By on August 21, 2018

2018 volkswagen golf family - image: Volkswagen

Midst the turmoil of a diesel emissions scandal and the crisis that followed in late 2015, there was a quiet but striking development inside Volkswagen’s U.S. showrooms.

Americans were buying Golfs. A lot of Golfs. More Golfs than at any point since Ronald Reagan was president. Volkswagen Golf volume nearly doubled, year-over-year, in 2015, and Volkswagen nearly sustained that level in 2016 before rising to a 31-year high of 68,978 sales in 2017.

A trend it was not. Seven months into 2018, Golf sales are nosediving.

It’s not a phenomenon unique to the Golf. As Volkswagen’s Jetta transitions into seventh-generation form, deliveries of the company’s best seller are down 40 percent. The Jetta’s on track for its first sub-100K U.S. sales year since 2008. Jetta sales have fallen by roughly two-thirds just since 2012.

The Passat, meanwhile, is nearing the end of the sixth-generation sedan’s tenure, and sales of the midsize sedan are in freefall. Passat volume is down 35 percent in 2018, year-over-year, a harsh decline following a half-decade in which U.S. Passat sales slid by more than half.

Yet despite these significant downturns, Volkswagen of America sales are actually up 8 percent in 2018, a noteworthy improvement in a largely stagnant market, an increase that stems from a 5-percent uptick in 2017. At this rate of growth, Volkswagen is on track to sell nearly 370,000 vehicles in 2018, which would be a five-year high.

No thanks to the Golf.2018 volkswagen atlas - Image: VolkswagenNearly across the board, in nearly every corner of the lineup, at nearly every level of Golf hierarchy, sales are falling.

Regular Golf hatchbacks? They’re down 45 percent compared with 2017.

The iconic GTI? It remains the biggest seller in the Golf range, but sales are down 17 percent.

So much for the romance of wagons. Including the SportWagen and Alltrack, Golf wagon volume in 2018 is precisely half as strong as it was in 2017.

The e-Golf is not spared. Sales of the electric hatch are down 64 percent, a loss of a couple hundred units per month, on average.

The low-volume Golf R is the exception to the rule. A 4-percent rise resulted in 88 additional vehicles between January and July — a drop in the bucket considering the 16,403-unit decline in overall Golf sales, a 37-percent drop.2018 volkswagen golf r - Image: VolkswagenAt this point in 2017, the Golf family accounted for nearly a quarter of all Volkswagen sales in the United States. That figure is down to 13 percent for 2018.

It’s only fair to blame changing tastes. Passenger car sales are falling everywhere. America’s five most popular cars — Camry, Civic, Corolla, Accord, Altima — are all selling less often this year than last. In fact, 17 of America’s 18 best-selling cars are in decline. Only one passenger car more popular than the Golf is declining more rapidly. That car, of course, is Volkswagen’s own Jetta, which is understandably struggling in the face of a generational changeover.

Fortunately for Volkswagen, the shortcomings produced by the Golf and its VeeDub car cohorts have been overcome (to date) by in-demand utility vehicles. Incidentally, after initially backing its SUVs with maximum strength, Volkswagen now stands ready to stand behind all of its vehicles equally (e-Golf aside), with a six-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

That change for MY2018 is not making a difference.

The Tiguan and Atlas produced just under half of Volkswagen’s U.S. sales in 2018’s first seven months, up from a trivial 13 percent a year ago. The Tiguan is now the brand’s No.1 seller, outperforming the Jetta by a 1.3-to-1 margin. Meanwhile, the Atlas outsells the entire Golf range by more than 1,000 units per month.

We shouldn’t be so surprised. America’s brief, three-year fascination with the Golf wasn’t really much of a fascination at all. At fewer than 70,000 sales, the vast Golf range attracted only one buyer for every 5.5 Civic owners, for example. It’s been 36 years since Volkswagen managed to sell 100,000 Golfs in a calendar year in America.

The Golf is a top seller in a variety of markets around the world. But America will not soon be one of those countries.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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69 Comments on “America’s Brief Infatuation With The Volkswagen Golf Is Fizzling Fast...”

  • avatar

    None of this is surprising. We’ve owned VW’s in the past, but I can’t see a single model I’d consider putting into the family garage right now.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris from Cali

      You’re missing out. The Golf R is a phenomenal car. I’ve owned mine since 2015 with zero issues, daily driver, etc. It’s been great in the snow, summer, mountains, etc. Honestly, it’s hard to think of a better daily driver under $50K.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        You know, I was close on a Golf R manual. It really is a phenomenal vehicle. At the end of the day it wasn’t 25 grand better than the Fiesta St I got. This was a toy car however and had it been my only ride then the equation may have changed.

        I liked it so much better than the Audi S3 though.

    • 0 avatar

      You know I got to test drive for about an hour, two brand new 2018 GTIs, one with the manual and one with the auto. Really fun, really well buttoned down, felt like it would make a fantastic daily driver.

      However, there were some problems that left a bad taste in my mouth. On the manual, the shift lever cam off in my hand! Also, at one point when I was coming to a stop at a stop sign, a red icon started flashing at me along with loud beeping. Neither I nor the salesmen knew what it was, and never showed up again. Cars shouldn’t startle you with warnings unless there is something to react to, and it needs to be damn clear what the warning is for, if it’s worth the flashing and the noise! I discovered later after researching that it was the forward collision detector malfunctioning.

      On the auto, one time, merging into traffic, it downshifted on it’s own over revving the engine well passed the redline, causing the car to buck violently. I had to manually force it to upshift. Mind you, these were BRAND NEW models for sale.

      This I think is exemplary of why the VW brand doesn’t do well here. How many other brands can you get 3 bad experiences in two test drives on the same day? It speaks very poorly to the long term durability of the product, and keeps me away from an otherwise fun daily driver with excellent fuel economy.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah your story doesn’t really add up for reason not to consider a Vw. First the DSG will not over rev the engine. The red line in a Gti is actually about 500 rpm past the redline anyway, so just because it exceeded the redline entry point doesn’t mean it over revved the engine.

        Also, there is a leaning curve to the dsg, and if it bucked, maybe that was your fault? Its been a very reliable transmission since the MK 5.

        As for the warning light, did you bother to look at the manual? Merely stating that some light flashed red, so the car must be broken is stupid. There’s all kinds of reasons something could have flashed on the dash, especially in this era of traffic safety systems.

        As for the shifter, maybe it was installed on the dealer lot and not tightened properly.

  • avatar

    I expect the diesel scandal incentives led a lot of Golf/Jetta diesel owners into a new Golf as the cheapest new car replacement from VW, but those days are over (at least until the next VW scandal).

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Seems like more a story about sedans (Model 3 excepted) than about the Golf. People want SUVs and CUVs.

  • avatar

    Maybe when they learn to build a headlight that doesn’t “fizzle out” after a year I might consider one. Other than that they are competent, quite nice, not durable and boring.

    • 0 avatar


      About 3 years ago my nephew says his girlfriend is looking for a car. He asks me about VWs. I tell him about the headlights. She buys a VW. A year later he tells me that she burned a headlight out.

      When he and I are in a car together if he sees a car in the distance where you can only tell if the headlights are on or off and he sees 1 headlight, he says “Hey, a VW!!!” way before you know it’s a VW.

      They aren’t as bad as they were 10 years ago, but they still have a headlight issue.

      Same with Mazdas and early rust. I’d have to wait a couple more years before believing they’ve got that taken care of.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      My 02 Passat burned out both headlights within 3 years, and within a month of each other. It was weird.

