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2010 Volkswagen GTI

Sean Jones / Staff Photo

Abraham Rodriguez / Managing Editor

The hatchback. It’s small and light, highly maneuverable and packs an unexpected

bite. It’s a Chihuahua, the kind you stuff in a purse and barks all the time, snarls at you with its ugly zombie-dog face and gets the shakes for random reasons.
This analogy would perhaps better suit the used Honda crowd seen driving around with huge exhaust cans and Raiders stickers covering up the rear window *cough* East Oakland *cough*. This wouldn’t be true of the 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI.
The Golf is V-dub’s reputed hatchback and returns in its sixth generation with a redesign and upgraded goodies. The Golf comes with several trim levels, such as the Golf TDI and GTI.
I wasn’t there to cuddle with the gas-saver econo-options though. I was there for a Doberman in sheep’s clothing. This was the GTI. A turbo 4 cylinder version of the Golf pushing 207 feet of torque and 200 horses that amazingly got better gas mileage than the regular Golf.
The GTI comes in with a 6-speed manual or a 6 speed automatic with paddle shifters. The model driven was an automatic with four doors, obviously ideal for a four-seater. New for 2010 is a touch screen stereo system with satellite radio and six-disc CD changer. It comes with an iPod connection in the center console and an auxiliary input jack close to the emergency brake handle in the middle.
The glove box is cooled, which helps with food and drinks on long drives. The moon roof is complex and has more features than I can remember. The Volkswagen GTI has a ton of interior features, and even with the lack of swanky leather seats, I was impressed.
The exterior of the car has a slight distinct look from the regular Golfs. The honeycomb black grill has time attack style red striping and uses the GTI’s original badge. Appearance-wise, it’s no more malignant looking than the other Golfs.
Not until I was driving Buicks on 22-inch rims off the road and going wide open throttle in Oakland’s Third World streets did I realized what I was dealing with. Even under the most horrendous of road conditions the suspension kept movement tight and precise, even more so when boosting in and out of traffic.
This rally-style rumpus left us in the hills of Oakland longing for more open road. Luckily, the freeway on-ramp was just a hair away. Pushing this hatch rocket on the freeway and seeing electronic speed signs flash red urging me to stop only made it better. Zipping in and out of traffic and lanes, I maneuvered from left to right, avoiding work trucks, left lane losers and police checkpoints.
Every time you push that gas peddle down, it literally pushes back. Hear the turbos wind up and the car kicks into berserk mode.
The highlight of my time with the GTI was getting acquainted with its launch control system. Hold down the brake pedal and slam the gas pedal, let it rev and let go of the brake. You’ll be flying down the street before you know it.
In the last issue, we applauded the Suzuki Kizashi for having a mafia-sized trunk big enough to fit not just one, but two people comfortably. I’m saddened to say that this time I was not able to put the GTI’s trunk to the test but I was assured by our VW representative that a full-sized person can fit.
The Golf GTI is the only sensible option for those with an appetite for speed and practical city driving. If speed isn’t your thing, the base Golf model is a cheap alternative. It starts at around $18,000 and gets 1 mile per gallon less than the GTI. The Golf TDI is the ultimate gas saver here and features a 2.0L, 140 horsepower turbo diesel and an awesome 236 lbs.-ft of torque, more than the GTI. It also gets 30 mpg in the city and 41 in the highway and starts at around $22,000.
The GTI is a fun car that’s great for spirited driving and inner city hustle and bustle. I grew fond of this pint-sized Doberman and my 5-pound Chihuahua would agree. They both neither shake or look the part.

For more automotive features check out Abraham Rodriguez’s personal blog at http://www.kinetic-sound.com.

Abraham Rodriguez / Layout

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Sitting with Dr. Stacy Thompson VP of Academic Services of #chabotcollege in Building 200, on April 9, 2014.

