VW goes Downmarket

The new Jetta? $5,000 cheaper than the old Jetta. The new Passat? $7,000 cheaper than the old Passat.

Is this a good thing? I think so.

VW decided that what Americans really like are decent big cars cheap. So they made their cars bigger, and cheaper. Really, a lot cheaper. Some of the new Jetta's come with drum brakes. Drum!! Hyundai only offers those on a few models these days.

But, I think it is a good thing overall for the brand. They were moving too upmarket, too far away from their roots. VWs should be good, cheap, and a little sporty, a German alternative to Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Chevy, Ford and Toyota - not a German alternative to Buick and Volvo. I really like the last gen Jetta, my girlfriend drives one and I have driven it a fair bit. Its a really nice car, especially for the price. And I think VW will be leaving those who want luxury in a small car for not that much $ a little out in the cold - those buyers might be moving over to Hyundai in the future (honestly - have you seen the new Sonata? Clearly taken from the Mercedes design school, and with a pretty good interior to boot).

However, I think they are moving in the right direction, because wtf is a $35,000 passat? That just does not make a damn bit of sense to me. The Passat now starts back under $20,000, which is where it did so well with the 2000-2006 generation which put it on the map in the first place.

Anyway - I wont be getting one. The old Passat was too luxury - the new one too Camry. And the Jetta... well, its always been a girls car. Anyway, good luck VW - because the crazy bastards currently sell 300,000 cars a year in the US and want to sell 1 million by 2020. Not sure that will happen, but these changes will certainly help.

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