By on January 20, 2016

2015 VW GTI 2-Door Exterior Side 7

Dealers are shaving thousands off of Volkswagen’s Golf GTI — up to $5,000 at some dealers — and the hatchback is relatively easy to find at rental car counters across the country.

So, is everything going OK with 2015’s North American Car of the Year™?

For starters, in Volkswagen’s defense, most of its cars are available with at least a few thousand dollars off as dealers cope with sagging sales from its diesel crisis. At my nearby Volkswagen dealer (Emich VW in Denver) it’s not uncommon to find a Jetta or Passat with $2,500 on the hood.

But there are some GTIs on the same lot that have been docked nearly $4,500, without any incentive trickeration or destination withholding. (To get the deal, it just needs to be a conquest buy and financed through Volkswagen, which aren’t extraordinary conditions.)

Last year, Volkswagen sold more than 23,000 Golf GTIs, which is more than 20 percent more than it sold in 2014, although it’s unclear how many of those were fleet purchases.

Readers over at VWVortex have noticed the trend too; owners have reported similar prices at dealerships across the U.S.

We reached out to Volkswagen officials to see what they have to say but haven’t yet heard back.

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91 Comments on “What’s Going On with Volkswagen’s Golf GTI?...”


  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    No prices are not dropping here. Is it something to do with the US economy? I think saw others offering incentives as well?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Didn’t the AUDUSD take a nose dive?

      Yup, starting in 2013. Now at six year lows. This isn’t going to help an economy importing cars (or CKD kits or whatever).

      http://www.nasdaq.com/article/forex-audusd-re-approaches-6-year-lows-after-australian-data-cm567780

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Yes, it did but it is stimulating rest of the economy. Breaking records in vehicle sales
        My impression is that other US Automakers are offering discounts?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          US automakers have offered discounts on certain products, but this is nothing new; at least in the last fifteen years. What is new are the changes in financing terms.

          Traditionally when financing 60 months was as long as you could go with many loans being issued for 36mo or 48mo. Then 72mo became the norm with 84mo starting to be used. I believe TTAC featured a post on a 96mo loan on a Camry. All while the prices kept inflating every year and jobs/wages remain stagnant for the most part. So what do the banks do? Just extend loan terms since their victims, er customers, are not coming up with the downpayments to offset the cost increase or can manage the cashflow to make a regular 60mo payment.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Vehicle subprime loans ? I know in the real world demand has been tapering off in the US, this is another way to try and artificially inflate it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            More or less. Pundits and analysts have been calling it another bubble.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            As bubbles go, one in vehicle subprime loans is pretty benign, since the debt is fully (or at least almost fully) collateralized. The net effect of a bubble bursting would be a glut of used cars and a consequent drop in used car prices. This isn’t the sort of highly leveraged asset class that leads to global financial crises when it declines in value.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Yes, you can typicaly find deals and incentives on some models from every mainstream automaker that sells here. Chances are if you walk onto a Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Ford, FCA, VW, GM, Mitsubishi, Hyundai or Kia lot in the US, at least SOME vehicle will be on the lot with cash back or special low interest rate deals OAC, etc. It might be on something terrible (Nissan [Tiida] Versa sedan comes to mind, Kia Rio, etc), but they will have some incentives most of the time, or will offer discounts of their own to offer aside from manufacturer’s offers.

            My friends parents watched the local evening news every night, and every commercial break was “$10,000 OFF NEW [old] TITANS AT JACK MEHOFF NISSAN/KIA/LEFTOVER DAEWOO SUZUKI’S on auto-row HOME OF THE YES MAN!” and during the same break: “0% APR on all new trucks in stock, $500 owner loyalty cash + $1,300 factory cash back on gas V-8 models.” And. later “NEW [old] CAMRY LE’S, $239/MONTH! YES $239/MO!” Some are dealer’s discounting the vehicle, others are “factory” (manufacturer) incentives (can also be a conbination).

