They've Complicated the Sunroof - 2010 VW GTI Long-Term Road Test

2010 Volkswagen GTI Long-Term Road Test

2010 VW GTI: They've Complicated the Sunroof

December 13, 2010

GTI Sunroof Control.jpg

The VW Group sunroof opening whatsit is unique. Rather than pressing a button or pulling back on a two-way slidey thing that activates an auto-retract function, you twist a knob to the desired sunroof opening aperture. In my 2000 Jetta VR6, I'd just twist all the way to the top and it would open. Twisting the other direction would tilt the sunroof. It was simple and quick, and there was no fighting with the car's auto-retract function.

I'm not sure when the change happened, but the sunroof control in the GTI is more complicated.

You twist the knob around all the way to the end and run through a mushy detent area at the end of its travel (noted by a line next to the knob) before the knob settles back to the beginning of that detent area. You'd think this would open the sunroof all the way, but it doesn't. There's still 90-percent of the glass and shade showing. Twisting through that detent area once again opens the roof all the way.

According to the manual, this 90-percent open is for "quieter operation" with the sunroof back. I'm not sure if I detected much of a noise difference, though there was some buffeting with it fully back (corrected by cracking the windows a scoash). I suppose this is all well and good, but I have two questions:

1) The knob allows you to easily stop it wherever you'd like any way, so why the detent thingy?

2) Why allow it to open all the way if there's such an increased level of noise and/or buffeting that it requires you to set-up this overly complicated detent thingy-majig?

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 17,400 miles

Leave a Comment

Past Long-Term Road Tests

Have a question? We're here to help!
Chat online with us
Email us at
*Available daily 8AM-5PM Pacific
Call us at 855-782-4711
Text us at ED411