Seat Time: 2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen

April 9th, 2015 at 9:00am

Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen

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: Seamus McElroy
Manufacturer: Volkswagen
Make: Volkswagen
Model: Golf Sportwagen
Type: Station Wagon
Competitors: Subaru Outback, Subaru XV Crosstrek, Toyota Prius v
Price: Gasoline model starts at $22,215; Diesel model starts at $25,415
Made in: Puebla, Mexico
Drivetrain: 1.8L turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine with direct injection mated to five-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmission. 2.0L turbocharged diesel engine with direct injection mated to six-speed manual transmission or six-speed dual clutch transmission.
EPA Ratings: 1.8L w/ manual, 25 MPG city, 36 MPG highway, 29 MPG combined; 1.8L w/ automatic, 25 MPG city, 35 MPG highway, 29 MPG combined. 2.0L w/ manual, 31 MPG city, 43 MPG highway, 35 MPG combined; 2.0L w/ automatic 31 MPG city, 42 MPG highway, 35 MPG combined.

Final Impression:
Volkswagen Golf SportwagenLast year Volkswagen introduced the all-new Golf family whose line-up includes a gasoline powered version, a diesel model, an electric version plus two performance variants, the GTI and R. And now the Golf family is about to get bigger. Starting this month, the new Golf Sportwagen hits dealerships in the U.S. The new wagon, which replaces the Jetta Sportwagen, is built on the same MQB architecture as the Golf.

Not surprisingly it looks pretty much the same as the hatchback version except bigger. There’s plenty of room up front for the driver and passenger but taller occupants will feel cramped in the back seat. There is plenty of trunk space and if more room is needed the rear seats fold flat.
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Auto Tune: “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got” by William DeVaughn

April 8th, 2015 at 3:00pm

Driving, riding, roads and of course cars themselves have all been immortalized by writers, composers and musicians around the world. Auto Tune is our way to spotlight a unique transportation song to celebrate these “ridden” gems along with the artists or composers who crafted them. Some you may know, many we’re sure you don’t.

william_devaughnIn the early ‘70s, government worker William DeVaughn had a dream. As a singer, songwriter and guitarist, he hoped to move from the office to the studio and record music for a living. His first effort, which he wrote in 1972 while still pushing papers, was entitled “A Cadillac Don’t Come Easy.” His Philly producers, members of the soon to be famous MSFB session musicians – remember TSOP you Soul Train fans – had him change the title, gave the song a tasty groove and when it was released in 1974 William DeVaughn had a hit on his hands. The song, now called “Be Thankful For What You Got” became known as the Curtis Mayfield song that had nothing to do with the great artist. “Thankful” was so similar to his style many thought it was written and performed by Mayfield which may have contributed to DeVaughn’s inability to stay in music.

Shoot 40 years into the future and if Cadillac wants to be relevant with the hipsters as well as the hip-hop crowd, it probably wouldn’t hurt it to reach back to 1974 and use “Be Thankful For What You’ve Got” in a campaign or two. If you’ve never heard it just click on the link to check it out.

- Chip Drake, Executive Producer, Autoline

Full Coverage of the 2015 New York International Auto Show

April 6th, 2015 at 2:37pm

Get our full roster of New York Auto Show coverage! With first looks ranging from Cadillac‘s headturning CT6 to Jaguar‘s deceptively familiar XF sports sedan to Lincoln‘s surprising, stunning and controversial Continental concept, there’s something for everybody.

Click the Play button above to watch all of Autoline’s coverage in one convenient spot. Or, jump to an individual interview below.

Lexus Group VP & GM Jeff Bracken with Lexus RX
Global Chevrolet Cars Exec. Dir. of Design John Cafaro with Chevrolet Malibu
Scion Division Group VP Doug Murtha with Scion iA & iM
JLRNA General Manager, Product Planning Rob Filipovic with Jaguar XF
Kia Motors America VP, Product Planning Orth Hedrick with Kia Optima
Cadillac Chief Engineer Dave Leone with Cadillac CT6
MBUSA General Mgr., Product Management, Bart Herring with Mercedes GLE
Lincoln Design Director David Woodhouse with Lincoln Continental Concept

AAH #281 – Maximum Luxury at the Big Apple Auto Show

April 3rd, 2015 at 12:06am

Audio-only version:

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UP FOR DISCUSSION: New York Auto Show Wrap-up
- Cadillac CT6: How does the much-awaited flagship stack up?
- Scion iA & iM: Is this the product the brand so dearly needs?
- Lexus RX: How will drivers take to the new styling of the CUV that started it all?