  • avatar

    Would have greatly desired a one or two-year old Golf (mit Schaltgetrieb) over the ’17 Cruze HB I wound up with…just couldn’t find one. I tolerate the Cruze being an automatic, but would have preferred a Golf and only with a manual. They are unicorns, for sure. Few people want hatchbacks. Fewer want VW. And even fewer than that want manuals. Sigh. Would have been nice to see a sustained uptick in Golfs running around.

    And please don’t ask about how pathetic the build quality is of the Cruze.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      My ’16 Cruze’s build quality wasn’t exactly impressive. It was decent, but noticeably mid-pack, behind the Civic, Golf, Impreza, and Mazda3.

      • 0 avatar

        Kyree, of the initial 9 weeks owned, six weeks in the shop (a little over five of which were consecutive). Given it was bought a year old, no dice on getting GM to take it back under any kind of Lemon Law. The issue(s) were electrical, but I’m also noticing now more and more of the little things…like the foam strip under the windshield completely misaligned, or the front bumper cap that doesn’t *quite* fit right (never mind it looks like it wasn’t fully painted). The 2013 Cruze we had was built better, as far as I can tell. But since I just bought the ’17 about two months ago, unless I want to take a blood bath on trade or sale, I’m stuck with it for now.

        I realize that VW hasn’t always been the peak of reliability and build quality, but just sitting in a Golf feels so much better than the Cruze.

        • 0 avatar

          threer, for the amount of looking I did when I was buying a car, I noticed Sportwagens were easier to come by with a manual, compared to a regular 4-door Golf. But they were mostly 2015s that lacked some of the good stuff, and even then, fairly rare.

  • avatar

    I know what the problem is. The translucent moonroof shade!

    • 0 avatar

      Tell me about it. We had a ’15 TDI with that thing, and whoever designed that sheer piece of crap certainly never spent a summer in Phoenix or Vegas. Thankfully my ’16 Golf R has no sunroof, which is not even available stateside on the R.. a shrieking point for many enthusiasts who refuse to buy one due to the lack of available sunroof. Pfffft.

      • 0 avatar

        Have you owned one? I have, and I can tell you that on a 100-degree Denver day, you can’t feel the heat through the glass roof. The glass is well-tinted, and you can tint it further. But on a hot day, when you just want shade, up;d wish the rolling shade was a little thicker.

  • avatar

    Maybe a large chunk of people do not forgive VW, and do not forget — as it should be! Not so quickly and not so easily. Since the scam went right to the top, who knows what else they’re still up to!

    • 0 avatar

      it’s just not what people do, buying a Golf. my coworker just told me she’s considering a used CrossTrek. 2014, has 70k!!!, and for sale for $15k. I tried to mention that first-year MK7s are just coming off lease right now, and showed her one or two with 40k listed for $13 or so. A year or two newer, about half the miles, one or two thousand cheaper. She said ‘those are nice.’ Sadly, I know how this tale ends.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh, but this site was hot & horny with VW hate long before the TDI scandal. As if every VW’s windows had fallen off track (but none of my 12 VWs did), etc, etc. Just as every car mag’s writers sang the praises of VWs, TTAC’s mobs have denounced the ownership and (especially) the dealership experience. There’s some truth to that, especially in the second 100,000 miles of ownership, but it’s tiresomely re-exaggerated in every VW discussion here. DULL.

  • avatar

    Not surprised sales are nosediving – people are realizing what a pile of temperamental junk they are !

    • 0 avatar

      Oh,and how many have you owned?

      • 0 avatar

        The Jetta TDI I owned was a piece of temperamental junk.

        It soured me on the whole brand.

        It’s been long enough since my VW was built that the people who built that POS have had time to learn how to engineer a car for the American duty cycle, or retire. However the diesel scandal (and VW’s head-in-thr-sand response) shows that nothing has really changed.

        Maybe they’ll have reorganized when they release the EVs they’ve promised? LOL, the Green Car community nominated VW as the leader in green car vaporware a decade ago. I’ll believe it when I see it.

