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 |  Jul 06 2010, 5:33 PM

It’s a cliche for enthusiasts to complain about the complexity and weight of modern cars, which are inevitably devoid of “soul” and pine for the spartan, shoddily engineered cars of their youth.

John Voelcker, Senior Editor at Green Car Reports (and the polar opposite of the typical car snob mentioned above) managed to snag a test drive in the kind of oddity that would make said car snobs drool, by snagging a test drive in a Volkswagen CitiGolf. For the uninitiated, the CitiGolf is a first generation Golf/Rabbit that’s been given the bare minimum number of upgrades to make it palatable for the 21st century. There is an airbag (yes, that’s singular, not plural) an upgraded interior and just enough power and passive safety features to upgrade it from “deathtrap” status to “I would buy one for myself but not my kids”.

Voelcker isn’t some “100-octane-in-my-veins” gearhead/self-deluded racer type, and he provides a fair, objective review of this car, reaching the conclusion that it’s fun, but he wouldn’t want to own one personally, as its too crude and unsafe for North American roads. The article is definitely worth your time, if only for the chance get a fairly neutral take on a topic that has been the victim of hype for a significant amount of time.

[Source: Green Car Reports]