By on June 1, 2015

Jetta TDI 2015

The Nissan Versa sedan might be the cheapest car in the U.S., but it isn’t holding candle to the cheap lease rates available for the Volkswagen Jetta. Regardless of the almost $4,500 price differential between the two cars in base model trim, Jetta lessees are spending less than half each month compared to the Versa, as low as $39/month at one San Jose, CA dealership.

It’s all part of an effort to bring customers in now at a loss to have their attention three years in the future when the German marque has more compelling products to offer.

According to Automotive News, the lease deals are “a sign of how Volkswagen AG is grasping to turn around its fortunes in the U.S.”

The leases run for three years and require $2,500 down, making for a short-term commitment to a base model car that’s decidedly less of a penalty box than America’s cheapest Nissan.

Even with the deals, Volkswagen may have its work cut out for it. The brand is looking to more than double sales in the U.S. before 2018 with a lineup lacking a number of segments currently experiencing the most growth, a midsize crossover in particular.

Volkswagen’s current discounts average approximately $3,000 per car sold through April, including cash and leasing incentives.

 

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82 Comments on “VW Offering $39 Monthly Jetta Leases to Hook Customers in Later...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    What’s the mileage limitations?

    • 0 avatar
      rcx141

      Until it blows up. Say a couple of weeks. How many miles is that ?

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      I’m seeing 30k miles on the 36 month lease.

      Jetta S 2.0/manual, MSRP 18K.

      Edit: a few months ago, someone told me that VWoA employees weren’t offered any more Jettas to lease, that the supply was too tight. I suppose this is why.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I suppose that’s not terrible if you live in the city and rarely drive, though it wouldn’t last 2 years for many.

        • 0 avatar
          th009

          I live outside a mid-sized city, commute 20 km (12 miles) into the city. I’m averaging less than 15,000 km/9,000 miles on my car.

          Living in the city, I would expect to drive well less than 10,000 km/year. Which would be good for my plan to keep my car 10+ years.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        “the supply was too tight”

        Wait a minute… how can that be for a car that sells so badly it needs this kind of deal? Production problems even for the low sales it manages to accomplish?

        • 0 avatar
          whynot

          Sales of the Jetta are not that bad. It is still through April the #17 best selling car in the U.S. The reason you are seeing this special is the Jetta is really the only car they have that is somewhat competitive in a popular segment (unlike the golf, which is extremely competitive in a somewhat unpopular segment). It is also old enough to lessen the financial impact

          Also supply is determined by production, not sales. An unpopular car can still have a tight supply if it is produced in small quantities.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Smells like desperation. Time to start a VW-USA death watch.

    • 0 avatar
      redliner

      Next thing you know, they will be offering no money down, no interest, no payments for one year, just like our other favorite whipping-boy car company did.

    • 0 avatar
      pdl2dmtl

      No death watch for now. There are still enough takers on the “glorified VW’s” a.k.a. Audi. Sadly, they have deep enough pockets. And Porsche is helping the bottom line too.
      Now, if people will start buying these, that would be another story….

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Death watch? For the world’s number two automaker? Wise up, VW won’t live or die based on its perception in this minor export market.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      People forget how VW ascended. Dollar-mark/euro exchange rates became favorable for VW and US consumers. For the same price as a similarly equipped Japanese car, US consumers could get a turbo, superior interior design and build quality, much nicer stero and onboard entertainment, and coolness that the Japanese didn’t offer.

      VW’s sold because they were an amazing bargain. These lease rates create the same appearance, though the payments are so low, I’m not sure they will attract the right kind of buyers. I suppose the down payment will keep the riff-raff away.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    The “$2,500 down” part means I pay that up front and don’t get it back at the end, right? In that case it’s essentially an extra $69/month. Still, $110/month is pretty impressive. Out here in tax-and-regulation-land, you can can pay $50 to $100/day to rent a car if you don’t order 2 weeks in advance. The lease would probably cost less than the insurance.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    If only VW didn’t make such handsome, dignified looking vehicles. ‘Cause I know they’re junk inside. But some still tempt me.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Ain’t that the truth!

      I totally want to be a VW fanboy, but I owned one once, and it was poorly engineered/built junk that wasn’t durable/reliable/repairable enough to stand up to the American duty cycle. But I really liked the car otherwise, which means I still obsess about them — from a distance.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        Agree with both of you. In the current era of overwrought styling, VWs really stand out.

