On Nov. 29, St. James Volkswagen opened its doors from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for customers to come in and test drive the new 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.
“We wanted to give people the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the Alltrack and experience 4Motion AWD (all wheel drive),” says St. James Volkswagen sales manager Bryan Romaniuk.
Although the new model arrived at the dealership in mid-October, Romaniuk notes that the dealership was waiting for some significant snow before hosting the test-drive evening. “We wanted people to be able to experience 4Motion AWD drive in snowy conditions,” he says.
Over the past few years, he points out, AWD has only been available in Volkswagen AUV and CUV models such as the Tuareg and the Tiguan. “This is huge for us,” he says. “We have been waiting a long time for AWD in the passenger car segment. It has been 16 years. The last passenger model with AWD was the ‘05 Passat.”
He describes the Alltrack, the top of the line Golf SportsWagen trim, as a fully-equipped vehicle with an urban off-road feel. He adds that it is a little higher than a traditional wagon.
Romaniuk notes that the new Golf model chassis is being built in North America on Volkswagen’s MQB modular platform.
During a walkaround, Romaniuk points out the cladding above the wheel wells and other exterior accents.
The Alltrack, he says, is powered by a 1.8L turbo-charged engine that produces 170 hp and 199 pound.-feet. of torque. “What I really like,” Romaniuk says, “is that the engine has been mated with a DSG transmission, among the very best in the business, which makes for very good fuel economy.”
Inside, Romaniuk cites the well-appointed leather seats, the 6.33-inch colour touchscreen display with Appconnect feature which synchronizes with your smartphone.
Safety features include a standard rear view camera and optional adaptive cruise control, intelligent crash response system and forward collision warning.
Romaniuk reports that the 2017 Golf SportWagen is available in a choice of four different trim levels (including the Alltrack) and raises in price from just under $30,000 to just over $41,000 for the fully-loaded Alltrack.
“We have a dozen models currently in stock and more on the way,” he says.
New RAV 4 in showrooms now
Toyota’s 2017 RAV4 began landing in local dealer showrooms in late October and early November.
The new model has been tweaked and looks a little nicer, says Frontier Toyota sales rep Margaret Morton.
The major changes for one of North America’s most popular crossovers, she says, is that there is a new full body colour and a new top-of-the-line Platinum trim. As well, the manufacturer’s “Toyota Safety Sense P” (TSS-P), which was formerly only standard on the former top-of-the-line Limited trim, is now included on every 2017 RAV4. The bundle of safety features includes pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high-beam headlights, lane-departure and adaptive cruise control.
The Platinum package, Morton notes, adds includes full body colour, memory seats, JBL sound system, smart entry system on all five doors, a hands-free power rear liftgate, birdseye view camera and badging on the carpet mats, door sill plates, and rear door.
All six trims are powered by a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder engine.
The base price for the 2017 RAV4 with FWD is $29,488 (including freight and pdi). Models with AWD start at $32,000.
Morton reports that the RAV4 continues to sell very well. “We sell almost as many RAV4s as we do Corollas,” she says. “We have already sold a lot of our 2017 models. But we still have a lot of inventory with a lot of colour choices.”
Olympic medallist at Chevrolet
On Nov. 26, Winnipeg’s Olympic medallist, swimmer Chantal Van Landeghem, put in an appearance at Murray Chevrolet. Van Landeghem was the only Manitoban to win an Olympic medal, bringing home a bronze in the 2016 Rio Olympic games.
“I wanted to bring her in to help motivate and inspire our staff,” says Muray Chev President Dan Murray who directed questions to Van Landeghem about her training, motivations and career highlights at the young age of 22. Staff were invited to take photos with the Olympian and her Bronze medal.
Murray’s relationship with Van Landeghem started when Murray’s became the Title Sponsor for Manta’s Swim Club’s Olympic Hopeful program from 2008-11 of which Van Landeghem was a member. Over the years, Dan Murray has sponsored many Manitoban athletes and Olympic hopefuls, many of which have become medallists such as Clara Hughes, Cindy Klassen, Sami Jo Small, and Rhiannan Leier.
Dealer of the week
Sales Rep: Jonah Lyon
Dealership: Jim Gauthier Cadillac Buick GMC
No. of Years: 8 months
Favourite Model: GMC Sierra 1500 SLT
Why: “The GMC Sierra 1500 SLT may not have the biggest engine or the greastest number of options in its class,” Lyon says, “but for me, it’s the most appealing truck on our lot.”