2010 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Road Test

Which Would You Take to Your High School Reunion?

May 05, 2011


My 10-year high school reunion is this weekend and I began to think about what Edmunds long-term car I would drive to it. Of course, this is ultimately a moot point since the reunion is in Indianapolis and I'll inevitably drive some sort of Hertz rental car, but the question remains.

The obvious high-school reunion move is to show up in something fancy and expensive to flaunt my success (not so much monetarily but kick-ass-job-arily). In our fleet, I suppose the BMW 528i would be our candidate since the R8 is long gone. The Equus and M56 are pretty expensive, but I don't think they properly convey how much better I am than that douche from the baseball team who now works at the H&R Block in Fishers.

The next move would be something that will say "hey, look at me!" The Fiat 500 will do that and I certainly like our little Italian city car, but it may unfortunately also say that I've borrowed my wife's car or that my wife is in fact named Kyle. Not that there's anything wrong with that. So in this case, I'd pick the Chevy Volt. Of all the cars in the fleet, it most frequently gets looks and draws questions, which inevitably will draw attention to me.

The next move would be something that shows I'm now a lot more macho than the guy who you last saw 10 years prior. Ford Raptor, need I say more?

The next move would be to fly the flag of my job. "Oh, that sounds like a bitchin' job Riz, what car did you drive here?" If I answer, "Buick Regal," they're going to walk away and talk to the current vice president of the Indianapolis Colts instead. No, I'd say the Ford Mustang GT is the right answer. It's famous enough for non-car people to know it's awesome, and actually good enough for car people to know it's in fact awesome. (Honorable mention to the Porsche 911).

However, I wouldn't pick any of these. I wasn't a cool kid in high school by any stretch of the imagination, but my time there also didn't suck, so I have no need to prove I've changed or imply that I'm something I'm not. I also think people will see right through your automotive cloak of faux coolness. Be it your BMW in the parking lot, the trophy wife on your arm, the expensive suit or the head of new hair, it's just bound to backfire and appear like overcompensation.

So what would I take? Easy, our Volkswagen GTI. Besides the fact it's the car I'd actually buy today, it would seem pretty fitting to drive to my high school reunion in a car pretty damn similar to the Jetta VR6 I left there in 10 years ago. Hearing, "Yep, that's the same old James" would be A-OK with me.

Of course, if we had a Benz CLS63 or Jag XJ Supercharged in fleet, this would be a completely different story. Not only would I actually make the drive to Indy, but I would finally be able to get Lauren Freedman to notice me.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

(P.S. Great, now I have this song stuck in my head)

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2010 Volkswagen GTI in VA is:

$142 per month*
* Explanation