        VW is a niche player in the US, and the root cause is that m they’re too top-down to adapt their product to the American market.

  • avatar

    VWs were known as crappy costly piles of junk even before dieselgate. Plus VW is still acting like their farts don’t stink judging at the pricing of the Golf HBs within a few hour drive of my house, nothing less than 20k.

  • avatar

    People are starting to demand more variety in personalization, such as colors and option-picking. The article about 40 more colors suggests they’re at least dipping their toe into offering a real variety again, rather than sticking to the old monochrome plus two.

  • avatar

    A few thoughts:

    -The current platform is getting old. Is this any different than a model from another manufacturer in it’s 4th-5th year?

    -On the GTI, by getting rid of the Sport trim they moved the best goodies upmarket, pricewise. The SE is over $30k MSRP, which is a lot for a hatchback.

    -Personally, my wife and I are looking at having our first kid, and we already have a large dog. Why oh why can’t they make a GTI Sportwagen? Or at least a Sportwagen with a manual that’s not the base model (the Alltrack just makes me mad, they took a good wagon and made it worse).

    • 0 avatar

      Had to scroll down a while to find the correct answer. This website seems to have an agenda to promote the rise of the CUV and cheerlead the demise of the passenger car. So you have to look outside the articles and consider all the facts.

      The current Golf chassis is 4 years old now and the styling wasn’t much of an update over the previous version, which debuted in 2009. It’s stale. This is largely why sales are slowing down. If VW would introduce a model that was worthwhile, I think sales would improve. That’s supposed to be coming in 2020.

      • 0 avatar

        Here’s your fake news antidote pill…

      • 0 avatar

        “This website seems to have an agenda to promote the rise of the CUV and cheerlead the demise of the passenger car. ”

        They re just reporting the facts, the Truth About (falling) Car (sales). Just because its news you don’t want to hear doesn’t mean there is an evil agenda behind it.

        • 0 avatar

          See my comments and link above. Do you have any response to that? I think those are facts which should have also been reported in this article. When you have a car that is absolutely identical to one you could have bought in August of 2014, and one which looks almost identical to one you could have bought in August of 2009, sales are going to slow down..

    • 0 avatar

      I see a MINI Countryman in your future. It’s the only car that ticks all of your boxes.

  • avatar

    I loved my GTI, but the Mk7 has been around for a while, and I didn’t feel like signing up a new lease when my old lease ended to get essentially the same car in exchange for several thousand dollars of transaction costs. Plus, I echo ijbrekke on the pricing: my 2015 Autobahn ended up with an OTD price (under the lease) of $29.5k or so (after $1k or so worth of negotiations), but these days is almost 10% more expensive when similarly equipped. There’s a real psychological barrier there.

    • 0 avatar

      I owned a Mk6 GTI and did not feel the Mk7 felt or even drove that much different. So like you, I felt no temptation to upgrade, unless I was going to go Golf R.

      As I said above, VW let the Golf get extremely stale. Quite frankly, I’m surprised sales are as good as they are. I hope the Mk8 next fall is a big step forward.

  • avatar

    I have a 2016 Golf Sportwagen and IMHO it is the standard by which other small cars are measured. It is tighter, handles better, hauls more stuff, and is way more fun to drive than anything in its class. We use ours mainly as a in town errand runner, a task at which it excels. For long trips or running up I-70 we use the X5 35d torque monster. Its the perfect vehicle to go from 5000 feet to 11500 feet effortlessly.

  • avatar

    I enjoy my ’17 Golf Wolfsburg, I didn’t (and don’t) enjoy supporting lying VW as much. But there isn’t a company, let alone a car company, that hasn’t lied to its buyers in some way. The lengths VW went to cover up diesel emissions is staggering though.

