Volkswagen has recently
confessed admitted to a steep decline in sales this past November thanks to a 25-percent decline for the Volkswagen brand and a mind bending, 60-percent cliff dive for the soon-to-be replaced Volkswagen Passat.
Apparently, there are still plenty of 2015 Passats and Jettas available to loyal would-be owners along with a variety of other weird birds, such as the 2015 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line Convertible and whatever dark backlot corner is still molderizing the aptly named Final Edition Volkswagen Eos.
All this corporate bloodletting brings on an interesting distinction for the Passat. You can now buy the very last, brand-new mid-sized sedan in America that is less than $15,000: a 2015 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T S with a 5-speed manual.
My short answer is yes for an all-too-select few of the Best & Brightest.
If the car of your dreams is a large and fairly well appointed mid-size German sedan with a 1.8-liter turbocharged engine, no infotainment (but yes to Bluetooth), and a stickshift that almost maximizes your miles per gallon, do test drive a Passat. A 40-percent discount off MSRP is not a common day occurrence in the new car market, and I can see this exact type of vehicle working well with a specific set of folks.
Who exactly? Well, those of us who do a lot of traveling and could use all that room on a tight budget, for starters. Take that group and divide it buy the number of current Volkswagen owners who would be interested in this unique specimen, and you may have just enough interest to clear out the Volkswagen backlots in about six or seven months
In the world of road warriors, there are a few lucky drivers who pile up 30,000+ miles a year. These traveling folks want a car that can handle the rigors of highway driving with a lot of space, a suspension that doesn’t wallow like a late model Town Car, and has no serious noise issues. Highway miles aren’t exactly hellish on a vehicle. In fact, in the auction business, one of the more common formulas for auctioneers is to buy a relatively cheap midsize to fullsize car with 100,000 miles for around $5,000 to $7,000, then drive it until it hits around 250,000 miles.
You then sell that car for around $2,000, buy yourself another one, rinse and repeat. This method not only helps auctioneers easily track their mileage for tax purposes (a need for all self-employed road warriors), but also allows them to buy some of the more heavily discounted metal for a couple of quarters on the retail dollar.
Pontiac Bonnevilles, Hyundai Azeras, Saturn Auras and Toyota Solaras may be the bane of enthusiast tastes, but these vehicles have depreciation curves that make them pretty solid deals in the wholesale market. The public doesn’t want them, and that means there’s value to be had with these unloved rides. The same is true with this Passat, except it’s not used — just virtually impossible to sell at the moment.
Is a Volkswagen Passat S that can be had for less than $15,000 worth it to someone you know?