For a long time I have been waffling back and forth between the GTI and R. There were even cars of each flavor that I came close to purchasing but ended up waving off at the last moment. As the struggle to settle on one or the other continued I decided to try to take an analytical approach to identifying the version most suited to my goals and priorities.
To this end I created a decision matrix composed of criteria that are important to me in this effort. This matrix is shown below with the criteria occupying the leftmost column and topmost row.
The area shaded in green is where I assign my importance to these criteria when considered against another criteria. For instance the top row is acceleration versus the other criteria that span the columns and one example would be Acceleration and Appearance. The number five indicates that I give more weight to acceleration than to appearance. Looking further to the right below Safety the number 0.1 means that I put less value on acceleration when compared with safety. The number weighting is as follows:
- 0.1 Much Less Important
- 0.2 Less Important
- 1 Equal Importance
- 5 More Important
- 10 Much More Important
Having assigned weighting to different features I moved onto making a subjective comparison of the GTI versus R in each of these feature areas.
Again a similar ranking scale is used with the numbers in the green boxes indicating my weighting, but with the numbers now having a slightly different meaning:
- 0.1 Much Worse
- 0.2 Worse
- 1 Equal
- 5 Better
- 10 Much Better
Again giving an example, the last comparison is of Purchase Cost, for this feature I believe the Golf R purchase cost is a 0.1 versus the Golf GTI, or the purchase cost of the Golf R is Much Worse when compared to that of the GTI.
The final step is to combine the two matrices so that my weighting of features, and my opinion of how the two cars compare with respect to these features, can be resolved into a final score for each vehicle.
The far right column gives the score assigned to each version of the Golf evaluated by this method. The Golf R scored a 0.41 and GTI scored 0.59, meaning that the GTI edged out the Golf R.
After having been leaning toward the Golf R all along it was sobering to see that in the areas that I think matter most, the GTI ended up coming out on top.
Even when I went back in and started changing some of the comparison values, maybe the R isn’t a whole lot more expensive to purchase, and maybe the R corners way better than the GTI, the numbers did not change that much, they got closer, but the GTI still came out on top.
What this made very clear was that I needed to get back out and test drive the GTI.