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Gertie GTD

James75

Go Kart Champion
Location
Exeter
Arriving at Build Week...

So I enter the week Gertie is meant to be produced. It feels slightly unreal, on one hand, I could be driving it in a ‘few weeks’, in moments of madness I sort of think, that’s not too bad, I could have bought one second hand and I am simply waiting for them to prep the car before I pick it up. On the other, though the possible movement of the Tracker is always greeted with small jump for joy, the Tracker may not move at all or it could confirm Gertie is being built and the nothing… It’s a waiting game, and it always has been. In fairness, so far, touch wood (or perhaps more apt piano black trim) I have been lucky, my dealer may not be fully versed with specs or equipment but as some compensation they have been very understanding with regards to my many silly questions and I have received the promised regular phone calls. I do wonder about whole process. I always feel I should defend it by saying, well VW know what they are doing, blah blah blah, there must be method to it. I can sort of understand a GTD taking some time, but when I read that people have been waiting longer than me for their Golf Match, I to find myself questioning it. What is it that decides when each vehicle is built? I read somewhere it is something to do with dealers having an allocation of when they can put orders forward, so although you may order now, the dealer you order with may not have an allocation for a while, yet another may have one next week. This would certainly seem to ring bells, my dealer was very confident with the process and approx. timescales and they’ve all been spot on (so far - don't tempt fate!)

I have toyed with mods over the last week. Anyone who owns a number of VW’s becomes familiar with the dark arts of VCDS, it seems possible that I will be able to activate the traffic sign recognition system with some coding, I have spent some time organising that. as previously mentioned I have also asked my dealer to paint the mirrors black and I have also toyed with the idea of an up and over black stripe. I am not sure this will suit the Golf, or me, I bought the car because it was understated and I felt, quite classy. Festooning it with a load of ‘stickers’ might not work but I welcome any thoughts on this.

This week my brother has taken delivery of a silver/white Mini Cooper, a new one; I guess the silver white is a bit like VW’s Onyx White. I have had to endure, ‘how great the Mini is’. I did come close to waiting for the new five door version, but when I saw it, to me, it was such a compromised design, it just looks clumsy. Clearly Mini having stopped production of the quirky Clubman and they are going to replace it with two models, this and a new estate, just to cover all bases. For me the new Mini is a great car but it is not me, I am not even sure why, maybe I don’t want to buy into the brand, maybe it’s because I often see three or four in a car park and they look a little less ‘individual’.

So, the waiting goes on….
 
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James75

Go Kart Champion
Location
Exeter
September 12th 2014 - The Joy of Transit

In Transit!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - so close - yet so far...
 

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James75

Go Kart Champion
Location
Exeter
Stage 6 - 10 Days to Go?

So I finally got my stage 6 notification, ‘arrived in the UK’, actually due to large amount of ship stalking I already knew it was in the UK. It arrived a day late on Saturday evening. A storm had managed to make its way across the Thames Estuary and my car was due at Sheerness. This it seems had caused the vessel container, African Highway to dock off the Kent coast for a night.

The process of locating my ship was just detective work, I could have asked my dealer but I felt I’d bombarded them enough with questions and really, my dealer has always been honest with me about the car arrival, so it was quite fun to spend time on www.marinetraffic.com just watching ships.

The stage 5 of your order tracker is your notification around transit, what they don’t tell you is there is 5a, b and c, each seemingly quite vague about what is going on. So the initial, it appears to be in transit excitement, is somewhat tempered by the fact the phrase, in transit could mean, it’s on the train from the factory, it’s stuck at port, or as in my case, it’s stuck on the boat, and it’s the a, b and c notifications of Stage 5 that seem relate to this.

I literally have nothing to distract myself self now until the dealer calls in a couple of days, I had even moved on to watching Youtube videos of VW Vehicles been moved onto ships at Emden. It’s important to be remain occupied, but it is all just a distraction.

My thoughts now are moving towards Gertie and I have a kind of nervous excitement. It’s become real and although excited, there is also some nerves, it’s a big purchase so it has to be right. I’ve always though car choice is purely personal but it has bought for clear reason, in mind you have to be honest about your purchase. There's no point spending a lot of money on a car hoping it will be something. I have always thought of the Golf GTD as less ‘diesel hot hatch’ and more powerful refined slightly posh quick hatchback. I think these reality checks help clarify what you’re buying and help negate some disappointment. I want to be in a position where the GTD is enough for me, and I am not wanting more power or an expansive range of modifications, I don’t mean to knock people but if I have the GTD and I need to change it radically, then in my mind, I’ve bought the wrong car. That said, I have added black mirrors…

So my dealer will call this Thursday and hopefully we will be arranging a collection date. The next question I will ask is, will be a getting the blue cover treatment on the new car?
 
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Mark V1

Go Kart Champion
Location
Herts, UK
Well you are certainly putting a lot of energy and hope in to this (its just a car, lol!!) - but I would suggest you should be thinking about whether or not you let the dealers valeting guys touch it - I certainly did not feel happy about that and took the car in the car park 'in the wraps' - later took it to a pro detailer full the full works...
 

