“It takes me to places that public transportation won’t take me.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Jeff
- Car in Question: 2011 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn Edition
- Spotted at: Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, 6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028
- Odometer: 212
Q: When did you buy your car?
A: Three or four weeks ago.
Q: What comes in the Autobahn Edition?
A: Every option that you can get on the GTI. Leather, keyless entry, keyless start, navigation, iPod adapter, Bluetooth, the works.
Q: Which feature do you like the most?
A: It’s not necessarily the must-have feature for me, but the keyless entry and ignition are definitely cool.
Q: And what nickname did you give your car?
A: Nothing yet, but I’m working on it.
Q: Why haven’t you come up with anything yet?
A: I can’t just give it a hokey name. It’s something I have to take very seriously. It gets a lot of consideration.
Q: What was your old car’s name?
A: After 10 or 11 years, I never settled on a name. I just couldn’t decide.
Q: Really, so we’re going to have to wait that long for this one. Where do live?
Q: And how old are you?
Q: How did you decide on this car?
A: I spent months and months researching exactly what I wanted. By the time I went to the dealership, I had a pretty good idea of exactly what I was getting myself into. It was just a matter of test-driving it to see if it really lived up to everything I had read and whether I just had that connection with it. And it turned out I did.
Q: Do you like standard transmission vehicles better?
A: Love ’em. I’m sort of a driving enthusiast, and you just have more of a connection with the car and what it’s doing. Every car, every model is not as well suited to it, but on cars like this that are just fun to take into a canyon on a Sunday morning through winding back roads…it just gives you a better connection with the car and a better experience.
Q: What lessons have you learned about new cars?
A: Never push the tires too hard when they’re brand new. They don’t have the same traction right away.
Q: Is there a story behind that?
A: Not one that I’d really like to put on the record.
Q: OK, do you have any rules in the car?
A: No hard and fast rules, but I’m definitely cautious about food and drink. No smoking. I think that’s it.
Q: So tell me about the gearshift.
A: It’s fancy. They have this nifty way to prevent you from accidentally putting the car in reverse when you don’t want to by making you physically press it down before it will allow you to put it in reverse. It’s interesting hearing the number of accidents that occur in standard transmission vehicles when the car’s been accidentally put in reverse.
Q: What’s your car’s main use?
A: Not commuting, just getting around. It takes me to places that public transportation won’t take me.
Q: Why not commuting?
A: I walk to work. I work close to my house.
Q: Do you have any plans for fun day trips in the future?
A: No concrete plans yet. Any plans that come about would probably involve driving to a desolate mountain somewhere to hike upon. Maybe to Mount Whitney.
Q: What do you listen to in the car?
A: Generally, my iPod, whatever I’m in the mood for. Often times, I’ll fall back on singer/songwriter type stuff.
Q: If your car had a theme song, what would it be?
A: “Ghostwriter” by RJD2.
Q: If your car had a human emotion, what would it be?
A: It would be joy. It’s a happy car, a place for happiness. There are no negative emotions in here.
Q: If your car slept with a stuffed animal at night, what would it be?
A: That’s a tough question. I’m going to say it would be a grizzly bear. In stuffed form, it’s a cute cuddly animal that you can really wrap your arms around and give a big hug to. But in reality, we all know that bears are pretty vicious, and I feel like this car sort of has that duality to it.
Q: What’s your absolute dream car you’d like to own?
A: Probably a Porsche 911. It’s a fun car, a classic, and on the used market it’s actually attainable, unlike a Ferrari or a Lamborghini or something more extravagant.
Q: Is there anything we should know about your car?
A: This informational menu in the middle here is awesome. You can switch between different displays to see the status of your phone or call. You can control your phone. You can see navigation directions without having to look at the nav screen. You can see what songs are playing. Any number of different pieces of useful information that don’t require you to look at other places in your car, just straight ahead of you, which is really convenient.
Q: Is this car everything you dreamed it would be?
A: No, because it has no park assist or rear backup camera. I would love those, but they’re not available in the American edition. European edition, yes.
Are you ready to Defend Your Ride? If so, email email@example.com with “Defend Your Ride L.A.” in the subject line for submission details.
Photos and interview by Michael Shen, blogger of lacantdrive.com