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Don Beyer Volvo & Beyer VW
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Don Beyer Volvo & Beyer VW's posts

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2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI SE
 
What exactly is a “SportWagen”?
I never should have bought a minivan. The word “sportwagen” seems like a contradiction. You can have a sporty car, or you can a utility vehicle and neither the two shall meet. Prior to the Golf Sportwagen, my idea of a station wagon was the boxy Buick and even larger Oldsmobile that my parents used to drive in the 80’s and early 90’s. You know, the kind with the rear facing third row seat. This is not a station wagon, this is a SportWagen, and it is the car that everyone who loves wagons has been hoping for. 
When examining a car for the first time, exterior looks are irrelevant to me, what matters the most is how I fit, can my wife fit and can we both see out of the car? I am 6ft and 175lbs, she is 4ft 9in and 85lbs. There are very few vehicles that we can both drive comfortably, there are even fewer that she can see out of. With that in mind, my first impression of the SportWagen was – I can see everything. Without adjusting the seats or the mirrors, I had no problems moving the car around the parking lot and getting it ready for the test drive. After adjusting the seat and the mirrors I discovered something remarkable – there are no blind spots for me. The pillar in the back is thin enough that it does not prevent me from backing the car into a tight spot. There is a small piece of glass between the A pillar and the front window that allows me to see the curb when pulling up into a space. I do not need to see the very front of the car to know where the front, ends. The visibility is amazing. I could parallel park this car in any downtown district. The seats are extremely comfortable. They hug you when accelerating into the turns or simply laying into the accelerator to pass a semi tractor trailer. 
 
I thought all diesels were the same!
There is a Weird Al song called “Everything you know is wrong”. That is how I felt when I first took off out of the parking lot. In my mind, diesels were slow, sluggish, underperforming engines that people only bought for longevity and better gas mileage. I gave myself extra time to pull out and onto the main road in anticipation of the car crawling up to 45mph. I laid into the accelerator to encourage the engine to move, and move it did. Before I realized the error of my ways, I was already at 60mph in a 45 and facing a red light in 500ft. That is when I discovered the responsiveness of the braking system. With no shakes, no shudders, no pulling and no hesitation the SportWagen came to a smooth, controlled stop long before the I was anywhere near the light. 
Just how much is 30 cubic feet?
Clearly this is something new, something different, something wonderful, utilitarian and fun. I decided to see how much material I could slam into this Wagen, starting with the kids. First the car seat for the 4yr old, next the car seat for the 6 month old, then the 4yr old herself followed by the baby and to top it all off, the 9yr sports fanatic. With three kids loaded, next comes all of the cargo that goes with them: the pack and play, diaper bag, ERGO baby carrier, back pack and gymnastics bag for her, two bags of sports equipment for the boy and every extra I could think of from the DS accessories to the stuffed animals that no one can live without. All of that, and there was still room to add more. With the car fully loaded, it is astonishing how the car accelerates. It’s as though I never added any of the material listed above. I honestly cannot tell the difference between empty weight and the car full of kids with gear. My admiration for the engineers behind this engine is growing with every stoplight and every ramp. There is constant, consistent smooth power no matter what I do to this car. 
Getting off the main drag, it’s time to hit some country roads. I decide to give the car the same type of test drive I would to a sports car. I lay into the turns, accelerate coming out of them and hit the next one at the speed again and again. Not once did I feel the car rock, slide or hesitate. When I was a kid sitting in the third row of my parent’s wagon, I would have been all over the place. My passengers didn’t even notice. The baby is starting to fall asleep. 
The heavens are your backdrop
If you can take the car on a test drive, go for an extended drive at dusk. Load up the kids and head out into the country. There is something that everyone needs to see – the night sky. Most people look at a sun roof and consider it a nice option. On this car, the extended moon roof is a must have. This is the first vehicle I have ever driven where I can tell the passengers to look up, not out the side window, but straight up and begin to describe everything they are seeing. All I have to do is glace up and know the constellations, planets and other celestial bodies. With the moon roof screen automatically retracted, everyone can see the glorious heaves, to such an extent that I am no longer dictating what they are seeing, rather, they are asking me about the orange dot, the twinkling star and anything else that captures the imagination. Forgotten is the DS, the tablet and the stuffies. Nature is entertaining the kids and I am nature’s narrator. 
Next up – thumb control. Over the last decade, I have witnessed more and more buttons being moved to the steering wheel. Some are placed in spots impossible for any five fingered human to press. Others are in locations that make no sense. With the Golf SportWagen, I do not even have to look. My thumbs do the work while my eyes follow the road. With a gentle caress, the information display shifts from performance specs to the telephone. I press another button and the car asks me to connect my phone. I pull over to the side of the road, enable Bluetooth and let the devices negotiate. Within one minute, they are synced, my contacts list has been uploaded and the recent call log displays everything right between the two main gauges. I press the voice button again and at the sound of the beep I hear a child’s voice from the back seat say “call mom!” The car responds without hesitation and in a moment I am on the phone with my wife. 
The most beautiful sound…
The infotainment system is simple, elegant and easy to use. The music on the phone is transmitted to the Fender system and the most amazing sounds begin to emanate from the speakers. I choose “A Farewell Sonata” by Slow Meadow and the sound is so crisp and clear that I can hear the musician inhale before he plays his low mournful cry into the trumpet. I can hear the bow touch the strings and feel the vibration before I ever hear the notes of the violin declare their victory over the trumpet. I can feel the fingers depress the keys of the grand piano as it slowly builds up to its triumph over nightfall and brings the song to its grand conclusion. I have never heard such detail in this song, and I have listened to it a dozen times over with my headphones on.  
 
