Home » Automakers With Hybrids Kicked The Crap Out Of Everyone Else

Automakers With Hybrids Kicked The Crap Out Of Everyone Else

Tmd Maverick Ts1
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The “Year of the Hybrid” continues as we finally have Q1 results from most automakers and two big things stick out when it comes to the brands that did well and the brands that suffered: hybrids and affordability. That’s the key to success right now for mainstream automakers.

Where to start? Let’s start with the winners. Toyota’s a driver, Toyota’s a winner, things are gonna change and Toyota can feel it. Sales from the automaker for Q1 are way up and hybrid sales are up even more. The same is true for Honda and Mitsubishi.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The losers? Premium brands and brands that shifted too much of the strategy toward EVs. This includes most of GM, Acura, Audi, and Hyundai-Kia. Stellantis is a big loser, but it at least has growing hybrid sales.

Then there’s the in-betweeners, the brands that at least offer some affordability like Volkswagen and Buick. Jeep is the one Stellantis brand that fits in here.

And, finally, there’s Ford, which is somehow doing all trends successfully in Q1 of this year, although not all of that might last.

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I love it when we get all the Q1 sales reports!

The Q1 Winners: Companies That Make Hybrids

2024 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition

Do you want to make money as a carmaker in the United States? Hybrids. Hybrids are the key. And affordability. But also hybrids.

I’ve suspected this was the case all quarter, but some automakers (Tesla, Stellantis, GM, et cetera) don’t report monthly sales anymore so I had to make some inferences based on the data I could get.

Hark! Toyota is up 21.3%, Lexus is up 15.0%, Honda is up 20.9%!

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Breaking it down into more detailed sales data, pretty much everything at Toyota and Lexus is moving with a few notable exceptions. Vehicles that are being replaced (GX, LX, TX) are down as supply ramps up, of course. The Highlander is now two vehicles (Grand Highlander and Highlander). The Mirai is a joke. Otherwise, both Lexus and Toyota are doing well.

More specifically, hybrid versions of cars are absolutely ripping. The Lexus RX Hybrid is up 36.1% this quarter, whereas the RX overall is pretty much break even. The Camry Hybrid is up 142.7% in Q1, whereas the Camry overall bumped up just 18.6%. In total, Lexus and Toyota “Electrified” vehicles were up 74.1%, which does include the BZ4X, but the company only sold like 1,700 of those in Q1 so it barely matters when compared to the 116,000 or so hybrids Toyota sold.

The same is true at Honda, which saw its best Q1 since 2021. What’s moving the needle? The CR-V saw a 17.9% increase in March, with about half coming from hybrids. In fact, both the Accord and CR-V had their best Q1 hybrid sales of all time as the brand focuses on hybrids. Overall, American Honda did Q1 sales of electrified vehicles (across Honda and Acura) of 61,915 vehicles, which is up 25.5% year-over-year.

Curiously, Chrysler sales were actually up in Q1 by 9% as the Chrysler Pacifica PHEV had its best-ever sales to start the year. In fact, PHEV sales across the board for Stellantis were up 82% year-over-year.

The Q1 Losers: Companies Without Hybrids And Premium Brands

27 2024 Acura Integra Type S

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Accepting that none of this is universal, there are some standouts when looking at the overall picture of Q1 sales. Tesla, as we reported yesterday, took back its sales crown from BYD, but only because its sales only fell 20.1% compared to a 43% drop at the Chinese automaker.

While Lexus, thanks to hybrid sales, had a good quarter, most of the other near-premium and premium brands suffered. Infiniti was down 11.8%, Acura (which doesn’t have Honda’s hybrid offerings for some reason) was down 9.2%, and Cadillac was down 2.4%

We talked Hyundai-Kia yesterday, but it’s worth mentioning that Genesis is a little bit of an outlier here, though that’s a new and less-established brand so it should keep growing.

GM and Stellantis are the big standouts this quarter as both shrunk. In addition to Cadillac, sales at Chevrolet and GMC were down year-over-year. Dodge and Alfa were down. Fiat, somehow, was up, but those appear to maybe be Fiat 500 pre-orders (or someone found 41 old Fiat 500s). The real loser for Stellantis was the RAM brand, with a 26% quarterly downturn.

There is a way to escape the issue of not having enough hybrids, and that’s being affordable. Buick continues to be hot, with a 16.4% quarterly increase over a strong Q1 last year. Mitsubishi is up 35.7% as it offers some of the most affordable cars (and hybrids) on the market. Nissan, which did all it could do to move Rogues, is also up slightly over the market average at 8.5%.

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Volkswagen Is The Ultimate In-Betweener

Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen is interesting. This is a brand that made a big bet on electrification and has been pushing its ID.4 pretty hard, but that’s not what lifted the brand by 21%.

