Germany’s VW AG has a mixed situation in the US – on one hand its luxury stablemate Audi is thriving and posting record sales each month, while on the other hand the mass-market brand is suffering.
The company is a powerhouse in Europe, where it’s the largest automaker and thanks to China has also achieved the status of the second biggest carmaker in the world. Among the issues lie the fact that in the US the mass-market car brand VW has been sliding while the rest of the market is going up and the fact that Audi is indeed posting record after record, but is still out of the top three places in terms of annual deliveries. One of their assets in the ongoing fight could be diesel-powered vehicles – a stronghold for the brands in Europe. Let’s take for example the 2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen TDI station wagon and the 2015 Audi A3 TDI sedan. They both have strong attributes: great fuel economy that doesn’t hinder a lively performance. The only drawback – gasoline engines are turning more efficient by the day and the fuel could enter a “persona non grata” situation as some US states are mulling higher taxes while some European countries are already focusing on driving diesel usage down.
The duo have almost matching prices, with entry asking quotations of $29,095 for the Golf Sportwagen TDI and $32,600 for the A3 TDI – both featuring under the hood the same powerplant. It’s a 150-hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that also has 238 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm, with the low engine speed making it almost unmatched when it comes to fast acceleration from the get go.