Home » Here’s Why This Five-Year-Old Volkswagen Golf Is Worth More Than A New Car

Here’s Why This Five-Year-Old Volkswagen Golf Is Worth More Than A New Car

Vw Alltrack Gg Ts
ADVERTISEMENT

Have you ever been poking around the collector car market, when you suddenly stumble upon something you wouldn’t expect to inhabit that corner of the automotive kingdom? I’m not talking about something like an immaculately preserved Eagle Premier, I’m talking about a fairly regular-seeming car made within the past few years that’s too old to have a new car hype train on it, yet too new to have seen any meaningful attrition. Well, this 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack SE is one of those cars.

So, why did this happen? The Golf in question is not one of the fast ones, and it doesn’t feature delivery mileage, yet it commanded $24,750 on Bring A Trailer just this week. A five-year-old Golf on Bring A Trailer? What’s going on? See, when new supply of something dries up, used examples become more valuable, and that’s exactly what happened here.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Let’s hone in on specifics, starting with that Alltrack name. See, to create the Golf Alltrack, Volkswagen took a Golf wagon, ticked the box for all-wheel-drive, raised it up by six-tenths of an inch, and added some cladding. Think a two-thirds scale German Subaru Outback, and you’re on the right path. As of right now, there isn’t anything on the U.S. market that fits that description. Sure, we’re flush with subcompact crossovers, but compact station wagons? That’s a rare breed right there.

06 Interior Vw shifter 20240612 059 88016 Scaled Copy

Next, there’s the way this particular Golf Alltrack was optioned. Sure, the DSG dual-clutch automatic gearbox was a fine choice, but whoever ordered this one new decided to be bold and go with the six-speed manual gearbox. Hard to imagine you could order a raised-up manual small wagon in America just five years ago, right?

ADVERTISEMENT

06 Interior Vw Golf All Track 20240612 056 87986 Scaled Copy

Add in the wonderful Great Falls Green paint, desirable options like the panoramic sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, and push-to-start, and this Golf represents something with no clear replacement. For people who want a manual station wagon in America, this is the end of the line, the newest one can possibly go. Never mind that it has 49,000 miles on the clock, it has a clean Carfax and a mix of traits that’s simply rare.

04 Engine Vw 20240612 003 87307 Scaled Copy

Plus, because the Golf Alltrack is, well, a Golf, it’s a properly nice thing to drive. Sure, the shifter isn’t the most precise unit in the world, but the 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine has plenty of torque, the chassis tuning strikes a nice balance between comfort and fun, at least in the context of regular cars, and the all-wheel-drive system definitely helps on corner exit. Add it all together, and it’s easy to see why this five-year-old Golf costs more than a new Corolla. In fact, it’s par for the course, with six other Golf Alltracks selling on Bring A Trailer this year for anywhere from $19,500 to $38,250.

01 Exterior Vw Golf All Track 20240612 006 85668 Scaled Copy

ADVERTISEMENT

In fact, the Golf Alltrack can almost be seen as foreshadowing as the future for all manner of cars currently on the new market with no formula-matching successor in sight. It still depreciated, just slowly, and quickly became at least a moderately desirable daily driver for connoisseurs. With the internet’s unique way of driving hype and reaching a wide audience, don’t be surprised if clean, stock, well-kept, gently used M2s and CT5-V Blackwings and GR86s go the same way in a few years, depending on which part of the world you live in.

01 Exterior Vw Golf All Track 20240612 012 85726 Scaled Copy

I guess the bottom line is that we’re in an era of massive change in the automotive industry, so don’t count on traditional depreciation to make your combustion-powered dream machines substantially cheaper. As every experience becomes collectable, the cycles of devaluation we’re used to may go the way of the dodo. On one hand, it sucks, because it keeps the cars we want out of reach of some. On the other, it could mean that some of these cars stay preserved. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

(Photo credits: Bring A Trailer)

Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.

ADVERTISEMENT

Relatedbar

Got a hot tip? Send it to us here. Or check out the stories on our homepage.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
90 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Robert Runyon
Robert Runyon
14 days ago

Toyota Crown anyone?

Mpphoto
Mpphoto
14 days ago

I was interested in the Golf Alltrack a few years ago. It was good-looking and the right size for me. I just couldn’t get over the potentially horrible VW reliability. We need more wagons and hatchbacks on the market. Subaru’s Crosstrek is the right size and shape. The Honda HR-V and Toyota Corolla Cross are too SUV-like for my taste.

