The New VW Beetle Is HOT!

My first car was a rusted out, bright yellow 1973 Super Beetle that my parents bought for me from my brother-in-law. Even when I floored it I couldn’t get it over 60 mph. Going downhill flooring it I might be able to get it to 65. Here’s a pic of a similar car (with much less rust)…

1973 VW Super Beetle - Yellow

It was a good, dependable car and was one of the reasons why I later fell in love with VWs.

Then in the late ’90s VW brought back a redesigned Beetle, but it just wasn’t the Bug everyone loved – it was very watered down – sorta neutered and feminine…

Late '90s VW Beetle

Well, VW is finally fixing that mistake – there’s a new Beetle coming out and it looks hot!

2012 VW Beetle

That’s a hot, sexy car… Dan heard on some news program that said VW thought the previous design attracted too many women – guys (like me) just couldn’t envision themselves in it. So this Beetle is aimed at men, not women – and it shows. It’s a fun, sporty car. Just put a more pastel color on it and it should attract women as well.

Bravo VW!

VW Misses The Mark With the 2010 GTI

Does anyone else see the glaring problem with the ad I got in my e-mail (below)?

2010 VW GTI advertisement
It’s really quite simple… That car has 4 doors. The “legend” of the GTI is that it’s supposed to be an inexpensive sports car and sports cars just don’t have 4 doors – they have 2 doors and a good engine.

That’s not “the return of a Legend” – it’s the return of a huge mistake they’ve made before – watering down the GTI and making it a Golf/Rabbit with a few extra features. The GTI needs to be distinct from the Golf or else it’s not a GTI.

I like the Mk5 VW GTI better than the Mk6

Today VW is revealing the look of the Mark 6 Golf line with the Mk6 GTI. Here’s the pic they sent out yesterday…

2010 VW GTI Mk6

Personally, I don’t really like it. I mean, it’s nice enough and better than a lot of their competitors, but I don’t know that it’s an improvement over the Mk 5 Golf/GTI/R32…

Here’s a Mk 5 GTI…


The Mark 5 “face” just has more attitude. The Mk 6 looks more pedestrian. The Mk 6 front end would be fine if it were a Golf/Rabbit, but it doesn’t look sporty. It looks like they’re watering down the appearance of the GTI, which is never a good idea – that’s what the Golf/Rabbit is for.

Oh well, it is what it is. I didn’t like the Mk 5 when I first saw it either, but it grew on me and now I love our Mk 5 R32… We’ll see what I think in a year…

1 Year, 10,000 Miles, Loving Our 2008 VW R32

When I got the R32 a year ago I was really psyched. I had waited like 6 months for it and it was in the first batch to arrive in August ’07… My only complaint about the car is that I haven’t gotten to drive it enough – especially this year. I think it was July that we put a whopping 30 miles on it.

Nevertheless, we did manage to put about 10,000 miles on it the first year and had a great time with it. Initially I was driving to Norwalk, CT a couple a times a week on the Merritt Parkway, which is a blast with all the curves and whatnot. And on Memorial Day I drove single-handed to Chicago with a stop in Cincinatti both directions.

I haven’t gotten enough pictures of it, but here is one from the Chicago trip – this one is taken in Oak Park, near the Frank Lloyd Wright house…

2008 Mk 5 R32, Candy White

Gas mileage isn’t all that great with it, but with a 3.2L, VR6, 250hp engine you don’t really expect it to be. I get about 24 mpg on the highway driving “comfortably fast”, which isn’t bad in my book. If I slowed down, I’d get better gas mileage, but that’s not why I bought an R32. (Do make sure you have a good radar detector).

One of my favorite things about the car is when Dan drops off something at the front door and then drives away to go park it in the garage. The sound (or should I say growl) of the car is just perfect. I get this big grin on my face and think “yeah, that’s my car…”

Would I get another R32? Absolutely, in a heartbeat…

The Downside Of In-Car Navigation Systems

We love the 2008 VW R32 we got back in August. And one of the things we like the most is the nav system. I’ve read reviews that say it’s not the best navigation system, but it does the job pretty well. The most important thing is we never argue about directions…  I was raised in a family where the answer to “are we there yet” was to pass you a map and tell you to find where we were, where we were going and calculate the distance and divide by the speed. Dan has improved his navigation skills considerably since we first met, but before the nav system there were still times I’d have to either grab the map and look at it while I was driving, or pull over to look at the map… Now with “Mildred” (the name we’ve given our nav system) – none of that is necessary.

You’d think the nav system is completely wonderful, but I’m on a trip right now in Chicago and I gotta say there are times I love the nav system, and times I wish I had a map on me. What you lose with navigation systems is a sense of place and location. With a map you get a big picture and see things in relation to each other. Coming into a new city I feel a bit lost using a nav system to get me around. Sure it does a good job, but I don’t really have a clue where I am, and I miss that. I want to understand the city and the nav system doesn’t do that for me. I tried Google Maps and that helps a little, but for really getting and understanding a big map with lots of information density will beat Google Maps any day.