2010 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Road Test

2010 Volkswagen GTI: Liar, Liar.

October 01, 2010


This is some kind of Audi; some two door A3. That's not a bad thing, Audi's are nice, but this is not a GTI.

Back in college, waaaay back in college, I was looking at buying a used 1992 16V GTI; red with those pretty BBS wheels. I'd read all the reviews and grabbed a ride or two in a friend's car and I wanted one. Even though I've since forgotten what dealer I went to, I do remember the test drive. The GTI was fun, playful, very basic and raw the way sporty German cars used to be. It'd be silly to say I lusted after it, but I really wanted that car. But since I wasn't able to scrounge up the money to buy it, I had to let it go.

When our 2010 GTI showed up, with the exception of a 20 minutes in a VR6 powered GTI, I hadn't driven a GTI since that used 1992 I drove all those years ago. I finally got a good crack at driving the this thing other night and I'd just like say it left me, mad.

There is GTI badge on the back of the car, but the hell if I know why it's there. This car is soft, the steering is over-boosted and not informative. There's also too much sound deadening. How much is too much? Well when you have to funnel engine sound into the cockpit with a tube, you might have gone too far. The ESP is overbearing and cannot be shut off. Someone should get hit in the head for allowing that to happen on a GTI.

This car is no longer the fun, playful and basic hatch that it was. I know times change, but plaid seats do not a GTI make. It's lacking all the character and personality the earlier generations had, you know the ones that were so good they defined a generation of hatchbacks. Had they called it a Golf GT, I would not have had this... visceral reaction.

It's not a bad car, it's just not a GTI. Not even close.

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 13,820 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2010 Volkswagen GTI in VA is:

$141 per month*
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