The new VW California van you can't have in California

Ditto my beloved Honda Cub scooter…

60 million of them made, but unavailable in the States.

So more different rather than one being obviously stricter than the other? That’s interesting.

But I’d still arguing getting around that and the chicken tax is, while expensive initially, not all that big of a deal in terms of establishing a large new sector to their business. Its just that camper vans isn’t a big enough sector to justify it without bringing the whole division along for the ride. Selling less than 100,000 vans per year as an import isn’t much of a sales bump. But selling 100,000’s of thousands if not millions of trucks, vans, and assorted niche products like camper vans on the other hand certainly is. And I’m willing to bet if they do that they’ll be manufactured in the US rather than imported, to avoid much of the mess entirely.

Other than Itchy and Scratchy theme song, this is my other favorite Simpson’s melody.

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If this were true, then the chicken tax wouldn’t be a problem to anyone. Yet Ford continues to make their TCs in Turkey and import the the the US—despite it apparently being a big enough sector to make sense to Ford—instead of shifting manufacturing to the US.

And developing a new line of Diesels that are compliant in the US probably is a pretty big deal, and if any manufacturer has an idea of how receptive the US car market is to diesels, it would be VW.

So while I agree it probably doesn’t make much business sense to bring the California to the US, I think that the costs of regulatory compliance can play a fairly large role.

Don’t some European manufacturers have a “self import option”, where you buy the car in Europe, and ship it to the US?

Oh okay. Its sort of the same in Australia except we have a gateway state (Western Australia) which has lax import rules. So you see a lot of strange (often Japanese) models with WA plates.

I’d assume those are cars that pass regulatory muster but don’t sell enough volume to regularly import and ship to dealer lots.

I saw an estimated price of $65K for a california van in the US. That’s within 10% or so of the low end of an new RV built on a Mercedes Sprinter platform.

That’s really European-delivery. You can only use this option for cars that have already been “federalized” (i.e., cleared with the DoT to certify compliance with US standards), and it basically means you buy a car from a US dealer, arrange to pick it up in Europe and drive it for a while before returning it to the manufacturer for shipment to the US. You can save some money/tax because the car is no longer delivered to the US as a new car. It’s not a way to import cars that you couldn’t otherwise get in the US.

The Sprinter almost certainly offers better amenities, but many people like the more passenger-car-like dimensions of the VW. It fits into normal parking spaces and garages and navigates narrow streets more easily etc. That gives you more flexibility when travelling and makes the VW more practical for everyday driving during the rest of the year. But probably the difference is not quite as big in America as it is in Europe.

My wife and I saw one in the UK when we were visiting her family there and were blown away. I’d never seen one before. It’s pretty much the perfect car for the type of traveling we like to do. We’re seriously considering the idea of going to Germany, buying one (with a manual transmission and a diesel engine, not a common combination in the US), doing a little roadtrip around Europe for a bit, and then taking the ferry from Denmark to the Faroe Islands to Iceland, drive around there for a bit, then there is a ferry to Greenland and another to Newfoundland before driving it back to California. The total cost would be about €45,000 for the car and about €10,000 to drive and ferry it back to Los Angeles, which with the current exchange rate is considerably cheaper than the $65,000USD quoted to theoretically buy it from a dealership here… plus a free Euro roadtrip.

This. Subaru also discontinued it’s manual version of the WRX hatchback this year in the US market, even though sales in the past have been split 50/50 between manual and automatic. The Outback has also been growing into a bloated beast indistinguishable from the others on the road.
I get tired of hearing the car companies say Americans will only buy SUVs, when so much marketing was put into convincing people they needed them in the first place. Meanwhile SUV owners I ask give me “reasons” like “I have kids” or “it snows here” when asked why they own an SUV. It’s as if having a family or driving in the snow never could have happened without these hulking eyesores. 95% of the time I see single drivers alone in them and after every snow I’m guaranteed to see at least one that t-boned the concrete median on the highway because 4wd is not magic, and it’s hard to stop 5000 lbs. of metal on ice.

Full disclosure - We have a 2 door coupe and a small SUV - X3. :slight_smile:
I bought my X3 because we wanted another hatchback after our GTI, My goal was to buy a certified pre-owned A4 Avant, but I basically could not find one within 500 miles. I used to have an A4 sedan and loved it. I mean, I really, really loved that car.
Anyway, I drove the Q5… eh. Then the X3. Much better and cheaper used.
FWIW, my X3 gets the same mileage as our GTI - we bought the 4 cyl turbo, not the twin scroll straight 6.
I already put my wife on notice, if Audi starts selling the S4 Avant in the states, I’m buying one and that’s that.
I mean, I said that in my mind. Not directly to her. :slight_smile:

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agreed. But there are some pretty small sprinter variants and existing popup full size van campters. I love Westies, grew up around a couple and have a nice eurovan down the street. But VW has to know that they’re entering a market wothj $60K popup camper ford vans already:

When I re-bought my TDI (story there), I was so disappointed that they still hadn’t brought out the GTD here.

I want the GTD. So. Bad.

And I don’t think I can justify the Golf R.

Now I take the train to work, so I guess whatever. Still love my TDI.

When our trusty Matrix was crumpled (by a stupidly oversized, and apparently “re-inforced”, pickup truck), we would basically have loved to just replace it, but the truth was my GF is a field biologist, and we really needed a vehicle with way more clearance.

And Subaru had the perfect car for us: the CrossTrek. Subaru, AWD, good clearance, and a modest hatchback body on top of it all. Basically a jacked up Matrix (I’d actually researched doing that as well). But alas they are fairly new, so we couldn’t find a used one we could afford. Wound up with a RAV-4, which was a bit bigger than we really wanted, but fit our budget. I’m not thrilled about being a SUVer, but we drive very little, except when getting out into the bush, so I suppose there’s some justification. But anyway, were money no object, we’d have the CrossTrek in our carport right now. And a Tesla for me.

Just wait a couple years and the current model year Golf R will be around for CPO buys for a great deal.
The Golf and all the variants are probably the best current smaller car you can buy for the money. They drive well, they get good mileage and the hotter models like the GTI and R really are Autobahn cruisers when pushed and at speed, are pretty comfy. Sorta… :smile:
Driving a GTI as a daily goes like this - irritating bumps and stop lights. my fillings feel like they’re going to come out.
Freeway! 5k to 7K RPM shifts till you hit 85. Much better.

Not that I can get one anyway, but I wish the wheelbase was shorter. I like how Vanagons handle and the T5 is even longer than the Eurovan. Still, a T5 with all-wheel drive, TDI engine, in a weekender configuration would be awesome.

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I quite like the ride of my Golf TDI. While not the smoothest, overly smooth rides are disconnected from the road and make me nervous. I like to know what my tires are doing, and the golf has given me the best compromise between smooth ride and communication.

As far as Autobahn cruisers, the TDI is no slouch. It takes longer to get up to speed, but I can get up over 100mph without the girlfriend noticing.

I mean, I’ve heard.

As far as being the best buy for the money, absolutely. No contest in my mind. I am on my second Golf TDI–the first one being the victim of a teen driver. I might add that I walked away from it with only a burn on my wrist from the airbag. I was so fond of my 2010 model, that when given the opportunity to buy an identical 2013 model, it was a no brainer. (No brainer, after eyeing the Golf R for a few minutes…)

@beschizza @deanputney as of now, permalink 404s, load full post errors.

everyone else ITT can see it, why can’t I?