An Endorsement for All-Season Tires - 2010 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Road Test

2010 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Road Test

2010 Volkswagen GTI: An Endorsement for All-Season Tires

January 14, 2011


Last night I hopped in our long-term 2010 Volkswagen GTI and drove about 60 miles, no sweat. Ride quality is still comfortably firm in the warm-hot hatchback from Wolfsburg, and if road noise has crept up over the last 19,000 miles, it's the slightest of increases.

And that's about where my endorsement for our GTI's 225/40R18 92H Dunlop SP Sport01 all-season tires begins. After nearly 20,000 miles, all four tires still have plenty of tread left (though the rears are a touch closer to the wear bars).

When this car showed up in our fleet, I figured all the high curbs in Los Angeles would make mincemeat of the flashy 18-inch wheels, and I wondered aloud several times why we didn't get the standard 17s. (Evidently, the answer is that the 17s couldn't be more uncool, because VW discontinued them for MY2011.) But the Dunlops have a subtle lip around the edge that has provided good protection for the wheels during the car's tour of duty in our fleet. I took a walk around the car and only found two minor blemishes, both on the passenger side.

In short, our 2010 VW GTI has an attractive optional wheel/tire package ($750), and it has worn well -- while giving the car a commuter-friendly ride quality. The only thing these tires don't do is make the GTI handle well; although, they're merely part of an elaborate conspiracy that also involves the dampers and stability control protocol. This latter failing keeps the GTI from being a true hot hatch in my book, but if you want a warm hatch to use as a commuter car, it doesn't get much better than this.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 19,455 miles

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