VWs – US and Europe

The last Polo was on sale in the 2016. To the outsider it might not seem like the end of an era. This was after all the fifth generation Polo and it was declared World Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show in April 2010. But no more Polos made their way across the Atlantic.

It does seem a bit of a pattern. The vehicles available in Europe differ both in style and quality to those in the US. VW gets tax credits for manufacturing cars in the US yet there’s still that differentiation between the two markets.

There are models like the Golf Estate and the VW van California which although it might evoke the Californian spirit is not available in the state, indeed not elsewhere either.

There are some interesting features to the California camper such as the self-leveling system and a number of swivelling captain’s chairs. But VW doesn’t think there’s a profit in them stateside.

The European Passat is midsize, just below luxury quality. The US version however is more like an Audi (at half the cost of the Audi A6).

European Passat 2019

But is it all that different? There is an increase in torque and an improved interior but that’s ultimately it.

The Passat GT with the diesel or hybrid engine is not available in the US, so you will have to make do with other GT models.

Other European VWs include:

The VW Mk7 GTi had a Porsche style about it. The 2019 GTi is slightly similar, but not quite.

Mk2 Golf Rallye was used in the World Rally championship in 1986. It had a 1.8 liter engine and noticeable box-fenders.

VWs haven’t sold Coupes in the US since 1994; so more than 25 years. The Scirocco was based on Italian design. It was revived in 2006 and you might have thought it was for sale in the US, only it wasn’t.

What about the Rabbit Pickup? You may think anything pickup is a sure thing in the US market, but it’s hard to keep up with models like the Silverado. The Rabbit Pickup is a small front wheel drive; it’s not exactly an off-road vehicle. So, it’s not in available over here.

The ID3 is another example of a VW not being launched in the US, which is especially a shame as a new generation electric power. Because it is a hatchback it’s not considered that marketable, though there are some US customers who have been crying out for an electric VW.

If it was an SUV not a hatchback it would be a different matter. But all cars need to find their feet and Europe is the best place to experiment as far as Volkswagen is concerned.

It’s a global brand but make no mistake, the European style of VWs are nothing like the American VWs. But then again, all brands vary from country to country. It keeps the money flowing even if the product is not exactly the best.

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