By on November 20, 2014

volkswagen-golf-r-variant-2014-la-auto-show-01

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).

 

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

40 Comments on “Los Angeles 2014: A Modest Proposal For Volkswagen Of America...”


  • avatar

    VW Vortex has already confirmed that the US will get the Golf Sportwagen 4motion and the Golf Sportwagen Alltrack.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    You’re basically talking about a Jetta GLI wagon. I love the idea and hope they will do that. As a current GTI owner, I would upgrade to that. I don’t think the GLI is boy racer at all.

    I don’t see how hard it would be truthfully. Everything’s already certified and production is ready to go. The only risk would be it would cannibalize GTI sales.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Maybe they can make it an Audi where folks would be willing to pay $40,000+ for this wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      42,400. It’s already offered.

      http://www.audiusa.com/models/audi-allroad

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        No. The Allroad is lifted, different (and larger) car, plastic fender cladding, no manual tranny offered, all-season tires, etc. Not really going to be cross-shopped with an R wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      dantes_inferno

      I sense a recurring theme in most of these automotive forums:

      People want a 2000 horsepower vehicle that does 0-60 in under 2 seconds, pull 2Gs on the skidpad, less than 10 seconds in the quarter mile, get 60 miles to the gallon running regular fuel, Formula-1 type handling, enough cargo space for the family luggage and enough materials to build an addition to the house, enough torque to tow both the Space Shuttle and the QE-II, and seating for eight people all for under $20,000.

      I’m not holding my breath for that one.

  • avatar
    uberlaff

    I would prefer a 2.0T (GTI) version of the Golf wagon over the Golf R at 37 grand. People keep saying that wagons don’t sell and it’s true, but few wagons are interesting at all and offer anything that an CUV is already better at.

    If they bring something that is fun to drive to market that they can sell with a modest premium over the existing wagon and I’m sure some suburban Dad’s that drove the GTI in their youth would definitely consider it over another boring CUV.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “I’m sure some suburban Dad’s that drove the GTI in their youth would definitely consider it over another boring CUV”

      How many people is that? And will GTI ownership translate to GTI wagon ownership?

    • 0 avatar
      cackalacka

      Yeah, a K04 and Haldex AWD does not really justify a $12k mark-up.

      R’s really only start making sense when the area you live in has a climate that resembles Buffalo.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        the $12k between a base-model GTI and a base-model R buys a hell of a lot more than a K04 and Haldex AWD. A GTI optioned to match as closely as possible a Golf R is over $32k.

        • 0 avatar
          cackalacka

          Haven’t been following pricing since I purchased my 2010 new, but four doors, manual transmission, and a sunroof: out the door in 23k and change.

          What options could I possible want to bring it up to R?

          Autobahn? live in the south, pass.

          Dual-zone climate? Again, not something an enthusiast driving hot-hatch/sporty econobox needs, pass.

          DSG auto trans? Some of us like to pee standing up, pass.

          Haldex/K04 are the only meaningful improvements/differentiation, particularly if you’re going to modify your sentence with ‘a hell of a lot more’. Anyone who lives in an area that gets less than 18″ of snow a year who wants a fast Golf is best served getting a GTI, having a competent tuner drop a K04 in it, and take the extra walking around money they would have spent on an R and buy two round trip tickets/hotels in Europe.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    The 2008-2010 Jetta Wolfsburg was a great value. I think the manual version was right around $21K-$22K. It was the cheapest way to get the 2.0T in a VW.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Well, after drooling over the wagon I realized that a new S3 base starts at $41,100 and this would be almost that much. The wagon offers advantages and disadvantages, but it seems like the S3 would be a better choice.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      Depends on what you’re looking for in a car. I really love the utility of a hatch/wagon. If an S3 Sportback were available here, it might be #1 on my shopping list. Also, while a Golf R Wagon would approach the base of an S3, a GTI-based wagon as he proposes would be significantly cheaper.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    No thanks, either a Golf R wagon or Golf R400 wagon or don’t bother.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    “…but leave out the AWD…”

    That’s a non-starter. The only way to sell a wagon in volume is with AWD, so customers can think of it as a SUV. I’m surprised car makers haven’t jacked up the minivans and put AWD on them to sell them as large SUVs.

    • 0 avatar

      See the new Renault Espace, the original minivan (from an Euro point-of-view). What happened to the poor thing is exactly what you describe and in my mind the biggest news out of the recent Paris Salon. Confirmation of Derek’s anticipated CUV event horizon in the world at large.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    “But maybe VW of America can meet us half way.”
    Seems to me that VW is already doing a fine job of meeting us half way by only offering half of their product line-up in USA. I say again: What kind of company does NOT offer its best performance car (Scirocco) to the biggest performance market (USA)? F-tards…

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Scirocco = 2 door hot hatch = something nobody in the US buys. The Scirocco is basically a squished Golf, and while I love it (turbo + hatch = WIN) there is no reason for VW to sell basically two versions of the same vehicle.

      Also other then VW Vortex members your average car buyer doesn’t associate VW with performance. VW is “cheap Audi” or “cute bug”. Nobody is cross shopping a Golf with Mustang or Camaro.

