Volkswagen’s extensive lineup returns for 2014, with expanded diesel efficiency and great build quality.
Batting leadoff for Volkswagen is the Golf and its high performance sibling, the GTI. The Golf and GTI are only available as four-door hatchbacks in 2014, with the same distinctive shape that hasn’t really changed over the years. The Golf offers several different engine choices, including an ultra-efficient diesel engine that Volkswagen offers up and down its lineup, which pushes highway mpg all the way to 42. The performance oriented GTI adds a few unique styling cues and under the hood is a 200-hp, turbocharged four-cylinder.
The Beetle returned in 2012, added a convertible trim for 2013, and for 2014 adds a GSR special edition. This latest iteration of the Beetle has sharper lines and a flattened front hood which gives it a more aggressive look. There is room for four-passengers and diesel power is optional.
The Jetta returns along with the high performance GLI trim. There are now three versions of the Jetta for sale: Jetta, Jetta Sportwagen, and the efficient Jetta Hybrid. This compact boasts impressive flexibility thanks to its variety of powertrain choices, including a turbo-diesel and the aforementioned hybrid.
The midsize Passat, like the Beetle, took a year off recently to regroup and returned with new styling and a lowered base price.
Volkswagen also produces another pair of passenger cars that are more upscale and don’t really fit into traditional categories. One is the Eos hardtop convertible coupe which is great for cruising on sunny days. Second is the CC which features a coupe-like design but still has four doors. Its upscale interior and sporty ride give the CC a unique niche in the marketplace.
The Tiguan compact crossover SUV carries over, offering plenty of high-quality materials around which give the tiger/iguana (combine the two words to get the name Tiguan) a leg up on the competition when it comes to interior refinement.
Lastly, the larger Touareg is designed to compete with many of the luxury crossover SUVs on the market and offers a choice between gas/diesel power, an eight-speed automatic, and standard all-wheel drive.