2009 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

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 21/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2009 Volkswagen GTI

  • The 2009 Volkswagen GTI offers sporty performance and impressive refinement in a practical hatchback design.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Hatchback versatility, high-quality interior, potent turbocharged engine, excellent ride/handling balance.

  • Cons

    Relatively pricey, some competing models are faster and handle better.

  • What's New for 2009

    The Rabbit-based Volkswagen GTI hops into 2009 with the newly optional Thunderbunny Package, which includes sportier bodywork and exhaust tips. This is also the first year that every GTI will be PZEV-rated.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Fun, fast, sporty, yet good

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volkswagen GTI 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I have owned this car for a month now. I will not coment on reliability, because at this point its unknown, although nothing so far. This car really has some of the most comfortable seats I have been in. My wife says the same, and she usually doesn't care much. It has very quick performance and get pass very easily, even in 6th gear. It gets pretty good fuel economy, about 27.5 overall, and I got as much as 34 on the highway average (although it takes Premium fuel).

Have never looked back

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volkswagen GTI 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

This is my 5th VW in my years. I grew up on them. I've wanted a GTI like mine for many years. Black on black. I wanted a car that would be fun and give me good gas mileage at the same time, and this thing does it all. I live in an area with awesome curvy roads and I truly enjoy driving it. I average 28 mpg in everyday driving. You can't go wrong with it as a family car as well.

Nothing short of amazing

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volkswagen GTI 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I traded in my 2008.5 Mazda 3 Hatchback for my 09 GTI. After driving my wife’s 09 Rabbit I was sold on VW's build quality and driving dynamics but wanted something sportier than my 3. I absolutely hate the boy racer look of the new 2010 Speed3. I got an amazing deal on my GTI and haven't stopped smiling since I parked it in my driveway. The new GTI is one of the best purchases I have ever made and have zero regrets trading in the Mazda. Volkswagen has earned a life long customer from my wife and me with their fun to drive, reliable and well built vehicles. The GTI satisfies in every way. From the precise handling to the punchy 2.0 Turbo engine and quality feel, I could not be more pleased.

I like it

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Volkswagen GTI 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I have had this for a few weeks and I can say it is a very fun car to drive. I was a bit disappointed that there was no bluetooth. Everything feels very solid and I can say the seats are very comfortable. I would opt for the 6 manual, but I have heard from other owners that the DSG was a blast. I am not a big fan of the plaid...so I opted for the leather...more power options for the seats would be nice and I dont like the roll switch for the heated seats (but they do work good). I had one major issue I got the 18in wheels and sunroof package and with such low profile tires 250 miles I hit a pot hole and had to replace the tire.

Full 2009 Volkswagen GTI Review

What's New for 2009

The Rabbit-based Volkswagen GTI hops into 2009 with the newly optional Thunderbunny Package, which includes sportier bodywork and exhaust tips. This is also the first year that every GTI will be PZEV-rated.


When the current-generation Volkswagen GTI debuted in 2006, it could go toe to toe with the top performers in the "pocket rocket" segment. Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine boasted a then-competitive 200 horsepower as well as bountiful low-end torque that put high-revving Hondas to shame. The segment has evolved substantially since then, however, with muscle-bound sport compacts like the 260-hp Chevrolet Cobalt SS and 263-hp Mazda 3 stealing the performance spotlight. But the GTI's refined road manners, tasteful styling and high-quality interior help make up for whatever it may lack under the hood.

Like every sport compact, the GTI is a performance-tuned version of a basic economy car -- in this case, VW's venerable Rabbit, ne Golf. Starting from this top-rated runabout, VW engineers have tacked on go-fast goodies like VW/Audi's highly regarded 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged engine, better brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and the optional Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission, which is an automated-clutch paddle-shifted manual. Another feather in the GTI's cap is its autobahn breeding, which is evident in its exceptionally composed behavior at higher speeds. And unlike the Mazda 3 or Mini Cooper S, for example, the 2009 Volkswagen GTI is available in both two-door and four-door versions.

