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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
DISCLAIMER: I'm not calling this a build thread. What you won't find in here is a bunch of posts where I show pictures of stuff I bought and then paid someone else to put on for me. You won't also find posts of a car being heavily modified. Because of those two factors I won't call it a build thread. Think of it more like a log for the car. Honestly, I don't think most people will even care about this thread, and that's fine, but it gives me a place to keep track of what we're doing with the car. So, without further ado.

The Story (previously posted in The Car Lounge on 3/8)
With the lease on the MKVI GTI ending in August we've been on the hunt for my wife's replacement car for a while now. We've been very happy with the GTI but replacing it with another GTI was sort of a last resort just because my wife really wanted something different. Here is the day we picked up the GTI back in '13 after trading in our '02.5 Jetta 1.8t GLS.



The Jetta was the first car we bought together, a year or so after we got married, and she drove it for 11 years. We took that car everywhere (at least until we replaced my 2001 Saturn SC2 in '12) and it had almost 100k miles when we finally got rid of it. It was sad to see it go but it was getting more expensive to maintain and it was just time to get something new.

Because my wife drives so little and we just did not have a good experience with long-term VW ownership we decided to lease the GTI instead of buy it. It was our first time leasing a car and, all told, it worked out pretty well for it.



Around this time last year we were actually 2nd on the waiting list (behind someone from VW HQ) at our local VW dealer for the upcoming 2016 R but my wife decided that she just couldn't get used to the idea of owning a car with leather seats. She's been a vegetarian for 23 years and doesn't own anything made out of leather. We had then been looking at the M235i for a while since BMW is one of the few manufacturers that still offer a non-leather interior in a nicer car. We were all but ready to order this configuration in June or July once the end-of-year lease incentives got really good:


But recently after some more thought we really decided that it wouldn't be a good idea for us to give up the convenience and practicality of 4 doors. So, we started looking again. We swung by the Subaru dealer where we bought the STI and have become really friendly with the sales manager there. We test drove a CVT WRX since you can get cloth seats with the CVT in the premium trim. Honestly, it was awful. It was like driving my old 2.5i CVT-equipped Outback. The car was slow and lethargic. Bleh. But the reality finally kind of sunk in that we were not going to find a car that she liked that didn't have a leather interior. Obviously a S trim GTI was an option but you can't get a sunroof and we felt she shouldn't end up in less of a car than she already had. If she had to settle for something lower spec it should at least be as good as her current car. At this point the Golf R was back on our radar.

After we left the Subaru dealer we dropped in to the local VW dealer on a whim and they had a CPO Tornado Red '15 R with DSG and the DCC/Nav package parked out front.


(Another Vortexer took this pic of the same car, apparently we both drove it the same weekend.)

Our sales guy (who we leased the GTI from) let us rip it around up and down Rt 28. Honestly, the car was pretty amazing and we decided right there that an R would be her next car. We didn't buy the CPO one because, even though it only had 8k miles, it was a HQ car which they took around to shows and you could tell a lot of asses had sat in that car. Also, she really wanted CarPlay and the '15 was only like $2k off MSRP. Our sales guy put us on the backup list since all their incoming cars were already spoken for. Our preference was a base car in Limestone then Tornado Red then Oryx. We would also settle for a DCC/Nav car, just no blue or black and no 6MT.

When we got home that evening I hopped onto Autotrader to see what was actually available within a few hours of driving and, low and behold, a dealer in Rockville had a 2016 DSG base in Tornado Red. The only new '16 within 170 miles and it was exactly what we were looking for. I emailed them first thing Sunday morning to confirm the car was still there and we went straight to Carmax to get an appraisal for the GTI. While at CarMax I called and confirmed, again, the car was there and the salesman who I spoke to said it would be here when we got there.

When we pulled in they had it parked right out front, ready to go. I guess they knew we were serious since we drove 40+ minutes so they offered us a test drive but we declined. We had just driven the '15 the day before so we knew what to expect and I didn't want to put unnecessary miles on their car in case we didn't buy it.