            Also, you can also usually get them to take less on nearly anything mainstream, particularly if its an unpopular car (Caddy ELR), or a lame duck model (with its replacement already on sale, as with Nissan Rouge Select). Sometimes cars are left over from a previous model year well into the next, and so they are always heavily discounted. Like buying a new 2015 Ford Flex today, for example, would probably be a fantastic deal, if it floats your boat. My parents bought my brother a brand new (12 miles on odo) 1996 Ford Mustang V-6/5 speed in like April of 1997 lol.

            This would be an even bigger discount if the car was redesigned/updated for this year, so youre buying one of the last of the new previous-style cars.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            >>Vehicle subprime loans ? I know in the real world demand has been tapering off in the US, this is another way to try and artificially inflate it.<<

            That's why the head of US Honda was criticizing these practices – these financing schemes bring demand forward and will make the future more difficult when the market can no longer be pumped up.

            Look at Nissan – $17k Altimas – they seem to be on a roll sales-wise (fleet too) but are they buying market share w/ dicey buyers and loans? Same w/ Rogues – what should normally be a used car shopper has become the "buyer" due to these aggressive sales schemes that undermine the industry's health.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @dal

            I agree not a “global killer” sort of bubble but it would jack things up stateside. Imagine running a dealership and your used floorplan devalues say 1/3rd in a short amount of time.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Oh, no question there would be an effect on the automotive sector, both new and used. I just don’t think it would be severe enough to affect the rest of the economy.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      It may have something to do with VW being a pariah right now, I dunno…

    • 0 avatar
      kmars2009

      Seriously? The economy? HELLO?!? People are working the economy is fine. I think VW’s reputation has been seriously tainted over the diesel scandal. People scare away when something this big hits. It happened big time back in the 80’s with Audi and the 5000 sudden acceleration problem. They took decades to recover. Only to now be a part of the whole diesel mess. VW better solve this problem quick, if it plans to survive.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    I’m seeing $2500-3100 off in my neck of the woods. Still not gonna buy a car from a crappy, dishonest company on such shaky footing. The savings are just going to be wiped out on terrible resale value anyway unless you are the special kind of masochist that plans on keeping a VW until it fully depreciates.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      Oh, stop.

    • 0 avatar
      White Shadow

      Don’t be such a drama queen. I certainly hope you don’t drive a car from any manufacturer that has had similar or worse issues/scandals. For example, Ford back in the days of the Pinto.

      And if you really believe VAG is on shaky ground, I have a bridge to sell you;)

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Just for some perspective here, the last time you could buy a Pinto you could drive it off the lot, load up your family and go check out the latest Star Wars instalment in the theater. Of course that was The Empire Strikes Back, not The Force Awakens. If you weren’t a Star wars fan perhaps The Shining or Raging Bull were more your cup of tea. You’d want to get out, what with all those Carter and Reagan ads on TV. Then again, maybe you were rivited to the TV set watching the USA defeat the Soviets in hockey in the greatest sports upset ever at the Lake Placid Olympics. You see, that was the last time Ford would sell you a Pinto, and it was a really long time ago.

    • 0 avatar

      or you could lease and then you don’t have to deal with the depreciation.

  • avatar
    derekson

    They’re just trying to move metal without diesels to sell. Plus I assume they know it’s their best product, and if they can move more GTIs, that (in theory) means more happy customers recommending VWs to their friends to replace the old TDI owners who won’t be recommending them anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      This would be my guess as well. People on the fence about buying a VeeDub are most likely looking at Golf anyway so just sweeten the deal a bit to keep the dealership in operation. I assume there was an across the board price slash but being more aggressive with your most popular model might be a “quick fix” kind of thing.

  • avatar
    Dr. Doctor

    Maybe the GTI is going to get an update? Or they’re trying to get rid of stock because people are looking for the plaid seats and Performance Pack combo?

  • avatar
    Brian E

    VW almost had me fooled. I thought they had their act together. Fortunately the diesel scandal broke before I ended up in the car market again or there’s a very high chance I would have bought a GTI or an A3.

