2010 Volkswagen GTI: How Is It In The Real World?
May 13, 2010
In case you missed it, there was a bit of hubbub over our track testing of the GTI last week. But I was curious to find out for myself how much the GTI could move the fun needle on an enthusiastic drive. So hopped in this morning and drove the same curving route I had done late last year in the Mazdaspeed 3.
Not surprisingly, the GTI isn't as capable. If I was really going at it, the soft suspension tuning resulted in a lot of body roll in quick transitions, and a general sense of squishi-ness (there's a technical term for you) sapped my confidence to keep pressing on. This is not the Bruce Lee of hot hatches, it's more like the Chris Farley version doing karate.
But you know, this really doesn't bother me much. The GTI is still plenty fun to drive if you've backed off to 7/10s or so. The steering is decent enough, the brake pedal has a good feel to it and the 2.0-liter turbo-4 pulls hard. The GTI sounds better than the MS3 does, too. Considering that the GTI also has the better interior, ride quality and exterior looks, it would be my pick if I had to choose between the two cars to use as my daily driver.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor