Popular Volkswagen Models and the Secrets of Their Success
Volkswagen is currently the best-selling car brand in the world, and they offer one of the most eclectic and appealing range of vehicles anywhere on the market. People tend to love the simple but stylish looks of Volkswagen vehicles, combining luxury and utility in decent harmony. On top of that, they like their mechanical reliability and on-road performance, especially when one climbs in the realms of the R-Line or GTI trim levels.
One interesting question about VW vehicles is firstly which models are the most popular in the VW range, and beyond that what the secrets to their success have been. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the following models:
- VW Golf
- VW ID.3
- VW T-Roc
- VW Tiguan
- VW Polo
- VW Passat
The VW Golf was first launched all the way back in 1974. It was designed to be an affordable, practical, compact and fuel-efficient model that would suit singles and families alike. In 2019, the Golf entered its 8th generation, The Golf 8, and comes in a huge range of trim levels to suit different budgets and needs.
What has made the Golf so successful over the years? First of all, the Golf is versatile. Yes, it’s a small compact car that you might think only city dwellers would buy, but as it happens it found popularity with a much broader demographic. It’s an excellent first car for young drivers (especially older used models), and it’s roomy enough inside to use as a family car. Furthermore, it is indeed popular as a compact model for those living in the city, but is also fast and dynamic enough for those looking for a car to take on long-distance drives on the motorway, or down tricky country lanes.
Another reason for its success is its design and dynamism. The Golf GTI in particular helped to prove that even a small car needn’t ever be held back when it comes to performance. The GTI offered people more powerful engines, better steering, and now it even comes with the most advanced gearbox options such as Volkswagen’s Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG). In short, there’s a reason that sales numbers of the VW Golf were hitting 160,000+ units across Europe even during the pandemic, and that’s because it’s a car people want.
VW ID.3 and ID.4
Next in our list are the two top-selling electric models from Volkswagen. While the Golf has a history going all the way back to 1974, the ID.3 and ID.4 are of course much newer to the range. The ID.3 is a compact electric model, whose latest version looks increasingly as though it draws inspiration from the Golf and Polo — sporty, edgy, dynamic, and attractive. The ID.4 has been a smash hit around the world as an electric SUV offering a healthy 220+ miles of range with ultra-stylish looks.
What did VW get right with these models? First of all, they are relatively affordable. While even an “affordable” Tesla Model 3 can easily run away from you in cost, the ID.3 and ID.4 are both reasonably priced, and offer a lot for the price tag attached. On top of this, they have both been praised for their styling, especially the very latest ID.3 model. They offer comfortable interiors, smart digital displays, and most importantly the signature fun driving dynamics that helped make cars such as the VW Golf so popular.
Volkswagen’s range of SUVs has been expanding continuously over the past few years, and now the company boasts some of the most popular names in what has become an incredibly competitive segment. In particular, the market for compact crossovers is fierce in competition, but the VW T-Roc has done extremely well, and was even named “What Car?” Best Small SUV in their 2023 Car of the Year Awards
The T-Roc is compact, but still practical, offering 445 litres of boot space — more than its corporate cousin the Audi Q2 — cool interiors, smart driver assistance features, advanced climate control, and much more. The T-Roc is successful not just because of features like these, but because of an affordable price range, wide selection of trim levels, and an SUV that suits both city and country life. It’s that sense of balance that people love; the “best of both worlds” approach.
The Polo has undergone some facelifting since 2020 and is now somewhat closer in styling to its sibling the VW Golf. The VW Polo has typically been seen as a more affordable compact car, and an alternative to the pricier Golf. It delivers 3- or 5-door builds, plenty of seat and boot space, and the same reliability as the Golf but in a slightly smaller and less sporty package. The newest Polo is changing that perception, however, as the athletic, edgy new design brings the Polo and Golf into one, very stylish category.
A big reason people loved the Polo was that you could get very similar driving dynamics to the Golf but for a lower price, and with a smaller, even more city-friendly frame. The Polo remains a fuel-efficient, and now an increasingly stunning alternative to the Golf, and still priced under £20,000 (at the time of writing).
Finally, we come to one of the most successful saloon cars ever marketed. Like the Golf, the VW Passat has a history going back to the 1970s, but the car really came into the spotlight at the release of the B5 model in 2001, and then again the B6 model in 2005. The B5 was advertised as a car that couples would argue over who gets to drive, and it seems they weren’t far off the mark, as this Passat saloon took off not just in the UK but around the world.
In China, for instance, a black VW Passat was seen as a viable and more affordable alternative to the more expensive Audi A-series saloons, which for many years have been seen as a kind of gold standard for executive life. The Passat offered very similar bodywork, and excellent interior comfort, but at the same time a much smaller price tag. The main problem was finding yours in the car park since everyone’s colour of preference was black!
VW Continues to Innovate
So we can see that the keys to success for VW have always been similar across its main vehicle range:
- Timeless good looks with universal appeal
- Cutting-edge technology seamlessly integrated
- Mechanical reliability
- Enjoyable on-road driving dynamics