        That said, I don’t completely trust the brand. I only know three owners well. The first got good service out of a ’99 Passat wagon, albeit with a mechanic friend helping out with two or three repairs that could’ve been pricey without a friends-and-family discount. The second has a rather troublesome ’10-ish Passat. The third just got a screaming deal on a ’14 Beetle convertible that had gone unsold. We’ll see how it goes with the ragtop.

    • 0 avatar
      Lantern42

      I’m 5000 miles into a ’15 GTI, no issues so far and the car is built impeccably well. It’s not what they used to sell in the early 2000’s.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    If these low deals are available in September, it’s almost enough to get me back into a VW for two years, until I can Jetta-son it.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    How on Earth could a dealership make money on a lease like that?

    You have to file this under “promotional” expenses because even with $2,500 downpayment, they’re losing their shirt.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Holdback.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      As on almost all new car transactions, on the sale itself they don’t.

      But it gives the opportunity to give you $3800 for your trade in that’s worth $5200 at auction, $7000 on the lot.

      They’ll happily add 75 bucks of scotch guard and undercoating for $800.

      If you bring the lease back in every 6 months for $119 oil changes, $99 cabin filters, $149 bottles of Lucas, even better.

  • avatar
    bodayguy

    Looked it up. In Seattle, it’s $139 a month with $2,200 down, option to purchase after three years for $10,000. Stripper model, manual only. Good luck finding one (two automatics at the near dealer).

  • avatar
    FThorn

    At 2,500 down, $39 per month, 4%, that’s $3,237.42.
    Fits here for $0 due at signing, $170 month, 12,000 mile, 35 payments. That’s $3172.98

    REPLY TO BODAYGUY – if ONE HUNDRED and 39 per month….
    So, that’s $5,113 present value dollars.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Interesting move by VAG.

  • avatar
    Crosley

    If you could keep under the mileage, I can see a really good case being made for a cheap lease like this rather than something used with a lot of miles.

    Especially if you’re someone that doesn’t work on cars.

    It’s basically beer money to have reliable transportation. I would have gladly had something like this in college where I had no real place to do any repairs.

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    Can we link to an actual dealer offering $39/mo leases on VAG?

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    If you’re price-sensitive enough to be drawn to a shockingly low monthly lease payment now, will you still be interested in VW’s refreshed (and more expensive) product lineup in 3 years or will you run over to Nissan, who will still be offering cheap Versas?

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      I see the theory of what they are trying to do but when you give something away, people don’t value it.

      So when the lease ends they won’t be likely to pay 4x or more what they were paying for the same brand. They’ll either go to sniff out the latest bargain or will move to a brand they believe to be a step up – like Hyundai given this ridiculously low price.

      A mistake, IMHO,

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    I think they just started this program today. Santa Monica VW is at $95/mo with $1999 down, 36 months, 10K per year, no security deposit, residual at end of lease is $10,733.25. I think its a good deal for someone who is in desperate of a cheap reliable car. I know its a VW but my daughter has a 08 Rabbit and I have a 12 Sportwagen tdi, neither of which have had any issues.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I’ve never leased. How do leases handle no-shows for required maintenance?

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      We leased 2 VW’s for my wife; at the end of each the lease we just dropped the car off at the dealer. After a quick visual inspection we signed a termination for and that was it, no paperwork to verify any of the maintenance that was not done by any dealership.

      For that reason I would never buy an off lease VW.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Did neither of them ever receive any routine maintenance?

      • 0 avatar
        JRobUSC

        How is that any different than any used car, regardless of brand, and regardless of whether it was off lease or a trade in? That VW dealer had access to VW’s history for your cars. I know this from when I had my Touareg bought back by VW years ago. So when you turned them in, if they couldn’t verify any maintenance had ever been done they likely sent your cars to auction. That’s the same thing any dealer does nowadays. And P.S. you should maintain your cars.

        • 0 avatar
          sproc

          I wouldn’t be so sure about VW having access to your service history. I moved a couple of times with a bought new, in-warrantee Audi that was only serviced by dealers, and after both moves, the new dealer service writers were adamant that there is no central registry of routine or corrective maintenance except for recall and TSB repairs. Of course I had my own complete records, but it would be nice if any service department could pull them up. Does VW do something Audi doesn’t?

