Archive | August 2011

2011 Volkswagen Golf GTI likes and dislikes

After nearly three weeks in my possession, here’s a quick list of what I like and don’t like about the 2011 Volkswagen GTI I leased.

Likes
• Low-end torque (peak torque is available at 1,800 RPM) – much better than the low-end torque of the EJ205 2.0-liter flat-4
• Smooth-shifting six-speed manual transmission
• Suspension tuning suits my daily driving style well
• Nicely weighted steering – a pleasant surprise for an electromechanical unit
• 26-27 observed miles per gallon
• Sport bucket driver seat fits me as well as the WRX’s sport bucket seat
• Standard integrated Bluetooth – sure beats using my Garmin nüvi 680 as a speakerphone
• Hatchback practicality and easy operation – especially when closing
• Sixth-generation Golf styling
• Build quality and materials seem to be good
• Excellent visibility
• MFI (multi-function information) on-board computer is easy-to-use and provides useful information

Dislikes
• Pedal placement is not ideal for heel-and-toe downshifting unless I’m braking moderately hard – the WRX’s pedal placement is *way* better (note: I’m a “twist” blipper, not a “side-to-side” blipper)
• 18-inch Detroit wheels shod with P225/40R18 Pirelli P Zero Nero All-Season tires – we’ll see how long I can manage keeping the wheels rash-free (I’ve been close already); I would prefer a 235mm-wide tire, or better yet, 17-inch wheels with 45-series tires for a less harsh ride…summer tires would be nice, too
• Road feel transmitted through the steering could be better
• Red brake calipers – sliding calipers and drum brakes should *never* be painted in my opinion…it’d be nice if the rear brake discs were vented, too
• Limited center console storage and small sunglasses compartment – I can fit a *lot* more in the GDA WRX’s center console and armrest extension
• Horn honk every time the security system is armed (I know this probably can be disabled with VAG-COM)
• Gear ratios are closer than I would personally like – I’m shifting very often and the engine turns 3K RPM in 6th at 75 mph, which is the same as the WRX’s engine speed at 75 mph in 5th
• HID headlights were a standalone option for MY2010, but not MY2011 (one would have to get the Sunroof and Navigation trim or Autobahn trim to get them)
• Rear seats are too smooth/flat to retain stuff I put on them well