We talked numbers (we ended up getting it for about $800 under MSRP), left them a check and said we'd be back on Tuesday to buy it. On Tuesday morning we walked in and the salesman immediately came up to us and said that he found a scratch on the car that we missed the day before and he had already cleared it with the manager to have it fixed on their dime. I thought that was really thoughful of him. :thumbup:

So now we just had a bunch of papers to sign. Before we started we asked if they would be willing to swap the wheels/tires between the R and GTI since we really didn't like the Cadiz wheels. It took our sales guy a bit of back and forth to finally communicate to the tech that we didn't want the tires swapped, that we wanted them to literally take the wheels and tires off of the GTI and put them on the R. Our sales man had told us that it would be $20 for them to do it. I kind of just rolled my eyes and agreed to it but they ended up voluntarily taking care of it for us without a charge.


I also asked about trading the R Mojo Mats that came with the car for a pair of the Golf All-weather mats. Turned out they had a Golf wagon on the showroom floor that had a set in the trunk. Our salesman just grabbed the AW mats and threw them in our trunk, also leaving us with the Mojo Mats.

Our first stop on the way home was to Carmax to sell them the GTI.


I have to say, for some reason, the Cadiz wheels actually look good on the MKVI.


Our next, and last, stop before we got home was grabbing some Chinese take-out since we hadn't eaten all day.


At home in it's new spot.



Ownership
We've had the car for a few weeks and the wife is getting used to driving it. I've driven it once or twice on the weekend and honestly it is a pretty fantastic car. It's super easy to drive and very civilized. Personally I think it's a little too civilized, which is something I noted when we first drove the MKVII GTI. The new GTI felt a bit more sterile than our MKVI which I think also carried over to the Golf R. To me, I really think the STI is the more fun car to drive as a result. It's a bit edgier and, overall, it just feels like more of an event every time I fire it up. Now that doesn't mean I don't like driving the Golf R, I really do, and it will be great as our new traveling and weekend car. :p


Changes/Mods



I think that's about it. Once I start doing some installs, like the garage door controller and mirrors, I'll probably end up doing some DIY documentation. Thanks for reading if you stuck it out this far!
 

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Cool man, I'll be keeping up with it.

I'm curious about how the garage remote thing turns out. I decided to go with velcro picture hangers in the door cubby.
 

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Ah, Lindsay VW, and the world's greatest car wash. Looks like we have the same stomping grounds. Let me know if you ever want to see a human shift faster than a DSG.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Did you try to trade your GTI to the dealer you bought the R from?
Sure did, but for the dealer to match CarMax's offer they weren't willing to deal at all on the R. We ended up saving about $1000 or so overall by selling to CarMax.

CarMax gave us $17k and they have it priced for $19,998.
 

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Ah, Lindsay VW, and the world's greatest car wash. Looks like we have the same stomping grounds. Let me know if you ever want to see a human shift faster than a DSG.
I'd like to watch.

And yeah ditto the comment on Lindsay - OP, did they still have the blue 15 also when you were there? When we went they had a blue and red parked next to each other on the circle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OP, did they still have the blue 15 also when you were there? When we went they had a blue and red parked next to each other on the circle.
They did have the blue one but someone was actually buying it while we were there.
 

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Wait, unless I missed something, what happened to the anti leather interior principle?
You couldn't get an R with cloth interior, could you? :D
 

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Wait, unless I missed something, what happened to the anti leather interior principle?
You couldn't get an R with cloth interior, could you? :D
Not to speak for Hostile, or Hostile's Wife, but I'm guessing the awesomeness of the R overcame the reticence of having a leather interior.
Kinda like me when I try and be good at the sandwich or burrito bar, but then she asks if i want meat... and the answer is always yes.

