I’m the guy that wrote this.
Talk about conviction. I’ll take most of those beliefs to my grave.
However, as the title hints, times have changed. The XJ tanked on me 3 weeks ago (starter, quickly replaced), then again on Tuesday. U-Joint at the t-case exploded and the rear drive shaft bounced and dragged off the asphalt at 70mph, absolutely annihilating it. Simply put, I couldn’t continue to put money into a vehicle that was so clearly not fit for 60 mile round trip commutes. It was akin to giving a 32 year old running back a big guaranteed money contract. At 191k miles, it’s time to part ways. I was absolutely devastated. While standing on the side of the highway waiting for the tow truck, I remember feeling the same way I did when my parents called me at college letting me know that they were going to put the dog down. It was my first car and I made more memories in those seven years than any book could even begin to contain. Which brings me to my next chapter.
I needed a new vehicle.
And I needed it fast.
I live in Nashville and frequently pass the Carvana “vending machine” on the highway. I picked up my car from the bay that the red Bimmer is parked in that picture.
Long story short, my Carvana experience was nothing short of incredible. I bought the car sight unseen, financed through them, and picked it up Friday night in Nashville. The whole process once I got to the “dealership” took about 30 minutes. It was almost as easy as buying a pair of shoes online. They offer 7 days no questions asked returns if you are not satisfied with the vehicle. So about that vehicle;
A 2012 Volkswagen GTI.
I got to watch it come out of the “vending machine” tower and get taken to the delivery bay on a giant Roomba-like moving pad. It was delivered unbelievably clean, brand new tires, a full tank of gas, and something I have been missing for the last seven years; sweet, sweet air conditioning.
As I described to some of my friends, this thing is a giggle factory.
I was prepared for a driving experience similar to my mother’s ‘05 V70 R. And I wasn’t disappointed. The obvious difference being the AWD of the Volvo vs. the GTIs FWD. I’ll do a more in depth review at some point but my God is this thing a hoot. My particular GTI has 41k miles on the clock and the interior looks and feels like it rolled off the assembly line yesterday. The fit and finish is outstanding and it is truly a wonderful place to be. The DSG is absolutely sensational, the dual-clutch is definitely a departure in terms of performance, feel, and sensation compared to a typical torque converter box. The “DSG farts’ on high rev shifts make me grin and laugh maniacally. It makes such a great noise and the 2.0litre pulls like a hoss. The paddles are a nice touch and it’s truly rewarding to pull through the gears with the DSG. It’s so precise, predictable, and mind-bogglingly quick.
I’ve burned almost half a tank of gas since friday night in the GTI. I absolutely love it. I am so happy I did not make the mistake of going full econo-box and hating my very existence. There will be more to come about the GTI. This is just the beginning of a new chapter.