    But I enjoy small hatchbacks and really wanted the GTI, just didn’t want to spend GTI money. My 5 speed Golf ticked all the boxes in terms of equipment, refinement and driving fun. It’s solidly above my ’16 Cruze in terms of build quality and refinement, carrying nearly the same window sticker price, yet the VW has much more equipment. (Though I know the Chevy could still be had for less.)

    A year and 7500 miles later, no issues. I don’t flog it, I do drive it enthusiastically quite often and it responds willingly. The ’16 Cruze didn’t enjoy being driven hard and neither did the ’17 Cruze I had as a loaner once. I had a Focus (2001) and I liked it very much, but I didn’t want another one. Having one as a rental recently proved why. Still good, better than the Cruze in terms of driving and refinement, but not as good as the VW.

    Our 2008 Mazda 5 served us well for ten years, but the reason I rid myself of it was due to rust. Wasn’t keen to go with Mazda again, no matter how much better they might be at corrosion protection. As good as the Mazda 3 is, it’s not a Golf. And tire and road noise are much more prevalent in the Mazda.

    Before the Golf, I tried the Kia Forte SX. Sorry, but no. The lack of refinement, hodgepodge “Boy-racer” interior and exterior were a turn-off. With memories of my second hand ’04 Jetta GLS 1.8t wagon that served me well, I went back to the VW dealer.

    I just read Car and Drivers “New Cars” issue. If they want to sell more Golfs, trading out the 1.8t at 170hp for the 1.4t at 147hp is not the way to do it. Though it will probably crack the 40 mpg highway barrier, it won’t be the 3/4 GTI my car is. Glad I bought when I did.

  • avatar

    I just took delivery of an ’18 GTI this month. I love the car. I agree with TOTitan, it sets the standard for small cars. The ’16 Focus that it replaced was not nearly as refined. I did my research since January and couldn’t find a legit red flag…just lots of people speculating. For the naysayers, I have a 6 Yr/72K bumper-to-bumper warranty to calm any ownership anxiety. The 0.9% financing for 60 months also helps to ease the pain. All things considered, buying a GTI seemed like a easy choice.

    • 0 avatar

      The MKVII Golf has been out since late ’14 with remarkably few issues. Not a lot of complaining on the forums. I’ve had my ’17 Sport since mid-January ’17 and not a single issue with it at all. And I am as fussy as they come with a car under warranty. Even the dealers have been great, both the one 50 miles away for the buying experience, and the local one for service. Cheap servicing, and no appointment needed.

      Hope you have as good an experience with your ’18. I completely agree, for the price nothing else even comes close.

      • 0 avatar

        Wife has a 16 wagon. One big issue and it is in the forums. Leaking sunroofs. Ours has had it happen twice. The second time they wouldn’t cover it under warranty. The first time it was because the drain hoses weren’t attached to the drain tubes. The second time they claimed it was clogged and that it had to be cleaned out yearly, specifically in the Spring (pollen)and that it was part of routine maintenance that we failed to do. I pointed out that the Dealer never recommended it and that it isn’t in the manual. They ended up cleaning it for free but wouldn’t replace the stained headliner this time. According to other dealers on the forums the problem, on the wagons at least, is caused by bad welds that block the passage of water. The fix is to take roof out and grind down the welds and repaint it. About 1 month in body shop. Wife has soured on car and is only 2 years old with 20k miles on it. But because VW no resale value so stuck with it for a while. At least it is a pleasant enough drive. Doesn’t make you feel like an economy car when driving it.

    • 0 avatar

      2012 TDI Golf here and same, no real issues to speak of and the car rewarded me for diligent maintenance. I’m now wondering about different cars but my feeling has long been ‘best product, and worst company.’.

      Though to be fair, a visit to a couple of FCA dealers convinced me that VW are not the worst company in fact.

  • avatar

    I suspect the biggest difference is simply that the refreshed ’18’s came out, and the dealers largely stopped giving the massive discounts they were giving on ’17s. And initially, the supplies of ’18s were really limited. So they didn’t sell as many. Last year was a bit artificially higher, but this year is a bit constrained and trending back to “normal”.

