• Will the Volkswagen T-Roc come to the USA, Bolt vs Volt and a Warning light issue [Ask Nathan]


    Nathan, Andre and Roman reveal the TFLcar top five cars revealed at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

    In this week’s Ask Nathan:

      • Will the Volkswagen T-Roc come to our shores?
      • Chevrolet Volt or Chevrolet Bolt?
      • Odd warning light question.

    This first question comes from a viewer who wants to know if the Volkswagen T-Roc is heading to production in the U.S.

    Q:Hi, do you think VW will bring the Volkswagen T-Roc to our market?

    A friend of mine said they are most likely bringing it here in less than two years. It will be smaller than the Tiguan, but I doubt it will be a two door hatch back with removable roof panels. What do you think?

    TFL rules!

    Benji

    A: Hi Benji,

    You friend is correct, Volkswagen is seriously exploring the possibility of bringing a tiny crossover to our market that would compete against vehicles like the Jeep Renegade, Mini Countryman, Ford EcoSport, Chevrolet Trax and Honda HR-V – to name a few. It’s one of the hottest markets right now and the Volkswagen T-Roc concept was very well received.

    The question is: can they profit with this vehicle if it’s built in Mexico or even Europe? Nearly every automaker currently has or will have a small crossover in our market, many base price at well under $20,000. Is it possible for Volkswagen to be competitive at that price-point? These questions need to be answered before they commit to production.

    We should have a solid answer from VW AG regarding the Volkswagen T-Roc soon!

    N

    Check out this video of one of the newest vehicles to enter this ultra-competitive market, the Toyota C-HR!

    This next question comes from a viewer who’s choosing between a Chevrolet Bolt and Chevrolet Volt.

    2016 Chevrolet Volt

    Q: I can get a good deal on a Chevy Bolt and Volt. Not too sure which one to get.

    My partner has a regular car, so I don’t need to worry about long distances or road trips. I commute from Palo Alto, California to Oakland, CA. It’s about 45 miles each way which was I never bothered with the Nissan Leaf given its maximum range would barely be enough.

    I do not have a quick charger at work, but I do have a 110 outlet which I think would give me an additional 20 percent charge over the eight hours I’m at work. There are a few quick charge stations in the area too.

    Basically, I want the Chevy Bolt. I just want to make sure that I am getting the correct vehicle, or should I look at the Chevy Volt too? My partner has the high mileage Chevy Cruze and it’s very efficient, but I hate driving stick. It’s fine for her, but not so much with me. Having an electric car is something I’ve wanted for a long time.

    Do you think I’m crazy?

    Thanks!
    Gracie

    2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

    A: Hi Gracie!

    Considering the distance you’re driving, the Chevrolet Bolt is a great choice. Sure, you can have a range extending vehicle like the Volt or even the BMW i3, both of which are great, but it sounds like you’re mind is mostly made up. The great thing about the Bolt is its interior size, which is much more utilitarian than the Chevrolet Volt.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the Chevrolet Volt is an excellent machine; it’s right up there with the Toyota Prius Prime. Neither offers as much useable space or electric range as the Bolt. Also, you get excellent rebates with the Bolt. I think you still get car-pool exemption stickers with the Chevrolet Bolt too.

    There are other choices that are a bit less expensive like the Hyundai Ioniq EV and Volkswagen Golf EV, but neither match the Chevrolet Bolt’s range. All in all, it’s a great choice, one that Roman Mica would approve of too (he’s in the video below).

    Cheers!

    N

    The last question comes from a fan who has a warning light that comes on from time to time.

    Tachometer red-line with warning indicators

    Q: Hi Nathan, can you help me?

    Every once in a while, my check engine light comes on. It usually comes on after I fuel up and then it either goes away a day later or not until I gas up again. I have double checked the gas cap to make sure its on tight and it seems ok.

    I drive a 2009 Subaru Forester and I have no other issues with it but I don’t want to take it in because I’m flat broke. Every time I go to the dealership garage, it costs me an arm and leg.

    What do you think?

    Blake in Texas

    A: Greetings Blake!

    A couple things come to mind:

    1. You may have a faulty gas cap. If the seal is broken, it will (usually) become a check-engine issue. They are pretty cheap and it’s a good idea to replace, especially because your gas tank needs a good seal to work properly.
    2. Never over-tighten your gas cap. That in itself can lead to a broken gas cap. In many cases, the gas cap will tell you how many “clicks” you need to fully secure it. Check your manual, it should help.
    3. In many cases, auto-parts stores will check your warning light for no charge. They can plug-in to your OBDII port and read some of the codes.
    4. Make sure you are up-to-date with your service. Keep in mind, a dummy light usually has a code or two that can tell the mechanic where the issue may be. It could be something simple.
    5. If none of these things help, I highly recommend you take it in to your Subaru garage. I know it’s pricy, but you don’t want a small problem to become a big one.

    N

    Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and name will be omitted – leaving your initials or nickname, your preference.

    From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.

    Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: asknathan@tflcar.com.

    Nathan Adlen
    Nathan Adlen
    Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.

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    5 thoughts on “Will the Volkswagen T-Roc come to the USA, Bolt vs Volt and a Warning light issue [Ask Nathan]

    1. Herbert Diess (VW Brand Chief) stated to the press earlier this month that Wolfsburg has approved a sub-compact crossover for North and South America (T-Roc, although it probably won’t be called that in the US). The dealer group in the US still has to approve it (very likely)and they still have to find a place to build it, but the big hurdle has been overcome. It could show up as soon as the 2019 model year according to press reports.

    2. Agree totally about the Fiat 124 Sport Coupe. I owned one for several years, and contrary to rumor, it was completely reliable and trouble-free. And as a car for a young kid who wanted to shift from drag racing my hi-pro 289 Comet Calients to stock class SCCA tracks… it was amazing.

      It was eventually stolen and totaled, and by then I needed a pickup truck. But I still lament its loss. May have been the best overall vehicle I’ve ever owned.

      1. You mentioned comet and fiat and 124 all in the same sentence any other crappy cars that catch them on fire you wanna mention

    3. I just heard a rumor that Chevy dealers are putting a premium on Bolts because of high demand.
      While I find that obnoxious, if true, it’s great for the reputation of EVs.
      Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to be an early adopter. I usually buy after a mid cycle refresh.

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