First Time’s a Charm: Test Driving the 2015 Golf and GTI

The Golf Driving Experience: Not your average test drive.

Bright and early on a Friday morning a few weeks ago Volkswagen Canada held their Golf Driving Experience media day in Toronto. Formerly known as the VW Freedriving Tour this year opted to focus the attention on the All-New 2015 Golf and Golf GTI. Known among enthusiasts as the Golf VII, the 2015 model is a highly anticipated refresh of the Golf line featuring with some incredible improvements to the flagship car.

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With so many improvements and so many questions among enthusiasts the energy in the meeting room was redlining before the first cup of coffee was poured. For the first time in my experience with the tour, Volkswagen held a Google hangout with the lead engineers on the Golf 7 all the way from Wolfsburg. This was the chance to hear everything about the car straight from the horse’s mouth. With the engineering team at HQ signing off and the danishes down to the last few crumbs, it was time to hit the track and get down to business.

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If you’ve ever done a test drive at a dealership you might be familiar with the awkward and uncomfortable feeling of driving like you’re sixteen and taking your license test. That nervous drive where you stay exactly on the speed limit, look both ways, twice. If you didn’t see it coming around the curve, Volkswagen isn’t an ordinary car company and this test drive isn’t your ordinary test drive. With a fleet of GTIs and a custom-made racing circuit we paired up with a performance driving instructor to hit the course and experience first hand just how many improvements have been made to the new Golf.

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With the pedal to the floor and hands at 9 & 3, of course, I raced through the course, hugging the corners with the sounds of the engine roaring and the oh-so-satisfying, yet frowned upon, tire screech. This was the Hot Wheels racing you imagined as a kid, coming to life. With some words of advice from my coach, I made it through the course again and again. Each time a bit faster and with fewer errors. After a near perfect run, it was time to retire the dreams of Formula 1. I’m sold on the new Golf, it has the style, the performance and the VW stamp of approval. Now I just need to figure out how to sneak one out of the lot while the staff isn’t looking.

Leslie Woods

Author: Leslie Woods is the Founder and Creative Director of What’s Really Good Magazine. The independent hybrid digital publication was the pioneering lifestyle magazine for men in Canada. As an arbiter of contemporary culture, the magazine places equal emphasis on accomplished journalism and photography and works with established and emerging writers, editors, stylists and photographers. WRG has partnered with industry leaders including Volkswagen, Nike, Veuve Clicquot, Lacoste, Red Bull, Absolut, Oakley, Samsung and countless others.