    What hasn’t been said enough is that the VW scandal is a quality issue as much as an honesty issue. The product did not meet requirements, period, and there’s no way this could have happened in a company with a robust quality culture. Not all cheats are legal issues; sometimes a tradeoff that results in a better impression of initial quality at the cost of longevity or durability is a cheat too. So, no, I didn’t buy a GTI. I can’t imagine I’m alone in that.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      The diesel issue has nothing to do with quality. VW wanted to market a diesel car that met emissions specs without using any, or later a minimum of, DEF. It was technically impossible, and to attribute that to quality is like saying Boeing doesn’t build quality airplanes because they can’t make one out of concrete.

      The root cause of this scandal is that after VW determined they could not comply with the requirements they manipulated the software to fraudulently make the cars pass. That’s about honesty or the lack thereof. Selling cars with poor long term reliability displays a certain lack of integrity as well, but that’s been a VW characteristic for so long that nobody is surprised by it.

      • 0 avatar
        OnlineAlias

        The diesel issue has everything to do with quality. The fact that the cheating happened at all logically indicates a lack of separation of processes for checks. A company doesn’t just decide to cheat, a small group of people decided to cheat, and that made it through quality controls. Yes, software and emissions have quality controls that are supposed to be there. For VW to pull this off indicates quality controls and processes were broken so badly that well, they could pull something off that destroys the reputation of the company for years to come.

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          Quality doesn’t usually have such an expansive meaning. You could argue that anything wrong with a product or service is due to quality issues but that is a misuse of terms. When we talk about quality we usually mean build quality of the finished product.

          VW has for years had quality, reliability and durability issues around specific engines, vehicles, platforms, etc (perhaps not too far out of line with other carmakers). But the diesel fiasco has not changed the quality of each vehicle per se. It surely has changed the quality of the investment for those owners, and has exposed the poor quality of VWs internal management practuces, but the cars are not breaking down any more after the admission.

          Believe me VW would be VERY lucky if their vehicle quality was a function of the emissions control scandal. They would “only” need to fix all the TDIs to then claim “highest quality” status. If only it were that easy.

    • 0 avatar
      KevinC

      My GF owns a ’15 Golf 7 TDI, it’s just over a year old now. The quality is far above any of the past VW products I’ve owned, and that’s a lot of ’em. At 12k miles it has nary a squeak or rattle – unheard of pre-Mk7. The paint job is superb. Body panel gaps & alignment are absolutely perfect. Interior materials superior for its class. Etc etc.

      I wonder if the Mk7′ TDIs will be sought-after unicorns moving forward. They in all likelihood will be the last VW diesels in this country. They’ve always had a cult following of sorts. Hers is a stick and has the lighting package – a very desirable combo. To somebody. Time will tell. But she’s definitely hanging onto it. If the ultimate VW “fix” screws with fuel mileage or has any other negative effect, she’ll hopefully be able to flash it to “undo” the fix.

      • 0 avatar
        lon888

        Yes, and at 12k miles my 2012 GTI looked fab also. I agree with you at that point everything looking great. However at about 40k the troubles began. First it was the battery, then the intake manifold, the high pressure fuel pump, the first of 3 PVC (oil separator) valves, the second battery, the first set of coil packs, the 3 three sets of rear sway bar end links…shall I go on? Oh yeah and now at 72K miles the hood looks like a Honda hood at 200k miles. The interior does like nice but hardly rattle free. My first and last VW product.

        • 0 avatar
          redmondjp

          You think it’s bad now . . . just wait. I’ve still got a 1997 Passat TDi. There is not enough space here to tell you what is wrong with it, but suffice it to say that in the past two weeks, the trunk lock, one rear interior door handle and one exterior door handle completely stopped working (the other interior rear door handle never worked during my ownership). So now, I have to open the one back door that works from the outside, chauffeur-style, every time the kids pile in and out.

          But at least it still runs great and really does get 50mpg, so that’s something. That generation of diesel engine is probably one of the last ones that is really reliable overall (we won’t talk about how dirty the exhaust is, however).

          Call me crazy, but I’m now looking for a 1998 Volvo S70 with the T5 turbocharged engine and a 5-speed manual transmission to replace the Passat (going to see one this weekend – they only imported around 350 sedans with this engine + manual transmission). At least the Volvo will have functioning door handles and windows!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I think much of the hulabaloo about honesty and all that is a bit much… remember the cost cutting of the late 90s from nearly all auto makers?

