Top 7 Reasons Why Owning a Volkswagen Rocks

Via DasAuto Magazine

There’s a reason they call it the “people’s car”—because people absolutely love owning a Volkswagen. It’s why more than 5 million folks around the world bought a new Volkswagen last year—a record, by the way [1]. So exactly why does owning a Volkswagen rock? We can think of a hundred reasons—from the terrific Big Game ads to the literally rocking available Fender® sound system and new partnership with Rolling Stone to the tricked-out rides—but here are our top seven, with additions from our VW fans on Facebook and Twitter.

1. VW Has Its Eye on the Future with Fuel-Efficient Cars

Over the next five years, Volkswagen will spend 62.4 billion Euro—that’s more than $80 billion—to develop some of the most technically advanced cars and SUVs in the industry. Much of that investment—one of the largest in Volkswagen history—is going to focus on developing eco-conscious vehicles with the Think Blue® mantras of efficiency and sustainability in mind, including hybrid, diesel, and electric cars.

But Volkswagen owners are already feeling the love in their wallet: “I love our 2011 Volkswagen Jetta TDI for the savings in fuel costs [2],” says owner Lew Wiezorek of Montgomery, Illinois. “My wife and I were spending over $600 a month in gas on her previous vehicle. We spend maybe $170-190 a month now in diesel fuel. The savings alone is almost making our car payment!”

Danny Hurt of Nottingham, United Kingdom, who owns a 2001 VW Polo adds: “The thing I love about owning a VW is how proud it makes you feel inside, and the longer I have my VW the more impressive it gets—even in its 10th year!”

2. VW Goes the Distance

In the 34 years Pasadena, California, resident Albert Klein owned his white 1963 VW Beetle, he’s racked up a staggering 1,613,281 miles. That’s right—1.6 million—the equivalent of driving 238 times around the moon.

Or, as 1986 VW Golf owner Mark Sayampanathan of Hedgesville, West Virginia puts it: “My Volkswagen just refuses to die.”

3. VW Gets Speed

Meet Tristan Herbert. He’s 35, lives in Reston, Virginia, and used to be a pro snowboarder and motorcycle racer—until an accident sidelined him. Now he’s in the driver’s seat, racing cars for Volkswagen. He’s pretty good too; last year in his rookie season, he finished fourth in the Pirelli World Challenge driving his GTI. An admitted VW junkie, he’s on his fifth GTI.

Waltham, Massachusetts resident Scott Lian gets a kick out of regular freeway driving in his 2009 VW Jetta TDI Clean Diesel. “I love my TDI, it has been by far the best car I have ever owned,” Scott says. “I love nothing more than passing a slow-moving hybrid, looking down to see about 40 mpg on my dash [2], and then pulling away with all that torque [3].”

Raymond Padora of Sydney, Australia, puts the performance appeal of his 2011 VW Polo simply: “Corners, corners, corners.”

4. VW Infatuation Runs Deep—All Around the Globe

In the 65 years it was built—1938 to 2003—some 21.5 million Volkswagen Beetle Type 1 models were snapped up by owners around the world [1]. That makes it the fourth best-selling car of all time. What’s in third place? The hugely popular Volkswagen Golf, of course, with more than 27 million in sales worldwide since its launch in 1974. That means there are a lot of Volkswagen enthusiasts out there.

One of the best parts of having so many fellow VW fans in the world is the unofficial community that’s formed. Owners often wave and honk at one another as they pass—even if they’re complete strangers. The VW bond is a strong connector.

“The number one thing I love about owning a VW is the little rush of camaraderie every time I exchange a thumbs-up, peace sign, nod or wave with another ‘Dubber’ on the road,” says Mike Howells of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and owner of a 2008 VW GTI.

Dennis Canuto of Charlotte, North Carolina, agrees. “People brag about owning a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, but no other car company has a community like VW,” says the owner of a 1995 VW Corrado and a 2003 VW Passat W8. “Shows like Southern Wörthersee, Waterfest and H2O International are proof!”

“The number one thing I love about owning a VW is the VW owners’ community in Bulgaria, my country,” says Ivo Stankov of Varna and a 1998 VW Polo owner. “Our VW car community is the largest one in Bulgaria. We have weekly meetings in every big city where we help each other and showcase our beloved Volkswagen vehicles.”

5. VW Safety Comes Standard

Volkswagen owners love the way their vehicles make them feel safer behind the wheel.

Raul Benitez of Reynosa, Mexico and owner of a 1968 VW Beetle sedan says the number one reason to own a Volkswagen is: “Because nothing says love and care than driving my VW.”