James75

Go Kart Champion
Location
Exeter
I have been thinking about that. I know a very good valeter in my area, they looked after my California Beach and I'd be happy for them to look after the Golf.

It's just a car but it is a lot of money, I could do a lot with the money (I am paying for my car outright), so I feel a certain sense of responsibility about the purchase.


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James75

Go Kart Champion
Location
Exeter
Thursday

Well - I am insured, the registration chosen, i say chosen, there was a list of twelve all with WF at the beginning, it's the West County Suffix but they were all quite similar.

I had said i wanted a Z in it and maybe may initial, which i have. Makes it very real when you see it there in front of you, you start imagining the plate on the car and what it will look like (well i do)

Dealer still proving good, everything has been pretty seamless, they contact when they say they do and their estimations for times etc have all been spot on.

Apparently my car won't be there till Monday or Tuesday, which is kind of good, it means i resist the temptation to drive to the dealers tomorrow and peep.

Collection is arranged for Thursday and then that's it, this whole process, which has been as compelling as it has been stressful (if you find waiting stressful or if you are inpatient). I can't say i will miss waiting, waiting on tracker updates and dealers phone calls but, you know, it's an experience.

Once I have Gertie then i will be keen to how it stacks up to reviews, not just road tests but reviews on here, and i intend to keep a blog here and continue to share my experiences.

I also have a mic enfolder of stuff, brochures, order form (s) - registration confirmation, going to keep it with the car. May even add in the infamous VW Birth Certificate.

So, the home straight now, just counting down the days :)


James
 
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Chris43

Go Kart Champion
Location
Bury, Lancs
I'm off to the shops later, I feel like I should head in to Clinton Cards and look for a "Congratulations on the arrival of your Golf" card. Seriously, I hope it meets your expectations. I waited 132 days between order and delivery, how manys days is it for you?

Do you have a significant other, are they prepared for the new arrival? You will bore them to death. Even now I smile when I catch sight of another GTD, this is promptly followed by the missus rolling her eyes. She just doesn't understand!
 

James75

Go Kart Champion
Location
Exeter
Now come on Chris, you are being ridiculous, it would have to be a 'Welcome to Your GTD' card:)

I haven't counted the days, but it's been since the 1st July. I've been driving around a VW California Beach for almost the last three years, in effect a VW Transporter, so in terms of expectations, it doesn't have to do much. The T5 is lovely, and it was an amazing vehicle to own and an amazing experience, a VW factory built Camper but a van is a van and it is never the same as a car.

In that sense my other half is used to the whole 'VW' thing, she's used to me boring her silly about cars in general. Before the Beach we had an American VW Vanagon, more waving, more dub stuff....

So the VW thing is there with me.

I am actually quite nervous :)

James
 

Nyanga

Ready to race!
Location
West Sussex
James,

I am enjoying your "journey"!.

I was interested in your reference to an Alfa-Romeo. In the 1970's, I had a Giulia, GTV & Alfetta. And then along came children....! Sometimes wish I had kept the GTV...great shape. The Alfetta was awesome with it's V6 and gearbox in rear; and it was a big saloon.

Still, the advanced technology of the GTi has me looking forward to exploring it.

Build week 06 Oct!!
 

James75

Go Kart Champion
Location
Exeter
Growing up my Dad had 1982 Alfa Sud - it wasn't the classic 1970's type but still quite cool and had lots of equipment that equivalent cars didn't have. It's downfall was the unreliable inboard brakes. Thank you for the kind comments :). I'm picking up Thursday and can't wait.


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rapport25

Go Kart Champion
Location
Midlands
Growing up my Dad had 1982 Alfa Sud - it wasn't the classic 1970's type but still quite cool and had lots of equipment that equivalent cars didn't have. It's downfall was the unreliable inboard brakes. Thank you for the kind comments :). I'm picking up Thursday and can't wait.


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Ooooooh. The countdown begins :D:D. You will be very happy, the best VW I have owned to date.

Rappy :cool:
 

James75

Go Kart Champion
Location
Exeter
Over the last two days i've completed two quite long drives in fairly mixed driving conditions, so I guess i am a slightly better position to comment about the GTD.

The Options...

I did put quite a lot of options on the car, knowing in reality they probably don't add much to the resale and they could go wrong but i did add them, so let me go through them.

Rear View Camera
Absolutely, at the price it costs, why wouldn't you? Very accurate and really helpful. Makes a slightly funny noise as it opens from under the badge but i am glad i ticked this and at £700 to retrofit, it makes sense to tick the box.

Lane Assist and Dynamic Light Assist
This has been the most surprising option in that, it actually has uses. I have renamed it 'idiot check' or 'idiot spot'. The Lane Assist is slightly disconcerting as it makes small adjustments to the wheel to keep you between the lines and initially i just wanted to turn it off but i have got used to it and now, I just drive with it, it doesn't stop me enjoying the car.