In fact, ID.4 sales were down 37% quarter-over-quarter as I think most people in that space probably grabbed a Mach-E (more on that later) or a Model Y.

It wasn’t even SUVs, although the refined 2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross both had a good quarter. It was actually passenger cars. Look at this graphic:

VW Sales Data

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That’s a lot of Jettas, GTIs, and Golf Rs. It turns out that Volkswagen has been offering low or 0% financing and big cash incentives, which will do it.

Jeep has also landed in-between, bolstered by PHEV sales but ultimately it seems like cheap Compass sales (up 19% on the quarter) and incentives finally coming for Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are helping move those vehicles.

Ford Is The Ultimate Outlier

2024 Ford Maverick

Can Ford keep this up? That’s the question I’ve got on my mind reading Q1 sales reports that show Ford is the weird one. Both Stellantis and GM were down, but Ford managed to grow 6.8% in a rough quarter.

Ford is the biggest truck seller in America, and a big key to that is the Maverick, which grew 81.9% quarter-over-quarter as supply still can’t catch up with massive demand. Hybrid vehicle sales were up 42.0% on the quarter as well, which is probably a lot of Mavericks, but not exclusively.

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Here’s the weirdest stat, with an 86.1% quarterly increase in EV sales, Ford is now the #2 maker of electric vehicles in the United States again.

The F-150 Lightning was up 80.4% (F-150 sales overall dropped by 10%), the E-Transit was up 147.5%, and the newly-cheaper Mach-E was up 77.3%

Ford is sort of in a weird sweet spot for automakers. Its luxury brand is exclusively SUVs and crossovers with good brand loyalty, relative affordability, and hybrid options. Ford itself has some hybrids as well as a bunch of other popular vehicle styles.

It’s a transitional moment for Ford, however, and I’m curious to see how long Ford can maintain this. While Ford’s EV sales were up, it probably lost money on all of those vehicles. That’s not a great long-term strategy.

F-Series sales being down isn’t a great sign, though Ford is about to start pushing more F-150 hybrids (I think some of this can be attributed to product mix with car companies still having too many higher-trim level trucks on dealer lots).

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It’ll be fascinating to watch.

What I’m Listening To While Writing TMD

I’m going to see The Magnetic Fields perform “69 Love Songs” this week so I’m in a The Magnetic Fields mood. I was tempted to choose “Reno Dakota” and, yeah, “Book of Love” is the classic from this album. But, IDK, I just love this song.

The Big Question

Can Ford keep this up? Also, what’s the deal with Jettas? In a crazy market is it just impossible to ignore the value that is a $21k Jetta?

 

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Jonus Grumby
Jonus Grumby
13 days ago

Some decision maker at Toyota has a windowless room somewhere covered in all the negative comments and meltdowns from where they said electric cars aren’t something we should be investing in at this time.

I’m sure they sit in a swivel chair and throw darts at various articles.

John E
John E
14 days ago

I find the entire car market strange. A look at average wages to average transaction prices shows people are buying cars that they can’t afford. Not just low income folks, either. People making $60k a year are buying $50k-60k trucks and SUV’s while paying $2000 a month rent and living on credit cards(I know 2 people like that-both with stupidly expensive SUV’s they can’t afford.). I read a report on Edmunds yesterday that said the auto loan default rate is higher than in the 2007-2008 recession. And while it’s not as bad as 2021-2023, there are millions of people desperately jumping into anything they can get a loan on. At this point my only question is how much longer can this irrational car buying go on.

B3n
B3n
14 days ago

I’m by no means a VW fan, but I think the Jetta is a great deal for $22-3k out-the-door. Good sized and comfy interior, okay drive train, available manual in base trim.

Ca Hu
Ca Hu
15 days ago

Someone needs to make a PHEV with 50+ miles of range that can tow 5000lbs and isn’t a total dog. I would love better milage than my 2016 pilot but don’t get along with toyota seats. Honda should make a hybrid pilot. Ford should make a plug in sub 400hp f150.

MegaVan
MegaVan
14 days ago
Reply to  Ca Hu

Isn’t that what the new RamCharger does?

Strangek
Strangek
15 days ago

Lots of Jettas in rental fleets these days, could that have something to do with it? I had one recently and it seemed pretty good actually!

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
15 days ago
Reply to  Strangek

Same here, though it had the weakest radio I’ve heard since my buddy’s old first-gen Neon.

Strangek
Strangek
15 days ago

I was just glad not to get a freaking Altima for once!

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
15 days ago

Ford needs to develop 1, possibly 2 more hybrid powertrains for a couple years from now when battery supply increases.

