09 July 2009

the VW GTI is fantastic

gf and i went VW test-driving this evening. i do not like the DSG transmission, even with the sport mode (see below) and flappy paddles. the Rabbit is fun. the R32 is absurd, and even more so when i see how much VW has missed the boat on it.

and the GTI is fantastic.

fantastic with the 6-speed manual, anyway. kind of forgettable with the DSG. I'm more impressed with it as a technical marvel than I am driving it. i rather hate it, actually.

and VW sent only DSG-laden R32's to the states. give the RS32 the manual, take away its ridiculous ricer exhaust noise, and you'd have a friggin' fantastic car! as it stands, it's absurd. a little sluggish, shockingly, until you put the DSG in S mode, but then even the lightest feathering of the pedal makes me look around, wondering where the nitrous-infused Si is...

but the GTI, oh yes. "only" 200 hp? Keep the revs right, and I don't think you'll ever want more. the shifter was not nearly as forgiving as the Rabbit's, but I like it. steering and braking were both exceptional. Cornering was adequate, but pretty impressive considering how good the ride was, even on 18" wheels! (I'll take the standard 17" wheels, thank you)

Nice interior, which is refreshing after the mini cooper disaster. If I hadn't just spent all that money on my bug, i'd be very tempted.

Mileage is rubbish, though, so maybe I don't feel so bad.

the vehicle pictured is a 2008 RS32, never titled, with under 7k miles on it. a very pretty car. even the gf, who wants 4 doors, a manual, and hates the exhaust noise, admits she'd still like it. boy did VW miss the boat there.


pyker said...

Excellent write-up. You have to go test the 300bhp Ford Focus RS (and the Subaru Impreza WRX STi) and give us a full-on road test comparison.

zim said...

no RS here, apparently. but we're planning on trying the Mazda 3, WRX STi, Yaris (sweet! :-) and maybe a Civic Si. I'd like to swing by and check out the Acura's, as well.

though -- it's pretty much a given that she's going to get a 2009 GTI before the end of the month, to take advantage of the 0% APR offer (for up to 60 months! outrageous!)

pyker said...

I predict the Mazda will be boring, the Yaris will be slow but much more endearing all-around, the Civic will seem nice but not as appealing as the Yaris for reasons which will not be clear, and the WRX STi will either be sensational or precisely not your cup of tea.