Calling all TCLers: Review your own car!
I was inspired by Jalopnik's call for commenters to review their own cars. There's a wide variety of cars owned by us TCLers, and it could prove to be a good resource for the future. Here's the general format:
1. At least one picture. Preferably of your actual car, not Google.
2. Exterior X/10
3. Interior X/10
4. Acceleration X/10
5. Braking X/10
6. Ride X/10
7. Handling X/10
8. Gearbox X/10
9. Audio X/10 (Everything. Engine noise, exhaust, stereo, etc.)
10. Toys X/10
11. Value X/10
12. Total X/100
My Car-1997 VW Cabrio VR6
What started out as a sorority girl's dream car has slowly morphed into a slightly more manly, and interesting ride. While people still regularly deliver the catcalls of "gay" while I'm behind the wheel, I 've formed somewhat of a special bond with this car. The motor is from my deceased GTI, and all of the work on the car was done by me in my last few years of high school. She's not the highest performance automobile, but once you open it up in a tunnel with the top down, the smiles don't stop.
1. Exterior 6/10
As far as convertibles go, she's pretty boring. The body itself is all 90s econobox, but the 3 piece TRD wheels that I recently refinished do look pretty sharp. Plus it's got a great vanity plate! "VR6SWAP".
2. Interior 6/10
The interior is quite nice by late 90s standards. Dash strokers will be appeased by the squishiness of the GTI dash, and the golf ball shift knob is great to row through the gears with. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, there is quite a lot of wear and tear going on. The door cards are tan whilst the rest of the interior is black, and the tops are peeling at the seams from years of sun damage. The driver's seat also has a fair amount of wear as the previous owner was rather overweight. The leather is nice though.
3. Acceleration 8/10
While 180ish horsepower and an equivalent amount of torque might not seem like alot, she pulls. Hard. The rainy Washington winters make it a little hard to put power down, but it's still fun to spin the tires every once and a while. The torque is pretty much always there, so there's plenty of torks for safe uphill passing. Unlike a specific TCL darling...
4. Braking 6/10
Once again, nothing special here. The GTI brakes that are on it are much more effective than the stock Cabrio disk/drum combo, but she's still a heavy car that's pretty hard to bring to a stop.
5. Ride 3/10
The ride is absolute garbage. Even though they're not spun down too far, $300 Raceland coilovers with air springs on the front aren't exactly the pinnacle engineering. The car bounces around like a ragdoll when the road gets rough, and tall people have to watch their heads on the ceiling when the roads get real bad.
6. Handling 3/10
To put it nicely, this car is an understeering pig. From the factory, she wasn't exactly Lotus-like in handling, and the high power/high weight VR6 hung out over the nose doesn't exactly help. The Raceland's are crap as well. You get what you pay for.
7. Gearbox 8/10
While VR6 gearboxes aren't exactly known for their reliability, I love how they feel while you row through the gears. The golfball shift knob has a really nice feel and the throw is rather long but after 100 some thousand miles it still feels pretty notchy. Plus, reverse is where it should be. Up and to the left.
8. Audio 8/10
The stereo is below average by modern standards, but in my opinion, the VR6 is one of the best sounding 6 cylinders out there. The shallow angle of the engine's "vee" pattern allows for the sound to be halfway between a V6 and an inline 6. On top of that, the 2.5 inch exhaust has a great throaty tone when you really step on it. Like I said earlier, not much is better than getting on it in a tunnel.
9. Toys 7/10
While not a TCL approved modification, the saving grace here is the air suspension. I love it. Airing it up and down makes me crack a smile without fail, plus the ladies love it. Or not.
10. Value 3/10
I've poured probably upwards of 10 grand into this car, and there's no way it's actually worth that much to anyone else. It's full of sentimental value, but that's about it. Plus, it's a late 90s Volkswagen so it's plagued by various mechanical and electrical gremlins.
At least it's a passing grade!
Calling all TCLers: Review your own car!
2. Exterior 8/10 Minus a couple areas I'd fix, the exterior is perfect to me, especially with the 2010+ refresh. Looks mean and aggressive. I like that.
3. Interior 6/10 The interior could use some improvements in certain areas IMHO. The center stack is easy to reach and use, but the shifter/e-brake/cup holder get crowded easy, especially on road trips with 2 bottles in the cup holders. The door materials are bargain basement. They hold up to weather and scuffs, just too hard though.
4. Acceleration 9/10. This thing scoots. I'll make it a 10/10 this next year when I put in the 3.73 gears.
5. Braking 5/10. Stock brakes are just ok. I'll be fixing the issue in the aftermarket world. Brembo package probably fixes this issue, but mine was used and didn't come with that option.
6. Ride 6/10. The stock ride was just ok. Took bumps well and was easy to drive on rapid trips. But now I've gone crazy and lowered it and put on adjustable stiffer shocks/struts and now it's a tad bumpy in cities with bad roads.
7. Handling 5/10 stock. Now thanks to the aftermarket I'd say its an 8/10.
8. Gearbox 7/10. I'd give it higher if it wasn't so finicky in cold weather, but once it warms up its great.
9. Audio 6/10. Sync is great but can be finicky. Speakers are just ok and will be remedied soon.
10. Toys 10/10. I bought this car because it has a massive aftermarket parts support. It only depends how deep your wallet is. I've been concentrating on suspension so far (springs, adjustable shocks/struts, lower control arms/relocation brackets, adjustable panhard bar/panhard brace, sway bars, wheels and tires). Next year is gears, tune, lightweight driveshaft, install my MGW short shift kit and start on brake upgrades plus other little exterior mods. Also want to install the 302 steering wheel.
11. Value 9/10. 412 horsepower, rwd coupe for $30k. Hell of a deal IMHO.
12. Total 71/100
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