Currently, they have 3 powertrains:
A) ~200hp 2.5L Duratec w/eCVT efficiency hybrid & PHEV used in the Escape, Maverick, and Corsair
B) ~300hp 2.0T EcoBoost w/eCVT hybrid in the new Nautilus and new Aviator
C) ~325hp 3.3L Duratec w/10-speed AT Power Hybrid in the Explorer
D) ~500hp 3.0TT Ecoboost PHEV w/10-speed AT power hybrid in the old Aviator
E) ~425hp 3.5TT EcoBoost w/10-speed AT power hybrid in the F-150

Option A is a great efficient option that I don’t really have problems with, it easily serves all smaller car purposes (Escape, Bronco Sport, Maverick, etc).

Option B is new and untested. I fear the fact that it is the same low compression ratio 2.0T as the standard Ecoboost condemns it to being an underachiever like the Toyota turbo hybrids, though perhaps the eCVT can save it.

Option C was discontinued for the public and is police only. I had higher hopes for this powertrain, but it got fairly mediocre mpg ratings. I think putting it in Atkinson cycle and boring it to 3.7L to compensate for the power loss could fix it.

Option D will likely be on hiatus for a while as it was PHEV only. If Ford decides that it could sell the F-150 Lightning alongside a PHEV, it could return, but I don’t see that happening for a couple years at least. The battery supply is probably best spent elsewhere.

Option E is a good powertrain, but it very much focuses on additional power and the utility of the inverter. 24mpg city is excellent on a truck, but an unimproved 24 highway was inevitable.

I think that Ford needs another hybrid option for the F-150, this time more affordable and more efficiency focused. This could either use Option C with my proposed modifications, and owners will appreciate the old V6’s improved reliability over the Ecoboosts and would make ~325hp. Or, they could use a modified Option D, using the 2.7TT which is what the 3.0TT is based on, and a weaker HEV system, making ~350hp. I’d prefer them to use my proposed Atkinson cycle option, as it has the best potential to increase highway mpg, and would bring back the reliable, well liked Duratec V6 in a world where GM uses a 4 cylinder in a Silverado and Ram is using its very high boost Hurricane I6.

Ford also needs to put hybrid options in its smaller vehicles. The Bronco is well suited for Option C, modified or not, and the Bronco Sport could use Option B if they don’t want to use Option A. The Explorer should bring back Option C once supply improves, this time to lower trims as well. The Navigator can easily use Option E, and could even add option C as a new base engine.

Greg
Greg
15 days ago

I own a Yukon, a hybrid, or plug in hybrid would have been great! No one in this larger suv lineup seems to offer one though, boggles my mind. They will set sales records once they do.

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
15 days ago
Reply to  Greg

There’s the Toyota Sequoia with its TTV6 hybrid powertrain, but it’s not great.

Greg
Greg
15 days ago

I like the Sequoia, but I don’t consider it the same class as the yukon/wagoneer/expedition. It doesn’t have the size or ease of access. Oh, and its always been 10-15k more than I think it should be, old model and new.

Also, the sequoia like the new tundra hybrid, doesn’t add MPG really, it seems to just be a power boost.

Brock Wilhelm
Brock Wilhelm
14 days ago
Reply to  Greg

GM had a Yukon Hybrid from 2008 to 2013. All reports were meh at best. Lower towing, lower hp, maybe 1 or 2 mph better than the ICE model and more expensive. Typical GM giving up rather than making it better for the next generation.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
15 days ago

I think inventory availability has helped the Jetta like Taargus mentioned elsewhere in the comments. It seems like there’s a lot more of them out there on lots nowadays whenever I virtual-window-shop on area dealer websites, and then incentives help that too. Value wise it generally undercuts the Civic, which while basically the standard for the class, ain’t cheap either. For where a Civic LX starts you can get a Jetta Sport (or Mazda 3) with more equipment, even a Civic Sport is thin on features for the price.

I don’t really have any desire for any of the current VW lineup, but if I were looking for a simple commuter, a Jetta Sport would admittedly tick a lot of the boxes for me: can get it in a color, with a manual transmission, 40+ mpg highway, and has heated seats. There aren’t many manual cheap/small cars left out there, and Honda will only give you a manual with heated seats if you crest the $30k mark.

James Kohler
James Kohler
15 days ago

The car market continues to be in an extremely weird place. As much as hybrids offer the best of both BEV and gasser worlds right now, I expect that depreciation curve to be more like a cliff when BEVs start becoming more prevalent. And nothing on this earth would make me daily a vehicle with two separate powertrains. I understand they are there for redundancy purposes, but I see two failure points instead of one. I guess the lack of wrenching experience coupled with terrible dealers/independent repair shops has made me paranoid. Lucky for me, my Honda Civic hatch from 2017 is still going strong for now. I continue to sit on the sidelines and watch patiently.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
15 days ago

Did I detect a Primus reference there?! For the record, I liked it before Tony Hawk 1.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
15 days ago

Primus sucks

Cerberus
Cerberus
15 days ago

Hm, not sure if fan from back in the day or not.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
15 days ago
Reply to  Cerberus

I was thinking the same. Unsure if friend or unfriend.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
15 days ago

but too many puppies is my favorite Primus song

Leighzbohns
Leighzbohns
15 days ago

Ah, I see, you’re the guy from the hamburger train.

