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Michael B. Healy's Profile

Customer Reviews: 110
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Helpful Votes: 102


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Reviews Written by
Michael B. Healy "Realist" RSS Feed (Arlington Heights, IL, USA)
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2015 Volkswagen GTI
2015 Volkswagen GTI

5.0 out of 5 stars Wundercar, April 17, 2016
This review is from: 2015 Volkswagen GTI
Bought this car to replace the family truckster - a 2000 Honda CR-V EX 5-speed. Since I would be the primary user the car had to have a manual transmission and be somewhat fun to drive in addition to being able to carry 4 people in reasonable comfort. Final choice came down to the Mazda 3, Focus ST and the GTI. The GTI won by being the best all-rounder for my needs. Bought in June of 2015. Current miles on the clock - approximately 9,000.

Options/Trim Level: 4-door SE, 6-speed manual, Performance Package, Lighting Package, DCC, and Summer Tires. Came with VW's Cargo Mat and 2 sets of floor mats - winter and summer.

Motor: While certainly not the most powerful 2-liter turbo-4 on paper, the engine does yeoman work. Power is easy and effortless. Very little turbo lag. In short, the car scoots.

Transmission: My previous experiences with VW manuals did not prepare me for this. The shifter is a wonder. Better than any FWD car I've owned, and most RWD, too - and I've owned a few of both, including an S2000. Gates are close-spaced and the clutch is light with a fairly quick take-up.

Handling: Turns in very well - the trick differential does a really good job of compensating for the FWD setup. The 3 basic choices provided by DCC give a good range of options, though in my opinion "Sport" is not sporty enough. It could be tighter and I'd be fine with it. The body is solid and sufficiently stiff.

Brakes: Very strong. Can be too grabby at times. No fade that I've noticed, but I don't track the car, so no real tests have been performed.

Interior: Very German. Very Black. All of the basics are covered as far as I'm concerned. I hear complaints about the entertainment system, but I have no problems with it. I just load up a few thousand songs on an SD card and I'm good to go for quite a while. Sound is fine for any normal listening volumes. Seats are comfortable and hold me in place quite well.

Styling: Bland & conservatively handsome. Like most VW's it should age well even if it isn't terribly exciting. Basically looks like every other Golf with a few pieces of bling to give it a little show. On the plus side, the thing is fairly invisible on the road in its silver paint, and the local gendarmerie seems to ignore me despite my tendency towards hyperspeed commuting. I do NOT like the 18" wheels, either in style or in size. Once the tires are worn out, they will be replaced with a set of 17-inchers.

Mileage: I've been getting 25-27mpg (calculated) on mostly 93-octane gas. As I tend to move quickly, this is okay by me. I suspect that I could get close to 30mpg, but the car does not encourage that kind of responsibility. My commute is 18 miles one-way, mostly highway, and I average 80+mph, which probably doesn't help.

Complaints: The motor is too quiet, even with the artificial "Soundaktor" enhancement. I may have to try fixing this at some point down the line. The outside mirrors are too small, and are very difficult to adjust for proper blind spot minimization. The seat warmers are slow. I don't use them often, but when I do, I want them to work ASAP. These don't. The chromed exhaust tips gunk up very quickly. It's a pet peeve, but I basically have to wipe them off on a daily basis. The paint sucks. I understand that this is fairly typical VW, but man! I already have a bunch of chips that go right through to the metal. The gas tank is too small at 13.2 gallons, and the low fuel light comes on with 3+ gallons still left, and that makes me anxious, so I end up refueling more often than I need.

Likes: The motor. 220hp (supposedly) never felt so strong. Handling. Handling. Handling. Best wrong-wheel drive car I've owned.


2015 Volkswagen GTI Wiper Blade (Passenger) (Goodyear Wiper Blades-Hybrid)
2015 Volkswagen GTI Wiper Blade (Passenger) (Goodyear Wiper Blades-Hybrid)
Offered by CarPartsClub
Price: $17.24

2.0 out of 5 stars Requires hieroglyphics translator, March 27, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Looked like a nice wiper blade, but I couldn't get the thing to fit on the car. There are so many adapters, and the pictogram instructions are so vague that I couldn't figure it out. Ended up in the trash.


Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband, Black, Large
Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband, Black, Large
Price: $123.94
21 used & new from $118.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Works until it doesn't, March 27, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Bought this for the Boss, as she is something of a gym rat and got it into her head that she's give one of these a try. Evidently it worked fine right up until it was no longer eligible for return, at which point it stopped charging and is apparently useless. That was a bit over one month of use.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 28, 2016 12:14 PM PDT


Under Armour Men's The Original 6" Boxerjock Boxer Briefs #1230364-001 (M)
Under Armour Men's The Original 6" Boxerjock Boxer Briefs #1230364-001 (M)
Offered by Nickerson's
Price: $20.00

3.0 out of 5 stars There's only one pair in there!, January 23, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Somewhat misleading, as there is but a single pair of these things in the package. For the money, Jockey is a much better product.


Trico 11-H Exact Fit Rear Beam Wiper Blade - 11" (Pack of 1)
Trico 11-H Exact Fit Rear Beam Wiper Blade - 11" (Pack of 1)
Price: $11.78
6 used & new from $11.78

4.0 out of 5 stars Fits Fine, January 23, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Fits fine. I'm not going to "love" a rear wiper blade, so 4-stars it is.


(2 Pieces) Volkswagen VW 24"+19" AERO Premium All-Season Bracketless Windshield Wiper Blades
(2 Pieces) Volkswagen VW 24"+19" AERO Premium All-Season Bracketless Windshield Wiper Blades
Offered by WiperMaster
Price: $32.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Sized, January 23, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The smaller blade (19" in my case) is too big for the application (2015 VW GTI), and catches on the window frame. Comparing it with the OEM piece shows that it is over an inch longer.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 1, 2016 8:15 AM PDT


H2H Mens Work Utility Hunting Travels Sports Vest With Multiple Pockets NAVY US 2XL/Asia 3XL (KMOV081)
H2H Mens Work Utility Hunting Travels Sports Vest With Multiple Pockets NAVY US 2XL/Asia 3XL (KMOV081)
Offered by H2H

2.0 out of 5 stars Too Small, January 23, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Nice vest. Just way, way too small. I took my chances given the number of reviews stating the exact same thing. My advice: if you must order, get it at least TWO sizes larger than what you normally wear.


Genuine Volkswagen Performance Baseball Cap Hat
Genuine Volkswagen Performance Baseball Cap Hat
Offered by Online Parts Warehouse
Price: $18.91

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice!, August 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a damned nice ball cap.


The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War (General Military)
The Imperial Japanese Navy in the Pacific War (General Military)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice rundown of what became of the Imperial Fleet, July 12, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
A good overview of what happened to just about every unit of the IJN in WW2. Not overly detailed, but no single volume covering this material could be. A note: I read this on the Kindle, but this is plainly a book that needs to be experienced in print - the Kindle cannot do the illustrations (many of which I have never seen before) justice.


Stuka Pilot
Stuka Pilot
Price: $2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How did this guy live through the war?, June 6, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Stuka Pilot (Kindle Edition)
Sometimes I wonder if guys like Hans Ulrich Rudel could possibly have been real. His story is frankly amazing, though I would have been very happy to see a (verified if at all possible) list of all the things that he destroyed while flying his Stuka. Is it in the paper edition? An interesting read that could benefit from better translation and some serious proofreading. A professional co-author would have done the story wonders, too.


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