    In any case I am kind of weary on the GTI. Fast but not fun. I would rather a Civic Si. Slower but more fun and trustworthy.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Civic over Golf all day long in the owner’s section.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        Ooooh – all day long. Get over yourself – you don’t speak for anybody but you.

        Honestly – the common “wisdom” here is a bit much sometimes. And the keyboard righteous indignation.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          I’d like to see the new Civic Si before buying any GTI, but right now I’d buy a GTI PP long before a Civic unless I had to be at $22k or whatever the Civic cost.

          • 0 avatar
            sproc

            I was about to say the GTI PP was a special order unicorn (it sure as hell was a few months ago), but amazingly, there actually seems to be some inventory around me. Nuts.

          • 0 avatar
            Quentin

            Sproc – early in 2015 they were rare, but VW said that they wouldn’t ship until early 2015 from the beginning.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            I am thoroughly turned off by the 10th gen Civic. I do not see how they can right its wrongs with the Si version. It’s a boat.

            GTI has a better interior and is faster in a straight line but it doesn’t have that “scruff of the neck” appeal like the Civic. And for the street a bolt on K24Y is plenty fast without being annoying like the K20Z or soulless like the EA888. IMO anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            I keep seeing new Civics around, usually with dealer plates. That is one ugly car, especially from the back.
            I don’t think I could get one. It would have to run as well as an NSX for me to even consider it, and even then I couldn’t stand looking at it every day.

            The GTI is a plain looking car, nothing special, but at least it’s not visually assaulting. I do wish that VW offered some more colors.

            As far as durability is concerned, I guess it depends where you live. VW bodies hold-up very well in the rust belt, and any major city will offer a choice of high-quality independent VW specialists. They don’t respond well to low-quality parts but neither does Honda.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “Get over yourself – you don’t speak for anybody but you.”

          But the GTI owner and German car superfan speaks for many?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Have you ever owned a Golf for a nominal length of time (10 years+) as opposed to a lease?

  • avatar
    callmeishmael

    I wanted to appreciate VW’s water cooled vehicles as much as I’d appreciated the air cooled ones. So we bought a Rabbit. And it had a classic rod knock. I griped it at the dealer and they signed it off. Three weeks later the engine seized. Never, ever again.

    • 0 avatar
      Urlik

      That was what, 40 years ago?

      • 0 avatar
        callmeishmael

        So? It isn’t as if VW has added much luster in the ensuing years. The number of makes and models available made taking another chance on a company that had sold us a manifestly defective car out of the question.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          You folks know that it is only acceptable to hold crappy cars of 40 years ago against the domestic makers in these hallowed forums, right? It is OK to say “The Citation sucked so I won’t buy GM” but to the selective memories here the 80 Rabbit was a fine car!

        • 0 avatar
          mulled whine

          …so how was the fine GM diesel you bought after the Rabbit?

    • 0 avatar
      Acd

      I know where you’re coming from. I’ll never buy another Toyota again because my 1958 Toyopet Crown was such an underpowered dog. It’s a miracle they can even sell cars here.

    • 0 avatar
      qfrog

      My parents bought a MK1 Golf new. The automatic gearbox had to be replaced at some point during their ownership of the car. I was able to overcome this known history of problematic transmissions and purchase a Jetta IV wagon and more recently a Golf VII wagon.

      On the other hand I still refuse to purchase apple products because the IIc my mother bought had serious reliability issues. A IIc with what I was told is a bad logic board gave the computer a malicious personality. The computer had a habit of changing what keys registered as, A no longer would register as A but maybe 9 or W. I expect apple’s quality has only gone down hill since they moved manufacturing to China.

      • 0 avatar
        never_follow

        They bought an automagic VW… That hasn’t been advisable at any point in time I’m aware of, all the way up to your Jetta wagon, which was waaay too heavy for that poor 4 speed (if 2.slow).