Dudeoutwest
Dudeoutwest
15 days ago

Came here to type this. Thank you.

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
15 days ago

I thought a Beck reference was a Primus line. Sigh.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
14 days ago

Toyota’s a driver, Toyota’s a winner, things are gonna change and Toyota can feel it.

I didn’t catch the Primus reference but any loser might recognize this Beck song. (DT probably won’t, though)

No Kids, Just Bikes
No Kids, Just Bikes
14 days ago
Reply to  OrigamiSensei

I got it way wrong. Was thinking Jerry Was a Racecar Driver…not the more obvious Loser. What a poseur I am.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
14 days ago

For the record was definitely not calling you a loser, rather making a reference to the song title. Cheers!

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
15 days ago

Will people let me replace my Prius before they all decide hybrids are great too? Trying to get a Toyota hybrid was already hard enough.

And I still feel like if Ford made a Bronco Sport hybrid, they’d sell a million of them. It is a neat package now, but it gets dismal fuel economy for a smaller vehicle.

HowDoYouCrash
HowDoYouCrash
15 days ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

I wonder if maverick’s surprise sale hit has stalled plans for a Hybrid Bronco Sport? Same platform. Maybe ford has just shifted all available units to Mav for the time being. Seems so silly given the escape hybrid exists.

Greg
Greg
15 days ago
Reply to  HowDoYouCrash

this is probably the real answer, why introduce a new product when the current one is flying off the shelf. There are two people in my family circle with them and they love them. Simple, pretty good looking and easy in and out. Both are older women, maybe not their target demo!

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
15 days ago
Reply to  Vic Vinegar

Ford probably expects people to buy the Bronco Sport’s platformmate, the Escape if they want a hybrid.

In 2020, they split the old Escape line into the Bronco Sport and the new, carlike Escape. As a result, the Bronco Sport sacrifices aero and thus fuel mileage in favor of looks and the split tailgate. If they put the hybrid in the Bronco Sport, it wouldn’t get great mileage. I’d estimate a good 41 city and a poor 32 highway, compared to the Escape’s 43/37.

The Maverick hybrid showed them that their thinking that people shopping for small, trucklike vehicles didn’t want hybrids was wrong. However, they probably need to wait for more battery supply to start making Bronco Sport hybrids.

MrLM002
MrLM002
15 days ago

The question isn’t ‘Can Ford keep this up?’ It’s ‘Will Ford choose to make enough of the hybrids people want to buy?’

The overwhelming majority of Maverick orders are for the XL (base trim) Hybrid, even after years of production and massive price hikes (26.5% increase in price for the hybrid since launch) Ford still won’t make enough XL Hybrid Mavericks to meet demand.

Time and time again Ford proves that noone can screw them over worse than Ford screws itself over on a daily basis.

Njd
Njd
15 days ago
Reply to  MrLM002

I really don’t see how having a vehicle that’s such a smash hit with essentially no competition that they can’t keep up with production is “screwing themselves over”.

MrLM002
MrLM002
15 days ago
Reply to  Njd

By artificially limiting production to trims with higher margins that are not selling according to Ford’s own data.

The differences between the XL and XLT are so few I don’t see where there would be production constraints between the trims.

Darnon
Darnon
14 days ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Assuming powertrain mix is somewhat even across trims only something like 24-27% of orders would be XL Hybrids. XLT hybrids would account for about 29%+, so beating out your ‘overwhelming majority’

Frank Wrench
Frank Wrench
15 days ago

Just here to say I’m jealous you’re seeing that 69 Love Songs show. It’s hard to pick a dozen favorite songs, never mind one.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
15 days ago

The Jetta, when your daughter needs a car for college but you’re not getting her a Wrangler because their too expensive.

DadBod
DadBod
15 days ago

Or you are a poor single mom, like a Jetta owner in my family.

Njd
Njd
15 days ago

Can Ford keep it up? I think they can. They have a good mix of in demand models, they’re investing in EVs but also in hybrids, trying to build more of the components in house, and even if their early EV offerings haven’t been great, they beat a lot of their competitors to market, and appear to be learning from the early efforts.

