Volkswagen City Jetta and City Golf

Volkswagen City Jetta

It's a simple philosophy, really.; Bakers have been doing it for quite some time.; Rather than discard yesterday's bread, just sell it at a discount.; Volkswagen Canada has adopted this principle, and is baking new day-old bread and selling it at a discount.

Canadian customers wanting a brand new Jetta have two choices.; They can buy a brand new Mk5 (the Jetta that's on sale in the U.S.) for the equivalent of US $21,745.; Or they can save a whopping US $7200 and drive off the showroom floor with a previous-generation Mk4 Jetta, called a City Jetta, for US $14,540.

Hatchback customers can pull a similar discount of their hat - instead of the Rabbit, they can opt for the previous-generation Golf.

Don't think it's a good idea?; Canadian customers obviously do.; In November, the City cars (Jetta and Golf combined) sold more than any other VW product.; That's right - VW Canada's best-selling cars last month were day-old.

How is it that VW can sell its previous-generation cars with a 35% discount?; Easy.; The first, and most obvious, way is cutting features.; The City cars don't come standard with Air Conditioning, power windows, cruise control, or wintry bits like heated seats. (All of those features are available optionally).

Funny thing, though: add those comfort features back in to equip the City Jetta similarly to the new Mk5 Jetta, and the difference is still a very significant US $6500!; An almost seven-grand discount on a Jetta makes it a very interesting proposition indeed.

Volkswagen also removed some small creature comfort features from the City Jetta to help keep costs down - things like damped grab-handles and cargo area lighting.

Sure, the Mk4 gets the designed-in-the-1800s 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, versus the new Jetta's 2.5-liter inline-5.; And sure, those teensy little features might be missing, but I think VW's strategy is brilliant.; It sold the Mk4 cars for years and has already amortized the development costs - why not let it live on *** Day Old Bread for price-sensitive customers who want German engineering and safety at sale prices.

I wasn't a huge fan of the fourth-generation VW Golf and Jetta, but that's because I wanted them to be as good on a back road as GTIs and Jetta GLIs of the 1980s, and they weren't. They were, however, fantastic daily-driven road cars, and VW's marketing and PR people have come up with a genius win-win plan to keep them around for a little while longer.; Bravo.

As far as I know, VW (unfortunately)doesn't offer the Mk4 Jetta Variant in the "City" lineup. A stripped down / economy version of the wagon could attract customers away from Rav4s and the like.

New Car Research

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price


new cars

Read Related Articles