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2017 VW Golf GTI Autobahn: Cannonball Run

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

I had a great week whipping around town in this storied hatchback from Germany. Thankfully it was a busy week ripe with errands, sports activities, short road trips and Home Depot shopping in preparation for Maryland’s first big winter snowstorm. Parking in crowded lots is the Golf’s specialty so never was I frustrated from the cadre of stops needed to complete my tasks. However, though it’s small, Automotive Rhythms’ 2017 VW Golf GTI Autobahn was fast and fierce as well!

Our $37,110 ($34,395 MSRP) pocket rocket came in a Carbon Steel Gray Metallic exterior hue and Titan Black interior ordained with sporty, bucket seats (heated); large, alloy pedals; a sunroof and an aggressive, thick racing steering wheel designed with a flat bottom and thumb indentions and outfitted with shift paddles as part of the 6-speed DSG Automatic Tiptronic Transmission. The fiery engine is VW’s Direct Injection 2-liter Turbo 4-cylinder that moves the Golf like running rabbits from foxes. And like a rabbit it’s shifty and witty and knows how to dodge traffic assaults and hit corners while maintaining speed thanks to a Sport Suspension, 18” alloy rims (vented front disc brakes) wrapped in 225/40 R18 performance tires, an enlarged rear stabilizer bar and Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) which allows owners to select between Sport, Comfort, Normal or Custom driving modes. Of course I kept it in Sport for most of my assignments to keep the fun factor elevated.

For utility it was simple laying down the second row seat and loading up the hatch with large bags of salt for the ice, groceries, sports equipment, a mountain bike and various other items during the Golf’s weeklong stay. Close the spoiler attached tailgate to observe a feisty looking VW that shows off its bravado with Ninja like “shuriken” or “throwing star” rims, red brake calipers, dual exhausts and a split honeycomb grille. Yes, it’s minute but equally tough even for guys like myself who gravitate towards bigger vehicles.

Not to be out down by style and function alone, the Golf GTI Autobahn is just as much intelligent as it is performance oriented. The VW CAR-NET app features Remote Vehicle Access, Diagnostics & Maintenance, Security & Service and a Family Guardian. Moreover it showcased the vehicle’s health, provided navigation, infotainment, smartphone integration and vehicle services such as gas station locations and prices on the touchscreen display. The Rearview Camera and Park Pilot were helpful for squeezing into tight spaces even for a Golf and Adaptive Cruise Control took over when I set myself in chill mode. A Fender audio system and SiriusXM took care of my listening needs. Favorites are easily stored and highlighted on the screen when you go into the audio menu.

Team Automotive Rhythms had quite the adventure in the Golf before the snow hit. I can only imagine its palpability when the roads are warm and dry come spring and summertime!

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