Clark B
Clark B
15 days ago

I think part of the appeal of the Jetta is that it can get around 40mpg, but is cheaper than a hybrid. Just a basic, fuel efficient sedan that doesn’t cost a lot. I imagine 0% financing had something to do with it as well though, as VW’s reliability reputation precedes them. I don’t really know much about that platform of Jetta or the engines they use (apart from the dreaded 2.0 turbo in the GLI that is) so I can’t speak to the reliability of that specific car, but I feel like everyone has a horror story about a VW they or someone they knew owned. Myself included.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
15 days ago

VWs are doing okay amidst all of this because:

1). They’re actually on lots

2). There are deals to be had

It’s really that simple. Japanese hybrids are rapidly becoming the default that everyone wants for appliances (as they should be), but this makes demand for products like the CRV, Accord, RAV-4, Highlander, Camry Hybrid, Prius, etc. sky high. Due to their slimy dealer networks and stupid ass allocation systems, you’re still going to have a hard time finding a lot of those cars, and when you do BM Fartz Toyota is going have $5,000 slapped on top of the MSRP.

You either have to overpay or be willing to wait. Do you know that you can get right now, likely at under MSRP with incredibly rare for 2024 low interest financing? Volkswagens. You’re not paying full price for an Atlas, or a Taos, or a Jetta, or even a GTI. They’ll still bend you over on a Golf R but that’s it.

So people are essentially saying fuck it and buying VWs as alternatives. Unfortunately they will pay the price for this, particularly when it comes to the Atlas. Good fucking luck with a goddamn EA888 that’s nearly in a Golf R state of tune hauling 4,600 pounds around. All these folks will wind up paying later when the maintenance and inevitable repair bills come due, but for now they’re saving money so they’re happy.

The same will happen for the Jetta. Whatever you save off the bat going with that rather than a Civic or Corolla will come back later in the form of depreciation and when it inevitably starts doing Volkswagen things…but do you I guess. I’ve driven the current generation Jetta GLI and it’s pretty fun for what it is.

But after the ridiculous amount of problems my GTI, my sister’s Tiguan, and my mom’s Allroad had (damn the EA888 to hell) you’d have to pay me to get behind the wheel of another VW. Also, are fleet sales taken into account here? Because Jettas are standard fare on rental lots in 2024.

Last edited 15 days ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
EmotionalSupportBMW
EmotionalSupportBMW
15 days ago

Most Jettas are EA211. The EA888 is GLI only and not as dirt cheap and popular.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
15 days ago

Oh I know. I just have a personal vendetta with the EA888 due to how much pain it caused me and my family members over the years. That engine is a blight on society.

BOSdriver
BOSdriver
15 days ago

Correct. While other 3 row crossovers are still at MSRP, the Atlas can easily be had at 8.5% off MSRP in the Boston area, no haggling required as that is the online price. Guessing you could get a little more off with little effort. Not as much as the 12.5%+ we got off in early ’21 on one with the 6 cyl, but a pretty good deal for the current market.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
15 days ago

Which is funny that the EA888 having such oil consumption, and turbo failures, that they could produce such indestructible engines like the 2-point-slow, the 2.5 R5, and so many of the original EA827 TDIs.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
15 days ago
Reply to  Spikedlemon

The EA888 is just such a catastrophic unforced error by VAG. They had absolutely no business standardizing such a clusterfuck of an engine. I wouldn’t touch it in an Audi or Macan either. Frankly I wouldn’t touch anything VAG with less than 6 cylinders at this point….but even that’s risky, horror stories of the assorted Audi S/RS turbo 4 liter V8s abound.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
15 days ago

I wouldn’t want any of the larger VW/Audi engines, they’re normally packaged so tightly that they’re a maintenance nightmare for access should/when a problem arises.

The base VW engines, however, seem to be where it’s best served; I’ve not heard the same reliability issues with the 1.0TSI and 1.4TSI EA211 engines.

Needles Balloon
Needles Balloon
15 days ago

“Frankly I wouldn’t touch anything VAG with less than 6 cylinders at this point”

Let’s not exclude the 5-cylinders!

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
15 days ago

The greatest Golf of all time is in fact the TTRS

Rod Millington
Rod Millington
14 days ago

RS3 you mean 😉

Cerberus
Cerberus
15 days ago

They also have limited competition in the car space with the dearth of hatchbacks and sedans for the people left who still want them. Especially for a warm hatch, like the GTI—CTR and GR C are Golf R class; Mazda3 hatch is an overpriced luxo-wannabe with torsion beam (tough to find?); regular Corolla hatch is dull as vantablack and tough to find; and the regular Civic hatch is lower powered, overpriced vs the sedan (or even the Si), the 1.5T has some issues of its own (if not VW level), and they’re tough to find. Not saying the GTI is a better buy, just that the lack of competition also helps.

