2006 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback


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Volkswagen GTI Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Volkswagen GTI

  • Go for the all-new version of the 2006 Volkswagen GTI. Meaner, but not necessarily leaner, the new GTI's beefier engine and keener handling dynamics make it the best GTI in a long while.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Hatchback utility, upscale features and interior design, strong engine and automated manual gearbox of redesigned GTI.

  • Cons

    Higher price than those of its competitors, old GTI lacks oomph.

  • What's New for 2006

    For the old 1.8T GTI, the VR6 style has been dropped and more features, including 17-inch wheels and stability control, are now standard.…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (111 total reviews)

Love, love, love this car!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Volkswagen GTI New 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

my first '06 GTI was unfortunately a bit of a lemon. i wrote a sad review titled love/hate relationship. we parted ways, and i subsequently drove 4 other vehicles in 9 months, but i couldn't forget the love i had for my GTI. so i gave VW german engineering another chance, and bought another '06 GTI equipped exactly the same as the first. i love this car! it has been totally reliable, required only routine maintenance (and the occasional recall stuff), handled long road trips and daily commutes with ease. it's a blast to drive in town and on the highway. i'm so glad i gave the GTI a 2d chance. i'm now a VW convert!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

I love my gti!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Volkswagen GTI New 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I bought my 2006 GTI with DSG in March 2009 and have loved every minute of driving it. The power is great through the power band. It's not a great family car but I can fit two car seats in the back with no problem. The only issues I have is with the stereo and the lack of power seats. You would think they would have power seats and a better stereo in the car. But other than that it is great car and fun to drive. Plus if you do a few modifications you will be able keep up with some of the higher end sports sedans and pass the tuner cars. If you are looking for car with individuality, great performance, great styling, and good gas mileage the MKV GTI is your car.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best car ever

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Volkswagen GTI New 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

I have a 2006 GTI with DSG. I love this car, it gets great gas milage, it is the funest car I have ever had, I can fold down the back seats and fit anything I need in it. The DSG is a must, it shifts faster than humanly possible, gets better gas mileage compared to the manual, and has been problem free for the entire 87000+ miles on the car. The only thing I don't like about the car is that I love it too much, ex. I always park far out in parking lots. This car has been 100% reliable, never has broken down and maintenance has been cheap.It is loaded with safety features which gives me peace of mind. I am going to drive this car to the grave and then buy another. I know someone who has 179Kmiles

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2006 Volkswagen GTI Review

What's New for 2006

For the old 1.8T GTI, the VR6 style has been dropped and more features, including 17-inch wheels and stability control, are now standard. Starting in the late spring of 2006, the 1.8T Volkswagen GTI will be slowly phased out in favor of a fully redesigned model. As before, this performance hatchback will be based on the upcoming next-generation Golf. Highlights for the new GTI include increased performance, new styling and more interior room.


For much of 2006, there will be two Volkswagen GTI models for sale: the 1.8T, which is the last of the line for the fourth-generation GTI, and the new, fifth-generation, 2006.5 Volkswagen new GTI. Volkswagen has made a concerted effort to improve the performance of this latest Golf-based GTI. It starts with an all-new body and chassis. The car is bigger and heavier, which is never a desirable change for a sporting car, but the body structure is considerably stiffer than it was before, and the rear suspension is now fully independent. There's also an updated 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. It's the same one that's used in a variety of VW and Audi vehicles and it features a raft of high-tech features, including direct fuel injection. For the first time, GTI buyers have the option of ordering VW/Audi's brilliant Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission, which is an automated, paddle-shifted manual.

Though purchasing the old version of the 2006 GTI might make sense if one can get a great deal on it, we think the new 2006 VW GTI is the way to go. Some enthusiasts might yearn for a GTI that returns to its roots as a lightweight pocket rocket. But realistically, with modern safety regulations being what they are and people's ever-increasing desire for power-techno everything, that was never going to happen. What we have instead is a solid and slightly upscale hot hatch that's fun to own and drive. Revolutionary? Errr, well, no. The previous sentence also applies to the new Honda Civic Si and the aging-but-still-quite-competitive Mini Cooper S. On the whole, the redesigned 2006.5 model is the best Volkswagen GTI in a long while. Hot-hatch fans, assuming they are willing to accept the new GTI's price premium, should be very excited.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Volkswagen GTI is a two-door hatchback and a performance variant of the VW Golf four-door hatchback. Only one trim level is offered. Standard equipment for the old 1.8T and the new 2006.5 include heated exterior mirrors, a rear spoiler, 17-inch wheels with performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension, manual sport seats, a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel and full power accessories. The new GTI also has HID headlights and a standard 10-speaker audio system that's satellite radio-capable and equipped with an in-dash, MP3-capable CD changer. Buyers can get a DVD-based navigation system on the new GTI, but doing so eliminates the in-dash changer; a remote CD changer in the center armrest can be specified. Other options for the new GTI include a sunroof, 18-inch wheels and a package that includes power-operated heated front seats, heated windshield washer nozzles, dual-zone automatic climate control and leather upholstery.

Powertrains and Performance

The 1.8T GTI has a 180-horsepower, 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Available transmissions include a five-speed manual and a five-speed automatic. Under the hood of the new GTI is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It's capable of 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission that puts power to the front wheels is standard. Alternately, buyers can opt for a Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) six-speed transmission. As first introduced on the Audi TT, this is an automated manual transmission. Drivers can either place it in an automatic mode or shift gears manually (there is no clutch pedal) via steering-wheel-mounted paddles.


Standard safety equipment includes traction control, stability control and antilock brakes. The new GTI's brakes are larger and more powerful than those on the standard Golf. Also standard for both versions are front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags for all outboard passengers. No official crash-test data is available for the new GTI, though the current Golf has earned high marks for its performance in NHTSA and IIHS crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

As is the case with its family members, the Golf and Jetta, the GTI's cabin is notable for its high-quality interior materials and meticulous fit and finish. Front occupants are granted a surprising amount of spaciousness, and two adults or three children can fit in back without much of a fuss. With the rear seat in place, the new GTI can hold 15 cubic feet of cargo.

Driving Impressions

The 1.8T GTI is comfortable for everyday use but is generally outclassed by other affordable sport hatchbacks and coupes when it comes to power and handling. The new GTI is more composed on twisty canyon roads, yet still relaxed during long highway stints. The new GTI's 2.0-liter engine is almost ideal for this class of car. Right off idle, there's plenty of thrust available due to its robust low-end torque. DSG-equipped new GTIs don't quite offer up the same interaction that can be had with the regular manual transmission, but for most people it's the better choice. Super-quick and accurate shifts are just a tug away and, when you're stuck in traffic, there's the auto mode that allows you to focus more on the quality sound system.

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