Volkswagen's blitz into American garages has been a smashing success, with VW just today reporting U.S. sales for August hat were the best in 39 years, thanks to their Americanized Passat and Jetta sedans. Here's the first look at the car VW expects to rule the sales charts around the world, the seventh-generation of its VW Golf hatchback.
As with all compact cars, the Golf's redesign makes way for ever-greater efficiency, shedding up to 220 pounds and offering a trio of engine options, including diesels. List of new safety features? Check. Touch screen navigation? Also check. A skosh wider, longer and taller in interior and exterior dimensions? But of course.
What's unusual for Americans is that VW will unveil this car at the Paris Motor Show, but not bring it to the United States before 2014, and then in a form that won't reflect European tastes. VW has learned that Americans prefer their V-Dubs to run to the less-expensive set, but given the Golf's sales volumes, VW would still have to import it from Europe, making it far harder to meet a low-cost bogey. Today, many Golfs cost more than the larger Jetta sedan; setting that mismatch right will take about two years of work.