Friday, August 5, 2011

Pinky Signal

Driving the GTI on my morning commute this morning was exhilarating. It was late in the morning, which meant all the commuters had already reached their destination, leaving me with the pokey drivers with, apparently, no place to go in any big hurry. The GTI can really fly, and I occasionally catch myself up around 90 unintentially, having to dial it back a bit.

Passing the pokey drivers is as simple as tapping the turn signal stalk with my pinky finger, with my hands firmly planted on that cool, leather wrapped steering wheel. Like the seats, the steering wheel requires a certain style of driving that a German might define as "correct." Hitting the stalk activates the turn signal for three clicks, but by that time I've already passed. The VAG-COM allows you to change that count to four, but if you can't pass someone in a three count, perhaps you should have bought a Buick. 

All of this passing can be easily achieved in sixth gear. Sixth is usually called a "relief" gear in most cars, the gear you go into at highway speeds to save fuel. In the GTI, you can pass in sixth. You can't pass with any drama, but you can pass like a lazy automatic transmission driver. This I did this morning with a carpet cleaner sitting in the back and my lunch on the front seat. That might feel wrong in a more expensive car, but it's just right for a Volkswagen.

At speed the GTI requires a good amount of your attention, unlike say, BMWs. BMWs are forgiving, while , the front-wheel drive GTI with it's low profile 18" tires will screw you hard if you don't give it the attention it deserves. BMWs are "tossable," drivable effortless with a couple fingers, and utterly predictable due to its equal weight distribution and rear wheel drive. The GTI is a lot of great things, but it is neither tossable nor effortless. It was also about $10,000 cheaper.

Miles: 2462

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