Last weekend I went back to Penang to check out the very first ‘Volkswagen On Tour’, a showcase of Volkswagen with their German-engineered cars that has a reputation of being fast, safe, classy, and at the same time, rather frugal in fuel consumption.
The same showcase is happening at 13 different locations from now until March, 2014, so be sure to check it out when it comes to a location nearest to you.
‘Volkwagen On Tour’, I test drove the VW Golf TSI
You can’t get closer to knowing a car by having a test drive, so the first course of business was to put ourselves in one of the Volkswagen cars and have a little action in it.
You need to have a valid driving license and be tall enough to participate in the drive. As the photo below shows, luckily myself and Ivan, who actually manages the test drives, passed with little trouble.
thank goodness we’re tall enough for test drive!
I test drove the Golf TSI, and I must say that for a car with 1.4 liter engine, it has got pretty impressive performance. The secret is that the TSI engine has both a supercharger and a turbocharger as force induction devices to increase the power and efficiency of the otherwise smallish capacity engine.
With about 140 PS, the 1.4 liter TSI engine performs on par with a 2.0 liter normally aspirated engine, while being lighter and consume less fuel.
The Volkswagen Jetta has ample legrooms, and even bigger boot space!
Tian Chad, who was there at the same time, test drove the Volkswagen Jetta, which also uses the same 1.4 TSI power plant.
The Jetta has a really impressive cabin size. As demonstrated on the photos above, I can comfortably sit crossed-legged at the back after adjusting the driver seat to my driving distance.
If you’re a fan of monthly grocery shopping, the boot space is also one of the biggest I’ve seen on any sedan, big enough to fit 2 of me side by side while still having plenty of room to spare.
with Blue, and we made some simulated human-powered popcorns
Other than the test drive, there were also several pretty fun activities that educate visitors about safety, fuel efficiency, Volkswagen’s distinct philosophy, the ‘Think Blue’ attitude, and innovations that go into making the Volkswagen fleet.
For example, one of the activities was a simulated human-powered popcorns, where we peddled for some fresh popcorns that actually turned out to be rather delicious!
learning more about VW, and driving the Golf GTI simulator
Another one of my favorites was the Golf GTI simulator, a driving simulator rig with hydraulic force feedback set up and 3 big LCD TVs. It would be a really neat set up to have at home, and we each got to race the Golf GTI on a race track, almost as good as the real thing.
Golf GTI, Scirocco (I like!), and the ladies’ favourite – The Beetle
Of course, there are the cars, Golf GTI, Golf TSI, Passat, Scirocco, and of course, the Beetle are all there for you to take a closer look and get the seats warm with your butt.
The next locations for Volkswagen on Tour is at the following locations, so do go and check it out!
- 13 – 15 Dec 2013 Penang Queensbay Mall outdoor carpark
- 20 – 22 Dec 2013 Perak UO Angsana
- 27 – 29 Dec 2013 Penang Sunway Hotel carpark
- 03 – 05 Jan 2014 Selangor Aeon Bukit Tinggi
- 10 – 12 Jan 2014 Negeri Sembilan Port Dickson TF Value Mart
- 17 – 19 Jan 2014 Melaka Mydin MITC outdoor carpark
For more info, check out www.volkswagenontour.com.my
While waiting for the commencement of a stand up comedy show at Velvet underground sometimes last year, a few of us started talking about cars, or more specifically, the cars we used to own. That’s when I found out that an ex colleague’s friend was the owner of 5 successive Volkswagen cars in his life.
Which begs the question why? Why would anyone gives up variety and keep buying the same car over and over again?
Well, I got closer to answering that question after having the newly launched Volkswagen Polo Sedan for over the weekends not long ago. This is my impression of the car.
Volkswagen Polo Sedan by Seri Wawasan bridge, Putrajaya
The Volkswagen Polo Sedan is the most affordable offering from the German automotive giant, retailing at RM99,888. This makes it a direct competitor to some of the similarly sized Japanese and Korean imports in the country, and one of the more lower priced cars with a European badge.
Volkswagen Polo Sedan by Putra Mosque
To be honest, the styling of Polo Sedan doesn’t scream, nor will it beg too many second looks like some of the other Volkswagen offerings. That being said, the Polo Sedan does have a very classy frontal look, with one of the most attractive headlight assemblies. Its side profile has a pretty smooth flow punctuated by a set of very decent 7-spoke 15″ alluminum alloy wheels.
The car doesn’t look particularly long, but you won’t call it a mere elongated version of the normal Polo.
center console, steering, air conditioning vent
Inside, the center console is simple yet elegant, with bits of chromed parts and leather steering giving it a heightened status. Radio/CD player, air conditioning (and even heater is functional), and vents are all pretty minimalistic in design and functional in operation.
The car also offers very good leg rooms for its class, and no one under 6 foot should ever need to worry about head room.
The cup holder is easily big enough to fit your favorite plus size bubble tea cups, and the Polo Sedan does come with a glove compartment that is big enough to smuggle a couple domestic cats.
meter cluster, 6 speed tiptronic transmission with sports mode
Engine & Performance:
The Polo Sedan comes with a 1.6 liter multi-point injection engine mated with a 6 speed automatic transmission. Tiptronic shifting is available, and there’s a sports mode for spirited driving as well.
While the 105 PS engine might not sound that impressive on paper, the car does feel quite nimble. Sound insulation is so good that we thought the car wasn’t started yet after turning the key, but when you step on the paddle in sports (or tiptronic) mode and let it hit over 5000 rpm, it does gives a good roar.
Volkswagen Polo Sedan, Putra Mosque
0-100 km/h can be achieved in 12.3 seconds, and the 183 km/h top speed should be more than enough for anyone in Malaysian highways. For a sedan, the car does perform pretty decent around the bend, and still provides good riding comfort over those pesky parking lot humps.
Fuel consumption is reported at 6.5 liter per 100 km. I collected the car with a full tank of gas, and returned it with 7/8 full on the indicator after two trips from PJ to Bangsar, a trip to from PJ to Sunway Pyramid, and another round trip from PJ to Putrajaya. The 55 liter fuel tank should last you well over 600 km or more.
454 liters worth of boot space, with a full spare tyre
Perhaps most impressive of all is the 454 liters of boot space. Without even flipping down the rear seats (which you can to create even more room), one can easily fit 4 sets of diving equipment, or at least 3 full size golf bags in this car. The rear boot door can also be opened via the remote. (which has ON/OFF/BOOT buttons)
Overall, despite the price point and a less imposing performance figure, the Polo Sedan does carry the prestige of Volkswagen very well. The interior, design cues, and those little features in the car are well thought out and makes driving a pleasure.
Which brings us back to the guy who had 5 Volkswagen, it doesn’t seem unreasonable anymore.