BTW Hostile- surprised you're not getting sh*t for it, but I agree that the R is almost too civilized and not near as "involving" as the STi. (Even though the R is the faster car, ha ha!) I guess it's a sign of my old age that I'm really coming to appreciate that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Wait, unless I missed something, what happened to the anti leather interior principle?
You couldn't get an R with cloth interior, could you? :D
It's in there, but basically the WRX was our last option for a "performance" car that didn't have leather and that my wife was actually interested in. When that didn't pan out we were just out of options and realized that we weren't going to find something that she liked, met our criteria and didn't have leather.

We've talked about finding someone with a MKVII GTI S to do an interior swap with but losing that power controls for the driver's seat would really suck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not to speak for Hostile, or Hostile's Wife, but I'm guessing the awesomeness of the R overcame the reticence of having a leather interior.
Kinda like me when I try and be good at the sandwich or burrito bar, but then she asks if i want meat... and the answer is always yes.
I'm no vegeterian so I always get the meat.



BTW Hostile- surprised you're not getting sh*t for it, but I agree that the R is almost too civilized and not near as "involving" as the STi. (Even though the R is the faster car, ha ha!) I guess it's a sign of my old age that I'm really coming to appreciate that.
I'm 38 and drove boring cars my whole life. I'm not ready to give up the STI just yet. :)
 

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My Golf says it has "leatherette" seats... I'm pretty sure it's not real leather on the seats.... The steering wheel,shift boot and brake boot is real I believe though....

Maybe to ease your mind a bit


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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My Golf says it has "leatherette" seats... I'm pretty sure it's not real leather on the seats.... The steering wheel,shift boot and brake boot is real I believe though....
The phrase VW actually uses on the window sticker is "Leather seating surfaces." In practice this means that the back and parts of the sides are leatherette, but the face of the seats is leather.

Neil
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My Golf says it has "leatherette" seats... I'm pretty sure it's not real leather on the seats.... The steering wheel,shift boot and brake boot is real I believe though....

Maybe to ease your mind a bit
Yea, I've told her that to make her feel a little bit better. :p

The steering wheel should be leather but there is no way the shift and brake boots are. They are some sort of awful-feeling vinyl of some sort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Some more goodies came in the mail today.

Power Folding Mirrors








Double Apex 2-door Garage Controller. This came really nicely packaged. Props to Double Apex. :thumbup:















 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Today we installed the power folding mirrors and the Double Apex garage controller.

Everyone has seen the power folding mirrors in action but they really are awesome. They probably took about an hour to install. The garage controls took a lot longer...

Word of warning for anyone looking at the garage controller, the center console for the R is completely different than the GTI/Golf so some of the instructions aren't entirely accurate. Emailing back and forth with Chris as DA and we figured it out but it's alittle more involved with the R's. For the R, the trim piece around the shifter with the buttons is actually attached to the entire center console. It doesn't just pop off like the Golf or GTI. What this means is you have to actually remove the long side trim pieces that go the length of the center console that go all the way from the footwell back to the armrest.





Once you pull of that trim piece on each side you simply lift the center console starting next to the arm rest, pick a side. I just grabbed the driver's side and lifted up and it popped right now. Then I did the passenger side and worked my way towards the shifter. Then the entire piece pops off and you can disconnect all the harnesses to do what you need to do to finish the install.





Here are the DA garage buttons installed, they look great and light up white when you turn the lights on:



Big thanks to Chris for being so responsive on a Sunday afternoon! :beer: I think we both learned quite a bit today. :laugh:
 

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Today we installed the power folding mirrors and the Double Apex garage controller.

Everyone has seen the power folding mirrors in action but they really are awesome. They probably took about an hour to install. The garage controls took a lot longer...

Word of warning for anyone looking at the garage controller, the center console for the R is completely different than the GTI/Golf so some of the instructions aren't entirely accurate. Emailing back and forth with Chris as DA and we figured it out but it's alittle more involved with the R's. For the R, the trim piece around the shifter with the buttons is actually attached to the entire center console. It doesn't just pop off like the Golf or GTI. What this means is you have to actually remove the long side trim pieces that go the length of the center console that go all the way from the footwell back to the armrest.
The DA site doesn't show MK7. Where'd you pick it up?
 
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