Strangek
Strangek
15 days ago

If you can get a new Jetta with a warrantee for under MSRP, I think that’s an okay purchase. I’d plan to move off of it when that warrantee is up though.

Clark B
Clark B
15 days ago

I actually had a great experience with my 2009 GTI, owned from new till someone hit me and totaled it in 2015, with only 60k miles on it. Not a single issue other than recalls, even with regular track time.

I bought a 2012 CC to replace it, with 78k miles, where I paid for my trouble-free GTI experience. I replaced the water pump twice, had at least one coil pack go out, and had to replace the timing chain tensioner myself as a preemptive measure since VW wouldn’t issue a recall on it. Then it started burning oil. At first it was “within spec” (under 1 quart every 1000 miles) but it eventually started burning more than that. Before I was able to get rid of it (I was in the middle of buying my first house when it started getting worse) I lost all compression on cylinder 1, at around 121k. I don’t even know why, I didn’t care, I just got rid of the fucking thing. And swore I’d never own a car with that engine again.

I’ve got a 2014 Sportwagen TDI now, and it’s been great. The only issues I’ve really had with it were from the previous owner’s mods, and a rear brake caliper that needed replacement. Oh and front discs that needed replacement early since they were resurfaced and not replaced when VW reconditioned the car, as it was a Dieselgate buyback. Otherwise it’s been a perfect car for me. I will have to do the timing belt this year though, but I’ll probably DIY it and save some money.

I had to make sure no one else I knew suffered at the hand of a VW turbo engine. My best friend bought a 2012 Beetle a couple years ago and I made sure she got one with the standard 2.5 rather than the 2.0T. It’s got north of 140k on it now and it has been perfectly reliable, something I suspect would not have been the case if she had gone for one with the 2.0T.

Spikedlemon
Spikedlemon
14 days ago
Reply to  Clark B

The 2.5 5cyl is a wonderfully agricultural feeling engine that seems as though it’ll last well beyond the rest of the vehicle.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
15 days ago

I would have to imagine that the uptick in Jetta sales has to do with VW actually bothering to build Jettas.

For the past couple of years, my local VW dealership had on average zero Jettas on the lot. Yes, there wasn’t a lot of the lot in general, but given the dearth of new Jettas on the road around here, I’d have to imagine VW did what most others did, and shifted their focus to only building high trim Atlas’ throughout the pandemic. Now that there’s a serious demand for anything under 30k, they’re churning out Jettas. Currently there’s 7 on the lot locally, and I would bet they’re selling just fine in that 24k-29k range.

As for the question, I can very much ignore the Jetta, given that while I’ve known many people who have owned Jettas, I’ve never met someone that was happy with theirs.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
15 days ago

I’d go even further and say I’ve never met a single person who’s happy that they bought a new VW. And I once bought a new VW. I do know that folks are really really REALLY into the GTI/Golf R, and to an extent I get it. I bought a GTI once and the performance/refinement/practicality combination is hard to ignore.

…but tell me about how you’re feeling when you’re trying to do a pull on a backroad and the EA888 misfires, shuts down half its cylinders, and leaves the car gasping in exacerbation….because it’s coming! If you really want to be entertained check out GTI forums sometime. The cycle in perpetuity seems to be:

1). I always wanted a GTI and I finally got one!

2). Can anyone explain what all of these lights and error messages mean?

3). FOURTH trip to the service bay in the last 3 months and techs STILL can’t tell me what’s going on

4). Selling my GTI for $26,000. Willing to take a loss at this point.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
15 days ago

I know I’m an outlier and this is all purely anecdotal; I loved my VW GTI. It was a 2006.5 model, the first year they significantly deviated the overall shape and had enough leg room for me to enjoy it.

I did experience the cylinder shut down and that did suck. It was also the only significant problem I had with it in nine years of ownership. I also had a CV boot cover rip open and shred grease all over the underside of the car. No idea what caused that but after spending $600 for the fix, VW actually issued a recall and I was reimbursed.

One thing I will say is that I had a daily commute of less than 5 miles and after nine years I put about 45K miles on it. So that could be a factor. But it was solid over my ownership time.

My experience may be unique but the GTI is one of the cars I’d go back to in a second if I needed something practical like that again.

It was absolute shit depreciation though. I don’t remember what I got on trade for it but it was very little.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
15 days ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

Oh my GTI was great!

…when it worked. Which it never did.

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
15 days ago

Had mine for 10 months. Traded it in on an Si.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
15 days ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

I had mine for 22 months. Traded it in on my Kona N. 0 regrets.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
15 days ago

I can’t say I know a ton of people who have bought this current crop of VWs, but only because everyone I know has been burnt by their last gen products.

