Tuesday, February 28, 2012

GTI am in love

I mentioned in my welcome post that one of the things I wanted to do on this blog was post some car reviews. In honor of that my fellow car enthusiast friend and I test drove the 2012 Volkswagen GTI yesterday. The original goal was to compare the new GTI to the Mazda Speed3 but we ended up only being able to test out the GTI. I can’t say I’m too upset about that though. I’ve heard time and time again that the GTI is the best “hot hatch” on the market. I mean heck, these things basically have a cult following. I realized this even more when the salesman we were working with got all serious before the drive and warned us that once we had driven a GTI we would never want to drive anything else ever again. That seemed a little dramatic to me but hey maybe he was right. The one we chose was a white, four-door, six- speed manual. Even this base model came standard with all sorts of goodies including I-pod and aux hookups, one touch automatic windows, heated seats (which worked incredibly well) and some cool digital readout features on the dash. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the interior too. The plaid seats were a nice touch and so was the red stitching on the shifter and steering wheel. As this was my first “GTI experience” I didn’t quite know what to expect. I was definitely excited though and the second I hit the freeway onramp I let her loose and pounded through 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5th gear. The 200hp turbocharged engine came to life and got me up to 80 mph a lot quicker than expected. There seemed to be plenty of power through the entire range of every gear too. Even at 2000 revs in fifth gear I could put the pedal to the metal and almost instantly the turbo would kick in and once again I would be well above the speed limit. While we weren’t able to take it on a track we could both feel the very capable handling of the car which was due to the sport tuned suspension standard on all GTI’s. After a good cruise on the freeway and through the city we were both extremely satisfied to say the least. Our salesman's creepy warning seemed to be coming true as neither of us wanted to stop driving it. At a base price of about $26k this really does seem like one of the best cars if you're a "bang for your buck" type of guy, or girl. So for those “family men” out there who still dream of being racecar drivers the Volkswagen GTI is the perfect blend of sports car and practical family hauler. Just be careful because once you get in the driver’s seat, you may never get out.  

Check out this Fifth Gear video and this Car and Driver video to see the GTI in action!

Anyone ever driven a GTI and a Speed3?? Let me know which one you think is better below!

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