Thomas Goodwin of Edison, New Jersey says the thing he loves most about driving a Volkswagen is: “Knowing that I am safe!” After a collision totaled his beloved 2010 VW GTI, he bought another Volkswagen, a 1994 VW Golf. “Thank goodness I had been driving a Volkswagen.”

And when it comes to safety, Volkswagen leads the industry in the U.S. with nine models being named 2012 Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety [4]. Call it safety in numbers.

6. VW Owners Are In on the Smile Factor

We heard it from dozens of Volkswagen owners: Driving a VW makes you smile.

“I do not drive a Volkswagen because of all the gadgets that they pack in,” says Nate Saam of Longmont, Colorado, who owns a 2003 Jetta GLS TDI. “I do not drive a Volkswagen because of the outstanding fuel economy [2] it gets. I drive a Volkswagen because it brings out the 12-year-old in me when I am behind the wheel. There is something to be said about a car that makes you want to smile.”

Nancy MacIntyre of Winter Park, Florida, owns a 2005 New Beetle Convertible and knows all about the kid appeal. “On my way home from work there is a stoplight at the corner where there is a walk-up window to an Italian ice business. I have incited so many ‘Punch Dub’ wars from kids standing in line. It is hilarious,” Nancy says. “I also love my VW because it is super cute. I still get loads of compliments on it and it is seven years old.”

Plus, VW owners love serving as brand ambassadors: “I love it when people get in my Tiguan for the first time and exclaim: ‘This is a Volkswagen?!’” says Bryce Jardon, owner of a 2010 Tiguan, living in Overland Park, Kansas.

7. VW Owners Are Passionate “Lifers”

“Owning a VW is a lifestyle,” says 2007 VW Caddy pick-up owner Stuart Wood of Port Alfred, South Africa.

Konner Bruce has been a VW enthusiast since the day he was born, literally. “My parents drove to the hospital in a 1984 Volkswagen Vanagon,” says Konner, who lives in Poulsbo, Washington. “Since then I’ve owned a 1991 VW Vanagon, a 1992 VW GTI, a 1969 VW Karmann Ghia, a 1980 VW Rabbit Diesel, and currently I drive a taiga green 1978 VW Transporter that I named ‘Paddy’ because I bought it on St. Patrick’s Day last year—and I’m only 20! VW has timeless style. I love the passion that comes with owning a Volkswagen.”

“Owning a VW is like having another family member, not just a form of transportation,” says Katie Giltinan, of Brookhaven, Pennsylvania, who owns a 2002 VW New Beetle 1.8t.

Colin Boyle of Campbell, California, agrees: “I love my 2012 VW Beetle Turbo. I take pride in owning it, washing it and yes, even saying good night to it. It’s family. Volkswagen adds fun to my life. It makes me smile and for that, I say thank you.”

Los Angeles, California resident and 1998 VW Golf K2 owner Jim Cherry sums up the charm of being a Volkswagen owner best: “You can’t pin the appeal of owning a Volkswagen down to one thing, but if I had to, I would say it’s the unique combination of economy [2], driving fun, timeless design, practicality and solid German engineering.”

Happy (Belated) 2012!

Happy belated New Year!  Its been a BUSY season here at McKenna VW, thus my lack of updates.  For a brief synopsis, 2011 was SoCal VW Guy’s best year ever!  VW is growing and building some amazing vehicles, and that along with great promotions has led to a lot of sales!  Many thanks to all of my amazing customers who allowed me to earn your business over this last year.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I had made it back to the national finals of the Sales Qualification Championships for Volkswagen (Best VW salesman in the nation contest) of which I’m the defending champion!  I lost.  They only announce 1st, 2nd, and 3rd so I’m going to claim 4th!  It was a great time and a wonderful short working vacation I was able to take with Laura (my wife).

We’ve had lots of changes for the better here at the store, so stop in and say hello!  I’m looking forward to 2012 being even better than last year.  Please stay tuned as I have BIG plans for SoCalVWGuy.com!

The 21st Century Beetle, My 1st Impression

The 21st Century Beetle, My 1st Impression

So yesterday I got to spend the day down in San Diego playing with the new “21st Century Beetle”!  I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures and maybe even some video of the All-New Bug, but I’m one of those people who try to reserve judgement until I see the new model in person, and I was extremely impressed!  VW has done a great job of getting rid of the old “cutesy” New Beetle ethos, and replacing it with something that’s not only better looking and better performing, but also much more true to the original.

