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VW's Used-Car Prices Down in Wake of Diesel Crisis

img582328104 1443815196157 jpg 2010 Volkswagen Golf TDI; | Cars.com photo by Ian Merritt

Volkswagen’s corporate market value has plummeted in the wake of revelations that certain versions of its diesel cars contain software designed to bypass emissions control devices; used VW diesel car prices also have dipped, but in a considerably less dramatic fashion. Of the used VW diesel cars with this software for sale on Cars.com, only the Golf’s and Jetta SportWagen’s asking prices have dropped more than their comparable gas-powered versions on a consistent basis. Price changes are mixed for versions of the Jetta sedan, Beetle and Passat.

Related: EPA: Volkswagen Violated the Clean Air Act With Diesels

To see how prices have fared, we looked at average asking prices in Cars.com’s national inventory just before the revelations came out on Sept. 18 and compared them with the car’s average asking price on Sept. 30. Here’s what we found:

2009-2015 Jetta

For 2009 and 2010 model years, the Jetta’s gas-powered trim level actually saw a bigger price drop than the TDI diesel version, but the trend changes with the 2011 through 2014 model years when the diesel’s average asking price sees greater percentage declines. For 2015 models, the diesel’s asking price is actually up. In the below chart, versions marked TDI are the diesel trims; all others are gasoline-powered.

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2011-2014 Jetta SportWagen

The results are a little different when you look specifically at the Jetta’s wagon version. For 2011 to 2014 models, the TDI trim level’s asking price dropped faster than the gas version’s did. The diesel trim of the Jetta SportWagen was popular; nearly 70 percent of the roughly 1,000 used Jetta SportWagens in Cars.com’s inventory are diesels.

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2010-2015 Golf

Aside from the 2011 model year, average asking prices for used diesel Golf TDIs were down more than their gas counterparts.

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2013-2015 Beetle

Of the three Beetle model years we checked, the diesel TDI’s price fell faster than the gas version for just 2013 model-year cars. For 2014 model-year Beetles, the gas version’s asking price fell more, and for 2015 models the diesel’s asking price increased while the gas version slipped a bit.

img 1781066489 1443820125982 jpg

2012-2015 Passat

It’s a similar story with the Passat. Of the four affected model years, the diesel TDI’s asking price fell faster for 2012 and 2013 models, but for 2014 and 2015 models, the gas version’s price dropped more.

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It’s worth repeating that the prices mentioned in the charts are prices set by sellers, so it’s possible savvy shoppers may be able to negotiate more money off the price of a VW diesel. Sellers clearly aren’t offering any kind of deep discount just yet.

Photo of Mike Hanley
Mike Hanley has more than 20 years of experience reporting on the auto industry. His primary focus is new vehicles, and he's currently a Senior Road Test Editor overseeing expert car reviews and comparison tests. He previously managed Editorial content in the Cars.com Research section. Email Mike Hanley

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