2010 Volkswagen GTI: Zoom On This
April 08, 2010
Ok, this might seem like part three of "Hot Hatch Not Found" but I got the keys to the GTI last night after Oldham saw I had the keys to a test car he wanted to take a spin it. I drove the GTI home and back and I have an opinion to weigh in on the discussion.
Yes, the clutch is vague, the shifter isn't positive and the suspension is soft. But you know what? I frankly don't care. I don't think you need a hatch to be hardcore to be fun. I do drive in traffic. I do have a regular Joe life outside of this office. I make runs to Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond (if I have time). I can't think of a time when I've actually wanted to take my car out to a track for weekend racing. Those people are the rarity and honestly I don't know if they'd have a stock car anyways. The GTI is for the everyday person.
What do you say? I'm soft? So what! Yeah, I'm middle aged and unapologetic about it. I appreciate the comfort the GTI offers after a grueling day of work while going though 12 miles of I-405 traffic. My shin wasn't killing me from a stiff sport clutch and the slow speed rough bumps were softened by the cushy suspension. But, on the flip side, I drove in late to work today. No traffic.
I was blip shifting like a mother trucker. I had the windows down to soak in the beautiful Spring weather we've got here in LA and I was loving the whistle of the turbo as I screamed down the road. It's quick, maybe not lightening quick, but I was swooping through the light traffic noon time West LA has to offer. The turbo spools up quick from the red light for fun launches and the broad power curve keeps the freeways interesting. Once I got near my office it felt like my Mr. Hyde turned back into Dr. Jekyll as I comfortably drove down Olympic Blvd.
As it was pointed out to me, the GTI is more mature in comparison the the Mazda Mazdaspeed3. Listen, I'm 38. I'm officially mature myself. This car, for ME, is a blast to drive. I don't need the bugs in my teeth or the cachÃ© of some high end brand to tell me I'm having fun. It's comfortable for my normal life, and capable when the congested streets of LA are open. Any time the keys are available to this gem, game on.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer