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Discussion Starter #1
Just got back after test driving a GTI PKG1 Manual and DSG.
I'm currently looking for a good, practical car that's roomy, comfortable and fun to drive all at the same time. I'm a recent college grad so I want something that will last me a long time, yet won't kill me with insurance/maintenence.... quite a lot of stuff I want, pretty much the perfect grad car. ^_^

I'm currently looking at the RSX, CivicSi, WRX and Mazda3.

External Looks: looks are a personal thing and I have always never really liked Golfs before the mkv. I considered them boxy and lacked emotional appeal. The GTI while not the best looking car to me, being very big for a hatchback, especially how high the roofline is, looks sporty and fun. I much prefer the lines of the RSX and WRX, even the outside of the CivicSi. Overall I like the looks of the RSX more, it looks more compact and sleek even though it's like 4 years old now.

Internal Evaluation: The interior fit and finish was much nicer then the WRX/Si/Mazda3 and felt more comforable for me as well. The leather seats were comfortable for the 20 minute drives and the lumbar support was very nice. I like the leather seats more then the cloth because of the angle of the bolsters. The hugged but didn't feel like they were gripping you like a vice. But I didn't prefer the seats in the WRX and RSX over the GTI. The provided the same amount of comfort and grip without feeling restricted like the GTI. Road noise was comparable with all the cars, I was really hoping it was going to be a lot quieter being much heavier and all compared to the rest. The aluminum trim and plastics used were good to me at least and sounded pretty decent to the knuckle tests.

Ride and Performace: Steering really did lack feel compared to WRX/CivicSi/RSX/Mazda3. It just felt so different, so maybe it's just me not being accustomed to it well enough for an impartial view. It was a wet day and I had a hard time getting a feel for the car. Brakes were much softer and reacted to quickly to little movements from what I'm used to. Throttle was the same as brakes, a little too twitchy, like a TL. Didn't like the pedal layout as well, the spacing between the brakes and gas was nice, but the breaks were too close and the gas was to far away, I like them at the same distance. I had to push my feet pretty far forward for the gas while I had to bend my knees to use the breaks, weird. 5'6", maybe it's a factor.
Ride quality was a good compromise between sporty/comfy for me, I like it much more then the WRX/Si. Not used to FWD yet, so I can't say much about handling because of the lack of experience, but it sure felt different even to the Si. Blind spot visibility was pretty bad, but hopefully they'll have side mirrors that can help with that like the A3. One big complain with me is the wind noise. I didn't like the wind noise in the golf, can't really put my finger on it. I'll have to do some actual sound measurements some day for a real answer.
The engine though, was very nice. I really enjoy a torguey engine over a high reving lawn mower for everyday driving and that's the strongest point of the GTI. It's much easier to drive casually and yet provide some good fun when pushed. The second best feature of the GTI is the DSG transmission. I tried it, fell in love and right now it's the biggest selling point for me to get the GTI. I can drive it in traffic and not go insane, I can trust other people with it in case I'm physically unable to drive, etc. It's just so convenient, yet providing a lot of fun a manual would.

Overall the GTI was nice, but I still can't decide which car to get. They all have their compromises. But the DSG is a definite keeper, I really like it because it would be perfect in my daily rush hour commutes. If only the GTI was available as an AWD for me to try, I'd get that over the WRX. So right now I'm still not sure what to get, but so far it's GTI vs. WRX vs. RSX. Each car has it's certain appeal. GTI with it's increadibly smooth engine and DSG. WRX with it's AWD and turbo lag (it's a plus, it feels more fun when the turbo does work) and 4 doors. And the RSX as an overall good package of performance and luxury.

I still have till summer till I absolutely have to get a car, so till then I can go crazy trying to decide what to buy. The first new car purchase sure is hard, need something to last me until I can afford an M3 (10-20 years? )

But if I do get an GTI, I already know what I want.
4 Dr. Pkg 2, 17" summer tires. DSG. Either Black/Grey, I like Both! Maybe if I get a good offer on one I'll just say what the heck, I like the DSG enough.
 

