2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Armrest Rattle
March 3, 2015
From the first time I set off in our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI, I heard a rattle. It was coming from somewhere behind me, and would only pop up during travel over bumpy or coarse roads. I figured something was left behind in the cargo area by the previous driver. I'll check it when I stop, I told myself. Naturally, I'd forget about it by time I'd reach my destination, only to be reminded again when I got back to driving the GTI.
When I finally did peruse the cargo area, I found no extraneous objects back there and that all was in order. It was later that I found the source of the rattle (it should be obvious, what with the headline and lead photo...) and understood why I was probably the first on staff to notice it.
Yes, the flip-down backseat armrest rattles when it's deployed. "No problem," you're thinking, "just drive with it flipped up. And when someone's in the backseat, their arm will prevent it from rattling. Duh. Seriously, dude, this isn't hard. What a n00b! These Edmunds editors are such lamebrains. I mean, first this Magrath dude who, well, don't even get me started on him, and then they insult my beloved horse lasers, and you got Monticello's bike all over the place, and... "
Where was I? Oh, the rattle. See, I always flip down the backseat armrest in cars thusly equipped because I stow my laptop backpack on the backseat (other editors apparently don't do this). I don't want it on the (potentially dirty) floor or bouncing around in the cargo hold. I've found that the armrest prevents the backpack from sliding around during my commute. If I'm planning more, uh, vigorous driving, I'll buckle it in, too. But for normal commute driving the armrest-only approach works great, and the backpack stays put unless some knucklehead forces me to do a full ABS-activated stop.
tl;dr, the GTI's armrest rattles.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor