by Wagon Love from New England on March 16, 2018
Test drove an '18 TSI S, 5-speed manual transmission. Love the new front end & rear end redesign for 2018. Really modernizes look of the car. Also, VW now offering 6 year warranty, presumably to rebuild market share after the bad publicity from the diesel matter. Car drove well and cloth seat was remarkably comfortable, much better than the rubbery "leatherette" in the All-Track (which I also test drove a few months ago). Compared with All-Track, smaller wheels with taller sidewall also improves ride quality over our brutal pot-holed New England roads. However, disappointed by some of the de-contenting done to pay for the new warranty and exterior changes. If you want the base model, to get the great 5 speed manual trans, more comfortable cloth seats & to avoid leaking sunroof problems, there is now no satellite radio; no auxiliary-in port; no CD player (not even in glove box); and no under-seat storage drawer. These are just the things I noticed on a 20 minute test drive. There may be other things that were deleted that had been standard on all 2017 models. Generation X and older drivers presumably still want these options. Without the auxiliary-in port, you can't even jury-rig after-market satellite radio receiver, except via the FM receiver (which Sirius does not recommend). Yes, there is a USB port & yes, we have an I-pod, but it is cumbersome to scan through 2,500 songs to find the one you want while driving. You are forced to a Passat if you want a CD player in the center console (and no manual trans option with Passat). Drove manual transmission Saabs for over 15 years before switching to a few different Volvo wagons (auto trans). With Saab out of business and current Volvo models offering solely the equivalent of an I-Pad touch screen (zero buttons) for audio, climate & other controls, I thought let's go back to more of a purist's car. We don't care about checking Facebook or Twitter while driving. But not sure we will go forward with VW. Without CD player or satellite radio, middle-aged & older drivers are basically left solely with AM/FM and an I-pod. I guess everything old is new again, as my 4-speed, 1972 VW Karmann Ghia convertible had solely AM/FM radio.
Does not recommend this car!!
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