I know of a lot of local people with TDI Jetta wagons, now lining up for the buyback and finding themselves shopping for a new car. I’ve talked to some of my friends and coworkers in this situation, and most say the same thing: “I really need the space of the wagon, so it seems like I’ll have to get an SUV. But I’ll sure miss the mileage [and all that sweet emissions-cheating pollution?!]” I try to convince them that this is not true, but they are unconvinced.

How about a Volvo wagon, I say? Nah, too expensive (even used?!). Subaru? Terrible mileage - all TDI owners must think that about nearly every other car. OK, Prius V? Nah, too complicated/ugly/small. I point out that I drive a car that’s nearly the exact size of a Jetta wagon, and could be had used for 1/2 of their buyback money... put aside the rest for maintenance if that’s a concern. You could even get a manual! Ooh that sounds promising! What is it? Oh. Nah, BMW too fancy.

One thing they unsurprisingly have in common is that most do not want another VW product, at least not yet. Only one person I know of is waiting for a manual AllTrac to become available in the States (which I believe is soon?).

One local guy, I don’t know his name, made a very strange choice. He’s a character I see in the coffee shop a lot, but have never had occasion to talk to. He’s always well dressed, clean shaven except for his chosen facial hair scheme, nearly always in a bow tie, and his car is immaculate - it was a manual red TDI wagon. I don’t know his motivation for the wagon over a sedan, but I was sure he’d be in something like a Mini Clubman or BMW, maybe that funky Lexus CT250 hybrid? Nope, Honda CR-V. Fine choice but boring, right? For a guy with apparently some degree of individuality, it’s odd. Maybe I’m reading too much into it.

But then an accountant I work with, she loved the wagon because it was pretty fun to drive yet she fits her dogs in it and gets great mileage... so she got a Honda CR-V. What? She looked at the Subaru Crosstrek and Outback, but decided the Honda was a better buy.

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Another woman whose teenage daughter is on a team I coach, she had a bright red wagon, too. Guess what she bought? A Honda CR-V. I can’t make this s**t up! There’s another one I passed just this morning, total stranger but has a vanity plate and I know it was on a TDI Jetta until it showed up on... you guessed it!! Honda CR-V.

So, is it just me, or is anyone else depressed that via this dieselgate thing, we’re losing a whole huge population of a dwindling breed of car to the alarmingly popular amorphous blob segment? Do we have a sneaky local Honda dealer targeting disgruntled VW owners, promising that sweet Honda reliability?

What are TDI owners replacing their beloved oil burners with in your area? Or maybe you’re one of them?