[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: Jetta VR6 vs. Passat 1.8t

Well Dan, I can see your point but I think they're missing the boat on 
several levels.  You might like a compact class car, but if I was 
giving John Q. Public the choice between a compact car with a VR6 
or a mid-size car with a turbo-4 and told them that performance wise 
the t-4 was within half a second 0-60 and it also only weighed 30 
pounds more than the compact, I think you'd find the overwhelming 
majority would decide on the larger car.  It's simply more practical.  

And with VW in the process of rebuilding their base after a rather 
abysmal showing in North America, John Q Public are the one's 
they're going to have to convince.   They have to price their products 
accordingly.  I know they are loading a lot of stuff onto their cars, 
which is fine if you're looking for all the extras.  But to be honest, as 
much as I love VW/Audi cars, if VW's current lineup and prices were 
in place back in 94 when I was getting ready to buy new, I probably 
would have opted for a less expensive Japanese equivalent.  Not 
because I didn't see the value; cost concerns would have kept me 
away.  I think that having everything as an option is a real pain in 
the ass when shopping for a car.  I can't stand the American way of 
splitting up useful items (cruise, power windows) and putting them in 
separate groups with crap like deluxe floormats and pinstriping.  But 
at the same time, VW doesn't give you _any_ choice when it comes 
to equipment level.  It's all or nothing.  So the college student who's 
looking for economical, inexpensive transportation gives up the cc 
and power windows to get 2 grand knocked off the price of the car 
and his monthly payments.  Can't do that here.   

The Jetta starts at about $17000, and it does come well equipped.  
And I absolutely love the fact that you can get a Jetta with a VR6 
without all the crap that comes in a GLX for 20 grand, but that leads 
to the next problem.  If I have in the vicinity of 20 thousand to spend 
on a car, which one will be more useful, a $20000 VR6 Jetta, or a 
$20000 1.8t Passat?  The only reason for buying the VR6 over the 
Passat would be for performance, but their numbers are almost 
identical, so where does that leave you?  Do you pay twenty grand 
for a smaller car?  I can't see too many people opting for that.  If the 
Passat was an unattractive car I could see people making the case 
for the Jetta (say if the Jetta had been the first car to get made over 
and it was competing with the 96 version of the Passat).  But the 
Passat is sporty, attractive, quiet and has a _useful back seat_.  
That's a pretty powerful inducement.  If the Jetta VR6 lost a few 
pounds and turned out to be a real road burner, you've got more of a 
case.  But for crying out loud, the Jetta is within 30 pounds of the 
Passat despite being a foot smaller.  

Here's an interesting question:  if you were given 20 grand and 
given a choice between a Jetta GLS VR6, a Passat GLS (1.8t), or a 
Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS, which all come in around $20000.  Which 
would you choose?

On 26 Feb 99, at 7:45, Dan Sinclair wrote:

