The range explained... Volkswagen
Don't know your Polo from your Passat, or the difference between a Tiguan and a T-Roc? Have no fear, here's our guide to every car sold by the world's biggest car manufacturer.
The result? A little car that would come to be known as the Beetle, which formed the foundation of the very successful Allied attempts to kick start the German auto industry after the Second World War.
Luckily, the world was convinced. Since then Volkswagen has grown in strength tremendously and, thanks to a succession of hugely popular cars that have sold in massive numbers around the globe, it’s now the world’s biggest car maker. Its hits range from household names like the Beetle – which sold largely unchanged until 2003 – to the Golf, the Polo and the Passat.
But there’s much more to the VW range than that. Let’s go through what the company sells today.
If you need something bigger, then take a look at the Polo. It’s a badge that’s been around since 1975, and the current Polo is the sixth version that VW has made. It’s less like a big Up and more like a smaller Golf, with a high quality interior and a classy, understated design. It’s available only in five-door form, which is a shame if you’re after a sportier look, but it’s nevertheless one of the best small cars on sale.
For a little more space still, there’s another version of the Golf called the Golf SV. The SV stands for Sportsvan, which gives a good description of what it’s meant to do. Take a Golf, make it higher and bit boxier to give extra space inside. If you fear that an SUV might be too big for you, but you want as much practicality as possible, this could be worth a look.
Speaking of SUVs...
For something bigger, check out the Tiguan. As a rival to the Nissan Qashqai and Mazda CX-5, it’s a mid-sized family car that has extra boot space and more room in the back for adults than the T-Roc, and it’s available with plenty of features too.
For maximum size, the Touareg could be the car for you. It’s Volkswagen’s biggest SUV, although it’s not a seven-seater. That means extra lugging space. If you’re tempted, bear in mind that an all-new Touareg is due to arrive in the second half of 2018, so you may want to hang on for that. Or, conversely, you might be able to find some bargain prices on remaining stock of the existing version.
If going fully electric isn’t for you, how about…?
4Motion: Volkswagen’s all-wheel drive system, which means all four wheels are powered instead of the front two or the rear two. This improves traction and can be very useful in cars designed to work off-road, but also adds extra weight and can affect fuel economy.
ASG: Automated Shift Gearbox. This is one of Volkswagen’s automatic gearboxes, and without getting too techy, it uses a single clutch (like a manual gearbox) as opposed to a double clutch in the DSG systems.
Car-Net: A general term for everything related to in-car internet connectivity. The exact features vary depending on which model you’re looking at.
DSG: Dual Shift Gearbox. This is another of Volkswagen’s automatic gearboxes, and uses two clutches for faster, smoother changes.
Lane Assist: A system that stops your car from drifting out of its lane. At speeds above 40mph, a camera in the rear view mirror detects lane markings. If you move out of lane without indicating, the system will nudge the steering to bring you back in line or, if that’s not enough, vibrate the steering wheel to warn you.
Side Assist: Also known as a blind spot monitoring system, Side Assist uses sensors to warn you about vehicles in your blind spot if you’re about to change lanes. LED lights flash in the wing mirror if you indicate and cars are coming up from behind.
Side Assist Plus: Side Assist and Lane Assist, packaged together.
TDI: Turbocharged Direct Injection. This is Volkswagen’s name for its diesel engines. Anything with TDI in the name is diesel-powered.
TSI: Turbocharged Stratified Injection. This signifies a turbocharged petrol engine.