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thp said:
But if I do get an GTI, I already know what I want.
4 Dr. Pkg 2, 17" summer tires. DSG. Either Black/Grey, I like Both! Maybe if I get a good offer on one I'll just say what the heck, I like the DSG enough.
I actually met thp the other day and he was telling me about the pedals. His two friends also agreed. I actually like the pedal layout, it words well for me for heel to toe. thp told me I wouldn't like his review. Hmmmmm...... I think it was quite informative. Though he hasn't decided, I love the fact that if he gets the GTI, he already knows what he wants. ;D

It would be great to get more member reviews like this.
 

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Definately a thorough review. I just want to make a couple of comments though. The steering is electro-mechanical, and the feedback is adjustable through the vehicle computer. It is my opinion that the DSG is not completely proven itself in the reliability dept yet. Maybe by summer. I have driven BMWs with the SMG, which is essentially the same as the DSG, and my preference was to go with the 6sp. Good luck with your decision making!! My purchase was a total impulse buy!
 

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Hey... I'm new here. Do you currently have a car? Sounds like this is your first car purchase.
I test drove a 6spd GTI last Tuesday... I thought it was pretty good. I didn't go in as much detail as you, though. I was just mostly 'window shopping' trying to decide between the SRT-4, GTI, and new Civic Si. But you really nit-picked the GTI (which is good). I figured it may have to do with what you drive now. I drive a Neon. This is the first, um... foreign car I've gotten the chance to drive... the fit and finish and whole interior is a COMPLETELY different level, I was very impressed. But anyways, just wondering what you drive. ;D
 

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Hmmmmm...... So THP, I hear you were back looking at the GTI, ::) SO, do you have a new review? ;D
Don't worry, I know how hard it is to keep your hands off one.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm currently driving a 525, so I'm particulary used to RWD. It's not my car though, the car I'm going to get will be my first new car purchase.
So far I've driven these cars for at least 6 months.
Corolla
Camry
Outback Sport
325
525

I do have a new review, but it's from the backseat perpsective. The girl I had test drive so I could get a different opion said it was fun and peppy. But she wants me to get a Saab 93 or the IS250.

But being my first car purchase, I'm being very very picky. I'm expecting this car to last me 7 years till I'm 30.
But right now I'm having some identity crisis, I can't determine if I want a sporty car or a more comfy ride. I have a chance to get a really good deal on an IS250 RWD for less then 30k, so I'm weighing my current needs, and what I'd like when I don't want something quite so sporty.

I'll just have to get a few more test runs under my belt when the 4 dr. GTI comes out and compare it to the IS on the fun sylvan hills and see what my instincts like, throwing reason out of the window.
 

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Sit down and make a list. Write down the pros and cons of each vehicle you are considering. Ponder long and hard about it. When you think you've got it figured out, throw the list out and go with your gut. You definately don't want to be suck driving something you aren't thrilled with for 7 years.
 

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I only test drove a GTI, nothing else. I loved it and made up my mind right then and there. It felt totally comfortable, like I was driving a car that I've been driving for years. I'll be picking it up in a couple of weeks and I can't wait!
 

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I knew from the start i was getting the Gti it was only a matter of waiting til it was at the dealership. While waiting i test drove these cars: 06 SE tiburon 6sp, 06 GT eclispe 6sp,05 MR2 spyder 5sp those cars where nothing compared to the GTI.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Since I have a long wait till I can actually purchase a car I like I've been testing some other car flavors.

Mini Cooper S, spec'd out comparably to the GTI at 25k. I believe this car is a total blast to drive! Turn in was great, fast, smooth, responsive. It really does inspire confidence when driving and communicates well. The feel of the steering is just sooo good. Ride comfort, when you're pushing it and just having a grand old time the ride is very tight and the balance is right on. But for everyday driving those run flat tires vibrate your back and your passenger just grits her teeth with every little crack in the road. Quality of interior is well, crappy. The plastics are too thin, the gauges and levers are just flimsy and cheap. But I do like the lightness of the MINI S, it just feels more like your flying then driving.