Photo by: @theworldofours
Victory, the Chabot Gladiators tennis fought In the heat to beat American River college 5-4 on Tuesday, April. 8, 2014 at Hayward, Calif. The win over ARC helped the  Chabot tennis team move on to the next round of the playoffs where they will face the undefeated Foothill Owls. (David Soriano/ChabotSpectator/Athletics) #Chabot #tennis #win #winning
#chabotspectator #JACC2014 That's what counts...
LA Deputy, Hill Goedwart and his horse, Shooter, talked about his 19-year career in law enforcement. #RAW #JACC #horses

Photo Credit: @theworldofours
Kemba Smith, spoke with #ChabotCollege students in Building 700 about domestic violence on March 27, 2014. [photo credit: @theworldofours ]
A Day of Action Against Modern Day Slavery with guest speaker Angela Irizarry, at Chabot College in room 2611 on Mar. 25, 2014. #chabotcollege
Donald Pearson seen here took 6th overall at the Sacramento State Hornet Invitational for the long jump with a distance of 6.89m on Mar. 22, 2014, Sacramento CA. Pearson jumped against 30 other athletes that include a few NCAA D1 athletes. Photo by David Soriano @runthatdistancetf
Daniel Estrada of Chabot (8) outkicks the field with a time of 1:58.75 during the Hornet Invitational on Mar. 22, 2014 at Sacramento State. Estrada is the first Gladiator to break the 2:00 mark this year, just 3 weeks ago his personal best was a 2:10!! #tracknation #chabog #track
Choral spring concert as they sing The Terrible Tale of Tom Gilligan at bldg. 1200 on Mar. 20, 2014.
#ChabotCollege Tell'em~! @ the chabot spring choral concert!
It was the 47th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival Preview Day today at the Peace Plaza in San Francisco's Japantown on Saturday, Mar. 15, 2014.  The candidates for the 2014 Cherry Blossom Queen's Court was introduced to the press.  Shimaoka Kazusa-Kai
San Francisco Koto Ensemble were among one of the performers who entertained attendees at the Cherry Blossom Festival Preview Day.
(Tammy Lee/Staff Photos)
FINAL. Chabot's season comes to an end with loss to SBVC in the Final Four. 78-68. Still doesn't erase the fantastic season our Gladiators had. Chabot finishes the year with a 25-8 record.
HALFTIME here in Norwalk! San Bernardino Valley leads Chabot 35-34. Cortez Bad News Barrett leads the Gladiators in scoring with 12 points. Second half coming up in 11 minutes! #chabot #sbvc #socal #cccaa #bayarea #basketball #ncaa #marchmadness #college
We're about to get started here in Norwalk! Chabot vs. San Bernardino with a chance to play Santa Rosa City College in the CCCAA State Championship game! To watch, tune into cccaasports.org at 7pm! Let's go Chabot! #Chabot #Gladiators #Bayarea #Basketball #CCCAA #SanBernardino #Hayward #CCvsSBVC
THEY'RE HERE! The 2013-2014 Chabot Men's Basketball team shoots around at Cerritos College in Norwalk, CA to get ready for the semifinals of the CCCAA tournament against San Bernadino Valley! A victory tonight will send Chabot to the Championship Game which will be played tomorrow! Tonight's game will begin at 7pm preceding the Santa Rosa vs. Chaffey game, and it can be viewed on cccaasports.com! #cccaa #bayarea #basketball #chabot #ncaa #marchmadness
Members of the Chabot basketball team posing for a picture after the team dinner, the spectator is down in LA and will cover the State Finals. #chabot  #basketball
Come support the Chabot Basketball team in LA as they battle for the state title
Usually very active at night, the Russell City Energy Center seen from the Hayward Regional Shoreline lays dormant at night on Mar. 10, 2014. The heavily debated Energy Center is producing 10 times the ammount of pollution allowed by the State of California. Photo by David Soriano @runthatdistancetf #photography #chabot #l4l #love #picoftheday #instagod  #instacool #igers

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April 14 - 19
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April 22
12th Annual Return of the Swallows Festival
Cesar A Chavez Plaza Chabot College 11AM - 1PM

April 24
Change It Now! presents Social Justice in Action: A Panel Discussion on Careers That Make a Difference! 12 - 1PM in Room 722 (The Event Center).

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