Articles in Behind the Wheel

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI and 1984 Rabbit GTI – First Look and Review


Having thoroughly enjoyed my first experience with the 2015 Volkswagen Golf last summer, I was looking forward in particular to driving the new VW Golf GTI, so much so that I could not get the “Kleiner GTI” song out of my head en route to its launch in the Bay Area.  It’s hard to believe the GTI is turning 30 this year in the States.
Kleiner GTI is a song from …

2014 Porsche Boxster Hertz Dream Car Rental – Review


One of the fun aspects of renting a car in Southern California is that visitors can rent fun-to-drive, sporty cars, especially those without a top, and make driving in Los Angeles traffic a fun experience.
Travelers can rent what Hertz calls “the world’s most elite Dream Cars” at over 40 Hertz locations around the country. The cars offered include Aston Martins, Bentleys, BMWs, Ferraris, Mercedes, Porsches, and Telis.  I opted for …

Chevy Cruze Diesel Named Diesel Car of the Year

The Diesel Driver's Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

NEW YORK — Readers of The Diesel Driver magazine, a sister publication of Frequent Business Traveler, named the Chevrolet Cruze the 2014 Diesel Car of the Year, the first time an American automobile has attained the honor.
The Cruze is the only diesel-powered sedan offered by a U.S. automaker and garnered an impressive 59.3% of 11,030 votes cast.
Chevrolet was named the 2014 Diesel Car Manufacturer of the Year, receiving 45% of …

Report from the New York International Auto Show


NEW YORK — U.S. and foreign automakers are showcasing dozens of new and updated automobiles this week at the New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javits Center. The show, which dates back more than a century and was previously held at the New York Coliseum, the old Madison Square Garden, and the Grand Central Palace, will run through April 27.
The show highlights the rapidly increasing pace of change …

2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro Sedan – First Look and Review

The 2015 Audi A3 2.0T quattro Sedan

The Audi A3 was introduced in Europe in 1996 as a three-door hatchback, as was its successor in 2003.  In the United States, it was sold as a five-door “Sportback,” and, as my colleague Dan Collins noted in our sister publication The Diesel Driver in 2012, it “stood relatively unchallenged as a compact premium five-door hatchback,” with an optional diesel powerplant.
Hatchbacks, as it turns out, are not overly popular in …

Report from Hannover: Electro-Mobility and Autonomous Driving Take Center Stage at CeBit

Volkswagen's e-Up shuttle at CeBit this week

HANNOVER — The world’s largest information technology show, the CeBIT, opened its gates Monday at the exhibition center in Hannover, Germany.  The show focuses on new trends and technologies in the information technology sector and runs through Friday. The show isn’t open to the public and only accredited visitors have access to the show.
Since the integration of information tech into the car of the 21st century is moving quickly ahead, …

Apple CarPlay – Review and Road Test

Apple CarPlay main interface

GENEVA — The idea of “infotainment” in a car is a relatively new concept and its origins can be traced back to the granddaddy of such systems, BMW’s iDrive, which was introduced in the 7 Series in 2001.
Before that, cars had a radio, perhaps a navigation system, and sometimes a built-in car phone but there was no platform supporting the various functions.
Today, there is so much technology in cars that …