AD #2933 – VW Golf Fun to Drive; Sharp Won’t Force Mercedes Sales Ban; Europe Faces Slow Sales Recovery

October 7th, 2020 at 11:44am

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Listen to “AD #2933 – VW Golf Fun to Drive; Sharp Won’t Force Mercedes Sales Ban; Europe Faces Slow Sales Recovery” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 9:03

0:07 Europe Faces Slow Sales Recovery
0:46 Sharp Won’t Force Mercedes Sales Ban
1:14 Polestar 2 EPA Range Disappointing
1:54 GM Will Reveal Hummer EV During World Series
3:15 Kia & Lexus Take Different Approaches to Rebelle Rally
4:43 Allison Transmission Launches New eAxle
5:19 Most Popular Car Related Tattoos
6:23 Fun to Drive VW Golf Is Comfortable & Familiar

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33 Comments to “AD #2933 – VW Golf Fun to Drive; Sharp Won’t Force Mercedes Sales Ban; Europe Faces Slow Sales Recovery”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If I had only one car, a Golf would be high on my shopping list. It’s fun, utilitarian, and decently priced. Even the GTi is under $30K, not bad in an era of $90K pickup trucks.

  2. Victor West Says:

    Isn’t this model Golf going away in the US, with only the more expensive GTI for next year?

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 I think I read that somewhere, maybe Autoweek.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    C and D said that only the GTi and Golf R are confirmed for the US for the next generation, which will arrive as 2022 MY. That article was almost a year ago, so things may have changed.

  5. WineGeek Says:

    It’s pretty sad that VW makes such a competent car as the Golf but refuses to add the basic safety equipment to make it as safe as it is competent a vehicle. They never seem to learn and that is why they can’t make any real headway in the US market.

    It’s a shame really!

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5. Lack of safety features hurts Golf sales, but probably more importantly, it’s too European for American tastes, a hatchback that isn’t fashionably lifted, like all of those hot selling CUVs. Also, there’s the sparse dealer network in the U.S., and the dismal reliability reputation that hurts sales of all VW products.

  7. Ed Says:

    Does anyone know of a good YouTube or website to compare and contrast kw to hp? Nm/s as it relates to the new electric vehicles; Looking for a concise (if possible ) teaching video.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    You can just type what you want to convert in the search/url window of most browsers, and it will give you what you want to know. I just typed “150 hp in kw” and got the answer 111.855.

    There’s a generic conversion site to convert essentially any units of power, length, power, energy, etc. at:

    https://www.theunitconverter.com

    There are also unit conversion apps for ios and android devices.

  9. Larry D. Says:

    The GOlf is a great car, lots of fun to drive, and the styling is not ‘conservative’ but TASTEFUL, unlike your garden variety Hyundais, Nissans, Kias, even most Toyotas. However in the US it does not sell well because most buyers need something bigger for their families, and they do not want to pay sedan money for a hatchback.

    In Europe it is exactly the opposite, the Golf is the best selling car of all types, and in addition, it is a car that cuts along all incomes, both the low and middle income people drive Golfs there, but also many very affluent people are not ashamed to be seen driving Golfs around (while they would never pick a… Nissan Sentra or Altima or even a Corolla or CIvic.

  10. bradley cross Says:

    They could add more safety equipment and no one would still buy it

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9. People in the U.S. don’t reject Golf because they “need something bigger.” It’s because they want something fashionably tall, like Crosstrek, Encore, et. al. even if it’s less comfortable and has no more cargo room, and in many cases, costs more.

    10. Exactly. Like I said in 6, it’s too “European,” being a car instead of a CUV, and VW has too much baggage from historically bad reliability, and few dealers in the U.S.

  12. cwolf Says:

    You are right Kit. VW reliability is lacking and repairs are costly. Over-all, the Golf is a nice car and about the right size for daily use. If only it was more reliable…..

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CR shows “average” reliability for recent Golfs, but even if their survey results are valid, it takes years to live down a bad reputation. There are still people who refuse to buy a GM car because their 1971 Vega was a POS.

  14. BOB Says:

    HUMMER EV: 11,500 lb-ft of torque???

  15. Larry D. Says:

    11, 12 no you are not right, they DO NEED something MUCH bigger, and when they don’t actually need it, they WANT IT, like I do, for COMFORT, ACTIVE SAFETY, AND PASSIVE SAFETY.

  16. Larry D. Says:

    12 if you just want a reliable golf, why don’t you get a corolla or a civic?

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 Yes, some people need something bigger, but the million or so a year who buy crossovers with less comfort and little, if any more room than a Golf do not.

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15,17 The numbers changed. #17 replies to #15.

  19. MERKUR DRIVER Says:

    12) People are basically saying that regardless of model in the VW line up.

    13) I am sure VW can physically close the reliability gap, but convincing customers they have done so will take a very long time as you stated.

    Also, Average reliability is not truly equal. Some cars may share the same number of incidents as a VW. Those cars however are cheap to maintain when those incidents hit versus a VW that drains your bank account.

    I used to have a Reliant K when I was going to college. It had terrible reliability ratings and required repairs often. It was a great college kid car for that time period though. It was cheap to buy, cheap to insure, cheap on fuel, never left me stranded, and everything that needed to be repaired basically cost $10. Most things on a K-Car could be fixed with tape and glue LOL.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    17 My comparisons are never with crossovers or pickups which I detest, but with equally big and heavy but far better handling and safer super-sedans and even coupes. A golf has no chance in hell in a collision with an S 600 Maybach or even with my E class. I have learned it the hard way after being in my civic when it was totaled and will not risk this happening again.

