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Thread: TheBenior's GTI and Ducati Monster 696. Da Bears, dabears, dabears, dabears.

  1. #151
    THE KING IN THE NORTH! TheBenior's Avatar
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    Jan 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by CudaMan View Post
    How's the turbo lag? How well does it pick up off-boost pulling away from a stop? How much feel and direct connection do you get through the pedals and steering? (ie, is the clutch vague or can you feel it and be consistent with it?). I suddenly am considering a GTI in the future. I'm hopeless. The BMW isn't quite pushing all the right buttons, mainly in terms of suspension (it'd take more than springs or shocks to 'fix' to my liking) and connected feeling. Moving to an ///M would solve all of that, but $30k does tend to solve a lot of things...
    Generally, I find my GTI (PP equipped, as it became standard in 2019) to be a lot more insulated than my old Mazdaspeed3, which would've felt less insulated stock, let alone before I added a turboback exhaust, intake, big sway bars, poly trans/motor mounts, and Koni Yellows. The GTI steering feels about as good as I'd expect it to on the mediocre stock grand touring all-season tires (Potenza RE97AS), let alone the winter tires that are on there now. FWIU, the feel in the MK7 GTI's electric power steering was generally regarded as much better than the F30 3-Series' steering feel when they were both newer. Torque steer is considerably less pronounced than in the Mazdaspeed3; it won't punish you for skipping the gym. The clutch feels vague compared to my old Mazdaspeed3, but there are some commonly done cheap fixes.
    Overall, when pushing the GTI hard enough to make the tires howl, it just kind of goes about things with less drama than the Mazdaspeed3 did. When you want to drive the Mazdaspeed3 hard, it chugs a Monster, slaps you in the face and says, "GO TIME, FUCK YEAH!" The GTI, OTOH, says, "Ja, ve shall go for sporting drive."

    A little research is showing me the MK7 GTI Performance Pack can be tracked with just brake pads and fluid, which is a biiiig plus. On the other hand I wonder how much fun I'd have with FWD on track, destructifying front tires at an alarming rate... but as a do-it-all car for $15k used it seems like a solid proposition. The PP cars have a proper LSD, which is a must must if I'm to consider anything FWD. And the non-defeatable ESC can be defeated via the aftermarket. The interior looks nice. The power and fuel economy both look strong, a real enticing combination especially with a tune. But then there's the weak clutch, making a DSG seem tempting instead, but then I've heard it doesn't behave the way a performance driver wants until you give the DSG itself a $600+ tune. No car is perfect, but all cars have too many compromises. I think mainly what I'm after is something comfy like my BMW but more nimble feeling and more track-worthy should the desire arise. What we need is a GTI shape with RWD and a NA V6. Basically a 350Z shooting brake with useful rear seats and 20lbs extra noise dampening material.

    How quiet is it on the highway? My BMW is the first car I've had where you can have an easy conversation at 75, in person or on Bluetooth. I like that. And can I just put my BMW's seat in everything from now on?
    My understanding about 'weak clutches' on MK7 GTIs is that they're weak once you add 80-100 wheel horsepower via tune and downpipe. I haven't heard much of anything good or bad about how they hold up to stock power levels on the track or autocross.

    What you've heard about the DSG agrees with what I've heard. Sure, the DSG can take more power and shift faster, but tune the ECU, you need to tune the DSG. Since I bought new, the $1700 a DSG + tune would cost would go a long way towards a new aftermarket clutch. Buying used, you really want to make sure that the 40k DSG service wasn't skipped. It's about $140 in parts and fluid, or ~$400 at a dealer.

    Getting decent fuel economy while still being fun and quick is nice. I'm averaging 29.6 mpg, much better than the 22.1 mpg I averaged in my Mazdaspeed3. Heck, my best tank ever in the Mazdaspeed3 was 26.5 mpg.