SPECIAL GUEST: Pierre Loing, Vice President, Product Planning, Nissan North America
- Inside the all-new Maxima and look behind the curtain of Nissan’s product strategy

All that and much more with John McElroy,; Michelle Krebs, AutoTrader; Jamie Lincoln Kitman, Automobile; Joe Phillippi, AutoTrends Consulting.

Thanks to our sponsor who makes Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone

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2016 Kia Optima Refines its Formula for Success – New York Auto Show 2015

April 1st, 2015 at 6:50pm

Orth Hedrick is the Vice President of Product Planning for Kia Motors America. He talks with John McElroy about the 2016 Kia Optima, which has gently evolved its design because, Hedrick says, “Why mess around with a good thing?” Instead, Kia focused on improving features under the skin like offering more trunk and rear seat room as well as improving safety and fuel efficiency.

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Gets New Name, New Propulsion – New York Auto Show 2015

April 1st, 2015 at 6:02pm

Bart Herring is the General Manager of Product Management for Mercedes-Benz USA. He talks with John McElroy about the new GLE-Class, which is the first vehicle to adhere to a new set of nomenclature. Why the change? Herring explains. Along with its new name it also gets a new source of power in the form of a wall socket. We learn M-B’s thoughts on plug-in strategy after its big success with diesels.

Advanced Materials Make 2016 Cadillac CT6 an Innovation Powerhouse – New York Auto Show 2015

April 1st, 2015 at 5:14pm

David Leone is the Executive Chief Engineer of Cadillac. He talks with John McElroy about the long-awaited Cadillac flagship dubbed the CT6. Leone discusses the combination of world-first technologies like high-pressure aluminum die casting and advanced mixed materials that result in a 7 Series-size sedan that weighs less than a 5 Series.

2016 XF is an All-New Jag with Very Familiar Looks – New York Auto Show 2015

April 1st, 2015 at 3:44pm

Rob Filipovic is the Manager of Product Planning for Jaguar Land Rover North America. He talks with John McElroy about the all-new Jaguar XF, which has lost a whopping 300 lbs. while keeping such a similar shape that you’ll wonder if it’s changed. Filipovic explains that the structure is almost entirely aluminum and gives us an idea of when to expect the sports sedan on dealer lots.

Auto Tune: “Riding With the King” by John Hiatt

April 1st, 2015 at 3:00pm

Driving, riding, roads and of course cars themselves have all been immortalized by writers, composers and musicians around the world. Auto Tune is our way to spotlight a unique transportation song to celebrate these “ridden” gems along with the artists or composers who crafted them. Some you may know, many we’re sure you don’t.

John_Hiatt_Riding_with_the_KingI doubt there’s any one songwriter in the rock ‘n’ roll era who has written more about cars in his music than John Hiatt. As a native Hoosier where the car played an enormous role in growing up, he used it in not only autobiographical songs but also as subjects in other tunes which will appear here down the road a piece. But “Riding With The King,” which was the title track from Hiatt’s 4th album in 1983, captured the importance of the Elvis mystique even if it was a metaphor for his own life. This was the album that, according to Hiatt himself, jumpstarted a career that is still going strong some 30 years later.

- Chip Drake, Executive Producer, Autoline

Continental is the New Face of Lincoln – New York Auto Show 2015

April 1st, 2015 at 2:48pm

David Woodhouse is the Design Director for the Lincoln Motor Company. He talks with John McElroy about the Lincoln Continental concept car being shown in New York. Woodhouse walks through key design features of the car including the grille that will become the new face of the brand. We get some hints at what features are ready for production, which will debut on future cars and which are just for fun.