My wife really started to get onboard with my idea about getting something a little more practical that I posted about last week, so I started doing a bit more research than trolling AutoTrader and Cars.com and took both a DSG and manual GTI for a ride on Saturday at my local dealer.

First, the cars are great, they really are. They feel quicker than my modified BRZ, largely due to the torque from that wonderful little engine. Interior materials are better, utility is better. All around, it’s a better car than my BRZ for sure. Frankly, the only things my BRZ has on it are looks (subjective) and handling. After driving, I figured I’d move forward on my diligence, and called up the folks at Fairfax VW.

As with most things that seem too good to be true, they usually are. In the fine print under their prices, I didn’t necessarily completely understand their verbiage, which reads (bolding the part that threw me for emphasis):

Price plus tax, tags, processing fee of $685 VA, freight ($820-$910) and manufacturers installed items. All prices are inclusive of all incentives that every customer will qualify for. Some prices are inclusive of the $1000 VW Loyalty Incentive and therefor will require proper ownership documentation. All prices are exclusive internet prices only and may either require financing and or leasing through dealer choice rates subject to credit approval. A $300 transfer fee will be added to the price of all NEW vehicles transferred in from other locations. Some manufacturer bonuses and incentives are not compatible with special manufacturer finance offers. Manufacturer bonuses and incentives are valid during the time period set by the manufacturer and are subject to change without notice. Additional manufacturer bonuses and incentives may apply to those who qualify and may lower the sales price. See dealer for details. *Images and options shown are examples, only, and may not reflect exact vehicle color, trim, options, pricing or other specifications. Please verify exact vehicle, options and color prior to sale with the dealer.

I mean, when you write “all prices are inclusive of all incentives that every customer will qualify for” that leads me to believe that the price includes incentives that everybody gets, not incentives that some people get as well as incentives that others don’t get.

They also advertise 1.9% promotional financing, but also build the discount that you can take instead of the financing into the price. However, if you take that incentive, you then take the financing the dealer arranges, which will invariably be a higher rate than you could get elsewhere.

So, your $24,875 + freight + tax, tag, etc GTI SE quickly becomes over $27,000 + freight + tax, tag, etc. Clearly no longer such an amazing deal.

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That said, it’s still a pretty substantial discount from MSRP for anybody in the market, but as fodder to make me get rid of a perfectly good, if flawed, car, it no longer really applies.