If there's a knock against the GTI other than its comparatively modest collection of horses, it's the car's shortage of all-out cornering ability. Don't get us wrong; the GTI handles well, but competing sport compacts generally offer sharper handling and less body roll. Of course, there are always trade-offs, and in the GTI's case, they come in the form of a genuinely comfortable ride, whereas some rivals ride so stiffly that they should be offered with a chiropractor. The GTI also boasts the richest interior materials in its class, and its restrained exterior design is almost completely devoid of boy-racer kitsch.

Choosing a sport compact these days is all about priorities. If you value powertrain excellence over styling and refinement, the Cobalt SS or Civic Si could be for you. If you want neck-snapping acceleration and sharp cornering in a practical package, the Mazda 3 is an excellent choice. If you're looking for go-kart handling (and go-kart ride comfort) along with an extra dollop of character, the Mini is the way to go. But if you prefer a more mature sport compact with a civilized demeanor, upscale appointments and hatchback utility, the 2009 Volkswagen GTI is still the only game in town.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Volkswagen GTI is a performance-oriented hatchback offered in both two-door and four-door body styles. Standard equipment includes xenon HID headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, sport front seats, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a 10-speaker, six-CD/MP3 audio system with satellite radio, an auxiliary jack and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

The Autobahn Package adds a sunroof, a premium audio system, leather upholstery and heated front seats with power-adjustable lumbar support. Most of the Autobahn's features are also offered as stand-alone options. The Thunderbunny Package adds sporty exterior styling elements such as a front spoiler and a rear valance. Other upgrades for the GTI include 18-inch wheels, an iPod adapter and, when equipped with the Autobahn Package, a navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2009 Volkswagen GTI is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injected four-cylinder engine that pumps out 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automated manual called DSG is optional. The DSG transmission can be shifted manually via paddles on the steering wheel, or it can shift on its own in automatic mode. A GTI with the standard six-speed manual will sprint from zero to 60 mph in just under 7 seconds.

EPA fuel-economy estimates stand at 21 city/31 highway and 25 combined for GTIs with the standard six-speed manual, while DSG-equipped models are rated at 22, 29 and 25, respectively. One change for 2009 is that GTIs sold in California-emissions states earn a cleaner partial-zero-emission vehicle (PZEV) tailpipe emission rating.


Standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Rear side-impact airbags are optional on four-door models but unavailable on two-doors.

In government testing, the four-door Rabbit/GTI earned four stars out of five in frontal-impact testing and a perfect five stars in side-impact testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it a "Good" rating (the highest possible) in both frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The GTI's interior is the antithesis of the Civic Si -- it's subtly styled and traditionally laid out, which suits us just fine. Scattered metallic trim pieces dress things up a bit, and the GTI-specific sport seats are nicely shaped and well-bolstered. The standard cloth upholstery's retro plaid print is something of an acquired taste, but any driving enthusiast will appreciate the flat-bottomed steering wheel. Access to the rear seat is far easier in the four-door GTI, of course, but even the two-door proves capable of periodic people-hauling duty, thanks to adequate backseat space and relatively painless entry and exit. Behind the rear seat, the GTI can hold a respectable 15 cubic feet of cargo, and folding said seat down yields a downright capacious 46 cubes.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Volkswagen GTI has one of the throatiest factory exhaust notes we can remember in a four-cylinder sport compact. It definitely talks the talk, and happily, the widely praised 2.0T engine walks the walk, boasting excellent low-end torque and smooth power delivery. While both transmissions perform well, the DSG is particularly notable for both its world-class shift speeds in manual mode and its remarkable docility in automatic mode. In general, the GTI imparts a feeling of solidity through its suspension and controls that one rarely finds in this segment. It might roll more and grip less than higher-strung competitors, but those who must commute as well as carve canyons will appreciate the GTI's impressive combination of responsive handling and everyday livability.

Talk About The 2009 GTI

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at help@edmunds.com
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411