Catching The VW Golf

Small performance from Audi, BMW and Benz challenges Golf GTI’s reign

by DANIEL DEGASPERI

ONCE considered the populist performer among the hot hatchback crowd, the Volkswagen Golf GTI and R have been challenged by BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi this year. It isn’t that the GTI and R are less popular – they remain so with 1440 sales and R are less popular – they remain so with 1440 sales and 1201 sales (all figures given between January and November 2017) respectively. That’s 2641 combined, accounting for 16 per cent of the Golf’s 16,695 sales. But the pricier R’s stellar performance also reverberates through its price-point rivals.

BMW has shifted 662 examples of 125i and 506 units of M135i/M140i, representing 59 per cent of the 1 Series’ 1976-unit haul. Sales of 230i (256) and M235i/M240i (352) account for 97 per cent of the 2 Series’ 628-unit tally, and the quartet combined total 1776 sales, or 865 behind the Volkswagen hot hatchbacks.

It takes a Benz trio to beat the Golfs, meanwhile. The A250 Sport alone comes close to the GTI with 1324 sales – only 116 behind. Then add 638 for A45, although it is actually beaten by the CLA45 (648) that also ousts GLA45 (290). The tables turn lower down, with GLA250 (1059) outselling CLA250 (648). All also represent 45-to-50 per cent of A/CLA/GLA-Class also represent 45-to-50 per cent of A/CLA/GLA-Class sales, and their total tally of 4607 is tough to beat.

Audi’s figures are harder to dissect, because RS3 Sportback (141) hasn’t been on-sale for the whole year and S3 Sportback (524) switched to a facelifted model. But RS3 sedan (440) exploded, despite only going on-sale in June – equating to a CLA45-beating 880-unit annual forecast.

So how many buyers have shopped for small performance cars between $40,000 and $90,000 this year, between Audi, BMW, Benz and Volkswagen? 10,370 on the figures available. By comparison sub- $80,000 sports cars achieved 15,922 sales over the same period – 8714 of them being Ford Mustangs.

It takes a Mercedes performance trio to beat the Golf GTI and R

the HEAT

WINNERS AND LOSERS OF NOVEMBER 2017

Top ten losers

CAR OCT NOV YTD YTD +/- Infiniti Q70 5 0 17 -79% Hyundai Genesis 1 4 111 -70% Alfa Romeo 4C 3 5 29 -56% Audi TT 20 26 220 -56% Merc S-Class 5 5 110 -56% Audi A7 8 2 75 -49% BMW 3 Series GT 8 4 110 -47% Jaguar XE 54 20 763 -45% Chrysler 300 17 21 247 -43% Maserati Quattroporte 5 2 30 -41%

Top ten movers

CAR OCT NOV YTD YTD +/- Merc G-Class 0 3 9 800% Lotus Elise 4 4 25 213% Subaru BRZ 78 61 708 184% Porsche Panamera 10 9 110 162% BMW 5 Series 87 63 1183 130% Ford Mustang 629 711 8714 56% Merc E-Class 89 126 1766 54% Bentley Bentayga 10 6 70 52% McLaren Coupe/Conv 8 9 95 51% Lotus Evora 0 1 9 50%

Coming Soon 2018

Q1/Q2 2018

Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo Aston Martin DB11 V8 Aston Martin Vantage Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate Audi A8 Audi R8 V10 RWS Limited edition reardriver.

Yes, please!

Bentley Continental GT First all-new Continental since 2003.

BMW M5 BMW X3 M40i Ferrari Portofino Cali T with sex appeal.

Ford Fiesta ST Holden Commodore V6 and AWD.

Hyundai i30 N Korean Golf-frightener.

Hyundai Genesis G70 Jaguar XJR 575 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Lotus Evora GT430 Sport Mercedes-Benz CLS Merc-AMG GLC63 Twin-turbo V8 SUV.

Nissan Juke Nismo Porsche 718 Boxster/ Cayman GTS Porsche 911 Carrera T Porsche 911 GT3 Touring A GT3 without a wing.

Porsche 911 GT2 RS Porsche Cayenne Range Rover update Range Rover Sport update Renault Sport Megane Suzuki Swift Sport Volkswagen Golf GTI Original Three-door manual stripper.

Q3/Q4 2018

Alpine A110 French Cayman fighter.

Audi A7 Sportback Lighter and sharper.

Audi RS4 BMW 8 Series BMW i8 Roadster Chevrolet Camaro HSV converts to RHD.

Ford Mustang Keen to add more stars to its ANCAP rating.

Hyundai Veloster Jaguar i-Pace Lamborghini Urus