John E runberg
John E runberg
14 days ago

Sitting out front is my manual 2017 Alltrack SE, metallic blue over Marrakesh brown interior. Love it. Picked it off CarMax with 50k and I’d really prefer you stop playing these up as I’d like it to be left alone. When the warrantee is up it’ll get chipped to fill the low-end gap but otherwise nothing to complain about except a CarPlay implementation that sometimes forgets that it exists.

Rare bird and I fully plan on driving the tits off it and enjoying every minute (until it’s a VW and falls apart out of spit).

Torque
Torque
10 days ago
Reply to  John E runberg

Re: “until it’s a VW and falls apart out of spit”
This will happen at somewhere in between 150 – 180,000 miles.
I’m (tinfoil hat on) convinced all German auto makers intentionally design their products to be cost/pain in the ass to fix prohibitive past 180k miles.

There are too many “why in the he’ll did they design it that way” examples to be found on every German car made at least in the past 30 years for this to be a coincidence.

By this point you will have has to replace the timing belt 1x and all suspension consumables (bushings, shocks, struts, springs) 1x and it will be coming due to soon replace them all again.

The48thRonin
The48thRonin
14 days ago

I know exactly the kind of person that buys these because there are currenltly two being driven by my coworkers (this generation, awd, in manual) and a third, older manual vw wagon that is a diesel (but “only” fwd). All three drivers are related to each other.

Rollk
Rollk
14 days ago

I miss my 2017 Alltrack ???? The most effortless trouble-free 110k miles I’ve ever put on a car

Bill D
Bill D
14 days ago

I bought a new car last year. This is what I would have bought if VW were still selling new ones in the US. I bought a Tiguan instead. It’s nice but it’s kinda big and unsporty.

Ca Hu
Ca Hu
14 days ago

One of my buddies has a manual alltrack with a tune that I have driven and it is a pretty fun little car. That said it is little and as a taller person I would really prefer something the size of the B5 passat wagon I had when I was younger. That car with a 5spd and the 2.8L v6 was damn close to a perfect car except for the maintenance costs and there’s nothing like it anymore.

Groover
Groover
15 days ago

two-thirds scale German Subaru Outback Krautback

Ford Magnet
Ford Magnet
15 days ago

The same thing is happening with Honda Fits

EXL500
EXL500
15 days ago
Reply to  Ford Magnet

I came here to post this. My early 3rd gen is worth $15K from what it appears the market will bear, and I bought it new for $20K because I was a lay down. Ten years today, and looking forward to the next 20.

Frank Wrench
Frank Wrench
15 days ago

As a former owner of a 89 Civic wagon (or was it a 4 door hatch?) and 92 Escort wagon, both with 5 speeds, I can see the appeal of this.

Last edited 15 days ago by Frank Wrench
Tsorel
Tsorel
15 days ago

The only manual cars come with these days is the one no one reads in the glove box. Every MT car that comes up on BaT commands a premium. And we’re supposed to believe that no one wants to use a clutch.

Torque
Torque
10 days ago
Reply to  Tsorel

BAT is full of enthusiasts.
Enthusiasts tend to prefer MT cars bc they are more involving & therefore fun to drive. So it makes sense that MT cars for sale on BAT would do well.
Sadly enthusiasts make us a tiny, tiny minority of the new car buying public. There is a negative feedback loop when it comes to MT cars at least in the US market.
Even 15 years ago the % of cars sold with MT was in the very low single digits. So auto makers ‘streamline’ the transmission options in favor of automatics or at least automatic in practice regardless if the transmission is truly an automatic vs. DSG or CVT or eCVT etc….
The less vehicles available with MT as an option further helps to decrease sales of MT cars bc all things being equal joe/jane/they public cares more about Android Auto / Apple Carplay than auto vs. MT option…

Matt Gasper
Matt Gasper
15 days ago

What’s with all the blank buttons around the shifter?

Jason Roth
Jason Roth
15 days ago
Reply to  Matt Gasper

I think a lot of them are for automatic-associated features, plus a few premium ones. I don’t love it.

Actually, I wonder if some of the features that used to be buttons migrated to the touchscreen. I know the automatics can self-park, but I don’t know whether that’s a button or a screen option.

