2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Audio and Touchscreen Review
January 13, 2015
Our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI is the top trim level, also known as Autobahn. The Autobahn (and the mid-level SE) comes with a nine-speaker Fender audio system. This system is paired to the same 5.8-inch touchscreen you get in the standard GTI, and while that may seem a bit small by today's standards, it functions pretty well.
The GTI's touchscreen and the Fender audio system are excellent. The screen responds quickly to commands, scrolls quickly through songs and radio stations, and it catalogs my iPhone's 5,000 songs immediately, every time I plug it in. We've experienced an issue with the radio resetting in the past, but when I've got my phone hooked up, everything works just fine.
For audio quality, there are the three typical adjustments: bass, mids and treble. Like the screen, it's a basic setup that works well. At the highest volume levels, there is some very minor distortion of sound quality, but bass is strong and when I listen to the stereo at any reasonable volume things are generally crisp and clear.
There are a few drawbacks to note. The resolution on the touchscreen is underwhelming, with lots of pixelated graphics and a system that seems more MS-DOS than it does 21st century tech, but the aesthetic doesn't really interfere with the touch screen's commands. Also, I'd like more tactile buttons and knobs. The touchscreen is easy to use, but I just prefer physical controls.
Overall, though, this system is functional and worthwhile. If I had to choose between this system and the finicky MyFord Touch out of our old long-term Focus ST, it's the GTI system hands-down.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 3,900 miles