Pen to pad and pedal to metal: Journalists get a joyride at the Volkswagen Full-Line Dynamic Drive

Ah, the life of an automotive journalist. The job certainly does have its perks, and being selected to participate in the Volkswagen Full-Line Dynamic Drive is one of them.

More than100 lucky journalists were invited to VW’s US headquarters in Herndon, VA for the opportunity of a lifetime: to test drive all the new 2012 Volkswagen models. But this wasn’t your average test drive— they were out on a sunny summer day against the gorgeous backdrop of Breaux Vineyards in nearby Purcellville, VA. Journalists took turns behind the wheel of all the new models, including the redesigned 2012 Eos and Tiguan as well as the CC, Jetta Sportwagen, Golf, Routan and Touareg. Certain models ended up with more miles on their odometers than others, namely the 2012 Golf R, which boasts a whopping 256 horsepower, the Jetta GLI, which is available at dealerships on a limited basis, the new American-built Passat and, of course, the all-new Beetle.

Jamie Vondruska of VW Vortex got a chance to test out the 2012 Golf R, and he loved every minute of it. “This is the Über-Golf,” Jamie states. “It sets the bar pretty high.” And Jamie has a message for the Golf R purists who fear that they’ll miss the old VR6 engine: “I’ve driven every generation of the R model that’s been out so far, and this is by far the liveliest version.” Lively, you say? That’s certainly one way to describe the latest-generation Haldex 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder FSI® engine, which puts out a powerful 250 pound-feet of torque. In fact, the Golf R is the most powerful Volkswagen ever sold in the US. Oh, and it’ll go from zero to 60 in under six seconds. (Now you want one, don’t you?)

Aaron Gold of Cars took a spin in the Jetta GLI. His thoughts? “I think it’s absolutely fantastic. This is everything that I expect from the GLI. It’s very quick, it’s a lot of fun to drive, and it’s got a high quality interior.” A peek under the hood reveals the source of that quickness Aaron mentioned: VW’s award-winning 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. So yes, it’s very quick, indeed.

We even let our Passat Product Manager Serban Boldea clock out long enough to take a joyride in his favorite car, the Passat TDI. “It’s a fun car to drive,” says Serban. “You don’t have to give up anything to get the great fuel economy. You still get the driver’s car, you still get to have fun going through corners, but you can go down the interstate and get over 40 miles per gallon.” And because every great driving scene needs a soundtrack, the new Passat comes with the Fender Premium Sound System, which Serban describes as “the absolute nicest surprise.” As he puts it, “You start listening to the music and the crispness of the sound is just unmatched.”

If you’d like to participate in future Full-Line Drives, you might want to switch careers. Automotive journalism has never looked so appealing.

Tell us: which 2012 Volkswagen would you most like to drive?


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