VW Weighing Jetta SportWagon Variant to Compete With Subaru Outback
VW, whose growth in the U.S. market has not gone quite according to their optimistic plans, may take a page from booming Subaru’s playbook and introduce an all-wheel-drive station wagon to compete with the Subaru Outback, Fuji Heavy Industries’ best seller in North America.
Automotive News reports that VW has approved an AWD version of the next Jetta SportWagon that will be sold in the United States starting next year and that the Wolfsburg based automaker is considering a version with higher ground clearance and body cladding, like the Alltrack concept shown last year.
Last year in the U.S., Subaru sold 117,553 Outbacks, about five times the number of Jetta SportWagons that VW sold. The proposed Outback-fighter would also add a pseudo-crossover model to VW’s lineup, and would act as a stopgap until VW can add more crossovers to its range – something its beleaguered dealer body has been crying out for.
Isn't the Outback a class bigger than the Jetta? So really a 4wd Jetta sportwagon would be competing with the XV Crosstrek, or in other words, the jacked up Impreza, only it would have an extended 'estate' posterior rather than the Impreza/Crosstrek hatchback and so would have more cargo volume with the same cabin volume. So not really directly competing with Subaru at all then...
Subarus are the goto choice for many who live in the snow belt, closely followed by AWD volvo wagons. I don't think VW is going to be able to carve out a niche, rather they will just be taking sales away from their more profitable Audi AWD wagons.
Uh no, real 4WD trucks and SUVs are the choice for many who live in the snow belt. Sipping coffee, heated seats, watching the econoboxes slip sliding away. Both these vehicles are more ghastly than socks with sandals to me. Go large or stay home.
I think Subaru's sales of the Outback have more to do with its reputation (and not because people really like wagons). Call me the Devil's Advocate or whatever, but I think Volkswagen should just go ahead and release that Passat crossover, and call it a day.