Hooniverse Asks: Should We All Be Buying Older VW Diesels Now?

Absent your major activity for the past two years having been contemplating the underside of a rock, you’re probably aware that Volkswagen has been caught cheating on emissions testing for their diesel cars, and is now paying the price globally via fines, forced buy-backs, and, as was revealed last week, arrests of corporate executives. Who pays the greatest price for this malfeasance? Well, the poor consumers who bought or leased VW’s cars in the good faith that they in fact met the standards the company said they did.
Yep, it seems like its always the little guy that gets screwed, and I’m thinking that the screwing is only going to get worse. What I mean is that people bought VW diesels because they were pretty good cars, ones that got amazing mileage and were still fun to drive. When was the last time you heard of a reasonably-priced hybrid being described as fun to drive?
Here’s the thing: the VW cheating scandal only affects cars built after 2008. VW has been selling diesel cars here since the early ’80s. That means there’s a ton of perfectly legal (as far as we know) fun and frugal cars out there just waiting for a fan to make use of them. Therein lies the rub however, as that pool of VW diesel cars is finite, and as owners of contraband diesels give up their dirty ways that fixed supply will be countered by increasing demand. It’s a truism that once you’ve gotten hooked on a VW diesel it’s hard to climb down off that black pony. That leads me to believe that there’s going to be a huge spike in older VW diesel models within the next year. What do you think, should we all start stocking up in anticipation?
Image: GoMotors.net

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17 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Should We All Be Buying Older VW Diesels Now?”

  1. nanoop Avatar

    I’m actually in the market for a T4 Multivan with a 2.5L TDI, they stopped making those in 2003, and will depreciate another 10 years at least. when the value goes up again, I may be elegible to drive into cities again, since all these EVs by then allow some good old soot in the air.

    1. 993cc Avatar

      Make a friend in Canada.
      Import the T4 Multivan of your (slightly weird) dreams to him/her under our 15 year exemption.
      Wait ten years.

      (Seriously, I’ve been scanning mobile.de for the last few days looking lustfully at Audi A2 3L’s)

      1. nanoop Avatar

        Thanks for your condolences. I grew up in the vicinity of where these were built (right next to Continental and Varta), and live where many German owners love to drive them (Norway). So the econosocial situation is not as weird as one might think.
        Profit: When a car doubles its value in 10 years, make sure it’s going from 50k to 100k, not from 5k to 10k. Fix costs… Many 944 owners get this wrong: they’ve been told that it will go up in value “soon”, and are excited that their car would sell now for 7k instead of 4k – after replacing the clutch for 3kUSD.

  2. 0A5599 Avatar

    Buy an out of warranty VW that isn’t air cooled? Hahahahahahahahaha. ROTFL.
    Good one.

  3. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    If you want a diesel VW because you want a diesel VW, now might be a good time to buy one to hedge against potential increasing values, but if you’re a speculator looking to set up a lucrative TDI portfolio, your money would be better spent elsewhere.

    1. Tiller188 Avatar

      I realize this probably isn’t how you intended that to be interpreted, but after reading that my first thought was, “hm, what SHOULD one invest in to create a lucrative TDI portfolio…?”
      (Best guess would be a retired R10 LMP, in case there are any investment firms out there who want to give it a go…)

      1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

        My suggestion was of course not to exclude Volkswagen from your lucrative TDI portfolio, but to avoid attempting a lucrative TDI portfolio entirely.
        Your suggestion of the R10, however, makes a compelling case. Anything with that kind of racing provenance will have collectibility among the top percent of the one percent for the foreseeable future.

  4. Maymar Avatar

    Given how conventional gasoline powered cars have shrunk the fuel economy gap in the past decade, it starts getting hard to justify thinking of something that runs out of breath faster than I do as “fun.” I don’t see people hoarding 3800-powered GMs either, which offer a similar experience (of course, the trade-off is either going from 50mpg to 30mpg, or living with an old VW).

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      The desire to hoard 3800s varies, depending on the packaging and trim level.

  5. Fred Talmadge Avatar
    Fred Talmadge

    My friend still has her Jetta TDI and is debating if she will trade it in or not. Still runs good with 120,000 miles. Hasn’t been the maintanence disaster everyone is so fond of repeating.

  6. mdharrell Avatar

    Buy a diesel VW if you like, but I’m still hoping to find one set up for producer gas.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      “Where shall we locate this bag of (hopefully) highly flammable gas?”
      “Let’s try on the hood, right behind the front bumper. That seems safe enough!”

  7. Ol' Shel' Avatar
    Ol’ Shel’

    If you have storage and money, buy or hang onto a mint TDI. It’ll be worth a whole bunch in twenty years. There won’t be any to be had.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      As I fail to learn with each successive purchase, rarity does not assure value.

    2. cap'n fast Avatar
      cap’n fast

      i cannot rationalize “storing” a car of any kind just to sell it down the road or leaving it as a bequeath in my will to some one who wouldn’t appreciate the thing. if not driven, they rot. if not driven and stored for posterity or what ever, is a waste. why bother. it is a machine. built to be used. if not driven; why bother? the only reason to own something that gets the juices moving is just that. look at Jay Leno. a true car nut. but, he drives all of them. nice…

  8. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    i know three people with affected diesel ‘Dubs, and believe you me, the little guy is absolutely not getting screwed here. they all gleefully selected the “VW please give me a giant sum of money” option.
    one of them got $12k for his 200k-mile MkV Jetta, then immediately bought a MkV Jetta 2.5 worth like $3000 (from a friend, for $1000). the “refunds” were set up specifically so that VW, and nobody else, got screwed.

  9. crank_case Avatar

    Why stop at VW? If you’re going older, you’ll be able to import a Peugeot 306 Turbo D in about two years among other things.