    My ’17 GTI Sport, bought in January of ’17, has been simply perfect. Not a single issue with it, and I got an over $6K discount without trying very hard.

    But of course the usual “my cousin’s nephew’s girlfriend had a terrible VW 20 years ago and thus they are garbage” chorus is present and accounted for here today. Do I expect my Golf to be as cheap to run as a Corolla over 10 years? Nope. And I don’t care, because it is a small additional price to pay for a car that doesn’t suck.

    The highest praise I can give my GTI is that it replaced a $51K BMW M235i (because I needed a more practical car for my winter home), and overall I don’t miss the BMW at all.

    I too find it baffling that VW refuses to offer a long-Golf GTI. Seems like a no-brainer to me. Probably even more profitable than the stupid Alltrak. I’d even be happy with the 1.8t motor. Just give me plaid seats, a 6spd stick, and the tighter suspension. But I can make do easily with a short Golf, whatever doesn’t fit inside goes on the roof. It’s the perfect switchblade knife of a car, at least on the lower end. My BMW wagon is even more perfect, but of course, cost more than 50% more, and BMW won’t sell me another one like it.

  • avatar

    With TTAC’s formidable resources, can you tell us, actual numbers, how many of the Golfs are GTIs this year?

    Last year?

    How many manual trans?

  • avatar

    Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they just did away with everything but the Alltrak and the GTI, upgraded the Jetta, and got rid of the rest of them.

    It’s a shame, because I’ve long thought the Golf is the best compact you can buy, and I’d argue it’s also the best all-around car you can buy for under 25 grand.

    (Hint: if you want a sleeper, buy a basic Golf hatch with the manual.)

  • avatar

    In view of the switch in consumer preference from sedans to SUVs and CUVs, it’s hardly surprising that sales of the Golf family are declining. Compared to our Infiniti G37S coupe and Ford Focus SE hatchback, the Golf R is faster than the G37 and as practical as the Focus. If I were single, it would be all the car I needed. Extending the warranty is a good move by VW even if they didn’t go all the way to 10 years and 100k miles.

  • avatar

    It’s not a good sign when your enthusiast-trim Level outsells the base model. Most models (like Camaro & Mustang) need the high sales of the lower trims to support the low-volume performance trims.

  • avatar

    I got a 2018 Golf S 5-spd in March. 8000 miles later I am more than happy with this car. I average 36 mpg in everyday driving, get over 40 on long highway drives. The car is fun to drive, has the best infotainment system I have seen in any car, the hatch handles a ton of cargo, and the ride is smooth and quiet. I have had zero issues, no squeaks, and everything remains tight and well fitting.

    The 72K warranty gives me peace of mind. I also got the car for $21K out the door which seems like a great value.

    I had a hatchback in 1980 when they were very common. It’s a bit of unicorn in the parking lot now. Tastes change but practicality always has a market.

    • 0 avatar

      36 MPG combined is very impressive mileage. Is it still the 1.8 turbo or have they put the Jetta’s 1.4 turbo in the Golf too now? My 5-speed Mazda3 averaged 27.5 MPG no matter how or where you drove it, but that was with the “big” 2.3 liter engine and before the advent of Skyactiv.

  • avatar

    Golfs were and are wonderful cars. The correct answer to so many automotive questions. I’m quoting here from generations of professional auto journalists, with zero snark. Yes, they were all subject to VW’s various QC and powertrain flaws, but with in the VWOA universe, in which I owned a dozen of so, the Golfs were the best, most versatile cars for the money.

    This generation of Golf lost an inch of headroom, and that bothered me. The older ones seemed much more roomy and airy, big beyond their size. But if they come back with a long warranty and a good PHEV powertrain, I’ll be happy to take another look.