My brother-in-law just bought a Tiguan, and he’s very excited about it. They looked at the RAV4 and CR-V, but simply couldn’t get their hands on one that wasn’t marked up or high trim. But they went to a VW dealer, had their choice of 8 different Tiguans, and managed to get a decent deal (on paper).

He and his wife seem very, very excited about their new car (which they share, in the city). The deed had already been done, so I simply smiled and exclaimed “hey that’s a pretty nice new car you have there!”. I turned around to my wife and simply whispered “Volllkkkssswagen” in the pained tone that Happy Gilmore does after getting hit with a Beetle.

I wish them all the luck. They’re going to need it.

Edit: I’ll add that the conversation about the car ended when they started to wax poetic about the sunroof. I had to change the direction at that point, I just couldn’t take it anymore, lol.

Last edited 15 days ago by Taargus Taargus
Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
15 days ago

My sister and her husband had a Tiguan! The sunroof leaked and flooded the car on 3 separate occasions. The dealership tried to refuse to fix it the third time, until they realized there was a recall on the sunroof that was never fulfilled and replaced the whole thing. The damage was done and they promptly traded it in on a lightly used Lexus NX (smart!).

The best part? They bought the Tiguan certified. Someone the VW techs either didn’t fix a recall during the certification process or willingly ignored it. I’m not sure which is worse. Feel free to ask me about how the EA888 in my mom’s Allroad grenaded itself and mechanically totaled the car at 60,000 miles, I’m happy to talk about that too!

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
15 days ago

I have a 2021 A6 Allroad that I love dearly and has been weirdly trouble-free. Lease is ending soon and I most likely will buy it out.

It does feel like I’m asking for it though.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
15 days ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

If you have the turbo V6 I’d say go right ahead. If I you have the EA888 I’d respectfully say you’re a lunatic.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
15 days ago

Yeah the entire conversation was me just gritting my teeth and staying as chipper as possible. I’ve learned over time that people don’t take kindly to when I provide needles for their balloons.

The crazy thing about VW is that there was a time you might be willing to deal with this sort of nonsense, like when VWs were genuinely unique vehicles, or when they were providing premium design and materials to go along with a great driving experience. The Tiguan is more boring and bloated than the RAV4 is strives to be, but with none of the reputation for being reliable. I just don’t really understand it.

Last edited 15 days ago by Taargus Taargus
BOSdriver
BOSdriver
15 days ago

I know what you are saying and I get it, especially if you have issues with a brand new car. I certainly didn’t want another VW after my ’12 Passat TDI SE, multiple dealer trips for the emissions system, high service costs that ate up any fuel savings, etc. The buyback was at least redemption to my wallet.
But, my wife really liked the Atlas for what it was, a semi-rugged looking thing with a not trying to be a luxury car interior that could take abuse and clean up easy with 2 younger kids and dogs – plus about the most actual useable space for the segment. For us, putting nearly 56k miles on a ‘21.5 Atlas in 3 years has been nearly fault free outside of a few driver errors. It is my wife’s daily driver and has gone on all family road trips. We had a leak in the rear wiper fluid line, that’s the extent of issues not caused by the driver and likely had to do with them installing one of those “blink as you stop” third brake lights that I fought against and did not pay for. Outside of the infotainment system (which like any VW is slow to respond and needs to be re-booted from time to time) I actually have been saying lately that I actually like the Atlas more now than I did when we bought it. It has been doing everything we could ask of it. It is far from perfect but has been a solid, practical car for us. Being a non-turbo and on the MQB platform which has been in use for awhile, I am hoping that this will have minimal issues long term.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
15 days ago
Reply to  BOSdriver

You have the VR6 Atlas then, I would assume. That’s actually a pretty great engine. The wife and I might even vaguely consider an Atlas if they still offered the VR6, but alas. It’s all turbo 4s now. Damn shame if you ask me.

Greg
Greg
15 days ago

I had the dieselgate passat and i bought it new, I loved that car. I would routinely drive from NC to MA and it was never a problem for my back, most comfortable seats I’ve driven in to this day.

Doug Kretzmann
Doug Kretzmann
15 days ago

while I’ve known many people who have owned Jettas, I’ve never met someone that was happy with theirs.”

the modern VW is sad.. way back in the last century, VW used to build Citigolf and Jettas in S. Africa, everyone who had them loved them. A friend had a Jetta for 20 years..
My wife’s manual Citigolf was more fun to drive than any hatchback not a Golf.

Baja_Engineer
Baja_Engineer
15 days ago

We’ve been happy with the base MKVI Jetta we have at home, same with one of my friends who owns a current gen Jetta. Both of them, admittedly, have manual transmissions and none of them have the EA888, though. Regular Jettas have been solid for the last few years, even the Aisin sourced automatics have been quite reliable for the last decade or so.

