Volkswagen: 2014 Passat R-Line wagon review

July 28th, 2014 by Ross Mackay

For a while there it looked like the days of that most practical and stoic of motoring beasts, the station wagon, were numbered. Yet to paraphrase a famous Mark Twain quote; ‘reports of (their) death (would appear to) have been greatly exaggerated.’

Take the latest wagon version of Volkswagen’s Passat.

Local importer Volkswagen New Zealand has big plans for Passat, particularly the wagon model/s which – with help both from head office and the exchange rate – offer the sort of bang for your buck hitherto the preserve of more prosaic models. Continue reading “Volkswagen: 2014 Passat R-Line wagon review” »

Volkswagen: 2014 Polo 1.4 R-Line

July 24th, 2014 by Robert Barry

DSC_0055Volkswagen is celebrating its 60th year of operation in New Zealand and the Polo is now run out as a new model is due shortly.

The current pricing will further stick a wounding knife into the Korean and Japanese mass market brands.

The range starts with the 1.4-litre 63kW Polo Comfortline five-speed manual model, priced from $19,990 (formerly $22,990) while the same model with a six-speed DSG transmission is priced at $24,900 (formerly $25,990).

The 1.4-litre automatic R-Line 60th anniversary model as driven and pictured here is currently on run out at $27,990. Continue reading “Volkswagen: 2014 Polo 1.4 R-Line” »

Volkswagen Polo TSI R-Line 2013 Review

March 4th, 2013 by darren


The Polo R-Line gives you a taste of what the hot Polo GTI might feel like, but with fewer trips to the petrol station and almost five grand remaining in your wallet. It only packs a 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 66kW (figures that might cause us to point a finger in ridicule), but it manages to get the power down efficiently through the front wheels, accompanied by a satisfyingly raspy engine note.


The main focus of the R-Line is Continue reading “Volkswagen Polo TSI R-Line 2013 Review” »

Facelifted VW Tiguan receives R-Line treatment

November 7th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volkswagen is stepping things up on its recently facelifted 2012 Tiguan SUV with the release of the R-Line trim specification.

Making your new Tiguan and R-Line is possible with the choice of two packages – one for the interior and one for the exterior. Both packages include a range of visual tweaks.

Opt for the exterior package and you receive more aggressively designed front and rear bumpers, a hatch spoiler, a black rear diffuser, aluminium door sill plates and R-line badging. Filling the wheel guards are freshly designed 19-inch alloys with 255/40 tyres.

If you want to dress up your interior appointments the R-Line cabin package includes sports seats up front, unique trim, sports steering wheel, aluminum pedals and more R-Line logos. Continue reading “Facelifted VW Tiguan receives R-Line treatment” »

Could an R-car return save Volvo?

November 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo S60R concept

Volvo has recently wandered a broken and bumpy road, but now there’s some fresh speculation surrounding the troubled automaker. After a tough last couple of years that saw the Swedish brand suffer falling sales while parent company Ford desperately tried to sell the brand to the highest bidder, Volvo has gotten as far away from producing performance vehicles. All the while, its competition from Germany, Japan and the U.S. have boosted their luxury lines with mid-level or super high-performance cars like the BMW 335i/M3, Audi S4/RS4 and Cadillac CTS-V. Volvo, meanwhile, has only focused on more refined design and naturally, safety.

Unfortunately, every player in these segments has upped the ante with their designs and superior safety is no longer solely the domain of Volvo.

So it’s all getting back to the Volvo’s sports brand of R cars. Volvo had some success with the 850R in the mid-Nineties, which was a mildly sharper version than the standard box sedan on which it was based. After that, the P2-gen S60R and V70R got a solid following with their complex Haldex all-wheel-drive system, 300-hp motor, adjustable 4C suspension and Brembo stoppers. But then the R cars disappeared and were replaced only by “R Design” packages that offered the high performance look but nothing under the sheet metal to back it up.

In the home of Volvos, Sweeden, there is a big call for a return to proper R cars with the arrival of the all-new S60, and rather than be crazy quick, should offer mid-level performance like the original 850R did. Pictured is a rendered speculation of a reborn S60R from the Swedespeed website.

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