American Car Buyers Favour GTI Over Golf

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI
U.S. new car buyers would seemingly prefer to own a new Volkswagen Golf GTI than the Golf on which it's based. That's no surprise.

Historical Monthly & Yearly Volkswagen Golf Sales Figures
2013 Volkswagen Golf R Driven Review
2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI Wolfsburg Driven Review
All 151 Cars Ranked By June 2014 YTD U.S. Sales

But while Chevrolet Camaro buyers would presumably favour the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 over the Camaro on which it's based, they don't actually make purchases based on that preference. Yet Golf buyers are willing to spend extra on the performance-oriented GTI.

Is this a problem? Surely Volkswagen of America enjoys selling a fair number of the more upmarket car. Surely it's more profitable. But the GTI's relative success serves to highlight the rarity of the conventional Golf. Click the little dropdown menu in the chart below to go back as far as 2009's Golf vs. GTI sales comparison, and you can check out current inventory, as well.

Over the last five and a half years, Volkswagen has sold 81,434 Golfs (and Rabbits) in America, excluding the GTI and higher-performance Golf R and R32. Honda has sold 96,001 Civics in the last three months. If you think that comparison is unfair, remember that the Golf is one of the planet's best-selling cars. It's an unfair comparison... because America.

Consumer Reports Loves The Buick Regal And Volvo S60 - Do American Consumers?

With a recent round of testing complete at Consumer Reports, the publication has given the 2014 Buick Regal and 2014 Volvo S60 very high scores.

Do consumers agree? Their purchasing decisions say no. The S60 is stuck in brand-wide Volvo doldrums. The Regal is selling much better this year than last year, but much less often than it did when the nameplate originally returned to the U.S. market in the form of a handsome Opel Insignia. 

Buick sold 40,144 Regals in 2011 and will struggle to match its second-best year (2012) in 2014. Volvo sold 38,546 S60s in 2002, but U.S. volume over the last three years have averaged below 23,000 units.

More pertinently, neither car sells nearly as well as the cars to which they're so often compared, and certainly in the Regal's case, not nearly as often as the volume-brand midsize cars with which the Buick brand has long competed.

In GoodCarBadCar's review of the Regal wasn't so much the Regal itself as it was the goodness of the Verano Turbo, the Regal's little brother. We have not published a review of the S60, but its wagon offspring, the V60, is a member of GCBC's The Good 12.

Audi A3 Easily Outsells Mercedes-Benz CLA In The United States

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG white
There's little argument that the CLA has been and will be a relative global success for Mercedes-Benz, but U.S. sales declined (on a month-to-month basis) in November 2013 and the seven subsequent months, rising only slightly to 1658 in June 2014. 

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 Driven Review
• June 2014 U.S. Luxury Car Sales Results
All Autos Ranked By June 2014 YTD U.S. Sales

4895 CLAs were sold in October 2013, its first full month of availability, thanks to some pent-up demand. But as the Q2 results in this chart show, the CLA took another hit when the Audi A3 became readily available; when the BMW 2-Series became more common, as well. (All inventory results in the third tab come from

The CLA has also enjoyed favourable timing in Mercedes-Benz's own U.S. showrooms, thanks to the demise of the current C-Class. Yet soon, Mercedes-Benz clientele may look on the C-Class in an altogether more favourable light.