    • 0 avatar
      theslik1

      They also remove half the standard equipment of a comparable European model before selling their flimsy service bay dwellers to American “enthusiasts”. I guess we’re never gonna figure that one out.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    They used to offer the Jetta Sportwagen in 2.0T form. I think that ended in 2009. They carried a price tag around $27K and of course didn’t sell worth a damn. What you’ve proposed would suffer the same fate, even though I can all but guarantee that I would buy one myself.

    I’m guessing most GTI buyers don’t want a wagon, and that most wagon buyers don’t want the 2.0T and GTI suspension tuning. Combine this with the fact that “GTI buyers” and “wagon buyers” are miniscule market segments and, yeah, my hopes of a GTI wagon are immediately evaporated.

  • avatar
    Timothy

    I really wanted to believe that this car had a chance to make it to the states. I started my downpayment savings a few days ago when I first saw it.

    I love hot hatches but the ability to carry a ton of shit really makes this car the perfect car for me (ahem, with a stick).

    120lbs of Great Dane do not fit gracefully into the back of the ST. Poor lady has to stretch across the back seat and there is still hardly room for luggage.

  • avatar
    kurtamaxxguy

    Auto purists seem to crave RWD, lotta HP, is low, wide, manual transmission, and smoking/hanging the vehicle’s tail out at a moments notice. Or are those automotive Journalists ? ;-)

    VW’s irritating because they insist on bragging about their vehicle’s technical superiority, but not selling them in the usa. Granted, some of the vehicles are concepts or truly designed to euro tastes. Still, the fact VW sales are still dropping suggests what they offer in the USA is not enticing. Perhaps it’s time for a change, VW?

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    A Mazda 6 wagon only cost $25K very well equipped back in the day. What makes them think a smaller Golf wagon from less reliable manufacturer could command a higher price?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      $25k “back in the day” (2003) is $32k today.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        Exactly. I think the phrase “back in the day” is key here.

        I mean, a new very-well-equipped Mazda6 costs just under $35k now – I would say most manufacturers are pretty comfortable asking more for their current models than they did the equivalent one ten years ago.

        Now add to that the fact that a Golf R is kinda higher up the food chain than a Mazda6, plus the fact that it has AWD while the 6 wagon was never so offered.

        • 0 avatar
          HerrKaLeun

          My comparison is to 2007 when I bought my 6 ( I actually opted for the hatch, but the wagon prices were low as well and dealers had a hard time selling them and would give 6-cylinders almost away when gas was close to $4). So yes the lack of a 2015 6-wagon makes comparison hard. But the 6 is larger, a Golf is almost identical to a Mazda 3.

          And in no world VW is more premium than Mazda. Not in Germany, not in the US. Except fanboys.

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            Oh, I’m certain that in Germany a Mazda nameplate conveys more status than a VW one.

            So if the 6 wagon was so reliable and was from such a prestigious manufacturer, why did they have to almost give them away, and then discontinue them the next year?

            VW has been successfully selling a wagon here in the U.S. since at least 1998 that I can think of.

            I think either a GTI wagon or Golf R wagon would sell here…not in large numbers, but it would sell.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      I think the phrase “back in the day” is key here.

      Considering the last Mazda6 wagon sold here was a 2008 model, I don’t believe a price comparison between one of those and what would most likely be a 2016 Golf R wagon would be valid, do you? I mean, a new very-well-equipped Mazda6 costs just under $35k now – I would say most manufacturers are pretty comfortable asking more for their current models than they did the equivalent one seven or eight years ago.

      Now add to that the fact that a Golf R is kinda higher up the food chain than a Mazda6, plus the fact that it has AWD while the 6 wagon was never so offered.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    May as well wish for build to order from the full VW menu. Maybe one day auto makers will be able to actually do SMED, and truly build anything they’ve engineered from a flexable aray of multi matching components. Until then the customer can’t choose and we all have to get what most of us want.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Derek, I don’t believe the assertion that nobody would be willing to pay as much for the station wagon version of a car as they would for the sedan or hatchback version holds a lot of water. Do you have any examples of station wagons priced significantly lower than the comparable-trim version in another body style?

  • avatar
    kosmo

    I’m with Derek. I’d buy what I’ll call a GTI wagon with 2.0T and 6-speed manual, with the caveat that the new version has a bit more sound insulation than was previously the case.

    I’d put down a deposit tomorrow. But I’m probably in the minority, since I’d have purchased the new 328xi wagon if it were offered with a manual transmission.

    Even though it’s stupidly overpriced. It drives GREAT.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    Man, this news makes me want to be a VW fanboy again.

    But, alas, I haven’t seen any sort of quality-turnaround effort and mea-culpa from VW after owning an A4 Jetta. If that car had been any good, I might have been a lifelong customer.

  • avatar

    The Golf R is a pretty sensational drive, but that wasn’t exactly a big surprise. It was just yet another fast Golf.

    I wish VW had launched it exclusively as a a station wagon from the beginning. That really would have been a statement.

  • avatar
    davidziff

    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.”

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      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.

  • avatar
    missmySE-R

    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.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • JimC2: I’d almost forgotten about these. It was almost as if corporate was going out of their way to kill the...
  • FerrariLaFerrariFace: Give credit where credit is due. Also, maybe you should re-read the second paragraph a little...
  • slavuta: V90 is my dream machine but not with 4cyl
  • FreedMike: Sales success is sales success. Doesn’t matter much who the sellers are.
  • phxmotor: Whst is this? Shill time for the Swede and the Koreans?

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber