Category: Volkswagen

Is the New Volkswagen T-Cross a budget Tiguan?

Volkswagen T-Cross

Volkswagen T-Cross Driven Review

We drive the new VW T-Cross in South Africa

With consumers always in search for something new, exciting and different – the current crop of crossover vehicles on offer in SA tend to tick the correct boxes for many. This segment gives you vehicles that look like small SUV’s, some of which are actually quite capable off road, whilst others can merely climb Sandton pavements. Other brands simply offer funky styling that screams adventure and #livingyourbestlife. Mainly aimed at a younger professional audience, crossovers need to be a value proposition to those who may not want a fully-fledged SUV but have outgrown their hatchback. Enter the new Volkswagen T- Cross.

Volkswagen T-Cross Front

The name suggests it all, this Volkswagen is a bigger Polo on steroids, with a unique look to it that is both striking and good looking. Having driven it on launch and spending time with a bright orange unit on test for a week, we’ve come to the conclusion that this is one impressive vehicle. Surprise surprise, another good Volkswagen – you’d swear this company sells thousands of cars in South Africa per month. Sarcasm aside, the new T-Cross is built on the MQB platform, giving it dimensions that fall within a Tiguan and a Polo. Having team members of varying proportions, no one complained about the size offering of the T-Cross. Instead, as a cyclist, I was able to ditch the bike rack and simply drop the back seats – unlocking 1281litres of storage space, enough for my roadie to sit comfortably. When the back seats are up, you’ll have 455 litres, which should be enough for all two and a half children of yours.

Volkswagen T-Cross Back

Inside the T-Cross is the usual Volkswagen story. Quality materials. Plastic yes, but durable plastics that don’t seem cheap. Depending on the specification you choose, you can customize your dashboard. For instance, the Energetic Orange unit we had on test, featured an orange dashboard and some fine metal bits – creating a quirky and premium feel. Technology-wise, the unit we had featured Apple CarPlay, a decently sized infotainment system, Bluetooth, USB, aux and whatever millennials want in a vehicle. Starting up the T-Cross you’ll notice the rasp of a 3-cylinder engine. Being a boosted engine, you’ve 85kW/200Nm mated to a 7 speed DSG gearbox. This configuration is nice for day to day driving and when the vehicle is moving the power on offer is reasonable and offers enough for cruising and overtaking, our only complaint would be that on pull off and low-end acceleration, the T-Cross can be sluggish at times. Apart from that, we really can’t fault it from a driving perspective. The T-Cross is comfortable enough for long journeys, it’s effortless to drive and it even has an element of fun in it. It has a likeable personality to it that is reflected in its overall design.

If you do find the 85kW variant lacking when it comes to power, do not fear. A 110kW version is coming to South Africa in the near future which will offer more usable power throughout the rev range and will be even better suited for the open road. We’ve had the pleasure of sampling this engine in the new Audi A1 and that version turned out to be the pick of the bunch for us. Aesthetic wise, there’s a range of colours to choose.  Favourites such as Reflex Silver Metallic, Pure White and Deep Black Pearlescent, can be selected. For those looking to express themselves more, options such as Makena Turquoise Metallic, Flash Red and Energetic Orange are available – with matching interior trim as well.

The T-Cross is no Tiguan, but it certainly bridges the gap between VW’s hatches and SUV’s by providing more space and flexibility at a good price point. Out-grown your Polo but a Tiguan is out of reach? Your answer is the T-cross.

Volkswagen T-Cross

It may sound like we’re singing the praises of this car strongly, but the fact is that the German outfit has delivered time and time again on price, reliability, and product across the range. Nothing has changed with the T-Cross either, they just seem to understand the consumer and deliver on the wants and needs of South Africans.  They say the “proof is in the pudding”, VWSA has already sold 850 units in the first week due to pre-orders and aggressive marketing campaigns. Need we say more?

Volkswagen T-Cross Pricing in South Africa

The 110kW model will be available from the first quarter of 2020, while the entry-level 70kW T-Cross will be available in the second quarter of 2020.

1.0 TSI 85kW Comfortline DSG®       R334 600

1.0 TSI 85kW Highline DSG®             R365 000

1.5 TSI 110kW R-Line DSG®               R403 500

The T-Cross comes standard with a 3 year/120 000km warranty, a 3 year/ 45 000km Volkswagen Service Plan and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service interval is 15 000km.

