Watch the GTI on the road, and hear its exhaust, watch the DSG transmission
work, and walk around the exterior and interior.
Right click and 'save link target as' to Download a full version of this review for iTunes
the first pocket rocket arrived in the US from VW. The GTI, in all its
variations, has become a favorite amongst sports enthusiasts who love the
ride and handling plus the value that the GTI offers. Here cometh the fifth
generation GTI, and it has definitely come a long way. Sporting a 200
horsepower 2.0T four-cylinder engine, optional DSG automatic transmission,
and a fully independent sports tuned suspension, the GTI quickly achieves
its 130 miles per hour top speed while keeping its driver grinning the whole
small VW GTI is a two-door variant on the Golf. New exterior styling is
smooth and sleek with a well rounded rear end and tight fitting body panels.
We especially liked our black color with large racing style wheels and red
brake calipers. A honeycomb front grille is enhanced with a red frame strip
outlining the radiator portion. The front end is uniquely VW, but could be
more aggressive in its overall design. The clear and high tech look of the
headlight housings was great. The Xenon beams are standard and provide a
sharp look to the exterior. Hidden nicely are headlamp washers built into
the bumper guards. A mesh grille look adds to the lower bumper's design
with recessed fog lamps for a sporty look.
interior is also done in black with a checkered seat pattern and real
aluminum trim. The accents of aluminum trim are real, not the fake variety,
giving the interior a very sporty feel. In typical VW style, the interior
materials are all sturdy and feel great. Touch the armrest for example, and
you will find it is adjustable in height and extends to fit your elbow,
while having a solid heavy feeling. The instrument cluster is done very
nicely, with red glowing needles and a large information screen in center.
The information screen shows you everything: compass, time, open doors,
gears selection and a menu system for personal settings. The simple stereo
system with satellite radio is easy to use. It offers 10 speakers with a
single CD/DVD player. Somewhat traditional and boring is its display in a
black digital readout. Under this a manual climate control system offers
three dials. These added a touch of cheapness in our tester and an
automatic system, which is optional, should be standard in this price range.
thick leather wrapped steering wheel is chiseled and cut for a very sporty
feeling. Use of perforated leather, aluminum trim, multifunction stereo and
menu system controls and a flat lower portion for quicker movement are all
built into this amazing piece of work. Imaging the hours that you sit and
drive in your car with your hands on the steering wheel, in your lifetime
this may be the most touched item ever. Manufacturer's who thoughtfully
design this little item, realize that they are conveying the whole feeling
of the car through this one little item. The steering wheel is oh so
important and here on the GTI it is done perfectly.
are comfortable but very sporty. The front seats have large side bolsters
and they are also very hard. Having an outer seat bolster that was half
soft would allow for easier entry and exit. Front seats slide very far back
making this a very adjustable vehicle. The rear seats are comfortable and
adequate as well. You have an armrest in back and a good amount of space.
The rear seats fold down easily adding to trunk space should you need to
have room for large items. Front seats slide forward easily with one hand
and there is more than the usual amount of space to get into the rear seats.
overall view from inside is also very good with large windows and an airy
cabin with sunroof. We did not like the large amount of wind buffeting from
the sunroof when it was the only thing fully open. You have to open the
windows as well to stop the booming effect. We did find the color scheme
boring as the dash was a bit bland and door panels were monochromatic. The
checkered seat pattern is unique and does add some flair, but we prefer the
optional leather seats. Most of these minor items are outweighed by the
amount of fun you have simply driving the GTI.
night the interior glows blue and red, with brightly lit instrument cluster
needles. The standard Xenon low and high beams are very powerful and
wonderful to have. Add the fog lights and you have great exterior frontal
lighting conditions. The taillights are also designed well, as they have
circular lights that are recessed, which adds additional flair.
basic option packages are available. Package one offers a sunroof, and
satellite radio. Package two adds to package one, with dual zone automatic
climate control, front sports seats in leather, heated front seats, and
heated windshield washer nozzles. A DVD navigation system with 6 disc CD
changer is also optional and adds quite a bit to the interior look of the
2.0T turbocharged four cylinder engine produces 200 horsepower at 5,100 rpm
and 207 ft.-lbs. of torque from a low 1,800 rpm to 5,000 rpm. Dual overhead
cams and four valves per cylinder along with fully electronic engine
management and direct injection increases power, improves efficiency and
six-speed DSG automatic manual transmission with Tiptronic is an amazing
option that we think everyone should get. With DSG you have a manual that
works like an automatic when you want it to. A twin clutch, wet plate
design eliminated power interruption and provides super quick gear changes.
Use the paddle shifters on the steering wheel for even more fun while
driving, gears change instantly and the exhaust note provides fun feedback.
modified suspension offers a axle that helps create more direct steering
ratio, higher transversal axle rigidity, and a lowered tendency to exhibit
body roll on tight turns. An advanced multilink independent rear suspension
helps provide a sporty yet comfortable ride. Although the width of the GTI
is quite narrow, body lean and dive is very low. There is a great balance
between comfort of all passengers and sportiness.
GTI is amazingly peppy for the 200 horses under the hood. Power comes on
hard from the turbocharger after 2,500 rpm and stays pushing you forward all
the way to redline. While moving forward rapidly, there is little torque
steer and you have good control of the steering, unlike in many other front
wheel drive vehicles. The roar of the engine is heard in almost every gear,
combined with a powerful exhaust note. Road feel is excellent with precise
movement to every move you make with the steering wheel. So many parts feel
great, from the paddle shifters on the steering wheel to the shifter on the
electronic stabilization program is standard for added safety. Driver and
front passenger airbags for the front and side as well as side curtain
airbags are standard. The 24 hour roadside assistance is standard for four
years and the new vehicle warranty is for 4 years/50,000 miles. A 5 year /
60,000 mile powertrain limited warranty as well as a 12 year corrosion
perforation warranty is standard.
GTI is the most fun we have had in a car in this price range. It is
amazingly fast and sturdy. It is also very well built. The GTI offers
performance, style and value all wrapped in one package. The curb appeal of
this car is alone worth the price. We received more remarks and interest
from random people on the road than we did test driving the new corvette.
This is mostly due to the change in quirky VW television ads. The new
advertisement featuring a German 'pimp your ride' theme is just great and
really sticks in peoples minds. We have been recommending the VW change
their ads for a long time now and finally its gotten through. Take a look
at the VW.com web site as well for a great GTI section where you can build
your car and take it for a test drive with a hot German model. The GTI has
a long tradition and a very enthusiastic following all over the planet. A
whole new world opens up for you when you get behind the wheel of this
little pocket rocket. You will find people from Europe to Tennessee that
can offer their own unique story about when they first owned a GTI. The
bottom line is that this car is FUN, and you feel much better than all the
drivers on the road knowing that the car you drive puts a smile on your face
every time you stomp on the pedal.
Base Pricing w/DSG
Package #1, Includes power
sunroof and satellite radio.
Package #2, includes package
1 plus dual zone climate control, heated front seats, and washer nozzles,
top sport seats with leather seating surfaces.
XM/Sirius Satellite radio
18 " Hufweisen alloy wheels
with summer tires.
DVD based navigation system
with 6 disc CD changer.
New 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
SS 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl S/C 5M)
S 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl S/C 6M)