2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Buy One Already
March 10, 2015
Welcome to scenic Hacienda Heights, California, home of my accountant. It's where I happened to be on my most recent evening with our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI, and daylight was fading fast, so I snapped this gem of a photo. Please enjoy.
Please also know that like the MkVI VW Golf GTI, this seventh-generation hatchback is really a wonderful car and probably priced too low for what you get. Although, our Autobahn-trim car came in at $31,515, which is not unreasonable but not cheap, either. For maximum value, I think an S or SE model with the Lighting package (and probably the Performance Pack, and if you're going that far, probably also the adaptive suspension dampers on the SE), would be the way to go.
Make your own choice on transmission (three-pedal or DSG) and door count (2 or 4), but seriously, consider buying one of these at some point during this generation.
I always liked driving our Candy White 2010 GTI, but the 2015 model has this extra edge to it that makes me want to go find a good, twisty-turny road every time I get behind the wheel. In the 2010 GTI, I just wanted to drive briskly on the wide open highway.
The steering is so much better in this new Volkswagen GTI. To my hands, it's quicker, livelier and ably delivers the impression that this car is more interested in changing direction than its predecessor.
I also like this combination of suspension tune and wheel/tire setup. It's not an apples-to-apples comparison with our old GTI, of course, because this 2015 GTI has summer tires (225/40R18 92Y Bridgestone Potenza S001), whereas our 2010 had all-season Dunlops.
So no, it's not fair to compare, but to me, there has been no real decline in ride quality. It's still comfortably firm. Yet, as Brent and Josh have written, this GTI feels much more capable and aggressive going around a turn. I wish I had more time to take it on my favorite back roads, but really, this GTI is fun no matter what kind of driving you're doing.
I'd still like to try out the Performance Pack and the adaptive suspension option before building my own 2015 VW GTI, but for now I'm envisioning a four-door S (because you can't get plaid seats in an SE) with Night Blue Metallic paint, the conventional manual gearbox and the optional bi-xenons parked in my driveway.
Erin Riches, Deputy Editor