Learn more here.

 

Volkswagen Golf R Technology

Volkswagen Golf R Technology

There was a time and stage when a radio in a car was an accessory – an optional extra that had to be fitted by a specialist and at an extra cost to the owner. The “wireless” in question first started out as one horrid, singular speaker in the footwell beneath the dashboard of the vehicle that had a timbre much akin to that of a gentle band, mumbling through a pillow while sitting in the corner of an echoey bathroom. The world was then blessed with the luxury of ‘stereo’ which in essence sounded like two of these mumbling pillow bands, but now at opposite ends of this echoey bathroom. Suffice to say, we have come a Lon way since then and as the telescopic ariels and shoddy sound-quality disappeared, the “audio system” developed too into what is now simply known as infotainment. The more perceptive of you would have figured out that infotainment is an amalgamation of the two words ‘information’ and ‘entertainment’ – wow, what a time to be alive!
Take Volkswagen’s new Golf R, for example. This is the perfect example of a sensible, practical and perfectly capable everyday vehicle which just so happens to have the latest and greatest in ‘infotainment’ available as an option. This is neatly integrated into the vehicle and works seamlessly in conjunction with what VW call the ‘Active Informalities Display.’ Essentially, this display is a 12-inch high-resolution screen that sits behind the steering wheel where one may traditionally have found the analogue instruments. This display is customisable by the driver and can show all kinds of relevant information – the speedometer and rev-counter will even move to either side of the display to make more space for the map when using the satellite-navigation system.
Vehicle settings can also be controlled and changed via the optional 9.2 – inch Discover Pro touchscreen system which is really great from a usability and user interface perspective.  The system is really easy to navigate and contains clean menu’s and infographics to aid the user in whichever process or function they are trying to use. The Discover Pro system also features gesture control technology. Gesture control is able to decipher certain gestures which you my make in order to change to the next song playing through the vehicle’s optional Dynaudio audio-system – which compromises of 9 high-performance speakers, front and rear 2-way loudspeaker sets and a discreetly mounted dual voice coil subwoofer which is all powered by a 400-watt digital amplifier. In short, it sounds really good.  The gesture control worms a charm, however, if you’ aren’t happy with the VW interface, connect your iPhone and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
On top of this, almost all the information you could ever need regarding the vehicle can be displayed on the touch screen. If you’re conscious of fuel economy, then VW’s think blue trainer can be activated, aiding the driver in driving more economically. Our favorite option is the sports display, which displays live digital gauges on metrics such as power, torque, boost levels and G-force.
In terms of safety tech, the Golf R also features more commonplace premium features such as lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control which is radar-controlled and makes sure you are always keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front while maintaining and adjusting speed. Also available is Blind-spot assist and Rear Traffic Alert which monitors traffic that is approaching the rear of the car when reversing and notifies the driver is necessary.  All these features go a long way to adding to the premium feel of the Golf R and go along way in keeping you safer on the roads.
So there you have it – gone are the days of plastic oranges on ariels and space-consuming 8-track upfront. The Golf R has got you covered with all the tech you could ever need – incredible audio quality, clean and concise maps, and a user interface that doesn’t frustrate the living daylights out of you as do the majority of OEM systems do. Few buttons, legible text and responsive software are a simple recipe for success in this instance.

5 Reasons why you should buy a 228kW Golf R

5 Reasons to buy a 228kW Golf R

The quintessential Super-hatch – the Volkswagen Golf R, is a true all-rounder and an exceptionally appealing package, however, in today’s ultra-competitive performance vehicle segment, there are so many options to choose from. So why, then, might one consider the original, the legend – the Golf R?

It’s Iconic

Well, it’s iconic. There’s no denying the Golf’s cult status as the benchmark vehicle within its segment. Add to this a little more poke, and you get the GTI which is arguably one of the best-balanced vehicles one can buy. But if you’re looking for something just a little more special, well then the Golf R is for you. It’s everything that the GTI is, but turned up to eleven, and we like things when they are turned up to eleven…

Great for daily driving

It’s perfectly civilized on a daily commute – its refined and comfortable and honestly, cars don’t get easier to drive. It’s compact dimensions also mean that it’s a doddle to park and you’ll never find yourself struggling to squeeze your pride and joy into a parking bay. Throw in the optional Dynaudio sound system (you should do this) if you’d like for your tunes to be delivered with the same aplomb as the supple ride in comfort mode.