MR2 SMT. This was a total blast to drive. The transmission was better then an auto, but not as good as a DSG. The MR2 has a very responsive feel, even better then the mini and was quite easy to toss around and not feel like you're gonna die. Ride comfort, I actually liked it a lot. It was good for cruising and very fun whe cornering. Interior was very comfortable, the leather seats are nice and fit me very well. The quality of the guages and level were good, with soft plastic everywhere. And well, the fact that it's a convertible rocks! but there's no space for any luggage. It would be a great fun car to have.

And the GTI. I like it technically, but I'm kinda bored with the looks now. I'm constantly being reminded that's it looks like a small van. I'm not tall! Chop off 6 inches in the front passenger space and 10 in teh back to give it a more streamline look! Heck, more people drop the seats all the way to the floor anyways so we dont need that foot of headroom. Like the sirocco artist renditions floating around.

Soooo, it's a good time to be car shopping. Soo many choices, anything from the Civic SI, WRX, GTI, Mini Cooper S, Miata MX-5 (trying that next), RX8 and on and on. Just about a car for everyone tastes all at the 20k-30k range. And even more to come with the C30 and A2 in a few years.

Or just give me that MkVI picture with that huge ass snout!
 

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clavos said:
I have driven BMWs with the SMG, which is essentially the same as the DSG, and my preference was to go with the 6sp.
Hey, I'm totally new to this forum (having just gotten my car) I'm also on vacation which means I'm away from all of the techincal data available to me at home but... The DSG is completly not like the SMG. The SMG is complete crap. It lurches away from stops, needs hill control to launch from an incline and is in general not as good as a manual and not as easy as an automatic. The DSG on the other hand uses 2 clutches so while you are driving in one gear it already has gear number 2 spinning and ready to engage. It is the coolest smoothest thing I have ever driven. Control like a manual but great in stop and go traffic. And Faster!! Granted on my last car I ruined the synchros in the tranny so maybe I was ready for a change but you can actually feel the DSG slipping 1st gear to start out. And it slightly boggs down while in reverse like it is threatening to stall. IIt is so not a tiptronic wanabee. It is so easy to down shift while approaching an apex just to power out. It is like driving a play station. Sorry to go on, clearly I'm in love.
 

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Quote: "I'm currently looking at the RSX, CivicSi, WRX and Mazda3."

Just a word on this. I'm getting rid of my RSX-S because they feel burning 1/2 qt of oil every 1000 miles is acceptable. Any damage this might cause is not covered by warranty. I've found about a dozen people who have had engine damage due to this. I'm no longer looking at any more Acuras or Hondas if this is their idea of acceptable.

I'm looking at the GTI and WRX now. I made a mistake by driving the WRX STI. Now I'm trying to decide if the extra $$ is worth it. That thing is amazingly fast.

Oh, and I went looking at M3s. Aside from being extremely expensive to fix, they get 16/20 MPG (worse if you drive them hard) and have the worst emissions I've seen on a car I was interested in buying. I'm disappointed a european car is that hard on the environment. I'd get a WRX STI over them any day and save 20-25k.
 

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me and my wife picked out 6 cars to test drive in our price range. i wanted to try the rsx s , colbalt ss, civic si , others like that but she cant drive a straight shift and refuses to learn. so we drove the new dodge caliber.. bad layout , cheap interior, weak power, would not buy one for 15 grand if offered. next we drove mazda 3 .. ok next regular loaded rsx. used to have 91 acura , have not changed much at all since then , weak too. never drove colbalt heard bad reviews. mit eclispe to high dealer was ass so i left. drove gti a little higher than we wanted to pay , but it far outdid the others in every way cant wait to get mine in two weeks . oh yeah drove tibiron gt , it was better than all the others - not gti- but i knew when i drove it off the lot it would be worth 5 grand less than i paid , plus gt 6 cylinder only 170 hp . mazda 3 with 2.3 litre is that.
 
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