This is very similar to what we did. Had a really cute 08 VW Convertible ... totally impractical for anything but running around with the top down looking cool.I also made the mistake of trading 'down' once, thinking that a lower payment would help only to realize that the difference was still owed. To this day I am still paying for the second vehicle as I unfortunately was not able to afford it either and gave it back to the bank. I am still paying on the balance but at least no interest is accruing.
I bought an old truck, runs well, no payments, can afford to fix stuff and old enough truck that I can still fix it.
I would suggest that you ask a reputable used car lot to sell it for you on consignment, you may still end up with a small balance owed but you will be out from under the vehicle.
Although VW did their gut level best to get us to refinance the balance at the end of the lease we chose to let it go back and buy two older vehicles for cash. If I had half the money I had thrown away on that lease ... :ignore:
That VW was the dumbest decision, as a couple, we have ever made. :sssh:
To the OP ... that was almost 3 years ago now. That VW is sitting in a used car lot (same one ... I recognize the scrape my AR-15 put in the fender when I leaned it up against the car one afternoon at a 3-gun comp) down the street from us ... They are still trying to get $10K outta it ...
It may seem like it will cost you to let it go, but you will be amazed at how quickly you will "recoup" your losses once you bite the bullet and just do it.