Project Sportwagen TDI: Getting Practical

There was a time, I am told, when our great system of plenty had something for every man, or woman, or child. Meals were hearty and beer cold. Space was a frontier to be conquered. Careers spanned a lifetime and came with pensions. Horsepower was cheap and love, free. And floor mats? God bless America, floor mats were optional. But the ones you did pay for were thick and lustrous—Zsa Zsa herself would be proud to roll around on them.

Well, then every decade since the 1960s hit. During the austere 1970s, nobody would dare get something as bourgeois as cut-pile wool to wipe their feet on. Then the 90s rolled into the 2000s, nobody remembered how to spell the word bourgeois in the first place, and floor mats started coming as standard (assuming you’re not one of the few with the loss-leader Jetta Base). But there was a problem: what deigned to pass as factory floor mats were cheap nylon fur backed by even cheaper foam. Underfoot, drivers had a carpeted version of seats on Spirit Airlines…or hospital-cafeteria pizza…or Natalie Portman’s acting in a Star Wars movie—things thin and disappointing, and constantly reminding you of their thinness and disappointment every miserable minute you had to spend with them.

carpetthickness

Imagine our relief, then, when we were sent a set of MOJOMATS Carpeted Mats from Volkswagen Accessories. Unlike our SportWagen’s miserly factory mats, the VW Accessory mats are plush and thick—nearly twice so the stockers. Their backing is a rubberized coating that grips into the carpeting and will keep snow-caked treads from melting right through to the floor, their borders have a proper welting, and they work with the OE retaining hardware so that other great memory of floor mats past—namely, bunching up under the pedals at exactly the wrong time—is left a distant one.

You can order the mats straight from VW Accessories here, with model-specific embroidery on the fronts.

muddybuddy

The ‘Wagen’s rear, however, was as vulnerable as ever, what with being stuffed with the chattel of a new homeowner and upcoming family, and VW Accessories again answered that call with the Muddy Buddy Trunk Liner. Don’t laugh—it may sound like something read about on Urban Dictionary after the Milwaukee Pfister (it’s a thing, we swear) but in reality the Muddy Buddy is a nicely formed rubberized mat that is cut by the folks at WeatherTech to fit the rear area of our SportWagen perfectly, down to providing notches to clear the LATCH points for a child seat.

trunkmount

 

With the Muddy Buddy liner in place, we were able to haul all four of our Talladega wheels down to the tire shop without so much as a scuff on the cargo trim, a process aided by Volkswagen Accessories’ CarGoTech Containment System. Sold in a set of four, the corners stick to the surface of the Muddy Buddy with the determination of a C-lister’s girlfriend at an Oscars after-party. Once set, the corners keep all but the most determined boxes from slamming into the hatch or seats. Being able to lock items in place will come in handy when we take corners faster, which is the now the third time we have dropped suspension hints.

Don’t worry, we have something coming especially for Mk7 TDIs, with their cast iron front spindles and torsion beam axle. But as they say in Hollywood, we have to save something for the sequels…