    I wouldn't call the GTI Lexus quiet, but it doesn't seem too different than my CX-5 when it comes to wind noise. Pre-Mk7.5 facelift GTIs may be slightly quieter, as they had more insulation in the hatch area, and the hood insulation was deleted entirely for the MK7.5. As for seats, Audi A3/S3/RS3 seats can be made to work. I was pleasantly surprised that the GTI seat side bolsters fit me fairly well. I remember sitting in a MK5 GTI and finding the seat bolsters to be a bit widely spaced for me (5'7" and 145 lbs).

  2. #152
    Thanks man. It's probably one of those things that I ought to experience for myself. Like you say the F30 steering is not well liked - yet BMW aficionados seem to gush over E90 steering and I think it's not all that (my love for the E9x M3 overlooks this flaw.. ). Electric power steering can be pretty decent - the Twins do it well, so does Porsche these days.

    It dawned on me after writing that post that I should probably test drive a 2019 GTI before too long, as I'm sure it's mostly the same drive as a 2016 and the MK8 GTI is probably not too far away from taking over dealer showrooms.

    Glad you're enjoying yours

    Yesterday at the autox there were a few Golfs, including a blue Rabbit edition like your that had suspension mods, wide wheels and sticky tires, and presumably a tune. I say presumably because I watched/listened to it on part of one of its runs and coming out of a corner in 2nd gear it looked like there was a bit of lag that transitioned immediately into wheelspin. It was a manual, so longer gearing, and the class it was in doesn't allow aftermarket clutches...

    There were also two MK6 Rs there, a 2dr and a 4dr, which both looked really cool. AWD would seem pretty useful for squirting into traffic. Something MR2s are really good at and I got spoiled with for years. The MK7 GTI interior seems like a huge upgrade over the MK6, plus the availability of an easy 100hp with a tune is awfully tempting once already out of warranty. And 2016 was the first year for Android Auto, which would be really nice to have.


    The funny thing is I'm sure I've taken at least a half dozen MK6-MK7 GTIs out for instructor runs at Evo Schools, but they've never made an impression on me other than having an understated competence. I'm generally so focused on helping my student that the car itself fades into the background somewhat unless it's spectacular in some way (vintage Porsche handling, manual steering on slicks, crazy power, etc). I do, however, remember having a student earlier this year in Kansas with a MK7 R that was a lot of fun, and the format of this school was more advanced with instructors really going for it over more runs. On that autox course, though, I still had more fun in the MR2 Spyder that was there...

    Anyway sorry to clutter up your thread with my head in the clouds ramblings. Carry on.

  3. #153
    THE KING IN THE NORTH! TheBenior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Off the top of my head, the only possible perfomance differences between a PP equipped 2016 and a 2019 (PP standard on all 2019s) are that you could still get the 2 door in 2016, which weighs less (sources differ on the exact amount, I've seen anywhere from 5-60 lbs claimed), the newer 7 speed DSG has shorter ratios (7th is the same as the old 6th), and you could still get it with summer tires as an option. MK7.5 facelift cars got rid of the summer tire option (Potenza S001) in the US, so they're all limited to 125 mph unless you do a tune. Oh, the 2019s also switched to 0w20 and got a claimed 8 extra horsepower.

    Other minor changes include the aforementioned elimination of some hood and hatch insulation, elimination of separate rear tweeters, elimination of the under driver's seat storage bin/drawer, elimination of the cooled glovebox, a change in infotainment unit (brain no longer in glovebox, post-sale factory upgrade now more difficult/expensive), and they got rid of the pre-wiring for satellite radio/navigation on trims below SE. The shark fin on current S and Rabbit edition trims is a dummy cover for the inexplicable hole in the roof. VW still made 2 roofs since all SEs and Autobahn trims have moonroofs in the US.

    2019 manual transmission cars have a problem with stalling while coming to a stop in gear with the clutch pedal depressed. The prevalence varies; some people had cars that constantly did it, some never had it happen. It happened to me twice, the last time being at 862 miles. I'm over 2800 miles without any subsequent stalls. Some people have had cars bought back and/or replaced with DSG models and a NHTSA investigation has been opened. Last news was that VW filed for an extension to respond.

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