Monday, April 6, 2020

Test Drive: 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan Starts At $25,965

The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan is considered a compact SUV, though, at 185.1 inches, has the longest overall length compared to its dozen rivals in the segment, and is a significant 8.7 inches longer than its shortest competitor. The Tiguan's length enables space for a third row seat which only one other vehicle in the class offers, giving it an added benefit for those needing to accommodate 2 more smaller passengers. Three rows of seating are standard in front-wheel-drive Tiguans with a second-row bench that can recline, slide seven inches fore and aft, fold down, and be split 40/20/40. The 4Motion all-wheel-drive Tiguan comes standard with two rows and an optional third row. The flexible configurations give the Tiguan an edge.

The 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan is powered by a 184 horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged direct-injection engine delivering an impressive high maximum torque of 221 lb-ft and mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. The Tiguan has the third most horsepower of the thirteen vehicles in the segment but is also the heaviest compact SUV at 3,757 pounds.

The driving experience was excellent, especially the confident feel at fast highway speeds, and overall sporty road feel, nice stiff ride and precise German-style handling, which, for my motion sickness prone family, is a must. The Tiguan is one of five turbos among the compact SUV class and does have some brief turbo lag from a standing stop and it's engine feels like it has to work harder than some others but the Tiguan's highest-in-class torque output may   satisfy you. After all, its a Sports Utility Vehicle and does well to provide more than most.

The top-of-the-line R-line 4motion 2020 Volkswagen Tiguan, (starting at $39,815, including $1,020 destination charge), was provided by the manufacturer for a week test drive, and, in addition, I made four dealer visits to evaluate the base Tiguan S, (starting $25,965), as it was narrowed down to one of two compact SUVs I was considering to purchase. Your personal tastes and requirements will dictate which trim level suits your needs and price range but as you climb the price ladder other vehicle comparisons will enter the picture. For example, Keyless access w/push-button start, Dual-zone Climatronic, Rain-sensing wipers, Auto-dimming rearview mirror, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist), Park Distance Control, High Beam Control (Light Assist) and Overhead view camera (Area View) are available on more expensive Tiguan trims.

The Tiguan S has many standard features like Forward Collision Warning w/ Autonomous Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Monitoring (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist), Rear Traffic Alert, the expected Rearview camera and even a tire pressure monitoring system. What more do you really need? The Tiguan S also has a nicely integrated, intuitive-to-use 6.5-inch color touchscreen, smaller than the 8-inch found on the more expensive trim levels, but not the protruding from the dash tablet-look found in many vehicles. The large, highly visible, yellow blind spot warning light on the side mirror is a big plus.

The Tiguan comes in S, SE, SE R-Line Black, SEL, and SEL Premium R-Line models, all equipped with the next-generation Car-Net® telematics system, in-car Wi-Fi capability (when you subscribe to a data plan) and wireless charging starting on the SE trim.

The 2020 Tiguan has four-year/50,000-mile (whichever comes first), which Volkswagen reduced from its 2019 five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty. A bonus is the 2 year or 20,000 mile transferable Carefree Maintenance Program that sets the Tiguan apart, though its Korean rivals still boast the longest warranties.

SUMMARY: The quality interior workmanship, clear driver visibility, spaciousness, driving experience, included features, slightly longer than most warranty, make the 2020 Tiguan S a great value and a finalist on your compact SUV shopping list.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

First Quarter 2020 U.S. Auto Sales Hit Hard By Covid-19 Virus Impact

The impact of the Covid-19 virus on the country that started in the second half of March slammed U.S. auto sales:

General Motors (Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac) delivered 618,335 vehicles in the first quarter of 2020, a decrease of 7.1 percent compared to a year ago.

Ford Motor Company first quarter U.S. sales of 516,330 is a 12.5 percent drop from a year ago. Ford division sales of 490,769 represents a 13.2 percent decline from 2019 while Lincoln sales of 25,561 was a 2.3 increase fom the year quarter.

Toyota Motor North America reported March 2020 sales of 135,730 vehicles, a decrease of 36.9 percent versus March 2019. For the first quarter, TMNA reported sales of 495,747 vehicles, an 8.8 percent decrease. For the quarter, Lexus reported sales of 56,345 vehicles, down 15.6 percent.

FCA US LLC (Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep, Fiat, Alfa Romeo) reported 2020 first quarter sales of 446,768 down 10.4 percent from a year ago.

American Honda reported March sales of 77,153, a 48 percent drop from March 2019 contributing to first quarter 2020 sales of 298,785, a 19.2 percent drop from 2019's first quarter.

Nissan Group announced total U.S. first-quarter (January-March) sales for the calendar year 2020 of 257,606, a decrease of 29.6 percent versus the prior year.

Hyundai Motor America reported total March sales of 35,118, a 43 percent decrease in comparison with March 2019. Hyundai sold a total of 130,875 units in Q1, a decrease of 11 percent compared with Q1 2019. Genesis Motor America reported sales of 969 in March 2020, a 33.2 percent decrease compared with the prior year. For the first quarter of 2020, Genesis Motor America sold 3,955 vehicles, a 5.9 percent decrease for the calendar year thus far.

Kia Motors America March sales of 45,413 vehicles was an 18.6 percent drop from March 2019, while year-to-date sales of 137,945 is a one percent gain over the first quarter of 2019.

Subaru of America reported 32,611 vehicle sales for March 2020, a 47 percent decrease compared to March 2019. Following eleven consecutive years of sales records, Subaru reported year-to-date sales of 130,591, a 16.7 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2019.

Volkswagen of America March sales were down 42 percent bringing first quarter 2020 sales to 75,075, a 13 percent drop year-to-date. Audi of America March sales fell 52 percent bringing first quarter 2020 sales to 41,367, a 14 percent drop from first quarter of 2019.

Mercedes-Benz USA reported Q1 sales of 67,746 Mercedes-Benz models. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz Vans recorded Q1 sales of 7,520, bringing MBUSA to a grand total of 75,266 vehicles for the quarter, a decrease of 4.3 percent over the comparable period last year.

BMW of North America announced Q1 2020 sales for the BMW and MINI brands in the U.S. of 59,455 vehicles, a decrease of 15.3 percent vs the same time period last year. MINI brand sales totaled 5,237 vehicles, a decrease of 35.1 percent vs the first quarter of 2019.

Mazda North American Operations reported total March sales of 15,664 vehicles, a decrease of 41.8 percent compared to March 2019. Year-to-date sales totaled 67,670 vehicles, a decrease of 4.5 percent.

Mitsubishi Motors North America reported March sales of 9,394 vehicles, down 52 percent over March of 2019. Calendar year-to-date sales through the end of March totaled 35,563 vehicles, a decrease of 15.5 percent compared with the same period in 2019.

Porsche Cars North America announced first quarter U.S. retail deliveries of 11,994 from January through March, down 20.2 percent from a year ago.

Tesla, in the first quarter, produced almost 103,000 vehicles and delivered approximately 88,400 vehicles globally for their best ever first quarter performance. Tesla delivered 12,200 Model S and X and 76,200 Model 3 and Y vehicles.

Sales will be updated as manufacturers report.