2013 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2013 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback

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What Others are Paying: PZEV 4dr Car w/Sunroof, Navigation with no optional equipment

Pricing & Edmunds True Market Value®

  • $29,494*
  • Dealer
  • Invoice

  • $30,690
  • Sticker Price
  • (MSRP)
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The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is our exclusive method for calculating what others are paying for a 2013 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback in Ashburn, VA (based on actual sales data from your region).

Volkswagen GTI Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automated Manual
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 24/33 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2013 Volkswagen GTI

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • The 2013 Volkswagen GTI doesn't boast scorching specifications, but as a whole package -- comfort, drivability and performance -- it's one of our top picks for a sporty hatchback.

  • Safety | Reliability | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Lively engine; hatchback versatility; upscale interior; compliant ride; good fuel economy

  • Cons

    Competitors are quicker and handle better; lacks adequate interior storage

  • What's New for 2013

    For 2013, the GTI outfitted with the Convenience and Sunroof package gets different wheels, but otherwise the lineup carries over unchanged.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (20 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Wow! what a blast!

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen GTI

Great car... fun to drive, well made, roomy and comfortable. Great MPG and performance too! Recently returned from a trip from Eureka, CA to Palm Springs. Returned via Santa Barbara, then up the coast on Hwy 1. Great drive. 29MPG average for whole trip... was better until the leg up Hwy 1.

Driver's car

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen GTI

Because I drive so little (4000 miles/yr), I wanted something sporty, stylish, and most of all fun! So after trying several other cars the past 2 years, I found exactly what I wanted in a GTI. It has the perfect balance of sport, economy, and adult-styling. It is quick, but not gas-wasting fast. It is nicely outfitted on the inside, has a wonderful exhaust/turbo sound, and looks sharp from the outside. This car is a bit pricey new, but I found mine one year used with 6000 miles for an awesome price. Got the model with navigation which also has the attractive and functional bi-xenon/LED lights. I'm sure there are longer lasting, more reliable cars, but life's too short not to enjoy your car.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

My third gti ...

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen GTI

Owned a 1996 GTi (4 cyl), 2004 GTi (VR6) and now a new "left over" 2012 GTi 4-door with the DSG automatic and moonroof and nav package. A really solid, well put-together car with a great mix of style, sportiness, economy, and utility. After two cars with maual transmissions I opted for the DSG this time with no regrets. Really like the paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Lots of fun. Couldn't deal with the cost of an all-wheel-drive Golf R, so I "settled" for the GTi. No regrets.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

So far, love this car

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen GTI

After buying a new 2012 VW passat in July 2012, I decided to trade it in for a new 2012 GTI. While the passat was a nice BIG family sedan, I wanted to drive something fun and sporty. Also, I was having alot of trouble seeing at night with the Passat. Anyway, I got the new GTI over the weekend. It is so entirely different than the passat. I can understand why people say they look forward to driving it everyday. I feel the same way. The visibility, comfort and feel of the car is so great. It's smaller, but still has plenty of room. I find that I'm playing the stereo less now because I like listening to the sound of the engine and the turbo.

A ride above the rest!

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen GTI

This is my first VW and it's been great! I bought my fully loaded 2012 gti in July 2012 and now have almost 12K on it (7400 Miles) and have had no issues. I have even taken it on a road trip from Alberta Canada to California and back (5600 km) and no issues whatsoever. This is a great car and fun to drive. I have no rattles or issues with this car so far. Love this car! Very few dislikes. I would recommend this car as a daily fun commuter car. I have the DSG and love it! Sport mode revs too high though. The car is a little light on the front end. Spin the tires often.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

1-yr review

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Vehicle: 2012 Volkswagen GTI

I bought my 2012 6MT shadow blue GTI 1 year ago today. Here is my 1 Year Review. After 365 days of owning a brand new GTI, my first VW, I can say it has been great. But along with the good, I've had to accept some problems. My fuel injector failed at 20k miles and left me on the side of the road. This is a common weakness of the GTI. If you want reliable and dependable, buy a Honda. If you want German and high performance, expect to have some issues with this car. Some people have zero problems. You may get lucky. But plan on not being so lucky. I love driving this car, but don't know if I will keep it once the warranty is over. Expect to have problems, but it is a wonderful car.

Gas Mileage


  • 24
  • cty
  • 33
  • highway
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback in VA is:

$131 per month*
* Explanation

Full 2013 Volkswagen GTI Review

What's New for 2013

For 2013, the GTI outfitted with the Convenience and Sunroof package gets different wheels, but otherwise the lineup carries over unchanged.


Putting the 2013 Volkswagen GTI up on a spreadsheet against its competitors makes the venerable German hot hatch a tough sell. After all, it gets bested by its rivals in acceleration, braking and handling tests. Even its cargo volume is just midpack. All of which cause some hesitation when you consider that a well-loaded VW GTI crests the $30,000 mark.