        In my experience, their manuals are very stout, and most of what’s around it is very good if well maintained, save some strange electrics. Also, they seem incapable of doing power windows, but that’s a fairly broad German thing.

  • avatar
    Urlik

    My local dealer was offering a good deal on a GTI fully loaded but I got a Golf R out of them for invoice instead. Still a lot of dealers out there wanting MSRP for Golf Rs.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    One way to alleviate a inrush of poor market performance is to increase market share at the expense of profits.

    The long-term economies of a car purchase can be very far reaching. Most VWs are serviced by VW, probably at a rate higher than the industry average. This is no doubt a profitable part of the VW ecosystem.

    Secondly, there is no more effective car advertising method, IMHO, than a fancy, shiny, LED wrapped auto zooming around you in traffic. This is especially true for VW, as their “apparent value” is by far their best selling point.

  • avatar
    Steve Lynch

    I am not seeing that many dealers advertising large discounts on the West Coast. Plus what is the real price after doc fee, gook and snake oil, etc?

    Those that can only sell price on a GTI will be out of stock quick.

    Perhaps because the example is an automatic is why the $4,500 off price?

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      Dealers in my city had only advertised $1500 off max last I looked. But two hours away you could buy every GTI on one dealer’s lot for over $4000 off MSRP. Discounts went all the way up over $5100. There really wasn’t much of a catch. Maybe $250 over that in miscellaneous crap. Percentage savings wise the base S 4 door manual you could pick up for $22,100 (+ aforementioned fees) was probably the best deal.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Isn’t the GTI made in Mexico now? Maybe VW has more room to play with in pricing and they’re using it to shore up sales.

  • avatar
    facelvega

    Just a note on Golf/GTI reliability, which was somewhat panned in the comments to the Bark piece a day ago: from what I can see, JD Power and the other usual suspects in the US don’t agree with this assessment, the Golfs do fine. And out of curiosity I browsed some European sources, where having lived in Germany and England I know that the Golf has a good reputation. Sure enough, Auto Express did a survey of 61,000 owners in which the Golf comes in well above, say, an Impreza in both reliability and build quality. And the Germans being Germans, the ADAC (German AAA) a database of 4,000,000 breakdowns, the statistical analysis of which rates the Golf variants way above the Focus or Civic.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian E

      JD Power measures initial quality and reliability after three years. I kept my last car for almost ten years and I’d like to get ten out of this one too.

      I don’t trust the German surveys either. They’ve always rated the Golf highly. Germans and Americans must have different ideas about what constitutes quality. TrueDelta’s data paints a markedly different picture than those surveys: http://www.truedelta.com/Volkswagen-Golf/reliability-279/vs-Civic-109

      • 0 avatar
        facelvega

        You can’t trust German REVIEWS from any of their car journals, they are textbook chauvinist– the German car always wins. But the ADAC database is literally about four million breakdowns, it’s much larger than any of the other survey sets we have to judge by, several dozen times larger than truedelta, for instance. It is true though that the Civic sold in Germany is a weird hatchback, not exactly like the one we have in the US, and it’s rare there, so even with the big database, the numbers could be skewed by a relatively small number of lemons. I mentioned the UK test, which is only 61k cars versus truedelta’s 103k, because the English tend to be more critical of German cars. I was going to look up some French or Italian ones too, but honestly, who would trust a French database?

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Germans are anal-retentive about maintenance, so all the trips to the dealer for them are normal. I have heard a LOT of “user error” blame deflection in discussions of German (un)reliability.

        That said, we bought my wife’s 07 Rabbit almost 3 years ago and all it has needed was oil and tires. Only trip to the dealer was for repair to a fan that I think may have been damaged in a little fender bender before we got it.

        • 0 avatar
          Ubermensch

          And I can tell you that blaming lack of maintenance for VW problems is nonsense. I had over a dozen issues with my B5 Passat and zero can be attributed to lack of maintenance. Europe rates VW highly because the reliable Japanese brands have very limited market penetration there so there are few buyers that are familiar with them. European driving conditions are also different from much of America. We drive further, over rougher roads, and in harsher climates.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Which does not explain why VW/Audi has dramatically expanded here. Huge distances and harsh climate are just the norm here

    • 0 avatar

      http://www.truedelta.com/Volkswagen-Golf/reliability-279
      Consumer reports looks similar would link but it’s behind a pay wall.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I can’t vouch for euro-built Civics, but I’d bet my retirement fund all day long that statistically the Civic is much more reliable than the Golf in the US.

