I had spent a year test driving 20 cars over 1000mi to decide on the car that would last me the 20yrs my last car did, a VW Corrado.
Life's too short to keep driving VWs, but the final shootouts for months were between the '10 GTI and different flavors of 1 and 3 series BMW coupes.
I was not cross-shopping any of the Japanese "hot hatches".
>Short gearing+revvy engine=lots of shifting=driver involvement
>Even PZEV engines underrated at 210+hp at wheels =~240 crank hp&flat torque
>Huge back seat+hatch space when folded
>Fabulous stereo head unit+Dynaudio=best audio well above its class
>XDS works really well, steering nearly as direct as the better RWD cars, easily best for FWD
>Better ride-handling balance than 3-series sport pkg (no run-flats helps)
>Amazing amount of std equip for the base price for a euro car
>Smart styling walks fine line between aggressive&chill
>Great ergos for my build, but BMW sport pkg seats still best
>Clutch& gearbox action sublime
>Good summer tires really raise chassis performance
>HVAC controls are garbage in an otherwise quality interior, and it doesn't hold the interior temp very well
>There were a lot of cost-cutting measures to the MkV, and more to come between 2010 & 2011.
Bringing back the body-colored side mouldings for parking lot protection would be a good start
>A center channel speaker for the Dynaudio stereo upgrade
>ESP to allow more aggressive slip angles when the TCS is manually switched off
>Leave the 12V outlets on when ignition is off
>Dealer programming needed to disable DRLs, honk when locking
>Better brake pads, calipers & air ducting
>Less road noise thru chassis
>140mph speedo, 180mph is stupid
>oil temp display
>accurate mpg display
I wrote the above review and the 'value' category was labeled 'fuel economy'.
I may have given it 5* for overall value (wrt to my priorities vs BMWs), but for actual gas mileage it would have to be 3*, maybe even 2*.
Short trips around town in cold weather for a tank is <=20mpg w/o a lot of traffic snarls, and have barely broke 30mpg on a very easy interstate trip.
I know to stay out of the boost or the mpg plummets.
Dashboard mpg indicator consistently 2mpg optimistic -- why?
Do they think I'm too dumb to check its accuracy?
Also, I had meant to say "there are a lot of cost-cutting measures in the oddest places compared to the MkV (06-09)series on the 2010, and even more to the 2011".
I'd pay another grand on the base price to have a more-completely 'finished' car.
Seems VWAG plans to continue dumbing down their cars to a price point against the falling $, so 2010 may be the sweet spot between finish and functionality.