Even though I went with the Jetta, I might have thought more of the Golf had they not limited the equipment levels on manual models (if I remember correctly, I would not have been able to get the heated seats I desired on a manual Golf). The bigger issue with VW in America is that, as you stated, Americans often expect the so-called "snob appeal" of a luxury badge once the price (of a sedan at least) goes past a certain price. In Europe and elsewhere in the world, it seems that all cars are expensive (compared to U.S. prices), so VW can be more competitive.
I would've went Golf TSI as well (over GTI) but I really don't have any complaints where I landed. The model packaging for VW seems to consistently somehow get worse when it started off being pretty bad to begin with. GTI for example takes like one small step forward and then 3 more backwards from 2015 to 2017 (with 2016 in between). I don't really get it honestly- what's the point in taking the surveys if they don't listen to them. I literally don't know any valid excuse of taking away things that were once "standard" within the same generation- in this example: LED Fog lights are no longer standard. My car is a base unicorn now because you don't even have the option to get LP + PP on S trim now.
It is incredibly gutsy. I think Honda has a shot though, so long as all those enthusiasts who begged for a manual-equipped turbo Civic hatchback actually go and purchase them. Chevy, on the other hand, might struggle, depending on how sporty that Cruze hatch is. Not to digress further, but I had a Chevy Cruze back in 2011 and hated it so much, that I traded it away after a few months. That new Cruze has to be leaps and bounds beyond its predecessor to succeed, especially as a premium hatchback.
I know a lot of people who would only buy the Cruze in this class. It seems to check off a ton of boxes on most mainstream American consumers who don't want a cheap small car to feel like a cheap small car. I shopped the Cruze and Sonic both and really didn't mind my time with either. I felt like I could've lived with either and have been satisfied. I really like the Sonic as a small, city, beater... the interior quality though was pretty disgusting but that was really the only thing I disliked about it. The forward collision alert in that car is a joke too.. it literally illuminates a graphic of a comic silhouette of a car crashing if you get too close. I heard the gas mileage in those small turbos for GM are pretty bad though. I'm probably more spoiled then I should be getting pretty decent gas mileage in a "performance" oriented 2.0L turbo.
I would never buy a Ford Focus or Chevy Cruze though if reliability and craftsmanship were a top 3 priority of any sorts. The Ford Focus ST I tested had under 20 miles on the odometer and I opened up the glove box and it literally came apart (like the hinge was broken and it fell out into my lap). Getting my dad to a Ford dealership was a challenge in it's own- he's long sworn off 'Fix Or Repair Daily'.
is the CC really a hatch, or does it just look like one. i don't get how it costs so much more than the passat when it is essentially a variant of the last gen passat. granted, i liked that gen passat better than this one, but it still doesn't make sense to me. i'd try to reach for an A4 before going for a CC, at least for a new one.
It's a traditional trunk but the new spied one is rumored to be a lift back (not sure why these aren't more popular? Maybe more expensive to mass produce?). It costs so much more than the Passat today because the US Passat is literally VW's version of a Toyota Camry. Remember that small time frame period when VW was going mainstream, cheapening out the cars, making them US "big" standards? CC being based off the old Passat is probably a good thing for the most part. It's about 3-4 years overdue for an upgrade. That Mercedes CLS wannabe status wore off it's welcome back in 2010-2011. 200 HP in a car that's over 32k is borderline offensive, honestly.
How I'd try and sell the new one? Liftback/hatch design for uniqueness and practicality. 2.0L from A3 or Golf R as base engine with a v6 option. AWD option somewhere at this price point...
i didn't know about that. i figured the new civic hatch would be a little more, like a few hundred more (like the impreza sedan vs. hatch), but not a lot more. way to shoot themselves in the foot.
They are trying to spin it as a "premium" model. It's basically starting at EX level of equipment and going up from there.