      That said, if you’re willing to recognize the higher maintenance costs and long-term needs of the Golf, I’d also bet my retirement fund all day long that the Golf is hella more fun….

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I’ve driven various versions of both, sometimes back to back…. in my opinion, it’s no contest. Over the last 10 years, the Civic (with a manual) has always been the more fun car to drive. Especially in base/lower/non “sport” trims. GTI is OK but the Civic Si is more playful. And base Civic vs base Golf it’s no contest- Golf drives like an S-Class which is great if that’s what you want but bad if you want fun. Civic drives like a Civic.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Nope. If they are willing to cheat so brazenly on emissions, what would stop them from cheating equally brazenly on safety or longevity? All makers cut corners, but designing and installing a defeat device was in another league from what most of them do.

    I like the GTI (although I’ve always wanted one a bit less than I “should”) but I wouldn’t buy a VW at this point until I see some evidence the company culture has changed for the better. Unfortunately, their response to the emissions issues is tending to show the opposite. There is a well-worn playbook for how corporations can respond to wrongdoing effectively but they’re too full of hubris and arrogance to even go through the right motions.

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    I haven’t seen any real discounts advertised in Canada. This is probably for the best, because I’d be tempted, and I’m not sure how I feel about doing business with them at this point.

    • 0 avatar
      Joss

      Doubt there will be with $68.5 loonie.

      My Sentra SER lease is coming to a close. GTI’s tempting but a Trendline will do. The SER’s CVT & paddles operate smoother than DSG. But Golfs seats & ergos are definitely superior.

      The still not-quite-here 2016 Sentra is out of the question at 130hp. Heck Carlos the 5 year-old Focus & base Golf are around 170ish. The Civic is nice but the 1.4 is unproven. And it’s getting a bit too large for me needs.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    So am I the only one that has a Golf ad at the bottom of this page?

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Fitzmall.com has GTIs between $3400 and $3800 off MSRP, factoring in the the $1500 conquest bonus and the VWoA financing of 1.9%/60 months.

    The 36 month lease deal payments come out to about the same as those of a Scion FR-S, $12.5K.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    Pretty nice discount, but I think there are probably better deals to come as VW’s situation worsens. They’d probably have to do better than 1.9% to get me to bite on the financing too; I’ve seen Mazda and Ford offering 0%.

  • avatar
    AutoFan

    I just bought a ’16 4dr S Manual non-PP in October. The PP was just out of my price range (yes, that extra $1500 made a difference to me, plus there weren’t any to be found in my area). I was offered about $3k+ off just for walking in the door. $2k in that first round of discounts, $500 in returning customer discount (my wife bought a Jetta Hybrid in ’13) and whatever else the dealer was willing to eat. I probably could have gotten a little more off if I really negotiated hard, but the deal I got was in my budget and I’m happy. So, it sounds like they just kept that ball rolling.

    3 months and almost 5k miles later, it’s running like a top. I love the Apple CarPlay. 3 cases of beer, 3 cases of glasses and a small cooler fit in the hatch (I sell beer for a living) without having to remove the cargo cover. My Great Dane fits in the back seat with only minimal neck craning. So, I like the car.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Good on you, AF! We who dare, drive what we want (and can afford). Those who don’t, or won’t, resent that, and they spend too much time here insulting other people’s choices.

    Among those who drive and review cars for a living, the GTI gets a positive review. Even in one magazine’s elite “Lightning Lap” competition, it’s “…the one we would buy with our own money.” The GTI is on almost every 10 best list from C&D for ten years running. Clarkson gets all gooey in his admiration of the GTI. And it holds all your stuff, plus your pooch, and beats 30 mpg. So don’t let these nagging, nattering nabobs of negativism get you down…

  • avatar
    rcx141

    Maybe people are finally realizing VWs are nothing more than super temperamental money pits ?