    And many, many crossovers are very mediocre in size and weight, and sell far more copies in the US market than Escalades and NAvigators. By a factor of TEN or TWENTY.

  21. Larry D. Says:

    People will not pay sedan prices for a hatchback in the US. I said it but apparently it did not register, so I repeat it. This is the main reason the GOlf does not sell more. Another is the much smaller number of VW dealers vs Toyota or GM dealers, and a third is that buyers in this price range do not have the good taste and automotive literacy to understand how good a car the GOlf is.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19. They did some things pretty well with the K cars. My 1989 Caravan has the same HVAC controls as a OmniRizon, and probably the same as a K car, and its push button switch/valves and vacuum motors still work properly.

    20. Maybe you don’t understand, but a Golf competes with small CUVs, not with E-Class and S-Class.

    21. Exactly. Americans like their hatchbacks lifted, like a Buick Encore or RAV4. Also, as I said in #6 and #11, VW has a sparse dealer network in the U.S., but maybe you missed that, so are repeating it.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    My neigbor at the end of my block, who used to have very fancy cars, 745is, M5s, E300 before that, has recently downgraded to a black A class (CLA) and a Golf. THis is an example of what I meant that over in Europe, the GOlf is not just an affordable mid- or lower-priced car but one that the wealthy are OK being seen in., and often buy it for their kids etc.

    ANyway, as I was walking past the Golf and down the three blocks to the beach for my morning swim today, I noticed the Interior of the Golf, and it was EXCELLENT. Fit and finish were pefect, and the design was also tasteful and high-quality. I did not even notice if it had leather. And of course I bet it had no wood veneer. BUT everything looked good and well thought. Attention to detail, and also it was not a sea of gray cloth and plastic, there were dark bits that were accented by light stripes (I think they were real chrome and not plastic masquerading as Chrome or Aluminum, a disgusting fraud in many cars sold in the US.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Golfs have nice interiors for their class, but with little color choice, at least in the U.S. The seats are “leatherette,” either black or beige, Also, there is almost no exterior color choice. There is somewhat more exterior color choice with the GTi; you can get red. The interior is either nothing but black (leather) in the upper trims, or plaid cloth with a touch of red in the base GTi.

  25. Ed Says:

    I have family in northern Germany, when we go they have two of the golfs to run around in, saving the big ones for the autobahn, the golfs there are much different from what you get here in the states. Theirs are made local and very high quality; Fit and finish. Thought I wanted one and looked when I got home. What I found here was quite an inferior product comparatively; so I passed and bought Toyota.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25. The U.S. market Golf (from Mexico) would be most similar to the lower trim levels in Europe. Also, of course, there is no engine choice in the U.S., just the 1.4 turbo. You can get a manual transmission, though.

  27. Larry D. Says:

    25 When I lived in Berlin for 3 months in summe3r 88, I made a reservation for the smallest car for two different 3 day weekends, the idea being they would be out of them and give me a bigger car at no extra charge, and both times it worked, they gave me two basic GOlfs, instead of a Fiesta or what they had in the smallest category. These GOlfs were much smaller and lighter than today’;s Golf, they were easily less heavy than the VW below Golf, the Polo. My 88 golfs, with the foot on the floor, could (and did) go 100 MPH all day long on the autobahn. they burned 7 lts / 100 km at this speed, and had no problems in 2*3,000kms.

  28. Larry D. Says:

    27 and for all other travel I had a monthly pass on the city’s buses and subways, i believe it was $66 a month, or 100 DM, unlimited use.

  29. RD Says:

    And, as a friend noted from experience…be prepared for the dealer to treat you like crap! Direct quote.

  30. Ukendoit Says:

    My sister had the second generation Golf in high school (same generation as Larry drove in ’88). It was a great car, cheap, comfortable, solid, and handled well. Being used to the well-engineered, but simple air-cooled VWs, this seemed like the beginning of the over-engineered complex VWs we know of now. Hopefully, as they switch to battery tech, they can get back to less complex but well thought out engineering.
    I think I’ve already mentioned this experience in this forum before, but it seems fitting with the conversation:
    decades ago, at an auto show when every auto manufacturer was offering 10 year or unlimited warranties, I asked the Volkswagen reps why they only had a 3 year warranty. They snobbishly stated, “Our cars are so well built, we only need a three year warranty.”
    That not only didn’t make sense, but turned me off of their brand after seeing the direction they were going.

  31. Larry D. Says:

    30 Yes, mine was 2nd gen, it weighed less than 2,000 lbs, even the GTI which a friend and former student bought after he got a faculty position in Virginia Tech. That GTI had ton of problems and he wanted the dealer to do even more repairs than the dealer wanted to do (!). But the car I drove in Germany probably had a smaller engine than the US versions, maybe 1.4 or 1.2 lt 4.

  32. Larry D. Says:

    30 Ironically, when I got my 4 year olf Passat wagon in 1979 as a grad student, I paid $2,000 while I could have paid only $600 for a 72 Pontiac Le Mans coupe, and I chose the VW only because of the impression of reliability the simper aircooled Bugs had. I was quite wrong, the car was unacceptable reliab wise, but it drove great.

  33. wmb Says:

    While Tesla makes it look easy, building BEV’s with power and range like ICE vehicle is hard! Who knew? Seriously, though, Tesla’s approach has its advantages and OEM’s and customers can see it. Luxury, power, range and cost (for both the consumer and the manufacturer) is a tough nut to crack, but the more automakers commit to it, it will get better. The Polestar 2 and the XC40 Recharge will find their audience, that’s for sure, but right now they may not have mass market appeal.