Saturday, September 26, 2015

What a difference two months makes - the VW Golf goes from eagle to double bogey

Hindsight makes us all experts, but frankly you can't fault the people in the past for not anticipating things.

In March 1865, no one at Ford's Theater in Washington was agonizing about the protection of important patrons.

In August 2001, no one in a tall building was worried about a passenger plane ending up in his or her office.

And back in August 2015, no one was thinking that a Volkswagen diesel engine was a bad thing.

Take this August review of the Volkswagen Tiguan SUV:

The Tiggy cries out for diesel power.

Well, I cry out for it.

Why not? The Golf — which is kin to the Tiggy — is available with VW’s superb TDI four cylinder turbo-diesel, which returns 30 city and 42 highway in the Golf wrapper. In the heavier Tiggy, the TDI’s numbers would probably be lower. But they’d still be spectacular — probably best in class. As would the tow rating. The gas Tiggy’s 2,200 pound max is good — better than the typical 1,500 pound rating of many small crossovers (both the Kia Sportage and the Mazda CX-5 max out at 2,000 pounds). But with a high-torque diesel up front, the Tiggy could probably pull at least 3,500 pounds; maybe more.

Arguably, a diesel in the Tiggy makes more sense than in the Golf. It — the Tiggy — is a crossover SUV, after all.

The Golf is a car.

Diesels are nice in cars. But they’re useful and in SUVs. They endow the vehicle with the capacity to do real work — and they notch up the fuel efficiency to acceptable levels, a critical thing these days. It’s going to be tough enough for cars to make Obama’s 35.5 MPG average mandatory minimum that goes into effect come 2016. It’ll be even tougher for heavier, less aerodynamically efficient crossovers and SUVs to get there.

Diesel power would help.

Well, that Tiguan is looking pretty good right about now, as this report from Hawaii indicates:

Dealers of Volkswagen vehicles in Hawaii say they are cautiously optimistic as the German-based car manufacturer addresses allegations that it installed illegal software into millions of diesel cars that was designed to manipulate the results of U.S. emissions tests.

Tony Group President Stan Masamitsu, whose holdings include Tony Volkswagen, said the manufacturer has instructed his dealership to stop sales of all diesel vehicles with model years ranging from 2009 to 2015 that may have had the software installed on it.

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