The drive brings me to highway 81, the home of busy truckers trying to get two and from major cities. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the engine, but I can tell you this – be careful if you floor it. The SportsWagen is just that – a sport. I was expecting hesitation, I received none. I learned very quickly that if you lay into the accelerator, you will not only be at cruising speed in just over seven seconds, you will discover the car can switch lanes and swing around tractor trailers like a sport sedan. The 150 hp diesel delivers 236 lb.-ft. torque ensures the additional 30 cu ft of cargo area is not even noticed. 
Can we keep this one?
As I start the drive back to the dealership, with a gentle caress of my thumb, the multi function instrument display center presents me with the details of my test drive. Mixed highway, back roads and inner city driving have generated 42 miles per gallon. I didn’t even burn through one gallon of diesel. The low and gentle hum of the diesel motor has put the kids to sleep. The engine is so quiet; I can hear the baby breathing deeply, completely at peace. It’s hard to bring the car back. In the time I spent with it this evening, I have developed a new level of appreciation for the engineering team that turned the iconic Golf into the car I wish I had bought instead of the minivan. As I go to move the kids back and return the car, the little man stirs and mutters… can we keep this one? Maybe not this one I tell him, the red one next to it looks perfect to me.
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Come Join us @ 

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Good Morning Volvo Nation!
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#donbeyervolvo #donbeyer #volvolove #RDesign #volvofrolife
#volvogram #volvolovers #thevolvocollaboration
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Are you looking for a way to connect with professionals while supporting a local community resource? Come to Women Wine and Wellness on July 23rd at 6:30pm at Don Beyer Volvo in Winchester. Women, Wine & Wellness is a dynamic group of women who love to connect, learn, grow, and be inspired. Our guest speaker this week is Georgeann Freimuth, a nutritionist, Registered Dietitian, and a nutrition education speaker. Women Wine & Wellness & Don Beyer Volvo will be supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters this month.
$15 cover at the door goes to BBBS
https://www.facebook.com/events/1599063653714893/

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The new XC90 has arrived, and it is awesome! 
Can your Volvo do this?
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