          • 0 avatar

            We’re opening a new Volkswagen dealership (well, taking ownership of an existing one, but renaming it). I can confirm, after speaking to our service advisors, that the only service data shared between dealerships is warranty work and recall work. A dealer can’t even see if you’ve done the two complimentary services that are paid for by Volkswagen unless you had them done by that particular dealer.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheatridger

          They’ve got free dealer maintenance during the lease period, so you;d save nothing by skipping the oil changes.

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            Was waiting to see how many of our resident VW experts would miss this well-known fact.

            Quite a few.

  • avatar

    Ooooh…more early lease-terminations headed to the block! Time to request more floorplan!

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’d be more impressed with $2500-3K down, $9.99/mo lease. Go for broke.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    If this was a Golf, I’d be at the dealer tomorrow. I have enough equity in the Scion that it might cost me $0/month.

    But I gotta have my hatch. I hate trunks.

  • avatar
    derekson

    The VW dealer near me is apparently offering $57/month, $2999 down. Not quite as crazy as the deal mentioned in the article, but still pretty shockingly cheap.

    Hell, you can get a Passat S for $77/month, $2999 down. That might be even more surprising.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Wish something like that was available in Canada. We just cringe in envy when we see the leases available in the USA for some vehicles.

    At that price, use it as a car for the kids or a weekend driver to keep the miles off the purchased cars.

    Or drive a beater and keep the Jetta for long trips.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    i would scarcely believe that someone outside of the chinese or indians sells a SOHC 8v 120hp four cyl.

    i think the 1.8 turbo gasoline w/ 6 spd auto would be the minimum standard but that is closer to $22k?

    doubt they would wheel and deal on that

    they should have a wagon already? and jack it up a bit? oh wait… Tiguan

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Supposedly the 2.slow is (finally) going to be killed off in 2016 in favor of a 1.4T entry-level model.

    • 0 avatar
      Atenza

      One of the options in the European Mazda3 is a detuned (DOHC) 2.0 making ~120 hp in Europe—same torque, giving the same torque but lower emissions than the regular 2.0. The 2.slow’s miserable, but that’s because it’s an antiquated motor tasked with too much car to carry.

      It’s funny there’s starting to be an inverse displacement obsession at the low end of the market—if it works, who cares?

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Wow, I sold VW’s the summer of 97′ and I swear we were doing $179 a month 24 month leases on Jetta GL no AC 4 Mil 5 spds. Can’t recall the cash down, but I am sure it was 2k or so.

    Despite common thought here, one of these would do just fine for 3 yrs and 30k miles for the low mileage driven cash strapped among us. I would bet huge dollars the bulk of these roll out the door with the down stroke rolled into the gross cap cost. If you need a $79 a month car stroke, you don’t have 2k down, or the fees like dealer handling, taxes on the down etc.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    According to the latest CR auto brand ranking, VW came in 15th place with 46% of their cars being recommended. In order to get a recommendation, the car must have average or better reliability. Yet if you go by the TTAC comment section, any new VW will explode in a giant fireball literally the second it leaves the dealer lot.

    Ranked WORSE THAN VW: Lincon (16th) Infiniti (17th) Nissan (18th) Chevrolet (19th) Cadillac (20th) Mercedes (21st) Scion (22nd) Chrysler (23rd) Ford (24th) Dodge (25th) Mini (26th) Jeep (27th) Fiat (28th). Curiously absent are Jag and Land Rover, and Land Rovers actually DO explode in a fireball the minute they leave the dealer lot.

    While you’re enjoying your VW = crap meme, ask owners of ultra reliable Acura TLXs how they are enjoying their class action lawsuit over that piece of crap new DCT. People should know by now that a brand new Honda transmission always is big trouble. I’d also bet that more than a few Nissan owners “enjoying” their miserable CVT with its horrible reliability record would be more than willing to swap it for a VW Tiptronic autobox. Oh wait I forgot, VW is the worst. Uh huh.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Yes, the posts about VW reliability are mostly based on personal and secondhand anecdotes from Mk IV cars (or early Mk V cars) when most of the European marques were suffering in build quality.

      Because obviously experiences with a new car a decade ago dictate how the new models will be to own.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        The numbers show that VW as a company spends more per vehicle on warranty than any other mainstream non-premium brand.

        While dependability study data indicates they don’t necessarily have the highest frequency of repairs, those studies don’t really break out what necessitated the repair visit. In VWs case, they have more expensive repairs which customers remember and loathe, rather than a higher frequency of small items that customers tend to forget and care less about.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Danio,

          If you don’t mind, which numbers?

