Talking Cars: Golf, anyone?
QUESTION: I am interested in the new VW Golf R model four-door hatchback and would like to know if you have had to opportunity to drive it.
ANSWER: I spent a week in the new Golf R, and what a great week it was. The turbo power combined with the six-speed manual and all-wheel drive all work together picture perfect. VW spent a lot of time on this whole package. The suspension is very quiet over broken pavement and bumps. The ride and handling are exceptional. The power comes in at 2200 RPM and hangs in all the way to the red line. The seats are very firm, and the car is easy to enter and exit. Our test car was finished in a carbon steel grey color and black interior. You have to look for any names except the R logo. There are VW badges front and rear, not as large as yesteryear badges. The steering hub controls and audio system are a great benefit, so you can keep your hands on the wheel except for shifting. At $34,590 plus shipping, VW gave us a fun and practical all-wheel drive midsize car. Gas mileage estimates: 19 city and 27 highway.
QUESTION: I hope you can help with my 2001 Honda Odyssey a/c problem. I turned the a/c on this week and it did not work. I added a can of R134a and it still does not work. Before I take it into the shop do you have any ideas?
ANSWER: Today’s a/c systems are controlled by a body control module and before the compressor gets power to turn on there are certain requirements in the a/c system that have to be met. The use of a scan tool to check any fault codes in the HVHC system is necessary before anything is done. The system also has power relays and pressure sensors on both the low and high side. The outside temperature reading is also a factor if there is a fault in the ambient temperature sensor or circuit. This will prevent the a/c compressor from getting power as well as an additional compressor safety sensor mounted on the compressor. It would be best to take the van to a qualified technician to let him diagnose the problem.
QUESTION: My wife and I are looking at one car and one midsize SUV and would like you input on the 2013 Acura RDX and the Subaru Impreza sedan. Have you driven either and if so what are your thoughts?
ANSWER: You’re in luck; I spent a week in each. Let’s start with the Acura RDX. Our test car was so new there was not any pricing when delivered. It was a loaded vehicle with all factory equipment. The tech package has everything one could want. Power from the 3.5 liter 273 hp mated to a six-speed automatic. This is a midsize SUV that seems to have it all in one package. I did get an idea on pricing, $35,000 to $36,000. There is a four-cylinder turbo available. I suggest you drive both the turbo four-cylinder and the V/6. I love turbo power however in this vehicle I like the V/6.
Next the Impreza Limited. Living in the snow belt, the Impreza is like a hand and glove on a cold day. Our test car was satin white pearl with beige interior. My wife had the car for a day and said the car was a perfect size for all her needs and had no blind spot areas. Power from the 2.0 liter four-cylinder was ample and the car was quiet. Yes, Subaru has come a long way over the years, and they still have heated seats and now steering hub controls along with a great audio system and rich-feeling interior. Today’s Subarus do not even resemble the Subarus of yesteryear. Gas mileage rated 27 city and 36 highway, not bad for an all-wheel drive midsize car.
Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360.