> Different target market.  I think the vehicle 'class' will be a bigger
> factor than the powerplant and performance.  I agree that the 115hp base
> engine was a mistake - I don't know what they were thinking on that
> one!?!? The folks who would buy a Jetta GLX VR6 though are buying into a
> compact class, the Passat is the mid-size class.  Same distinction as
> A4-A6.  Class size is the reason I drive a 90 instead of a 5000, or
> 100/200.  I like the compact dimensions of the car, and I'm exactly 5'10"
> - thus I'm comfortable in just about any car on the planet regardless of
> exterior dimensions (British cars excluded - no one's comfortable in a
> Sprite or MG...).  I don't think the price/performance overlap will hurt
> VW necessarily.  The Jetta VR6 will draw a different crowd than the
> Passat, and vice versa.  I think it's a matter of mutual fit between
> drivers/occupants and car.
> Dan Sinclair
> 1988 Audi 90, 68K mi.
> Photo and details online at:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-quattro@coimbra.ans.net
> [mailto:owner-quattro@coimbra.ans.net]On Behalf Of Jon
> Sent: Thursday, February 25, 1999 9:28 PM
> To: Audi List
> Subject: RE: new audi look alikes - JettaGLX
> VW's planning here is perplexing.  They are pricing the Jetta quite
> high, much more so than their eastern or american competitors.  Its
> base model offers just about the weakest engine in its class
> (115hp?? that's what I had in my Golf _5_years_ago_!).  In terms of
> size, your not getting much leg room for anyone in the back.  Fit and
> finish looks to be improved, much like the Passat.  But therein lies the
> other problem; when you get to the price tag for a GLX VR6, you are in the
> same realm as a 1.8t Passat, which is as fast to 60 as the VR6 and has
> loads more room to boot.  I fear they may be shooting themselves in the
> foot.
> On 24 Feb 99, at 8:24, Dan Sinclair wrote:
> > I've driven the 1998 model, not the new body style though.  The Jetta
> > GLX with the VR6 is a quick car.  It behaves typically Front Wheel Drive
> > when applying power in corners (skittish, torque steer action) but it's
> > a nice car.  It feels considerably lighter than the A4, as you'd expect.
> > Suspension feels more taught than the A4 (sport or non)  Again, probably
> > a function of weight.  Interior is not in the same caliber as the A4 
> > The Jetta GLX I drove had black leather and all options, but it was
> > still very "VW" in look and feel - square and mechanistic.  As for the
> > new ones...I don't know - go give one a spin and let us know what you
> > think.  Someone suggested that the new Passat turbo could serve as an
> > economical compromise for someone not able to spring for an Audi, so
> > maybe the new Jetta could as well...
> >
> > As for design similarities - my father quote is "there are only two
> > designers in the world, Porsche's designer, and everyone else".  I think
> > Audi's on the right track.  I think BMW's new 3 series nose looks
> > remarkably like a Pontiac Grand Am from the early 90's, and I think
> > Chrysler is the only American car company that has a styling/design
> > department worth retaining.  The new Taurus!?!?  What were they
> > thinking? Better question, why are they selling?  I guess Audi driving
> > folk are not the target market...
> >
> > Dan Sinclair
> > 1988 Audi 90, 67K mi.
> > Picture and details online at:
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-quattro@coimbra.ans.net
> > [mailto:owner-quattro@coimbra.ans.net]On Behalf Of Art4@aol.com
> > Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 1999 9:07 PM
> > To: quattro@coimbra.ans.net
> > Subject: new audi look alikes(forgive the long run-on)
> >
> >
> > I was just wondering if anyone one out here has driven the new jetta.  I
> > am very happy withe the ole a4 and wouldn't drop it for anything.  But
> > the little jetta is cute or at least it is on the commericals.  I have
> > yet to see one in this little doinky god forsaking  or should I say
> > forgotten town.  I do like the idea( its what I read), that the little
> > grocery getter will do 0-60 is 7.4.  Not that one ever needs it, but is
> > fun to play with. Has anyone driven one yet, I may travel down the road
> > this weekend, to try one out.  Maybe get the lil bug out of my system. 
> > Plus I need to relax, school is killing me and need to do something fun
> > and stress releaving, what can you say about being able to drive someone
> > else's car like hell when they are in there and they tell you to push it
> > harder.  Can't be it, hope they have a sport version and hope they have
> > a new a4 to drive just for comparison of their tow and mine. Oh and  has
> > anyone notice how much the other cars are copying the audi a4, BMW, Vw,
> > just to name a few.  But in there defense what a product to try an
> > emulate.  Once last thing on this bandwidth, which will open a sore
> > spot. The a4 I feel in some ways reminds me of a ugh do I say it a 
> > NEON. Hope the audi gods forgive me, escpecially with mine ging in
> > tomorrow.  But is true, they share somewhat the same shape and the damn
> > rear lights a cut the same way and the look is the same but smaller. 
> > Hell, I don't care if the gods forgive me I hope my lil baby forgives
> > me.
> >

New London, CT
87.5 CGT Spec. Build 
My parts/repair total since 3/14/97=$2478.86