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2006 Volkswagen GTI Bookmark

The Good :)  Fast, Fun, Superb transmission (DSG). Nice exhaust note. Room for four. Quality interior parts. Xenon Lights.

The Bad :(  Needs a bolder front end design and more choices of interior colors. Leather interior and auto climate control should be standard.

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Right click and 'save link target as' to Download a full version of this review for iTunes Click Here 

 

            In 1983 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 way. 

            The 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.

            The 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.

            The 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.

            Seats 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.

            The 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. 

            At 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.

            Two 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 dash board.

            The new 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 reduces emissions. 

            The 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. 

            A new 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.

            The VW 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 floor.

            An 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.

            The new 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.

 

 

 

PRICING INVOICE RETAIL
Base Pricing w/DSG 21,313 23,065
Destination 720 630
Package #1, Includes power sunroof and satellite radio. 1,252 1,370
Package #2, includes package 1 plus dual zone climate control, heated front seats, and washer nozzles, top sport seats with leather seating surfaces. 2,887 3,160
XM/Sirius Satellite radio 331 375
18 " Hufweisen alloy wheels with summer tires. 663 750
DVD based navigation system with 6 disc CD changer. 1,589 1,800
Rubber mats 145 185

 

Comparisons 2006 Volkswagen GTI
New 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
2006 Chevrolet Cobalt
SS 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl S/C 5M)
2006 MINI Cooper
S 2dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl S/C 6M)
2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse
GS 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
2006 Pontiac G6
4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
MSRP $23,065 $19,900 $20,900 $20,599 $17,865
Invoice $21,313 $18,806 $18,892 $19,480 $16,882
Basic 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Drivetrain 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 5 yr. / 60000 mi. 4 yr. / 50000 mi. 10 yr. / 100000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Roadside 4 yr. / Unlimited mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi. 5 yr. / Unlimited mi. 3 yr. / 36000 mi.
Rust 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 6 yr. / 100000 mi. 12 yr. / Unlimited mi. 7 yr. / 100000 mi. 6 yr. / 100000 mi.
Base Engine Displacement 2.0 liters 2.0 liters 1.6 liters 2.4 liters 2.4 liters
Valvetrain 16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
16 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
16 Valves
single overhead cam (SOHC)
16 Valves
double overhead cam (DOHC)
Compressor turbocharger supercharger supercharger Not Available Not Available
Horsepower 200 hp @ 5100 rpm 205 hp @ 5600 rpm 168 hp @ 6000 rpm 162 hp @ 6000 rpm 167 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque 207 ft-lbs. @ 1800 rpm 200 ft-lbs. @ 4400 rpm 162 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 162 ft-lbs. @ 4000 rpm 162 ft-lbs. @ 4500 rpm
Tires 225/45WR17
performance
P215/45R18
performance
195/55VR16
run flat
P225/50VR17
all season
P215/60R16
all season
Wheels alloy
17 x 7.0 in.
painted alloy
18 in.
alloy
16 x 6.5 in.
alloy
17 x 7.5 in.
steel
16 in.
Power Steering electric speed-proportional power steering electric speed-proportional power steering electric power steering speed-proportional power steering electric speed-proportional power steering
Air Filtration interior air filtration interior air filtration interior air filtration Not Available Not Available
Traction Control Standard Not Available Standard Not Available Optional
Stability Control Standard Not Available Optional Not Available Not Available
De-powered Air Bags Standard Standard Standard Standard Standard
Head Air Bag front and rear front and rear - Optional front and rear front front and rear - Optional
Side Air Bag dual front Not Available dual front dual front dual front - Optional
Xenon Headlights Standard Not Available Optional Not Available Not Available
Total Number of Speakers 10 7 8 - Optional 6 6
Telematics GTI Cobalt Cooper Eclipse G6
Navigation System DVD navigation system - Optional Not Available DVD navigation system - Optional Not Available Not Available
Turning Circle 35.8 ft. 33.5 ft. 34.8 ft. 40 ft. 36 ft.
City 25 mpg. 23 mpg. 25 mpg. 23 mpg. 23 mpg.
Highway 31 mpg. 29 mpg. 32 mpg. 29 mpg. 34 mpg.
City 363 mi. 299 mi. 330 mi. 407 mi. 368 mi.
Highway 450 mi. 377 mi. 422 mi. 513 mi. 544 mi.
Length 165.8 in. 180.5 in. 143.9 in. 179.7 in. 189 in.
Width 69.3 in. 67.9 in. 66.5 in. 72.2 in. 70.6 in.
Height 58.4 in. 55.5 in. 55.8 in. 53.5 in. 57.1 in.
Weight 3352 lbs. 2991 lbs. 2679 lbs. 3307 lbs.  
Wheel Base 101.5 in. 103.3 in. 97.1 in. 101.4 in. 112.3 in.
Ground Clearance 5.6 in. 5.4 in.   5.8 in.  
Interior GTI Cobalt Cooper Eclipse G6
Front Headroom 39.3 in. 38.7 in. 38.8 in. 38.5 in. 39 in.
Rear Headroom 38.5 in. 35.7 in. 37.6 in. 34.6 in. 36.5 in.
Front Shoulder Room 54.7 in. 53 in. 50.9 in. 54.2 in. 55.4 in.
Rear Shoulder Room 54.6 in. 49 in. 44.7 in. 51.2 in. 55.4 in.
Front Hip Room   49.5 in.   53.7 in. 52.7 in.
Rear Hip Room   46.1 in.   44.4 in. 51.9 in.
Front Leg Room 41.2 in. 42 in. 41.3 in. 42.8 in. 42.2 in.
Rear Leg Room 35.3 in. 32.2 in. 31.3 in. 29.2 in. 37.6 in.
Maximum Luggage Capacity 15.1 cu.ft. 13.9 cu.ft. 5.3 cu.ft. 15.7 cu.ft. 14 cu.ft.

