Praise all you manual Golf buyers out there.
And the data from the stethoscope that’s gauging the health of the manual transmission continues to flood in. After hearing from Toyota, Genesis, Subaru, Mazda, and Honda, now it’s Volkswagen’s turn to tell us how many fans of the third pedal are buying its cars. And according to what the automaker just told Autoblog, the numbers look good…at least when looking at the usual suspect models.
Those would be the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R, of course. The two enthusiast-focused hatchbacks came away with a combined manual take rate of 44% in 2018. And considering that Volkswagen is planning to take the axe to the standard Golf and sell only the GTI and R in America, the Golf’s manual take rate may become an even better thing.
So there’s good and better, but best comes from the news about the Golf SportWagen's and Alltrack's take rates. A not-at-all-laughable 28% of those left dealerships with manuals in 2018, which means that not only do more than a quarter of new Golf SportWagens and Alltracks have manuals, it means the two cars are only 5% away from boasting the same take rate as the Toyota GT 86. That’s an impressive indication that Volkswagen’s enthusiasts still have a healthy respect for manuals and love to be engaged in the driving process.
But of course, there’s always bad news when it comes to manual transmissions in the US. That’s because when you zoom out to look at the total manual take rate across the brand, the numbers drop drastically and fall in line with the rest of the automakers.
Looking at the entire Golf lineup brings the manual take rate to just 10% while the Jetta sedan musters only a 7% take rate across the board. Volkswagen’s take rate drops to just 5% when looking at the brand as a whole. While that seems low, it puts Volkswagen in between the likes of Honda, which has a 2.8% take rate, and Subaru, which can brag about its 7% take rate.