  • avatar
    shaker

    I’ve always wanted a GTI… but, like that “high maintenance” gal that we’ve all known, at some point the fun’s over and the financial pain begins.

  • avatar
    tedward

    This is how we ended to with a gti. First time in my life I’ve bought the same brand car twice in a row.

    They are doing this bc it’s a bright spot for them and really one of the few things they can do for their dealer network. The exact same thing is happening with the tiguan, or at least it was when I was at the dealership.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Now if the discounts were serious on a Golf Sportwagen S with the manual tranny…

  • avatar
    fishiftstick

    Is it fuel prices?

    Maybe a GTI is what you buy when you want sports car performance without sports car fuel economy, and now that gas is cheap, those folks are going for something bigger/faster.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      That is an interesting take, though I am not really seeing what can be cross shopped with a GTI that is also a gas guzzler. I can’t see anyone cross shopping a GTI with a V8 pony car.

  • avatar
    baconator

    My wife just bought a GTI two weeks ago. It was a low-option 4-door with a sticker of ~$26k, and yes, we got a little over $4k off sticker. Lease ended up being $296/month, $0 down, $0 drive off, 36 months @ 12k miles/year. It was very challenging to find a car that wasn’t optioned up above $30k MSRP, and also very challenging to find one with a manual transmission.

    The dealer we’ve bought other cars from before, and have a good relationship with, happened to have exactly the one we wanted among the four GTIs they had in stock. A bit of luck. There’s a much higher-volume dealer that had over 20 GTIs, and not a single 6-speed on the lot. When we asked them why not, they said, “We almost never order manuals, so when we get one it sells right away.” As someone who also sells things, my instinct is always to stock *more* of the thing that sells right away, but apparently I lack the “wisdom” of auto dealers.

    For comparison, the Ford dealers in the area were only willing to knock $1-1.5k off the price of a Fiesta ST, and nearly all of the Fiesta STs were optioned up from their $22k base to a $26-29k level. I couldn’t find a single car that was just base + Recaro package, which would have been my preference. Wife wasn’t interested in paying $25-28k for a FiST when the GTI could be had for ~$22k, and I can’t blame her. To me the FiST is a *lot* more fun, but it’s not 10% more car than the GTI in the context of daily commuting.

  • avatar
    read_to_acheive

    I tried very hard to get a GTI last June but the price was just ridiculous at the time, so I ended up leasing a 3 series wagon instead. All the VW dealers I spoke to in SoCal were hard to deal with as well. Hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to own one of these!

  • avatar

    Interesting. Here in Austin I see them selling over MSRP all over the place. A friend of mine who works at a VW dealership says those cars are the only way they’re making any money, and they have no reason to discount them because folks show up and want to sign without even test driving. The GTI and the $43,000 Golf R, of course. He sold an R a few weeks ago, DCI, fully loaded, for $48,750.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      I call bullsh1t. Austin only has three VW dealers. Of those three, two have every GTI listed for $2,500 _under_ MSRP. That’s before any haggling. And all three dealerships were happy to sell me any R they had in stock at MSRP (none would discount at all). You can’t even option them above $41,110. I find it hard to believe any enthusiast (because the only people that buy Rs are enthusiasts) would pay $7K over MSRP when they could just drive to the next dealership and pick one up for sticker.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    The Golf R is what is going on with the GTI. If they’d put a GTI badge on the R and bumped up production, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Maybe it just isn’t that great. They’ve really lost the steerring feel with this generation, and I disagree with those who say the turbo lag isn’t an issue. Not worth dealing with the reliability issues in the TSI engines.

    I ended up buying a Mazda3s MT. Slower and the controls are overdamped (I’m not saying it’s as sporty as the GTI), but better steering and transient response.

  • avatar
    aajax

    Golfs are being heavily discounted, too. Sales are down and I think VW is desperate to keep their factories running even if they have to take a hit on profits. $5000 off on a GTI looks awfully tasty to me, but I’ll probably stick with my Mk 7 Golf.


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