2010 Volkswagen GTI: Trip To Yosemite
May 03, 2010
Five and a half hours of driving time for just two hours of park time. From a time efficiency standpoint, my weekend trip to Yosemite National Park was a failure. But from a car enthusiast perspective, I was driving a new VW GTI on miles of curvy road while surrounded by beautiful scenery. Maybe it wasn't so bad after all...
I decided to take my wife and two-year-old daughter to Yosemite on Saturday. Spring is a good time to go as the waterfalls are big and the crowds are, well, less big than those during the summer. And I thought my daughter would enjoy walking through the woods and seeing the falls. But we started late, and the little one started to get rather cranky. Then a lack of convenient parking squashed any remaining desire to spend more time in the park.
Still, I had a great time driving the GTI. The entrance road I took, Highway 41, is not in the best condition, with more potholes than I've encountered in the past few years. But barring slow-moving traffic (which there inevitably is), it's also a fun drive, with plenty of corners and scenery. The GTI's suspension tuning, which some have complained is too soft, was perfect for this road, as it wasn't too harsh for the family yet still sporty enough to maintain a brisk pace. The turbo-4 was great, too, as it provided plenty of thrust for passing slow traffic and dealing with the 5,000 feet of elevation gain.
The odds of seeing a VW R32 on the road? Small. The odds of seeing a white one in Yosemite while driving a white GTI and getting to park next to it? Very, very small.
If I had to do this trip again in a long-termer, I'd absolutely take the GTI again. A scenic road trip with curvy roads thrown in the mix -- the GTI just felt like it was in its element. Hopefully we'll stay longer in Yosemite next time.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 5,062 miles