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Why Volkswagens do not impress me

By Rigval on 12 Jan 2010

Attached Image: Mpv.jpg
I was sitting in a chair at the reception area of a dance academy waiting for my daughter to finish her dance lesson when I realized why Volkswagen never rocked my boat, the GTI included. As I wrote elsewhere a few years ago, the reason I thought the GTI was not a fulfilling car to own was that the Mark5 Volkswagen looked too much like a mini MPV instead of a stonking hot hatch. When you parked it beside to its cousins the Audi A3 or the Skoda Octavia or even the larger sized A4, you’d notice that the Golf is at least 2-3 inches taller and looks bigger. I noted that the A3 is also a hatchback with the same chassis underpinnings and it is still so much lower and looks so much daintier. Maybe Audi A3 owners don’t go to IKEA as much as their younger Golf owners do. Those with the money to afford an A3 would pay IKEA to deliver the cupboard they bought right to their doorsteps. Of course the Mark 6 Volkswagen GTI is better in that it is lower in profile compared to the Mark 5. Volkswagen had learned its lesson I presume.

Of course there are some that’ll state that the GTI made by Volkswagen handles better than any Audi A3, but if any Audi buyer wanted a sportier car from Audi, they’d buy the TT or the S3, which are both nice cars to drive. I’ve driven a TT and yes I’d get one over a GTI. Irregardless of the fact that it’s much more expensive. It looks a whole lot better too.

And while the new Scirocco is a nice car in the flesh, with its lower roofline and wide rear arches, I still have that nagging feeling that a future Audi coupe would be better. This brings me to the point that Volkswagen, the automotive group has a hierarchy system and Volkswagen, the car is always one step under Audi. Now this can be clearly seen in the current generation Passat compared to the similar sized B7 Audi A4 (the previous generation A4). It looks uncompleted with its long overhangs front and back compared to the A4 and its slightly dumpy looking looks due to this. This is as though the designers at Volkswagen deliberately pulled back a little to slightly differentiate both models. Thus, the Passat looks like wallpaper instead of a painting on top of the wallpaper. Playing second fiddle is usually pretty boring. So if you really, really, really want a Volkswagen that’s not number two, buy an Audi.

Attached Image The VW Passat (or wallpaper)
Attached Image The Audi A4 B7 (or pretty painting in front of wallpaper)

I also think it’s because of my supposed fluency in German, i know two words very well. ‘Volks’ means ‘folk’ or ‘people’ and ‘wagen’ means ‘carriage’ or ‘car’. So buying the ‘People’s car’ doesn’t swing it for me. It is like buying a Proton and thinking it’s a fabulous car. As the main reason for Malaysia building Proton is to have an affordable car for the people, hence a Proton is also a People’s car. This was the same reason why Adolf Hitler started Volkswagen in the first place; for the masses to use. Thus the point is that if you’re a German in Germany, buying a Volkswagen is exactly like a Malaysian buying a Proton; affordability. Now if you buy any Volkswagen here in the region and harp about it like a golden chalice from the heavens, I suggest you stop. It’s actually no better than a Proton whether you like it or not.

Attached Image
Of course, give me a Type 14 Karmann Ghia like in the pic above or if Volkswagen started designing cars like that again I just might change my mind.

Volkswagen, Volkswagen GTI, Audi and 3 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

Carer Jan 12 2010 10:53 AM
can any of such auto blogs be checked b4 putting up for others to read? the english of some blogs, esp this one sucks a lot.

to begin with, there is no such word as"irregardless". morons...
Blogger2 Jan 12 2010 11:27 AM
I'm sorry. But it is a word.
Blogger2 Jan 12 2010 11:36 AM
Irregardless is considered nonstandard because of the two negative elements ir- and -less. It was probably formed on the analogy of such words as irrespective, irrelevant, and irreparable. Those who use it, including on occasion educated speakers, may do so from a desire to add emphasis. Irregardless first appeared in the early 20th century and was perhaps popularized by its use in a comic radio program of the 1930s.
Babyt Jan 12 2010 11:38 AM
the first sentence of the passage 'I was sitting in a chair at'

Please tell me how you sit IN a chair? It should be 'sitting on a chair'.
Blogger2 Jan 12 2010 11:42 AM
THAT was my bad!!!!!!
Mustank Jan 12 2010 11:45 AM
vw tourage power leh
Pocus Jan 12 2010 11:51 AM
so hilarious....all commenting about spelling mistakes while no one comment about the content of the article.

