Los Angeles 2014: A Modest Proposal For Volkswagen Of America

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

Despite teasing us with the Volkswagen Golf R station wagon, it’s pretty clear that we aren’t going to get it in North America. A standard Golf R costs a hair under $37,000, and nobody is going to pay that much for the wagon version (and before you protest, remember that 3 people on the internet does not make a business case for a new vehicle line). But maybe VW of America can meet us half way.

Back in 2006, Volkswagen offered a Jetta 2.0T, with the engine and suspension from the GLI, but without the body kit, big wheels, red brake calipers and tartan seats. I was fortunate enough to drive one during my college years, and found it a nice compromise between the boy racer GLI and the bog standard 2.5L Jetta.

Maybe we can get a Golf wagon 2.0T? Take the GTI’s engine and chassis tuning, but leave out the AWD, the big wheels and all the other expensive stuff that will lead to a bloated price tag and excess inventory (ahem, Golf R32).

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Davidziff Davidziff on Nov 21, 2014

    I have another modest proposal for VW. Start making vehicles with the same reliability and low maintenance costs as Honda and Toyota. " The Impossible Dream."

    • Fordson Fordson on Nov 21, 2014

      You know, I'm not a fan of Consumer Reports' car testing, but I think they got it right...in awarding their "most reliable" to Toyota, probably for the millionth time, they said that Toyota simply sticks to "tried and true" technology. So does Honda, anymore. "Tried and true" can be interpreted in another way - not a lot of R&D. Those mfgs. are copycats anymore...and maybe that's the bottom line - if you want to drive yesterday's technology, conservative design, class-lagging, uninspired performance in most areas, then get a Toyota or a Honda. The makers who want to advance the state of the art are always going to have more issues, but they will be setting the bar, not playing catch-up five years later, and they will be more rewarding to drive - that's just the way it is. Now, to address your specific comment here...neither Honda nor, especially Toyota, offer anything even remotely competitive to a Golf R, much less a Golf R wagon. BUT IF THEY DID...that for-now-imaginary product would be MUCH more reliable and demand much less maintenance. That about it? This is a bold assertion that, if Honda and Toyota continue their current design philosophy and product portfolio, we'll never be able to test.

  • MissmySE-R MissmySE-R on Nov 21, 2014

    Read my mind completely - a 2.0T Golf wagon would hit the sweet spot in so many categories; just big enough, just quick enough, and with looks and gas mileage that seal the deal. Sigh... add it to my realistic fantasy garage, parked right next to the MazdaSpeed5, Journey SRT-6, and V70R.

  • Varezhka I have still yet to see a Malibu on the road that didn't have a rental sticker. So yeah, GM probably lost money on every one they sold but kept it to boost their CAFE numbers.I'm personally happy that I no longer have to dread being "upgraded" to a Maxima or a Malibu anymore. And thankfully Altima is also on its way out.
  • Tassos Under incompetent, affirmative action hire Mary Barra, GM has been shooting itself in the foot on a daily basis.Whether the Malibu cancellation has been one of these shootings is NOT obvious at all.GM should be run as a PROFITABLE BUSINESS and NOT as an outfit that satisfies everybody and his mother in law's pet preferences.IF the Malibu was UNPROFITABLE, it SHOULD be canceled.More generally, if its SEGMENT is Unprofitable, and HALF the makers cancel their midsize sedans, not only will it lead to the SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST ones, but the survivors will obviously be more profitable if the LOSERS were kept being produced and the SMALL PIE of midsize sedans would yield slim pickings for every participant.SO NO, I APPROVE of the demise of the unprofitable Malibu, and hope Nissan does the same to the Altima, Hyundai with the SOnata, Mazda with the Mazda 6, and as many others as it takes to make the REMAINING players, like the Excellent, sporty Accord and the Bulletproof Reliable, cheap to maintain CAMRY, more profitable and affordable.
  • GregLocock Car companies can only really sell cars that people who are new car buyers will pay a profitable price for. As it turns out fewer and fewer new car buyers want sedans. Large sedans can be nice to drive, certainly, but the number of new car buyers (the only ones that matter in this discussion) are prepared to sacrifice steering and handling for more obvious things like passenger and cargo space, or even some attempt at off roading. We know US new car buyers don't really care about handling because they fell for FWD in large cars.
  • Slavuta Why is everybody sweating? Like sedans? - go buy one. Better - 2. Let CRV/RAV rust on the dealer lot. I have 3 sedans on the driveway. My neighbor - 2. Neighbors on each of our other side - 8 SUVs.
  • Theflyersfan With sedans, especially, I wonder how many of those sales are to rental fleets. With the exception of the Civic and Accord, there are still rows of sedans mixed in with the RAV4s at every airport rental lot. I doubt the breakdown in sales is publicly published, so who knows... GM isn't out of the sedan business - Cadillac exists and I can't believe I'm typing this but they are actually decent - and I think they are making a huge mistake, especially if there's an extended oil price hike (cough...Iran...cough) and people want smaller and hybrids. But if one is only tied to the quarterly shareholder reports and not trends and the big picture, bad decisions like this get made.