          I ran some quick searches that either said that numbers are closely guarded secrets, or that GM has the highest warranty/recall expenses.

          It’s something I find interesting, so I would love to find some good sources.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Companies generally report warranty accrual data in their financial reports. GM did have a huge spike in spending per vehicle because of the recall campaigns last year, but VW has been consistently at the top.

            edit: I did some searching and found this for you:

            http://www.warrantyweek.com/archive/ww20140717.html

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Thanks danio

          • 0 avatar
            Steven Lang

            There is also this…

            http://tradeinqualityindex.com/reports/Volkswagen.html

            The newer models are beginning to hold their own. The only question is what you will wind up with if you happen to be a keeper instead of a trader.

            Leasing is really not for the dollar focused customer. The tax and insurance bites are never put into these total cost models and for less than $100 more in payments for perhaps three more years, you can usually own a given vehicle outright.

            I would recommend a Sonic/Cruze with a 5-speed and a 1.8 Liter before I would even remotely think about the Jetta. Same reality with the automatic.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Apologizing away VW’s miserable reputation as a relic of their cars of ten years ago has been going on for at least 5 or 6 years now. Perhaps it’s finally true this time, although I have my doubts. But those now 10 year old self-destructing cars are still out there poisoning the brand with every shop bill.

        Nobody talks about how terrible millennium era Hyundais were anymore. You can’t take your name off of the crap that you already built but ceasing to put that name on new crap catches up with you eventually. VW could have tried it.

    • 0 avatar
      Atenza

      Not enough CR subscribers buy JLR cars for them to have a statistically valid sample.

      While I agree that a lot of the brand reputations here are ridiculous (Ford’s close to the bottom, Subaru’s consistently in the top ten of the rankings and fifth this year), 15th out of something like 28 isn’t something to brag about, particularly a number of the 15 above you are mainstream brands with comparable road test scores (which is taken into account in CR’s rankings) and cost of ownership.

      Anecdotally there does seem to be something about the way VW’s go wrong—either which components (almost every story I’ve heard is powertrain) fail or the dealer experience after a failure—that leads to a lot of word-of-mouth even outside car people.

      • 0 avatar
        Davekaybsc

        I didn’t claim that VW was the best, just about average. The idea that leasing a new VW will get you 3 years of the dealer’s service loaner is a myth, just like Japanese = runs forever with no maintenance is a myth.

        The constant VW = worst cars ever LOLOLOLOLOL posts around here just start to get tiresome. Statistically, if you’re looking to buy a car and run it into the ground, your best bet is a Lexus, although even their cars are not what they once were.

        If you’re *leasing* a car though, which is what this post is about, it just doesn’t matter all that much, although I would place a bigger bet on a trouble free VW lease than a trouble free Nissan lease, especially on a first or second year new Nissan introduction. The Altima rollout for example was a TOTAL DISASTER. The ’13s and ’14s are still JUNK.

    • 0 avatar
      PriusV16

      You do realize that VW is still having massive (!) issues with double-clutch transmissions they built into their cars over the last 3 years or so?

      Even here in Germany, where people would continue to buy VWs after their last one exploded into their faces, VWs reputation has taken quite a hit due to the transmission problems.

      Google-mangled article about this topic: https://translate.google.de/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.handelsblatt.com%2Fauto%2Fnachrichten%2Fdoppelkupplungsgetriebe-dq200-das-grosse-problem-des-vw-konzerns%2F9074256.html&edit-text=&act=url

      Or did you actually mean „VW“ instead of „Honda“ in your original post?

    • 0 avatar
      Irvingklaws

      My 2010 Golf TDI has had every recommended service interval performed at the dealer. It was relatively trouble free up until this year. Exhaust backflow valve went bad in January. But VW extended the warranty on the part, because they’ve apparently been failing in mass, so zero cost to me. Then A/C ran out of freon (or R-12, or whatever they use these days). Dealer serviced/refilled it and couldn’t find a leak. Last week I made the final payment. The turbocharger failed literally days later. Car has 80k miles. Dealer quoted 3 grand to fix. I called VWoA and, yada-yada, they agreed to pay 50% of the replacement cost even though it’s technically out of warranty.