 

ENGINE

Type 4 cylinder, in-line, turbocharged with intercooler and direct fuel injection

Bore 3.20 in 82.5 mm

Stroke 3.70 in 92.8 mm

Displacement 121.0 in3 1,984 cm3

Compression Ratio 10.3:1

Horsepower (SAE) @ rpm 200 @ 5,100-6,000 (147 kW @ 5,100-6,000)

Maximum torque, lbs - ft @ rpm 207 @ 1,800-5,000 (280 Nm @ 1,800-5,000)

Fuel Requirement

Firing Order 1-3-4-2

ENGINE DESIGN

Arrangement

Cylinder Block

Crank Shaft

Cylinder Head

Valve Train

Cooling System

Lubrication Gear pump, pressurized, full flow with oil cooler

Fuel / Air Supply

Emissions

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Alternator - V/A 14/120

Battery - V/Ah 12/60

Ignition Digital electronic with knock sensor

DRIVETRAIN

Drivetrain Front wheel drive

Manual Automatic

Transmission Gear Ratios:1 1st 3.36 3.46

2nd 2.09 2.15

3rd 1.47 1.46

4th 1.10 1.08

5th 1.11 1.09

6th 0.93 0.92

Reverse 3.99 3.99

Final I 3.94 4.06

Final II 3.09 3.14

CAPACITIES

Engine Oil (with filter) 4.4 qt 4.6 L

Fuel Tank 14.5 gal 55.0 L

Cooling System 7.6 qt 8.0 L

Wiper Fluid 3.2 qt 3.0 L

STEERING

Type Rack and pinion, power assisted

Turns (lock to lock) 3.01

Turning Circle (curb to curb) 35.8 ft 10.9 m

Ratio 15.6 : 1

Fully electronic engine management with drive-by-wire throttle control, FSI

Aluminum alloy

Dual overhead camshaft, belt driven, four valves per cylinder, maintenance

free hydraulic lifters

Water cooled, thermostatically controlled electric radiator fan

Underhood ceramic precatalyst with catalyst heating function via

homogenous split dual injection

Premium unleaded (95 RON) recommended for maximum performance,

(unleaded regular (91RON) as an alternative with slight reduction in

performance)

Front mounted, transverse

Cast iron

Forged steel, five main bearings

INTERIOR VOLUME - SAE

EPA Class Compact

Seating Capacity Five

Passenger Volume 94.2 ft 2.7 m

Cargo Volume 15.1 ft 0.4 m

Cargo Volume with rear seat folded -- --

Volume 51.3 ft 1.5 m 42.9 ft 1.2 m

Head Room 39.3 in 998 mm 38.5 in 979 mm

Shoulder Room 54.7 in 1,390 mm 54.6 in 1,386 mm

Leg Room 41.2 in 1,046 mm 35.3 in 896 mm

BODY, CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION

Type

Front Suspension

Rear Suspension

Service Brakes

Anti Lock Braking System

Parking Brake Mechanical, effective on rear wheels

Wheels/Tires

Drag Coefficient .32

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase 101.5 in 2,578 mm

Front Track 60.4 in 1,534 mm

Rear Track 59.7 in 1,516 mm

Length 165.8 in 4,210 mm

Width 69.3 in 1,759 mm

Height 58.4 in 1,484 mm

Ground Clearance 5.6 in 143 mm

WEIGHTS Manual Automatic

Curb Weight 3,308 lbs 1,500 kg 3,352 lb 1,520 kg

Front 1,958 lbs 888 kg 2,002 lb 908 kg

Rear 1,349 lbs 612 kg 1,349 lb 612 kg

Payload 1,032 lbs 468 kg 1,032 lb 468 kg

FUEL CONSUMPTION Manual Automatic

City mpg 23 25

Highway mpg 32 31

PERFORMANCE Manual Automatic

0-60 mph 7 seconds

Top Speed 130 mph1 130 mph1

1Maximum speed electronically limited to 130 mph in U.S. Obey all speed and traffic laws.

Unitized construction, bolt-on front fenders

Front Rear

7J X 17'' alloy wheels

225/45 R17 W, summer performance tires

McPherson strut with lower wishbones, aluminium subframe, tubular antiroll

bar, track-stabilising steering roll radius

Four-link rear suspension with seperate spring/shock absorber

arrangement, subframe, turbular anti-roll bar

Power assisted, dual circuit, vented 312 x 25 mm front discs and 286 x 12mm

Standard, all four wheels, 3-channel with electronic brake pressure

distribution, Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) and Electronic Differential Lock

(EDL), Electronic Stabilization Program

 

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