This is all very normal. I exited my driveway, turned left at the end of our cul-de-sac, then right onto our village’s main two-lane, low-speed thoroughfare, shifted into third and fourth, turned up the satellite radio’s volume, switched the driver’s heated seat on full blast, and finally came to a stop a few kilometres later at a red light.
I’m waiting for the light to turn green, thinking that I must remember my excuse (crackers and hummus?) for leaving the house at 9pm at the end of a busy day just so I could drive this bright red, 4-door, 6-speed manual, 210-horsepower, 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI. But it’s an awfully normal car. It’s not barking or bellowing or champing at the bit. Any gear will do. It’s not announcing the roughness of our coastal roads. I can see out of it. It’s completely tractable. It’s just a Golf.
Only a few weeks prior, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf 1.8TSI left me impressed, led me to believe that it was a terrific foundation for a GTI, and generated many more smiles per mile than I anticipated. Now, in mid-December, a week-long Christmas present from Volkswagen Canada seemed very much to be that first car, but with plaid seats, an upgraded equipment list, an extra cog in the gearbox, bigger wheels, and slightly sportier exterior styling.
Yes, it’s all very normal, this seventh-generation GTI. When you want it to be. (Read More…)
Just a little ways ahead is your favorite spot on the whole trip. It’s a place you always look for as you drive by, craning your neck and slowing down to take in the view. You’ve never stopped there, though. Whether it’s a spouse, the kids, or just a nagging commitment, something always gets in the way. Or maybe it’s your guilty conscience holding you back. This time, though, you’ve made up your mind. You’re going to stop and have a real look-see around the place. Your pulse quickens as you get closer.
Hot hatches are all the rage in Europe but represent a fairly small segment of American consumption. The formula is fairly simple, you take a compact hatchback, insert a turbocharged engine, stiffen the springs and add an anti-roll bar that can lift the inner rear wheel in corners if you really push it. The result is the polar opposite of a pony car.
The current GTI has thoroughly earned its reputation as a brilliant, satisfying driver’s car. Under the skin, however, it’s a decade old and in the time since the MkV GTI blew the bloody door off the segment and today the competition has been anything but asleep. The Mazdaspeed3, Focus ST, and Subaru WRX offer vastly more power, while the Fiat 500 Abarth, Fiesta ST, and Mini Cooper S attack from the segment below with a driving experience that is just as involving for less money — or, in the case of the MINI, the same money and more street cred with the lay-dies.
It’s not too soon for Volkswagen to revise the car, and the Mk7 GTI is more than a simple revision. It’s a thorough re-engineering of the Golf from the ground up. This time, weight is down, power is up, and refinement is the watchword. With a formula like that, it’s virtually assured that the civilian-grade Golfs will find themselves back on top of the market, particularly in Europe where people like to pretend that the Honda Civic doesn’t exist. This will be great news to the more than five people who plan to purchase a brand-new Golf late this year or early next. The rest of us just want to hear about the GTI.
I have a 1.8T GTI, owned since new and more or less problem-free. Its clutch went early, and it occasionally eats a sensor, but otherwise it’s been a contrast to the image of VWs as unreliable money-pits. Now, this is a MKIV, which if you listen to Jeremy Clarkson or any of the VWvortex boffins, is about as desirable as an 80-year old Russian lady with the clap. (Read More…)
Each year around this time, owners of – what is the German equivalent to rice racer? Reichs Racer? – overengined hatches congregate around the Wörthersee in Austria for the annual GTI Meeting. This is the 31st year it will take place, the roads will be packed, beer and gasoline will flow in equally monstrous quantities, and the bucolic lake will boil. Also as usual, Volkswagen will send some special specimens to entertain the devotees. Here they are. (Read More…)
Good Morning Sajeev,
Today is my 2010 GTI’s 15th day in the shop (shocking, right?). Earlier this month it was in for 13 days, I had it back for 6, and I dropped it back off two days ago. The issue is somewhat strange, but in my mind, easily fixable. I have been getting CEL 2294 and when I run my own VCDS scans, I have been getting the following logs (edited down).
- 004501 – Fuel Pressure Regulator Valve (N276)
- P1195 – 000 – Open or Short to Ground – Intermittent
- 008852 – Fuel Pressure Regulator Valve (N276)
- P2294 – 000 – Open Circuit – Intermittent (Read More…)
I am a 35 year old elementary school principal, married with 2 kids (5 and 9), and a certified car nut who thinks and reads about them way too much, and who is a walking contradiction when it comes to cars. (Read More…)
TTAC Commentator Rehposolihp writes:
I drive a MKV GTI and despite it being a car that always brings a smile to my face when its working…well, just having to make that last qualification doesn’t bode well for me.
Combine that with a warranty on the verge of expiration and I’m fairly sure I should run away now.
The only thing I’ve done to it is popped on a boost gauge, and purchased an ECU flash (which can be locked back into stock), because I wanted to be reminded that I drive a turbocharged car from time to time. Before I start snapping photos and trying to sell should I replace it back to stock? I may have possibly broken the poor original vent assembly into tiny little pieces in my clumsy attempt to remove it, but the surrounding bits still look good. So – is the minor hassle of replacing it back to stock going to net me a profit, or am I over thinking a boost gauge?