I can’t speak about electronics since the Jettas I’ve driven for the last 3 years were lightly optioned but I know how finicky the 2000s VW were and I would stay away from any of them

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
15 days ago
Reply to  Baja_Engineer

Are those with the 2 point slow? I know at some point the base engine became the 1.8T.

Either way, I dub (no pun intended) you Baja_Engineer: Happy Jetta Owner. I wish you continued happy Jetta times.

Baja_Engineer
Baja_Engineer
14 days ago

yes, mine’s a facelifted MK6 with the 2.slow.
My friend’s 2019 MK7 has the base 1.4T. That was the base engine from 2016 to 2022 or so and it’s been quite solid from what I read.

Again mine’s only got 85K miles as we speak so jury is still out there but age also brings issues and I consider a 9yr old VW without any dash lights a win.

Drew
Drew
15 days ago

You had to go and mention The Magnetic Fields. Now I’m gonna have “Andrew in Drag” stuck in my head all day.

Better than having a Jetta stuck in my head, though. It’s very possible to ignore the “value” in one.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
15 days ago

I’d bet that Toyota/Lexus numbers are way up simply because of increased production and availability. Those brands seemed to suffer most from supply chain issues and their dealers’ lots seemed to be the most barren. Now that production is up, it would seem to follow that sales are up.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
15 days ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

You are more correct.

Toyota still has not recovered to its pre-pandemic highs. But they are close now.

V10omous
V10omous
15 days ago

In a crazy market is it just impossible to ignore the value that is a $21k Jetta?

No, I assure you it’s very possible. I wouldn’t pay $2.1K for one (or any VW product in fact).

Outofstep
Outofstep
15 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

My thoughts exactly, I saw the price and was like oh that’s not bad and then was like wait no back up it’s a VW.

V10omous
V10omous
15 days ago
Reply to  Outofstep

It doesn’t matter how cheap something is if I can’t have full confidence it will get me where I want to go at any moment.

My truck died on me this weekend on the road (not the truck’s fault, rodents had chewed some wiring harnesses) and it really drove home how awful that feels. Given my experience with VW, I’d live with that fear every single time I got in the car.

Parsko
Parsko
15 days ago

Matt, you are late to work, but I’m happy you made it in.

10001010
10001010
15 days ago

+1 for the Beck reference.

VanGuy
VanGuy
15 days ago
Reply to  10001010

Where is it? I’m not catching it

Luscious Jackson
Luscious Jackson
15 days ago
Reply to  VanGuy

“I’m a driver, I’m a winner – things are gonna change, I can feel it.” When referring to Toyota hybrid success in opening paragraph.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
15 days ago

There are few more appropriate people (bands) that could point this out other than Luscious Jackson.

VanGuy
VanGuy
15 days ago

Thank you. I even saw Beck in concert last year, but I don’t think Loser has actually been my jumping off point to know his work.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
15 days ago

When I look at new cars, Jetta believe it or not was near the top of the list. Only because of 42 MPG hiway, and you can get it with a manual. The rest have been Hybrids such as Prius, Camry, or Accord. Still haven’t decided which way to go for now.

Sam Gross
Sam Gross
15 days ago

I’m still shocked that Ford has chosen to discontinue their most-unique PHEVs — the Explorer/Aviator PHEV. Instead of trying to ramp production, they’re simply devoting all hybrid production for fleet (read: police) use.

Seems like a mistake, since fleet sales are inherently less profitable than retail — and they’re giving up Aviator sales for Police Interceptor (i.e. Explorer) sales, halving their transaction price.

V10omous
V10omous
15 days ago
Reply to  Sam Gross

Could it be a long term play?

Both to lock more departments into Ford vehicles and to secure a steady stream of service/parts revenue? I assume police departments are heavy users of parts and service given their severe usage schedules.

Healpop
Healpop
15 days ago
Reply to  Sam Gross

Eh, the Explorer hybrid (weirdly it was not a PHEV though the Aviator was) was a pretty terrible deal from what I remember. You had to get one of the upper trims, and it was a few grand upcharge from there to save all of $250/yr on gas per the EPA. It was clearly developed with the cop market in mind first, where they don’t need to run the engine when idle and there’s a lot of opportunities for regen braking out on patrol.

Dropping the Aviator PHEV is a little harder to understand, but my guess is the sales numbers for that were too low to justify the added complexity to the line.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
15 days ago
Reply to  Healpop

Yes, the Explorer Hybrid is very underwhelming. Since Toyota hybrids are rarely on a dealer lot these days, I explored just about every alternative for a SUV that does better than the standard 18/25 mpg.

The Aviator PHEV was expensive. The range wasn’t that great if I recall correctly. Think the Volvo XC90 is probably a better option there.

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