Frolicking with the 2015 VW Golf/GTI

Written by on June 25, 2014 in Cars and Chicks, Perspectives, Trends - 25 Comments

2015 VW Golf/GTIBarely had I declared this to be “The Summer of the Hot Hatch” when I got an invite from VW Canada to the launch of their 2015 Golf/GTI consumer drive program. Talk about bashert!

And so it was that I found myself wandering around Woodbine Race Track early on a Friday morning. Obviously designed by the same person who designed a racing form, the place was somewhat confusing until I realized, all I had to do was listen for the sound of impatient journalists. Sure enough, I found a whole conference room full of them, chugging coffee, checking their phones and chatting about how, finally, we were going to get our hands on this smokin’ hot hatch.

I could tell that VW is bravely going beyond the weekend car section to grab eyeballs. Apart from myself, there was a mommy blogger who’d been flown in from British Columbia, a few lifestyle bloggers, and auto bloggers. Plus a handful of folks who are smart enough to blog only on the side, and don’t let it take over their life.

2015 VW Golf/GTI

The always-effervescent VW Canada spokesman got the show rolling, and then, through the magic of Google Hangout, we went straight to Germany.  A VW product guru talked about the new Golf/GTI, and why we should be excited about it. I mean, in case we weren’t already excited enough about it. But when there are brand spanking new Golf hatches to be driven, well, can we get down to business?

And so we did. The good folks at VW wasted no time in hustling us into a convoy of brightly coloured Golfs, streaming across the supersized parking lot over to the tent. Two courses had been set up for us to scurry around in the new Golf – one for the awesome TSI model, and one for the totally tricked out GTI. There was a way cool 1978 VW Golf Rabbit on display, and I wondered if they’d let me take that around the course. Fat chance! After more details on the updates (210 hp for the GTI) to get us frothing at the mouth, we finally got our chance to whip around the track.

1978 VW Golf RabbitOf course, there was a chaperone attached to each car, to dissuade the predators among us from torturing the poor cars. And the Geneva Convention was upheld, the tire shrieking was minimal.

Indeed, the new Golf/GTI is a fine-looking vehicle, stretched out and flattened for better aerodynamics and fuel efficiency. The GTI was quite luxe, very planted and simply slithered around the cones. That was my first ride, and most enjoyable. But taking the second ride, in the Golf TSI was a little more onerous, since the chaperone in the passenger seat was determined to get me in touch with my inner Janet Guthrie. By the time the video below was shot (by Derek Kubiak), I had simply tuned him out. That’s how you know driving the Golf is a whoop-ass kind of joy, because even though this guy was yakking my ear off the whole time,  here I am, singing its praises.

The difference from the Golf TSI to Golf GTI was palpable. From the five minutes I spent careening around the cones, I’d definitely go for the GTI, but the TSI is far from shabby. I’d like to think of it as a gateway Golf – take a taste, and you’re ready for more heady hijinks.

Hear tell, soon both models will be available for us blogger/writer types to play with for a week. No chaperone required.


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25 Comments on "Frolicking with the 2015 VW Golf/GTI"

  1. Paul Graham June 25, 2014 at 3:42 pm · Reply

    Hey Krystyna. Congratulations on tuning out your Golf co-pilot. Since locking them in the trunk or ditching them by the side of the road is frowned upon, my strategy is to drive in a manner that puts their hearts in their mouths and converts the spiel to silent prayer.. It seems the new Golf is up to the task !

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 1:55 am · Reply

      Thanks, Paul. I suspect the manufacturer requires a co-pilot, as it were, for insurance purposes. And there may well be people who want that kind of driving instruction, so who am I to say? I just found it distracting. Luckily, the Golf was marvellous to drive, despite the chatty fellow. And in the end, that’s all that really matters.

  2. Tim June 25, 2014 at 6:07 pm · Reply

    What a great gig you Krystyna and what a very smart looking car. I am guessing VW is very proud of their latest.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 1:56 am · Reply

      Why, thank you, Tim! It is fun to bomb around in other people’s cars. The Golf is a handsome vehicle and will do extremely well for Volkswagen. It has been hotly anticipated for some time now, and I’m sure will live up to everyone’s expectations.

  3. Lenie June 26, 2014 at 12:01 pm · Reply

    Hi Krystyna – I am so jealous. I love speeding, unfortunately you can’t do it legally on the roads and here you are, not only allowed to speed but to do it in brand new cars. If I wasn’t too old, I would ask you for tips on how to get jobs like yours. Love your posts – at least I can pretend to speed along with you.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 1:59 am · Reply

      Nonsense, Lenie, you’re never too old! Many of the manufacturers are happy to lend cars to bloggers, and other “media influencers.” I’m glad to hear that although you love to drive fast, you refrain from breaking the law. My theory all along has been that women love cars as much as anyone!

