impression:

2014 Volkswagen CC InteriorAs we know, the design of Volkswagens are fairly pedestrian save for the iconic Beetle. The Passat, Jetta, Tiquan, for example, all bare a striking resemblance to a lamb cake mold but less fluffy. So to say the VW CC – in this case the Executive — is the most beautifully designed Volkswagen seems a tad empty if not wholly accurate. The car’s slopey shoulders give it the look of one of its far more expensive Teutonic cousins while its two-toned milk chocolate interior is as luscious as that first summer milkshake on a hot day.

On the inside the car has the tech it’s supposed to have though most of it seems B-list. The RNS 510 Navigation system with its 6.5-inch screen along with the Fender sound system all could stand to be punched up a bit.

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AD #1444 – GM Pedals Green Solution, 1939 Arctic Snow Cruiser, New Hybrid Conversion

August 26th, 2014 at 11:54am

Runtime: 7:02

- China Amps Up Charging Stations
- VW Announces eGolf Price
- GM’s Bike Sharing Program
- CR Crowns Diesel Ram as Top Truck
- India Slaps OEMs with Fine
- Ford Dials Up ST Models Production
- Antarctic Snow Cruiser
- American Axle’s Hybrid Conversion

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Seat Time: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 4Matic

August 25th, 2014 at 3:05pm

2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: John McElroy
Manufacturer: Daimler AG
Make: Mercedes-Benz
Model: S550 4Matic
Type: Full-size, 4-door sedan
Competitors: BMW Alpina B7, Audi A8 L W12, Lexus LS 600h L
Price: As tested $121,345
Made in: Sindelfingen, Germany
Drivetrain: 4.6 L twin turbo V-8, 7-speed automatic
EPA Ratings: 16 city/26 highway/19 mpg combined

Final Impression:

2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class InteriorIf you are ever going to fully appreciate all the technologically packed into this Mercedes, you’d better be ready to earn a PhD in owner’s manual studies. This has got to be the most complicated machine to ever roll off an automotive assembly line. The good news is that you can just jump in this car and go, because the basics of everyday driving are simple enough for anyone to figure out the first time they sit behind the wheel. But if you want to get your money’s worth out of all the controls and functions, get ready to hit the books for some serious study sessions. And even at that you’ll probably need some refresher courses.

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