Now of course nothing can ever equal, much less surpass the classic Beetle for its, umm… Beetleness, but for a modern re-interpretation, VW has hit it spot-on!  The styling of the “21st Century Beetle” is an homage to the original, outside and in.  From the more classic long hood and more vertical windscreen, to the short-flat dash with the mega-awesome Kaferfach (Kay-fer-FAWK!) glovebox.   Now of course its been 50 years since we had the original Beetle, so there had to be some modern upgrades, and VW hasn’t let us down!  Standard Bluetooth on all models, power everything, and for you purists, VW stuck with the much-loved hand-roller worm gear seat recline!  The contoured rear headliner means I don’t have to tilt my head to the side when I’m in the back seat any more, and the trunk actually has almost as much space as our Jetta (which is good!).   The panoramic moonroof makes everything feel nice and open inside, and while I’d like the seats to be a little more bucket-ish, they still hold you in pretty well going around the corners.

Power comes from my beloved 2.5 liter in-line 5-cylinder engine with 170hp/177 lbft of torque paired with either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed auto, then the 200hp 2.0T engine from our GTI, or the 140hp/236lb/ft Turbo-diesel (which is delayed introduction) either one paired with a 6speed manual transmission or the DSG with paddle-shifters!  Brembo brakes (on the 2.0T) provide plenty of stopping power to keep all those raging ponies under control, while the 17, 18, or 19 (yeah!) inch wheels keep everything looking all kinds of awesome.

Now the important part is, what is it like to drive?  Well, since California DMV has been so nice as to take OVER 2 1/2 MONTHS to send me my renewed drivers license, VW wouldn’t let me drive, but i got to be a professional passenger at the training, and everyone who got to drive loved the car.  Great ride, seriously fun to drive.  Honestly its extremely similar to the GTI in the Turbo model!

In a nutshell, VW’s done an awesome job.  Its like they took a GTI, Porsche, and an old Beetle and smashed them all together and came up with this!  Then to top everything off, they’re offering some pretty darn cool options like retro-styled alloy wheels, and skins you can get professionally installed to personalize your car in dozens of different ways.  The red one in the pictures here is an example of that.   I really like the 21’st Century Beetle (thats VW’s official name for it, so I have to give in to the corporate pressure) and I’m genuinely excited for its arrival in mid October!

Going back into business mode, if you’re interested in the Beetle, or just have more questions, please call, or contact me here!

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Increase your fuel economy

Check out the neato infographic!  Gas prices are high and going higher, so every penny you can save counts.  Follow these simple tips to get the most out of your car, even if you don’t have the 50+ MPG Volkswagen TDI!  Click on the image for a bigger picture…

The New 2012 Beetle

Yesterday morning VW unveiled the all-new 2012 Beetle!  Judging from the pictures, this is an amazing car that Volkswagen has doen themselves proud with.  Here’s the complete write-up from VW Vortex…

Well Volkswagen has officially taken the wraps off of their next generation Beetle and we like it. Judging from the comments in our forums we’d say an awful lot of you like it as well. I had the chance to see the new Beetle in person and sit in it today and overall came away impressed with the level of detail and thought that went into not only the exterior and interior details but the trim levels and choices that will be available when it launches in September.

First, the new design manages to update the Beetle in a way that makes it different than the outgoing model yet still identifiable as a Beetle. The exterior gives a nod to the very first aircooled prototypes with a more sloping rear end and upright windshield. But it goes beyond that with thoroughly modern sheetmetal with creases and vertical surfaces that give the car a more purposeful and substantial look. The new car is 3.3 inches wider, 6 inches longer and half an inch lower. The dimensions make the car look lower and wider lending a more sporty appearance, especially with the new 18″ and 19″ wheels.

Inside the interior is completely new with retro cues in a mix of textures that hang together really well and make it feel special. Turbo models get a gauge pod cluster integrated into the dash with a boost gauge, chrono and oil temp. A “Kaeferfach” glovebox in addition to the standard glovebox is a nice nod to VW’s aircooled past as well. Some of the dash pieces are color matched to the exterior colors on the 2.5 and TDI models while the turbo models get a carbon-fiber look that manages to look like real carbon fiber. The 400 watt Fender sound system is worth every penny – it sounds great with beautiful clarity that rivals systems that cost far more. Headunits will range from the basic RCD-310 up through a top of the line RNS-510 with full navigation so everyone should be happy. Interior trim options include cool new cloth options, leatherette with a new weave pattern on the bolsters and full leather available in two-tone color combinations. Headroom, shoulder and hip space have all increased in the back seat making it a more pleasant place to sit than the old car but not somewhere I’d like to be on a long road trip. The new sunroof is quite a bit larger and gives the impression of a larger panoramic glass roof but still opens fully. The interior plastics and textures all match nicely and look very nice. There are some hard plastics, but they don’t have that cheap look like some of the new Jetta surfaces. Overall the interior is great improvement and manages to capture some of that Beetle flavor without trying too hard to be retro (MINI comes to mind)…. [Read the rest here]