What's Going On With Volkswagen's Golf GTI?

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
what s going on with volkswagen s golf gti

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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5 of 91 comments
  • Mike Mike on Jan 21, 2016

    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.

    • Johnny_5.0 Johnny_5.0 on Jan 21, 2016

      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.

  • Jimal Jimal on Jan 21, 2016

    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.

  • Carlisimo Carlisimo on Jan 21, 2016

    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.

  • Aajax Aajax on Jan 25, 2016

    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.