Practicality

Have a dog, cat or animal that may need to be placed in the rear of your vehicle? Well the Golf R is the consummate hatchback – with 1 233 litres of boot space with the rear seats folded, it’ll swallow just about anything you throw at it. It also has clever little hooks in the boot onto which you can hang your shopping parcels.

Economy

The only thing worse than being stuck in traffic, is being stuck in traffic in a performance car that gulps down the fuel, regardless of how fast you may or may not be moving. The Golf R is fantastically frugal when pottering around, yet has the performance on tap to decimate most cars on the road.

Volkswagen Golf R Badge

Performance & Styling

Which brings us to the whole point of this car, because let’s be honest, a standard Golf can do all of the above, too. 228 kW and 400 N.m are what’ll be unleashed if you give it some welly. 0-100 km/h is sorted out in 4.6 seconds and thanks to the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, and while there might be little-to no drama when launching, the sheer force of the acceleration coupled with the R’s delicious exhaust note makes for some spine-tingling stuff!

Add to all of this a smattering of R badges and a spectrum of snazzy hues from garish yellows to alluring blues and the package is complete. It really is a recipe for hatchback perfection that few, if any, can come even close to matching. In short, the R is comfortable, usable, practical, economical, blisteringly quick and undeniably desirable.

 

Golf GTI TCR Coming to South Africa

GOLF GTI TCR South Africa

Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

Those of you who are avid Motorists will recall that when we had the Golf GTI Clubsport on test some two years ago, we were all rather fond of it. Sure, it lacked the sniper-precise front-end of the Honda Civic Type-R and all-out track focused nature of Renault’a then aged Megane R.S 265, but as an all-round package and daily driver, the Clubsport really took some beating. It was rather special, too, when one considers that only 58 were bought into South Africa. In fact, Sam has one. Its red, and we love it.

Golf GTI TCR front South Africa

Just this week at the Festival of Motoring, held at Kyalami Racetrack, Volkswagen South Africa announced that they will be bringing 300 Golf GTI TCR’s to Mzanzi. Yes, it’s another limited edition Golf GTi, but this is somewhat of a final hoorah for the long in the tooth but still completely wonderful Golf 7.

213 kW and 370 Nm from the familiar EA888 2.0-litre motor is sent to the front wheels with the TCR being touted as the fastest GTI ever, blitzing the 0-100 km/h dash in just 5.6 seconds.

Visual differentiators from the standard GTI are a whole lot of black things, namely the wheels, roof-spoiler, mirror caps and the front splitter. It also has ‘TCR’ decals on the rear doors.

Golf GTI TCR REAR South Africa

Pricing and local specification hasn’t been confirmed but it’ll supposedly be priced at less than R700 000 when it arrives on local shores during the first quarter of 2020.

Will it be as special and exciting as the Clubsport? We are excited to find out…

Polo Vivo Sound Edition Arrives in South Africa

Polo Vivo Sound Edition

Polo Vivo Sound Edition

Here’s what is unique on the Polo Vivo Sound Edition

If there is one thing we know about the youth of today, it’s that they love their music.  They also love the Polo Vivo, as it’s an affordable, stylish and reliable vehicle. The issue with the Polo Vivo and other affordable hatchbacks is that they often lack in the sound department. So then, we’re sure many will welcome the introduction of VW’s latest Polo Vivo.

Polo Vivo Sound Edition Side

Volkswagen South Africa have told us that a special edition varient of the Polo Vivo will be available. From September 2019, will see the introduction of the Polo Vivo Sound Edition – a special edition of South Africa’s best selling passenger vehicle. Having sold 17 672 Polo Vivo’s between the beginning of the year and the end of July it’s quite clear that the Vivo is a firm South African favourite.

Another firm favourite here in Mzanzi is some good tunes while driving, and what better addition could there be to the Vivo than a premium 6-speaker audio system, complete with sub-woofer and app connect.

