So why now? With a little over 70,000 miles, I feel the GTI is in its mid life prime. It's serviced and ready to go. The tires still have tread. And there's a good number of miles before it needs its next major service at 80K, which will not be cheap. It's paid off and has held its value remarkably well, in German luxury car territory.
I've had the GTI experience and it was very good, probably the most fun you can have in a front wheel drive car and definitely just one step down from a BMW, which I used to own (E39 540i, E46 330i). I'm honestly a little tired of the sporty driving and wouldn't mind something a bit less punishing around town. I did notice on my recent Las Vegas trip that it's a fantastic long distance highway vehicle.
I'm selling it to a friend who has followed the blog. In fact, I've had more friends and acquaintances express interest in buying the GTI than any car I've ever had. It ticks all the boxes and appeals to a variety of people for a variety of reasons, from primary vehicle to urban runabout. It doesn't hurt that it's obsessively documented here and any improvements are what I consider tasteful.
My replacement vehicle is being built at the Toledo North Assembly Plant in Ohio. It's a 2015 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. As the example pictured above, it's coming in Anvil paint. The interior is brown leather, which is damn near impossible to find. I visited a couple dealers yesterday in search of this color, but nobody has it and their computer systems aren't configured to search for it. Leather? Yes. The color of the leather? No. I do love brown interiors and had one of the first natural brown interiors in the BMW E46 330i.
Options, which I'm normally not fond of, include:
- 3.2-Liter V6 24-Valve VVT Engine with Stop/Start
- Uconnect 8.4AN AM/FM/SXM/HD/BT/NAV
- Trailer Tow Group
- Black Hood Decal
- Leather Interior Group (Brown)
The one thing I have planned for the Trailhawk is an improvement to the stopping distance, which is poor due to the offroad tires. I've read larger brakes can be installed and I'm betting there are some better off road tires with an improved stopping distance. All that will probably wait until the first set of tires are worn out.