Back to topic, but it's all about preferences, your article merely talks about your dislike for VW cars....esp GTI.

In fact GTI is the only car in the VW lineup that I really like, esp the Mark V...Any I've yet to see the GTi resembling any MPV in the market as described by you, okay maybe perhaps the Honda Stream comes a tad close but Stream's design is suppose to be more on the "sportier" side.
Joseph22 Jan 12 2010 12:17 PM
Personally i think this comment is quite good. the only 2 point that i will argue is this 1) VW to Audi. And 2) VW to Proton.

1) Comparing VW to Audi is like comparing Toyota to Lexus. Of couse Lexus and Audi is better right? Further more, not everyone can buy a Audi. Dispite the fack that VW is a ppl car, it is still a car that is better than most of the Jap or Conti of the same standard.

2) Yes Proton and VW are made for the masses, but comparing VW to Proton, we are insulting the C0-founder of VW Prosch Owner. Being a PPL Car, It is still pushing out top quality car and engine that after refining will past to Audi. Comparing to Proton, which till now is still getting other ppl engine and use with not so appealing Exterior design.
Carer Jan 12 2010 03:02 PM
to let people understand the content of an article better, the command of language must first be of certain standard, which i dun see in this auto blog.

where isnt there a QC in place?
Chevycavy Jan 12 2010 04:53 PM
Golf...even the GTI is meant to be a people carrier first, hot hatch second and VW has designed/built it as such. The GTI is a grocery getter in Europe and US, driven mostly by "aunties".

Sirocco is nice as you mentioned but you imagined that some future Audi coupe will be better? That is quite a poor comparison, especially with an imaginary coupe.

Passat may not have the best look but you should see the Passat CC.
Da_editor Jan 12 2010 06:25 PM
Well written blog entry with an alternative view on Volkswagen.

Singaporeans always think that Volkswagen is continental, so its better, more premium. If one were to look closely, its OMV is super low. In Germany. Volkswagen is just a people-carrier. A simple no-frills car.
Gorakar Jan 12 2010 08:54 PM
With all due respect to the author of this article, I honestly hope you have driven a GTI before writing this. Furthermore, the TT is about 70K-80K more than a GTI (which means higher expectations better be met). No doubt VW may be a "people's car" in Germany, but it is a pretty darn good "people's car", I might say (you will understand what I mean if you have driven one). Oh and one more thing, to actually say that it is "no more better than a Proton", just shows people how ignorant one can be.
Carcuter88 Jan 12 2010 11:10 PM
Owning a Volkswagen car in Germany is just like owning a Proton car in Malaysia. Nothing special.

But owning a Volkswagen car in Malaysia is something la... laugh.gif

Rigval Jan 12 2010 11:46 PM
Yes .I've driven a gti before. Yes. It is a good FWD car especially with that DSG gearbox. But I still got issues with the Mk5. From the too tall roofline (as stated in the article and thank you for the mk6) to the hard & slightly low rent plastics (Even VW admits to spending more of the budget on the suspension than the interior - which is good but you tend to spend time in that interior) and the build quality. Once, the Head of Audi for Malaysia pointed out a few misaligned panels in a GTI at the VW showroom (then part of EUROMOBIL's Audi hangar in Shah Alam, Selangor). I suppose its more of a design thing with VW. And I'm not buying it.
Lammy84 Jan 13 2010 12:44 AM
Buying a Volks is different from buying a proton? What kind of ignorant fool spews that kind of stuff? Both may have started out in that way, look at volks now. It may not be as
"luxurious" as its audi counterpart. Premium is a word used by people who do not know cars at all.

Comparable to proton? Have u ever seen or sat in or driven the car with a DSG gear box? Engine of the year? No offense to proton owners but to compare the VG to a proton just takes away all credibility and respect towards the writer. What a retard.
Carer Jan 13 2010 08:06 AM
i suggest removing this blog. full of shlt
Paddie Jan 13 2010 11:20 AM
Scirocco also spelled wrongly biggrin.gif
Defjamkick Jan 13 2010 11:34 AM
Saying the Roc WILL NOT be as good as a future Audi coupe is like saying your daughter's dancing skill sucks cos she will lose out to a future better dancer. How does that feel?

You want more?

Read about branding and brand management before you compare apple with oranges. Just cos you are called Genius Tan doesn't make you automatically a rocket scientist.

Man, you are weak!

Wonder what car you drive... I sense a tinge of sourness ...
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