  4. Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) June 26, 2014 at 1:46 pm · Reply

    Love these post Krystna! Learning more about cars than I ever thought I could! Made me laugh out loud that you still experienced that whoop-ass kind of joy even with a co-pilot! Can’t imagine what it will be like for you without one! Ha!

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 2:02 am · Reply

      I’m glad you’re learning about cars – there are so many different types and models and alternatively-fuelled choices out there. Each one has something special about it, and I love discovering what they have to offer. And even though I had that talkative young man beside me, I figured I was going to have fun no matter what! Talk about having a backseat driver – in the front seat!

  5. Jeri June 26, 2014 at 6:29 pm · Reply

    What a great gig you’ve got going on. Driving the course as well as the VW Golf itself looks like way too much fun.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 2:04 am · Reply

      It is a great gig, Jeri, I’m very fortunate. There are just so many cars and never enough time to drive them all and write about them. Hopefully I’ll get a VW Golf for more than 15 minutes, so I can really get to know what it can do – without a co-pilot!

  6. Susan Cooper June 26, 2014 at 8:50 pm · Reply

    I love reading your car reviews. First off, we are not huge fans of VW’s, Passat in particular. We’ve had two and love the ride and handling, but they spent a great deal of the time in the shop for repairs of all kinds. Big sigh!

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 2:08 am · Reply

      Oh, nuts, Susan, I’m so sorry to hear that. The Passat is known for its performance and handling, as are all the VWs. I hope you were able to get to the bottom of the problems. Sucks to have a car that’s in need of so many repairs. Can’t even begin to imagine what could have been the issue, and can understand why that would leave a sour taste in your mouth.

  7. Michele Harvey June 27, 2014 at 3:21 am · Reply

    What a great video. I was excited watching it. I probably would have knocked down all the cones. The VW golf looks like a fun car and you obviously had a good time in it.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 2:21 am · Reply

      Why thanks, Michele! I did kill a few cones, but it was worth it. You learn not to care about that stuff, it’s all about finding out what the car can do and how it feels to drive. On a closed course like that, you can just drive your little heart out – and to hell with what anyone thinks!

  8. Christina June 27, 2014 at 5:48 am · Reply

    I bet you have a reputation with the chaperones- the one to look out for 😉

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 2:25 am · Reply

      Well, if I didn’t before, I likely do now! That poor guy, I did give him a hard time. Really, I spend more time on driving on Jarvis Street than I do the racetrack. But then, what’s that saying – everyone’s a critic?!

  9. Lorraine Reguly June 27, 2014 at 6:29 pm · Reply

    Hi from BHB!

    I definitely don’t drive like a girl. I like going fast. I like to race.

    So did my uncles; two of them were stock car drivers, so maybe it runs in my blood.

    I’m not sure if I write like a girl or not…

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 2:11 am · Reply

      Well, hey, Lorraine, I’m tickled to hear that you enjoy a little speed with your drive. And driving like a girl doesn’t necessarily mean creeping along – it’s a little tongue in cheek on my part. If you’ve ever seen me drive, you’d know what I mean. And I’ll bet you did get that need for speed from your uncles! That sort of thing tends to run in families …

  10. Arleen June 27, 2014 at 8:32 pm · Reply

    I definitely like driving fast, but I don’t know how much fun I would have going around cones. What a fun video. Think about Volkswagen owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, so they do know how to make a good little car that maneuvers well.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 2:15 am · Reply

      Good on you for knowing about all the different badges under VW! Actually, the whole industry is a little incestuous. Everyone seems to own a little piece of someone else. I think you’d enjoy going around cones more than you think, it’s most exhilarating taking corners and pushing a car to really perform. Can’t wait for next time!

  11. Mina Joshi June 27, 2014 at 10:24 pm · Reply

    I am so envious. You got to try out the new VW!! Great video

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 2:16 am · Reply

      It was indeed a great morning, Mina! Although I’m envious of your ability to whip up those amazing meals…

  12. Debra Yearwood June 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm · Reply

    That sounds like an absolute riot. Whipping around in a little hatch back is my idea of fun. B.C. (before children) my husband and I only had a wonderful sporty hatch back. They are the smartest cars you can get. Easy to park, for those of us who are spacially challenged when behind a wheel, great on gas and you can haul stuff. If they also have kick and can handle well, that’s just perfection.

    • Krystyna Lagowski July 7, 2014 at 2:22 am · Reply

      I’m so glad you get it, Debra. Hatchbacks are just about the greatest invention on four wheels. Practical, zippy and usually quite fuel-efficient. And if you’re driving in the city, nothing beats them for getting in and out of parking spots and dealing with congested traffic. There are many of them on the market, and I’m hoping to drive a few more this summer!

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