I know this is mostly old-news now, but I felt compelled to comment
anyhow. Over the last couple of years, the model redundancy in the
VW/Audi lineups has gotten ridiculous. The Pheaton is trying to compete
with the A8, the Passat is almost a better A4 than the A4 is -
especially the 3.6 litre 4Motion model, in Europe there's a 2-door,
front-wheel-drive version of the A3 available that overlaps the GTi,
there's gonna be a 5-door version of the GTI that'll overlap the
4-door, front-wheel-drive version of the A3 and now Audi's talking
about a new version of the TT which will certainly overlap the
Euro-market 2-door A3, especially the 3.2 Quattro model - and what
about the S3??
You're telling me that the company needs the GTI, the A3 AND the TT?
Three hatchbacks, all roughly the same size, built on the same
platform, sharing the same engines, two out of the three are available
with 2-doors or four and two out of the three will be available with
Quattro...If anybody at Audi is reading this post, do us a favor: make
the 6-cylinder A4 and A6 more powerful, make the RS4's suspension setup
optional on the A4 and standard on the S4, drop the Pheaton from the
lineup and then sit down and re-think how many overlapping hatches you
*really* need to have. BTW, the Q7 is UGLY, I finally saw it last month
at the Los Angeles Auto show and man, I'm tottally unimpressed guys.
Well, somebody ought to say it! Maybe it's been said here before but I
haven't seen it. It's not just the types of vehicles but, this "corporate
face" that they feel so compelled to flaunt to all the world along with the
same basic shape of Jetta, A4, Passat, A6, A8, Phaeton, damn don't they have
an ounce of creativity outside of the TT?
I think they need to get their stuff together and quit homogenizing
I see your point, but I don't think that I agree - at least not
The TT, in particular, is a bad example to pick. Although it shares
the running gear of the Golf and A3, it appeals to a *very* different
type of customer. It says a lot about the image that the owner has of
herself or himself. It's a much more selfish, less practical car than
the A3 or Golf. It looks sportier, even if it isn't really.
Why? The 216hp in my A4 3.0q is plenty enough for my taste. Sure, by
all means make a more powerful version for the few who want it, but
let's keep the mid-range for guys like me, please. (Actually, I'd have
been happy with the 2.8q, but that's been stopped... just as the 3.0
has since been stopped in favour of the 3.2.)
Sure, there's some overlap (OK, quite a bit) in the VW and Audi
ranges, but I see it as efficient use of resources in maximising
consumer choice, not as redundancy.
The different options appeal to different people. Maintaining the
choices of body style/engine/suspension/etc works in everybody's
favour. If you don't like the looks of one model but like another
aspect of it, that's fine - look at another bodyshell on the same
chassis, see if you like that more. I don't see what you call
redundancy as anything more than an extension of the
The A3 and TT are different enough. The A3 is a four seat hatch, the TT
is either 2 or 2+2. The Phaeton/A8 is interesting, but I think the only
reason they built the Phaeton was as an engineering/showcase exercise.
But they all seem to sell well enough. In Europe there's Seat and Skoda
too. They all aim at slightly different sectors. Like I said, the TT and
A3 don't really compete. You have a point with the Golf and A3, but both
seem to sell well enough. I have an A3, and like it because it's a bit
different from the Golf. It *is* different too, as is the Seat Leon or
Skoda Octavia, despite being built on the same platform. I think the
same thing applies with the A4/Passat. Under the skin there's a lot of
common ground, but they appeal to different markets.
I own a 2002 GTI and have test driven a 2006 A3 2.0T and an MKV
platform Jetta GLI and I looked closely at the MKV GTI at the car show.
Although I'll admit that there are areas where it's obvious the A3 and
GTI weren't intended for the same customer, it's also very obvious to
me that what Audi wants as much (or more) than anything else is for
their GTI customers to buy an A3 when they're "more grown up" and ready
to take a step upward into the next (slightly) higher price bracket. If
the GTI were available worldwide only as a 2-door and the A3 only as a
4-door than I'd agree more with you folks, but I'm still seeing a lot
of overlap. Besides, I can get a fully loaded Jetta GLI with leather,
power/heated seates, navigation, premium sound, auto climate control,
moonroof, the 2.0T engine and a DSG transmission for under $30k, so
unless I'm either really attached to owning an Audi or really attached
to owning a hatchback, why buy the A3 2.0T over the GLI? It's even
worse when you examine the 5-door GTI because it's got all the features
AND the 5-door hatchback body.
Peter, although I agree with you that the A4 is adequate, I can also
say that when driven back to back with the G35x that it tends to feel
slightly weak under the hood. Why it is they don't use a 3.5 FSI motor
or the Passat's 3.6 is something I don't completely comprehend.
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