    • 0 avatar

      Wheatridger – I agree about the headroom, I’m 6’4″ with a long torso, and the sunroof-less 2017 Golf I tested, it was pretty cramped and not airy feeling. I too felt the prior versions were a great tall person small car.

  • avatar

    The Hencho-en-Mexico aspect is bothershome, but as a stalwart Honda/Toyota guy, those brands are leaving me cold these days in the compact space. A basic Golf or Golf Sportwagen with the 1.8TSI and stick sounds like just the ticket. Their longish warranty makes me feel better about potential issues, coupled with the fact that newer Civics are having all sorts of issues of their own these days (and are brutally ugly inside and out).

  • avatar

    Unless you bought, or were planning to buy a VW diesel, no one cares about the diesel scandal aside from the sheer stupidity of the executives.

    As for Golf sales, VW reliability has improved since the 90s, when it was pretty much horrendous, but it’s still not good anough for American buyers. VWs niche repeat customers will keep coming back, but others will buy one VW, get tired of repeated warranty repairs, and go back to Japanese and Korean brands.

  • avatar

    There’s a huge factor here specific to the Golf that isn’t addressed in the article. That’s the 2015 TDI’s that are available now in dealerships. The new car side of the equation is competing with a bunch of low mileage, limited availability cars that beat them on mileage, trim level combinations and price. Also, I strongly doubt that there are any substantial incentives on the Golf and GTI.

  • avatar

    Long time vw owner and getting ready to give back my TDI.
    I found a better Golf in a Hyundai…
    That’s right the more I look the more I see a better Golf in an 2018 Elantra GT.
    More equipment,safety and more style for longer warranty and less money.
    BTW in in Canada and we don’t get the same VW warranty that offered states side.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      In Canada we ‘never’ seem to get the same length of warranty coverage.

      I was told and I would appreciate corroboration, it is because in Canada the manufacturer’s warranty applies to the vehicle, regardless of the number of owners, or times it has been sold.

      Whereas in the USA, it generally applies only to the original purchaser and subsequent owners have to pay a fee to transfer the warranty coverage.

      Is this correct?

  • avatar

    It’s a small car (not crossover) that’s about 5 years old now. VW sales are up overall more than many other brands lately, too.

    • 0 avatar
      cimarron typeR

      I wouldn’t read much to the sales decline- its a small car at the end of its build cycle. Blame it on cheap gas more than diesel gate. I
      think the best car for a project would be a 4motion SW,6mt. Any part that fits an R fits a SW. There 12sec Sportwagens running around with Golf R OEM turbos and a reflash.

  • avatar

    Most autos are struggling right now, the sales are obviously shifting quickly to trucks, Suvs etc. At the Manheim auction where I work part time, buyers swarm over trucks and Suvs even with 80K plus miles and are paying truly outrageous prices for them. Cars are cheap if there are even buyers for them. As to VW, 4 months ago I bought a used 17 Jetta SE 5speed CPO and for my daughter a 15 Jetta SE 5 speed CPO. They are very enjoyable to drive and so far have been completely trouble free and have not been back to the dealer yet. Time will tell if they remain reliable but they sure are more engaging to drive than virtually any other car in their class.

  • avatar

    The VW Golf is the king of perceived quality in the class, particularly among people who have driven one…but it’s pricey, availability is spotty, the latest safety tech is generally AWOL.

    The new Tiguan is impressive BTW, a great improvement over the last one, which like the Golf was a good car but a bad value. But like the Atlas, Passat, and Jetta (not the Golf so much, interestingly), its styling seems to take us back to “1979 VW” thinking where the VW version of a car was deliberately given dowdy styling to make the price jump to the Audi version more palatable. Trouble is, North America is not that protected Euro market of yesteryear: the Koreans will be happy to sell you exuberant styling for less money. (It is a dubious strategy even at home actually, where the French will sell you dead-sexy styling all day every day, even in segments that are really hard to style well, like mini CUVs.)

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