The side scan is brilliant, you know those idiots who drive in your blind spot in the next lane on the motorway, well this is why i've called it 'idiot check' or 'idiot spot' because a little light on the mirror glass itself flashes up and you have the warning.

Another interesting by product of this is that Lane Assist gives you extra sensors on your front and rear numbers at the side, so now, you have an extra check if you are close to a wall or as is often the case in Devon, a hedgerow. A really useful feature and is represented on the display just the same as the front and rear sensors.

Dynamic Light Assist
Again, very useful, if only for the bizarre experience of driving with full beams on and people not flashing you because the lights dip and trim as required. It comes on above 42 mph (isn) but it still works really well. The way the Xenons turns as well is really effective.

Park Assist
It parks for you, it does work, but this is really a gimmick to be honest, quite handy for the awkward parallel park in those busy high streets, i never expected it to be amazing, it was a cheap option.

Discovery Pro
Ah... the endless debate on this, I personally think its really good, I have had no problems with auto zoom on the sat nav, everything has worked just fine. The display is beautiful and crisp and i have hadn't any lag, either on start up or during navigation. I concede that in the future in car sat nav may be made redundant by other tech and that you could spend a £100 on a cheap Halfords Sat Nav and it would be fine. It would also make much more sense if Carnet was available in the UK and the online facilities could be utilised. I don't regret it though but it can be hard to justify.

Winter Pack
Well, it's always going to make more sense on leather, hence why it comes with leather seats but i don't regret speccing it.

What Options Did I Consider?
Keyless and Dynaudio were the two I debated, i don't regret not speccing them but I did think long and hard about them.

What Options Would I Spec Now?
Much the same, i have no regrets about my choices, the only option i think that most people overlook and myself included but actually makes a lot of sense is heated screen and phone prep. This is not 'glamorous' but i think it's a very useful option to have.

So What do I think of the Car?
It's so VW, it has that VW DNA, it's almost bland in how effortless it is, from the cabin, to the seats (cloth of course), to the way it looks. It's a quality product, spending 28k on a car and avoiding the posh badges, you want your car to feel like a quality product and whilst quality is a deeply subjective word, there's no doubt that everyone who has sat in the GTD has been deeply impressed by the whole interior. It doesn't shout at you, it doesn't have extravagant touches, it just very very easy to use and wonderfully put together. There are some lovely touches in the way things work. Everyone who has seen the GTD has initially been a bit nonplussed by its looks but once they are sat in it, they are very impressed, and i like that.

MPG.
I filled up on Friday and since then with mixed driving I am sitting at 48mpg, I'd say that's pretty good for a powerful car. If that improves even better, for a car that can hit just over 145mph, i'm pretty pleased with that,

Anything I don't like.
The steering wheel and stalks are a bit cluttered, this is a consequence of more 'stuff', i can get used to it, I am just used to the previous gen VW's and the way they do things. There is some tyre roar but i expected this, in a way it's because the engine is so damn quiet at speed. I also wish it had two USB slots as standard, but then, that is where phone prep comes in.

Favourite Bits?
ACC works very well, wasn't sure it would so much on a manual car but it does, it makes driving a lot easier and again it acts as an, 'idiot check'. I also love the LED lighting in the car, it's very classy at night and in fact, the whole cabin at night looks very smart. I also like how comfortable it is, it's supremely comfortable to sit in.

Reviews?
Well they said it should be more involving, I agree to an extent, but that's not really what the GTD is about, is it? I mean you've got a car here that can do a whole range of things, it's the perfect all rounder with the running costs to much. Me, perhaps i am boring and old but i like its understated nature.

Corners
It goes round them with alarming ease, just as your brain says, you're going to or you should be running out of road and you expect the car to run wide, it just pulls it self round, you step on the accelerator and it powers out of the corner without a mummer or fuss, it's unnerving and i am not talking about fast, it's just how late you can brake. I have on a couple of occasions had to force myself not to interfere and say to myself, trust the car, trust the car, trust the car...

So...
It's a good car, I will have to wait now to see if I experience all the issues that others seem to have experienced. It is so far, very early on, the car i hoped it would and expected it to be.

Oh, the Electronic Parking Brake - i've had no issue, works really well, it just works... Great for hill starts.

James
 

James75

Go Kart Champion
Location
Exeter
Some pictures I took this evening. Also had a good trawl through the manual, notice on UK Golfs will need a sim card slot in the infotainment box in the glovebox to get Carnet and make a wireless hotspot. The sim card slot in the manual sits between the two sd card slots.

The manual also leads me to believe I should get Traffic Sign Recognition, we don't in the UK at present, it's a separate priced option in Germany (for example) and in turn a separate code when ordering.
 

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James75

Go Kart Champion
Location
Exeter
Thanks for the update... glad you still love the car. :)

I am interested to know how my feelings change over time, once the initial excitement has passed. For me, one of the joys of owning a car and the joy of cars is the long term ownerships, learning about a car, getting to know it inside and out.

James
 
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