SonomaSod
SonomaSod
15 days ago

I’ll never understand why VW has decided to move further and further away from what they have always done best in the past couple decades: wagons and hatches. These wagons and the regular Golf dying hurts my heart. That’s probably why I’m a poor high school social studies teacher instead of a wealthy titan of industry.

Jason Roth
Jason Roth
15 days ago
Reply to  SonomaSod

They were chasing largest in the world, and while I think they’ve maybe given up on that, that pushed them down a volume path. Not that any car company doesn’t try to sell lots of cars, but the difference between the Mark IV and Mark VI Jettas was abandoning your market position and brand equity for raw quantity, which rarely succeeds.

Torque
Torque
10 days ago
Reply to  SonomaSod

They (like everyone else) went after the SUV crowd.
Pretty much every light/crossover suv is really a wagon wearing heels. An unfortunate side effect of ‘trying to get the proportions right’ of the vehicle side profile leads to giant a$$ wheels in sizes +19″ and often it doesn’t seem like the automakers give a $hit about weight, so the handling feel is crap, but that doesn’t seem to matter the to vast majority of the new car buying public or they don’t know any better.

Fourmotioneer
Fourmotioneer
15 days ago

We have a 2019 green/brown manual SEL that we bought new for like $5k off MSRP.

SEL with pano roof is less desirable for most because the pano roofs seem to all leak. Ours doesn’t yet. SEL has adaptive cruise which is sorta rare on a manual car

Have owned a number of VW products and our Alltrack hasn’t had any major issues. Brake rotors were sorta warped at 45k and that’s been it as far as issues go.

Dealership service of the diff fluids is pricey but I bought the kit for like $100.

These are not particularly fun to drive, even with a manual. Can really only fit two kids, and there isn’t much room for driver/passenger with kids in rear facing car seats. Cramped as a family car for tall people but we made it work for the first two

Spotimusprime
Spotimusprime
15 days ago
Reply to  Fourmotioneer

buddy in high school had i think an 89 accord. sunroof leaked. $5 tube of clear silicone later, no leaks. (cheap jerry rig fixes being a prime benefit of $500 cars)

Fourmotioneer
Fourmotioneer
15 days ago
Reply to  Spotimusprime

People seem to vinyl wrap them on the newer VWs as a cheap fix

BolognaBurrito
BolognaBurrito
15 days ago

When VW bought back my ’15 TDI, I strongly considered getting one of these. I ultimately chose an Outback because I was minorly tiffed at VW for the whole dieselgate thing, plus I wanted something that was more different than what I had just gotten rid of.

Boy, was that a dumb decision.

Drshaws
Drshaws
15 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

When VW bought back our 2013 TDI Sportwagen, I ALMOST waited for one of these. Went GTI instead. It was great, but just didn’t work so well as kids got bigger and bigger (and so did all their sports gear). Shoud’ve waited.

Troggy
Troggy
14 days ago
Reply to  BolognaBurrito

I haven’t driven a Dieselgated VW, but having owned a manual Outback I can empathise. I suspect I might still take a post-dieselgate VW over the Outback.

Saabing
Saabing
15 days ago

Just hit 100k in my 2017 alltrack! It’s the perfect daily and I’d buy it again in heartbeat.

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
15 days ago

I thought about these quite strongly, but as a brand-new car the value proposition was terrible compared to the used Volvo I ended up getting. $5k less for nearly twice the horsepower, much nicer NVH, and a way bigger trunk? Hard to argue with that.

Tsorel
Tsorel
15 days ago

But not available with a manual

Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  Tsorel

Yeah, I ultimately decided comfort was more important than rowing my own. I don’t miss it—especially when I’m on a thousand mile road trip with the radar cruise set to 80 and the lazy turbo I6 turning 2200 rpm.

Last edited 14 days ago by Alexander Moore
Rollk
Rollk
14 days ago

I almost got a V60 instead of a ’17 Alltrack too, but the tipping point for me is all the VAG shared parts and OEM upgrades you can add down the line. Larger infotainment screen, LED headlights, Audi’s digital cluster, GTI/R suspension upgrades, etc etc – they’re all more/less plug and play upgrades

Last edited 14 days ago by Rollk
Alexander Moore
Alexander Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  Rollk

Yeah I keep my cars largely stock so that doesn’t have much sway for me—especially on a brand new model where I’d want to wait until warranty ends to do anything to it myself anyway. Also I personally think the sideways I6 is a cooler engine than VW’s universal turbo four, but that’s just preference. The Volvo happens to be a sweet spot for me too techwise with analog gauges (which I vastly prefer), an infotainment screen that can be turned off, and Bluetooth audio. What can I say, I’m an old man and old men like Volvo wagons.

Steve L
Steve L
15 days ago

This looks a lot like my Audi A4 allroad, which is just an A4 Avant (no longer sold in the US) with a bit of extra ride height and plastic cladding. I guess the allroad is a bit bigger, so maybe not quite in the same size class.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
15 days ago

I remember when these were new and my local VW dealer couldn’t move them. Granted, they only stocked white or black ones with the black interior, and also only automatic ones, but they were offering pretty significant discounts and still they wouldn’t budge. I was, and still am, wary of VW, but had I been able to convince my wife of the virtues of a wagon (she is pro-minivan but for some reason anti-wagon), I’d have made an effort to get my dealer to find me a manual one (preferably in green, but the blue is nice too).

Unclesam
Unclesam
15 days ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

That’s funny. We tried to buy a manual wagon three separate times over nearly a decade, and the local dealer(s) all treated them like the pandemic was already in full swing. We ended up in a new golf, used manual tig, and used auto JSW respectively because those happened to be what they apparently were interested in selling at the time and it turns out I like not having car payments more than I like driving stick. I do still feel pangs of what could have been when I see alltraks, particularly in blue or green, but our ’14 JSW was cheap 5 or 6 summers ago, long since paid off, and hasnt needed much of anything beyond fluids, tires, and brakes

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
15 days ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

When I went to buy one in 2019, the dealership by me kept trying to get me into a Tiguan because the incentives were so much better. An SE Golf was $50 a month more to finance than an SE Tiguan! I foolishly got a Subaru Impreza instead

Jason Roth
Jason Roth
15 days ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

I truly believe that somebody screwed up the product spread on these. As you say, the generic builds sat waiting for buyers, while the manuals and colored models were hard to find and IME sold for ticket price. As I’ve mentioned, I drove from Pittsburgh to Muskegon to get mine, a blue over tan manual, and it took me literally 5 months of hunting to find that one. There was an identical one in Connecticut at the same time, but I like the beaches on Lake Michigan.

The used market is IMO pretty clear evidence that I’m right: they simply didn’t make enough in (more or less) this spec. I’d add that I get semi-regular buy-back requests from both the dealer in Michigan and my local dealer.

Brian Hayes
Brian Hayes
15 days ago

These really do seem like great daily drivers. I see the ones with the manual transmission pop up locally every few months, but they’re always the low-end S or SE models with manual climate controls. Sorry, dealbreaker. I want to shift my own gears, but I still need all the rest of the creature comforts.

R53forfun
R53forfun
15 days ago
Reply to  Brian Hayes

I’m with you. Alas, I believe the manual SEL models were 2019 only and scarce as hen’s teeth. And if you’re picky re color int or ext, good luck.

Jason Roth
Jason Roth
15 days ago
Reply to  Brian Hayes

That’s funny, automatic HVAC is an absolute bottom priority for me. But then again, I drive with the windows down unless I have no choice.

Technosaur
Technosaur
15 days ago
Reply to  Brian Hayes

Agreed, looks like a lovely spec. The manual transmission is icing on the cake. Worth every penny of what it sold for. Congrats to both the buyer and previous owner; you both have excellent taste.

Rollk
Rollk
14 days ago
Reply to  Brian Hayes

The SE is still nicely equipped with the pano roof, adaptive cruise, smart parking, Fender audio… the SEL just adds sportier genuine leather seats and automatic climate

Dave Cartwright
Dave Cartwright
12 days ago
Reply to  Brian Hayes

My first was an SEL. My second is an SE. Honestly, I don’t miss the creature comforts. I had a Kia Stinger GT2, which is a much more content laden car between the two. I do miss some of the tech in that car and if I could have a new Alltrack with the tech the GT2 had, I would, but there’s not much difference to me between the SE and SEL.

Nick Camacho
Nick Camacho
15 days ago

I just so happened to list my very low mileage red SE yesterday 🙂
https://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/d/jersey-city-2017-vw-golf-alltrack-se/7760397748.html

Hugh Crawford
Hugh Crawford
15 days ago

Because the WRX wagon is only available in Mexico? Could that be it?

Andrew Pappas
Andrew Pappas
15 days ago
Reply to  Hugh Crawford

Preach!

90
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x