      Last year the timing chain on my wifes ’05 Honda CR-V jumped at 85k resulting in bent valves. Nearly 3 grand to fix at the dealer. That was after putting over a grand in maintenance into it just a couple months prior. Got it back and found it was loosing oil like crazy, but they couldn’t find a leak.

      I dunno. Honda…VW…there’s just no telling.

      • 0 avatar
        87 Morgan

        Other than Honda transmission issue, I think you are the first to ever self report mechanical failure of a Honda. Most claim their Honda ran forever even after they quit doing oil changes and the like..

        Was there a special waiting room at the dealership to keep you quarantined from the other shop customers in for maintenance?

    • 0 avatar
      klossfam

      I’m sick of people ‘remembering’ their high school friends 2001 Jetta broke down a lot…the reality is ALL current MAKES have significantly less real world problems than even 15 years ago. I have two 2011 VWs and they have been more or less as reliable as my recent Toyotas and Honda products. The worse car I’ve owned in this millenium: A 2002 Acura TL-S. Our 2008 Toyota Highlander blew a water pump at 48k miles, our 2008 Infiniti G35 blew a head gasket at 50k, our 2011 Tiguan had a water pump leak at 25k but has been trouble free and tight as a drum (at 60k current miles)…The only bullet proof cars I’ve owned have been our 2004 Honda Pilot and 2010 Honda Ridgeline but that may be more luck than anything else. Bottom line: VW (and Kia) throw a TON of company money at leases…If you need a nice vehicle that is heavily underwritten by someone else…Grab it! On a lease, all your maintenance is covered more or less, so quit worrying…

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Mine VW almost killed my whet the lower control arm fell off just after I came off of a 300 mile highway trip?

      Why did it come off? I’d had my transmission swapped to many times (mostly under warranty) that my mechanic started to rush the job.

      Why was my transmission swapped half a dozen times? Bad design, impossible to rebuild. Why was it easy for the mechanic to make a near-fatal mistake? I spent Nome time under the hood, and the engine compartment wasn’t designed with maintainability in mind. You can blame the mechanic if you want, but I’ve put a lot of miles on other brands (mostly Ford and Toyota), and never even started down this road, because the core components last 200k miles, rather than 50k miles.

      My terrible experience with VW is *not* a meme.

      What I want from VW is to hear what they did internally in order to stop baking crap. I want to hear about improved business processes, improved engineering tools, quality management programs, end that sort of thing. I want to hear engineers talk in public about what they do and how they do it.

      After that I can think about buying that TDI Sportwagen I always wanted.

      Until then, Toyota makes very good cars. Boring, but very good.

  • avatar
    NGK

    Does the offer mentioned above apply to the Jetta 1.8 TSI?

    The Jetta 1.8 TSI is actually a blast to drive. I got this as a rental.

    I can confirm the 1.8 TSI engine loves to be revved.

    Is the rental experience enough for me to buy a new Jetta (TSI only)?
    I’m not sure, in fact, I’m hesitant because of its legacy by the fact that this brand can’t engineer a car that can withstand American driving cycle.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Where is everyone finding their info on this offer? I can’t seem to find anything listed on VW’s site or my local dealer sites.

    I almost went to the dealer on the way home yesterday to see if I could get one for that.

  • avatar
    threeer

    No such offers showing here in Huntsville, AL. With 160k+ on my 2004 Lancer and the fact that I drive about 12 miles a day, I’d be tempted…not that VW is my first choice. But with the Lancer worth about $2500 and the repair bill looming for the A/C to the tune of $750, I’d *almost* consider even a base Jetta.

  • avatar
    TW5

    I’m tempted. My 2001 GTI was a barrel of monkeys……when it ran and all of the interior fasteners held. Everyone says VW is getting so much better. I’m curious to see if it’s true.

    I’ve looked for special lease offers at my local dealer. Don’t see anything, though.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Temptation isn’t all bad, TW5. Follow your curiosity and see where it leads. Be bold!

    This lease deal fixes the three-year cost of ownership under $4000, plus tires and gas. How can you lose?

    You gotta love this forum. In a world where a cheap lease on a new car is regarded as risky behavior, can’t we all feel a little more brave?

    VW dealerships are notably empty these days– both the sales floors and the service shop, where they no longer ask for appointments. To me, that’s a classic “buy” signal, as long as I like what they’re selling. Our Tiguan lease is up soon, and their first offer was a $4000 discount on a new one.


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