Visually, equaliser decals, 16-inch anthracite Rivazza wheels and mirror-caps finished in Energetic Orange will distinguish the Vivo Sound Edition from other run of the mill Polo Vivo models.

The Polo Vivo Sound Edition is based on the 1.4-litre Comfortline Manual and as an optional extra, the Black Interior Styling Package can be had at R2 500 which features an anthracite headliner and sun-visors, privacy glass and leather steering wheel, gearknob and handbrake lever.

Polo Vivo Sound Edition
It’ll be available exclusively in Pure White, Limestone Grey and Reef Blue and will retail for R220 000 with a 3 year/120 000 km warranty and 6-year anti-corrosion warranty.

A Volkswagen Maintenance Plan as well as Service plan are available as options. Check it out here!

Here’s why the Volkswagen Golf R is better than a supercar!

Volkswagen Golf R Front

Volkswagen Golf R the Super Hatch!

While the idea of owning a supercar and, at a push, driving supercar everyday may sound fab and glamourous, the reality of the situation is that no-matter where in the world you live, they aren’t particularly practical things. Sure, some of them have more luggage space than others and with independent suspension this and adaptive damping that, the majority of them are actually rather comfortable as “runabouts” – however, as a package, the supercar is still heavily flawed. 

What you need, then, is a hot-hatch – but let’s face it, if you’re the sort of person who has become accustomed the accelerative forces of V12 and V8 supercars, a Golf GTI, as lovely as it is, is hardly going to have you by the seat of your pants before setting your hair on fire…

In essence, there really is only one car for the job here – the Volkswagen Golf R. Offering unrivalled build-quality, not just at this price point but at any, superb practicality, impressive efficiency and all the creature comforts you could ever hope for, it really does live up to its legendary name as the super hatch to beat. Having been the consummate super hatch since its launch in 2013, the facelifted 7.5 Generation Golf R has just received one final update for the South African market before the introduction of the Golf 8 in 2020.

Now with the full 228 kW from Volkswagen’s 2.0-litre direct injection turbocharged motor being fed to all four wheels through Volkswagen’s advanced 4Motion AWD system, the Golf R is capable of catapulting itself to 100 km/h in a mere 4.6 seconds. While this figure is hugely impressive on paper, its far more impressive in reality. The Volkswagen Golf R hurtles itself at the horizon with breathtaking ferocity and then keeps going.

So we know that it’s fast and well built, but just how practical is it? Well when one considers that an average supercar has around 150-litres of awkwardly shaped luggage space, the Golf R’s 340-litres (1 233 – litres with the seats down) is humungous. What’s more, this space is wide, long and has a low boot ledge so as to avoid awkward fumbling when taking objects out of the boot. The boot floor isn’t too low either, which is nice.

In addition to more kW, the Volkswagen Golf R now receives the option of a lovely factory fitted Akrapovic Exhaust system. How lovely you may ask? Well, it snarls, crackles, pops and adds a raucous nature to the R which we felt may have been missing from the car in the past. Couple this with the R’s addictive induction noise, turbo flutters and wastegate whooshes and you have yourself a characterful and somewhat antisocial demeanor to it. See? Lovely. 

One can also option the R with black brake calipers which go nicely with the additional black trim bits that the 228 kW Golf R now comes with.

Speaking of those black trim bits, while the Volkswagen Golf 7 has been praised since its introduction for the fact that it is able to stand out from the crowd when you want it to, or blend in when you don’t, these minor changes to the R’s exterior really do set it apart from the ‘run of the mill’ Golf R’s.  

The eye-candy doesn’t stop at the door, though. Hop into the cabin and you’ll be greeted with Carbon-fibre look bucket seats and a thick rimmed, meaty steering wheel that feels so great in the hand when exploring the upper limits of the R’s superb chassis. The familiar 12.3-inch Active Info Display replaces traditional analogue instruments and features slick, crisp graphics and an impressive Dynaudio sound system can be had for those audiophiles who aren’t sufficiently pleased by the Akrapovic exhaust system.

Dynamically, the Volkswagen Golf R has always struck the perfect balance between engaging and exciting, yet perfectly manageable. It has an uncanny ability to make even the most novice of drivers seem like driving aces and thanks to its AWD underpinnings, is very forgiving should the driver run out of talent. Of course, this is the sort of driving that will never be done on the daily commute, and thanks to the DSG Gearbox, traffic and pottering around town are lapped up with aplomb. The adaptive dampers provide superb feedback when in the sportier modes, and then absorb the bumps brilliantly when in comfort, but without being wallowy or crashy.