But there's more to the GTI than numbers. Its compliant suspension soaks up bumpy city roads without sacrificing a tight, sporty character. The interior is uncommonly upscale with premium materials, classy and restrained design, supportive front seats, roomy rear quarters and a quiet, well-damped cabin with the ambience of an entry-level luxury car.

Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 200 horsepower. That's as much as 60 hp less than the hot-hatch competition. Yet the GTI's mill still makes for a spirited drive, delivering useful power down low for swift passing maneuvers and quick bursts of acceleration. It also sounds cool, with a pleasant exhaust rumble. The turbo inline-4 pairs with a six-speed manual transmission for purists or a dual-clutch automated manual transmission to ease the pain of congested commutes.

However, there are better choices if speed and handling are your main priorities. The Mazdaspeed 3 and Subaru WRX both outgun the GTI in a straight line, while the Mini Cooper S bends more nimbly around corners. We also highly suggest considering the new Ford Focus ST as it combines impressive power with GTI-levels of refinement. But overall, the 2013 VW GTI is still more than the sum of its numbers, as it can dutifully carry you through the work week, then put a grin on your face as you find the quicker, curvier roads out of town for the weekend.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Volkswagen GTI is a high-performance version of the Golf hatchback available in both two- and four-door body styles. An even higher-performance Golf -- the Golf R -- is also offered. It's reviewed separately.

There are two main trim levels: base and Autobahn. The base GTI's standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear roof spoiler, foglights, heated outside mirrors, heated washer nozzles, full power accessories, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, a trip computer, air-conditioning, heated front sport seats, plaid cloth upholstery, split-folding rear seats with a center pass-through, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and iPod integration.

The base GTI can be fitted with the Convenience and Sunroof package, which adds different 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, multifunction steering wheel controls, a touchscreen interface for the stereo and an in-dash CD changer. The GTI with Sunroof and Navigation adds adaptive xenon headlights, LED running lights and a touchscreen navigation system.

The range-topping GTI Autobahn includes the preceding features, plus unique 18-inch wheels, partial-leather seating, keyless ignition/entry and a premium sound system.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2013 Volkswagen GTI is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque. In California-emissions states, a cleaner partial-zero-emissions-vehicle (PZEV) variant of this engine is also available.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual (called DSG) is optional. The DSG operates like a standard automatic but it can be shifted manually via the shift lever on the center console or the shift paddles on the steering wheel.

In Edmunds testing, a GTI with a manual transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. Competitors are at least a half-second faster. According to EPA estimates, the GTI returns 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined when equipped with the DSG. The manual transmission achieves slightly less at 21/31/25 mpg.


Standard safety equipment for the 2013 Volkswagen GTI includes antilock brakes, stability control and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the GTI earned a top rating of "Good" in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In Edmunds performance testing, braking from 60 to zero mph required 129 feet. That's longer than average for a small car with all-season tires and a full car length longer than the summer-tire-equipped Mazdaspeed 3's impressively short 115-foot halt.

Interior Design and Special Features

Among sporty hatchbacks, the 2013 GTI ranks at the top for interior quality. The retro-style plaid seat fabric on the base trim won't suit everyone, but the cabin reflects a cool and sophisticated design, featuring upscale Audi-esque trim and switchgear throughout. The Ford Focus might come close, but otherwise you won't find better materials in the segment. There are a couple downsides, including a lack of useful interior storage and the small screen of the navigation system that hampers displayed information and overall usefulness.

The front seats are sporty and supportive, whether cruising or driving hard. If you regularly carry passengers, the four-door GTI is a safe bet, but accessing the surprisingly roomy rear seats is also pretty painless even in the two-door. Behind the rear seats, the cargo area holds up to 15.2 cubic feet -- nearly three times that of the Mini Cooper S, but less than a Focus or Mazda 3 hatchback. Once the rear seat is folded down, 46 cubic feet of cargo capacity is at your disposal.

Driving Impressions

The 2013 Volkswagen GTI won't give you the quickest quarter-mile or lap time compared to rival hatchbacks. But the GTI delivers one of the best overall driving experiences in the class. The turbocharged engine is lively and unloads plenty of useful low-end torque. The cabin is quiet, and the compliant suspension neutralizes broken pavement.

Around corners, the GTI is fun up to a point. But there's no question that cars like the Focus ST, Mazdaspeed 3 and Cooper S are livelier, more nimble and possessive of higher handling limits. Still, most drivers will find the GTI strikes an impressive balance between performance, comfort and daily thrills.

Talk About The 2013 GTI

† The True Market Value® (TMV®) price is Edmunds’ estimate of this type of vehicle’s current average selling price in your area – that is, what others are paying. This TMV® price is based on information concerning this vehicle provided by the dealer, and the accuracy of this price is dependent on the accuracy and completeness of that information.