I had a 2012 GTI with the DSG. The new 2015 redesign is a huge improvement. Its brings better driving dynamics to the table in almost every category while including some great interior/tech features to polish things off. I wish i could have waited for the performance pack but the timing (my warranty was up) and price on this new model was just too good.
I bought a black on black SE with the manual as soon as the MK7 was available. So far I've put 1300 miles on it in 2 weeks, including a trip to NJ and back. I can say that the car is not only very fun to drive, but it's also comfortable on a road trip. Over the hills and mountains of PA I averaged 33 mpg, which is pretty solid if you ask me. Handling is sharp, the seats hug you, and the build quality reminds me of more pricey German cars.
I have just put the first thousand miles on my 2015 GTI SE and could not be happier. The quality of the car, the performance, the PERFECT driving position all add up to a great car for a driving enthusiast like myself. If I have any gripe it is the car is very harsh over any imperfection in the road such as a pothole (not even a big one). This is undoubtedly down to stiff suspension and low profile tires.
I know the title of my review will give people pause, but fear not. I've had my GTI for a little over a week. When I first drove it home, the ride was bone-rattling hard and bouncy and the car sat really high in the front. Huge gaps between the front wheels and fenders. Turns out that the dealer forgot to remove the transport blocks from the front struts during the PDI. It takes about 5 minutes to remove them yourself and it's easy. Now I love the car. It rides and drives so nice. Reminds me of my Audi(sniffle). Great power without being too much. Can't say enough about this car. Would've paid 10K more and it STILL would've been a great value for the $$$.
Had 15 GTI since September 2014. At the time of review I'm closing on 15K miles. Some issues I had so far: 1. After changing to winter tires recalibrated TPMS. In couple of weeks it started complaining on front right tire. Checked pressure - same as was. Other tires were good too. Outside temp didn't change. Recalibrated TPMS, issue didn't return. 2. At -2F engine noise "enhanced" by Soundaktor added a sound of ripped speaker to its tune which went away when temperature went up to +3F. 3. A month ago "Check gas tank cap" message went off at some point. Cap was attached properly and closed. Had to take the car to the dealership where they saw an unexplained error. All good since then.
In normal use, which in this case means taking your foot off the brake pedal and stomping the gas pedal, the GTI with the DSG twin-clutch gearbox is rather hesitant to get going. There's an initial delay from the transmission, followed by some lag from the turbo, which makes the car seem weak down low in the revs. Once the tach reaches around 2,500 rpm the GTI gets going, though, revving hard to between 6,300 and 6,700 (depending on the gear) and delivering quick upshifts. The GTI has a launch control system that holds the revs at 3,200 rpm prior to launch down the drag strip. Traction control is turned off and the system gets quite a bit of front wheelspin: seems excessive, actually. It also brings the 1-2 upshift point to nearly 7,000 rpm. I tried to lessen the wheelspin by backpedaling a bit, but that just bogged things down and I still went slower. I also tried power-braking the revs (overlapping throttle and brake) to just around 2,000 rpm, but once I released the brake it still massively slipped the clutch and got big wheelspin again. I also tried power-braking with the stability control and traction control left on, and this was slower, too. Manual shifting is via small steering wheel paddles or the console shift lever (pull back for downshifts). It performs brilliant throttle-blip downshifts, but does not hold gears to the rev limiter.
Terrific, super-firm brake pedal feel in full panic stops. Consistent (and short) distances, too, thanks to the summer tires. Well-controlled nosedive and zero side-to-side squirm. Overall, a super-reassuring experience. The first stop was the longest at 113 feet, while the sixth and final stop was the shortest at 109 feet.
Slalom: The GTI exhibits a fair amount of oversteer through the slalom course, which means the rear of the car steps out and feels like it wants to swap ends with the front. This should no doubt make the GTI an absolute blast to drive on a curvy back road, because this will help the car turn, but in the quick transitions of the slalom it wasn't such a good thing. Here, you want a car that's planted and secure. Plus, the stability control system was quick to temper the tail-out action, adding brakes to the point that it would massively slow down the run, ruining the chance for a quick time. The steering feels good, intuitively quick without being overly so. Body roll/lean is pretty well-controlled. Skid pad: Not a totally unusual experience, a car that shows a willing chassis in the slalom sometimes becomes resistant during the steady-state cornering of the skid pad. That happens with this GTI. I thought adjusting the throttle in and out would have more effect on the grip to the front tires, but it did not. Mostly just a lot of understeer.