The Volkswagen Golf R really is the vehicle for all seasons and the super-hatch for all people. Whether its hair-raising performance you’re after or a stylish cruiser with a banging audio system, it really does tick all the boxes that you could ever want ticked. The only question is, now – what colour would you take yours in?

 

Pricing and specs:


2.0 TSI R 228 kW DSG R681 000
228 kW/400 N.m

5 year/90 000 km Service Plan as standard
3 year/120 000 km warranty
12-year anti-corrosion warranty
15 000 km service intervals

Volkswagen Golf R 228kW Akrapovic Exhaust System

Golf R 228 kW Akrapovic exhaust system

If you didn’t know, Volkswagen South Africa have updated the Golf 7.5 R. This will most likely be the last variant of the 7th generation Golf R we’ll see in South Africa until the Golf 8 arrives. The feature update to this vehicle is that we now get full power. Yes, South African Golf R’s now produces 228kW which falls in line with the European models, compared to the 213kW models originally available in South Africa. Along with this big change are some minor exterior tweaks in terms of lips and diffusers. There’s also another really exciting addition, the optional Akrapovic exhaust system.

Akrapovic systems are quite popular among the German brands here in South Africa, especially the likes of the Golf GTI and Golf R. They’re extremely high quality, aid performance and sound great. The problem with fitting one of these aftermarket systems to cars under warranty is that it can often cause issues if a warranty claim arises, the difference here is that the Akropovic system available for the 228kW Golf R is manufacturer fitted, thus it’s approved by VW South Africa.

After spending a week with the 228kW Golf R, I can say that the Akrapovic pipes really are a nice addition to an already decent sounding vehicle. What’s impressive about the system is that there’s no exhaust drone when at driving at a steady speed – such as on the highway. In fact, I’d go as far to say that there isn’t much additional noise when cruising and this is a big positive.

The difference is noticed on acceleration, upshifts, downshifts and overrun.  When accelerating a more aggressive, raspy sound can be heard from the Akrapovic tips. Upshifts incur a loud vrpraa and the pops, bangs and bubbles heard on overrun are simply delightful.

If you’re worried this system will be too loud, don’t be. It’s very tasteful and while it’s noticeably louder outside the vehicle, inside the cabin it blends nicely with the engine and induction noise and isn’t obtrusive or annoying when your foot isn’t buried into the floor – we know this probably isn’t much of the time.

For us, if you’re buying a 228kW Golf R, the Akrapovic system is a must and really is the finishing touches to an already very well rounded performance vehicle.

To give you a better insight into the sound, here’s a clip of the Akropovic pipes fitted to the 228kW Golf R at standstill.


 

Volkswagen Touareg V8 TDI

The Volkswagen Touareg Just got better. Meet the V8 variant.

One could argue that the Volkswagen Touareg gained legendary status from the moment VW’s then brand new model hit the road in 2002. This was due in part to its shared underpinnings with Porsche’s also then new Cayenne, but also due to the fact that it was available with a stonking V10 TDI motor.

2002 Toureg v10

The second generation Touareg saw the much loved and mechanically troubled V10 axed for a more potent and frugal V8 TDI, which may not have had the same character as the V10, but golly gosh was it torquey and it suited the Touareg’s subtle yet attractive looks perfectly.

Fast forward 17 years from when Volkswagen’s now flagship was launched and the top-spec Touareg is back, now with VW AG’s 4.0-litre turbodiesel V8 which meets Europe’s latest 6d-TEMP emissions standards. With 310 kW and 900 N.m on tap, you can imagine the look on the face of a man who has just bought a BMW X5 M50d when you smoke him at the traffic light in your Touareg…

But of course, we don’t condone street racing and obviously, V8 Touareg’s will be more likely to be found towing caravan’s than scaring BMW’s on a Tuesday evening.

Compared to the V6 models, the Touareg V8 TDI  includes air suspension, an electronic boot lit, comfort seats, an anti-theft alarm system, stainless steel pedals and the “Light & Sight” package (including automatically dimming exterior mirrors and automatic headlights) all as standard.

