In addition to introducing the 2017 Volkswagen Alltrack in Seattle, VW also brought out its full lineup of vehicles for 2017. Since there were many cars but not much time, we split up the task. Ron Moorhead covers the rest in Part II.
You definitely know social media has taken over when a major automotive manufacturer actually uses a hashtag in the name of the vehicle. So it goes with the new #Pink Beetle. It’s either crazy or a brilliant marketing strategy. When you write the name of this new limited-edition model, it gets tagged and tracked instantly. We bet other manufacturers are kicking themselves right about now.
So what makes this Beetle different from the rest? Obviously it’s the don’t-call-it-pink-although-that’s-what-we-call-it Fresh Fuchsia Metallic Exterior shade. It’s a more subdued pink (if that’s even possible), not the hot Barbie pink we would have really liked. Now a pink Beetle isn’t a new idea, but it does have a limited appeal; hence the limited-edition model. We applaud VW for creating limited editions; they’re fun and unique, and give the people what they want (Hasn’t that been VW’s slogan since day one?). The interior also features some fuchsia accents, and the plaid seat inserts combine pink, blue and gray.
The Beetle sold just over 22,000 units last year, and to date the sales have fallen to 9,820 through August. Projected out, this year will see a decline by almost a third. The sales drop may be a result of the VW emissions fallout, but this #Pink Beetle might bring some buyers back into the fold.
All Beetle models get a more aggressive front and rear bumper look, which is a copy of what the sporty R-Line 2.0T model offers. The Beetle also comes in a Dune edition, which you can read about here.
A quick spin in the #Pink Beetle reminds us that it’s a great car for drawing attention. The 1.8-liter I4 turbo makes 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, which works well with the six-speed automatic transmission. The #Pink Beetle we drove priced at $22,710 including destination.
The CC, VW’s extremely good-looking coupe/sedan model, moves into 2017 with minimal changes, with the biggest being a change in lineup. The CC comes as a 2.0T Sport, 2.0T R-Line Executive, and 2.0T Executive with Carbon. The Trend R-Line and V6 Executive have been deleted for this model year, which means the V6 leaves the CC lineup. However, the additions are more important, since the R-Line Executive model adds a handful of driver-assist features such as Lane Departure Warning (called Lane Assist), Forward Collision Warning with autonomous emergency braking (Front Assist), and Adaptive Cruise Control.
We got behind the wheel of the CC R-Line Executive with Carbon for a brief refresher drive. The CC remains a sporty, comfortable ride that looks good and is an impressive value at $37,820.
The GTI has been an icon for decades, and was the lusted-after hatchback in our high-school days. When we finally got the chance to drive one years later, we fell in love. For 2017, that love is still there. The GTI is now in its seventh generation, and is a vehicle that truly does get better with age. Everything the GTI was back then still continues now. It’s fast, it’s fun, it looks sporty, and it can carry lots of cargo; a win-win for any owner.
For 2017, the GTI offers a “high value” Sport trim that comes with a standard Performance Package. In that Package are a handful of welcomed items like brakes from the Golf R, a torque-sensing LSD, and an extra 10 horsepower for a total of 220. Add 18-inch Nogaro alloy wheels, HID headlamps, unique floormats, keyless access with pushbutton start, and black mirror caps, all for a starting price of $25,595 with a six-speed manual.
Other changes for the new model year include revised Driver Assistance Packages, and a Light Assist (automatic high beams) feature available on the Autobahn trim as part of that package. The S trim is the only two-door GTI to be offered.
The Jetta, VW’s best-selling model in the U.S., gets streamlined for 2017. The Hybrid trim is gone, leaving an SE, SE, SEL, and SEL premium in the lineup. The S trim adds standard 16-inch steel wheels, a rearview camera, LED DRLs, and two-tone cloth seats. Options are 16-inch alloys and a cold-weather package. The SE is the car we drove, and is ranks as a top value for all its features. It gets VW’s Car-Net connectivity system, a sunroof, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and blind-spot monitoring with rear traffic alert. The SEL adds even more safety and features. The GLI Jetta also comes in one trim, and is pretty much loaded. Our test Jetta SE with the 1.4-liter turbo bottom-lined at $21,715 with destination.
VW’s entry in the cute ute segment is the Tiguan, an attractive, capable compact SUV that will be joined by a 7-passenger long-wheelbase version next year. For now, however, the Tiguan adds two models: a Sport and a Wolfsburg. Two in and two out: the R-Line and SE trims go away for 2017. Trying to compete with the likes of Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, Tiguan adds a host of standard features. For example, the entry-level S trim comes with VW’s infotainment system with USB, Bluetooth, and Car-Net.
We tested the Tiguan’s new Wolfsburg Edition, which came nicely equipped with a panoramic sunroof, keyless access and pushbutton start, heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, and automatic headlamps. The Tiguan also received blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert and Front Assist, VW’s autonomous emergency braking system. The 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo engine won’t disappoint, and at a price of $30,095, you won’t miss the R-Line model it replaces.
The e-Golf, VW’s entry into the all-electric arena, is unchanged for 2017. See our review of the e-Golf here.
Photography © Team Killeen and courtesy VWGoA