The Volkswagen Touareg V8 TDI is due to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show next week, there’s no word yet on South African availability, so time will have to tell whether or not X5 M50d driver’s will need to be looking over their shoulders, for their caravan, of course.

228kW Golf R now available in South Africa

Ok’salayo, new Golf R has more PAH!

If you drive a first generation Volkswagen Golf 7 R, by now you should be over the fact that your colleague that drives a 7.5 R has nicer looking lights and slightly different bumpers. That colleague also has slightly more power, 15kW to be exact. That colleague probably rubs it in your face, reminding you that they drive a facelift and you drive an old car.

What comes around goes around.

If you’ve had to endure the smugness of a Golf 7.5 R driver, you’ll be happy to know that a new, more powerful update has been made to the car. Now, Golf 7.5 owners will have to deal with having the “slower” old car, as their colleagues drive the “new” 228kW version. A further 15kW has been added on top of the 213kW you got before.

Yes, finally VW has given us a Golf R that produces the same power as our friends overseas. For a long time we’ve had detuned versions of the Golf R, due to our apparent low fuel quality. As journalists, we always questioned this because the Audi S3 which is the same car, produced “full” power in SA. Anyways, that’s an argument for another day.

For now, all we know is that the 228kW Golf R will differentiate itself with black badges and a new titanium exhaust system, also in black. Yum. The Golf R also come standard with Active Info Display – meaning you have a digital dashboard. Overall, on the outside the Golf R doesn’t look much different from the current model, so 7.5 owners won’t have too much to worry about. But we all know how it goes, a 228kW Golf R driver will stay say ok’salayo (but still).

 228kW Golf R Pricing in South Africa

2.0 TSI R 228kW DSG                                            R676 000

The Golf R comes standard with a 5 year/90 000km Service Plan,
3 year/120 000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service interval is 15 000km.

Volkswagen T-Cross: VW’s first ever small SUV.

Volkswagen T-Cross

Volkswagen T-Cross.

Meet the Volkswagen T-Cross, VW’S first ever small SUV aimed at urban life and living.  Based on the MQB platform, the T-Cross is much more compact than the Tiguan. From the first images we have seen the T-Cross looks fun and funky. While I’m not a fan of the rear, it has a fairly cute overall appeal. T-Cross is shorter than the T-Roc, making it better for city living. Its 4-metre length still provides enough space for 5 people, with the rear row of seats being able to slide 14cm to provide more leg room or more luggage space.

Volkswagen T-Cross

Four engine options are available, three petrol and one diesel. The two 1.0 TSI three-cylinder petrol engines generate 70 kW and 85 kW. T The top of the range model features a 1.5 TSI four-cylinder petrol motor producing 100kW. The singular diesel offering comes in form of a 1.6 TDI four-cylinder engine producing 70 kW. While the T-Cross is a small SUV, I worry that the two 1.0 TSI engine options won’t provide enough meat and leave the T-Cross feeling a little sluggish. Time will tell in this regard.

Volkswagen T-Cross Interior

Standard tech on the T-Cross comes in truckloads.  Safety systems such as Front Assist area monitoring system with Pedestrian Monitoring, City Emergency Braking System, the lane keeping assistant Lane Assist, Hill Start Assist, the proactive occupant protection system, and the Blind Spot Detection lane change assist system with the integrated Rear Traffic Alert are all standard. The Driver Alert System, adaptive cruise control and park assist are all optional extras. VW say the T-Cross has the ” highest level of networking and connectivity with the outside world”. We don’t exactly know what that means as yet. What we do know is the T-Cross comes with 4 USB ports. You can never have enough USB ports.

Production of the T-cross will take place in Navarra at VW’s Spanish Volkswagen. BY 2019, Volkswagen is set to invest some one billion euros there to assist the strong growth in the market of compact SUVs, with a 10% increase in job creation.

Volkswagen T-Cross in South Africa

The good news is that the T-Cross will be coming to South Africa in 2019. We don’t have pricing yet but we think the T-Cross will have a great appeal if the pricing is right. T-Cross will add to VW’s ever expanding range of SUVs. Whilst it varies around the world, in South Africa we now have Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg.