Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

August 4, 2015

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

We've written quite a bit comparing our seventh-generation 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI to our former long-term sixth-gen 2010 GTI. That's part of the reason we have these cars. The general consensus is that the current GTI is an improvement in every way over the previous model. I don't disagree. The GTI lost weight, tightened up and gained power. The new car, like the old one, is really, really good. 

I'm the proud owner of a fifth-gen 2006 GTI. Like others have said, everything on the MK7 is just a little better than the MK6. Compared to my MKV, everything is a lot better. I've yet to find something in our new GTI that's inferior to my 2006 GTI that can't be fixed with different options.

First off, my three-door GTI is equipped with plaid-patterned cloth seats and a row-your-own transmission, although it's the same Tornado Red as our current long-termer. As nice as the DSG and leather interior are, I prefer my more basic setup. But that's only a difference of options, not a fundamental flaw or something that's gotten worse.

All the materials in the new car are much higher quality. Everything is positioned in a slightly better place. All of the buttons have a little more weight behind their clicks. The sound of a closing door is just a little more solid. The gauges are just a little bit brighter and easier to read. 

The MKV generation is considered the car that got the GTI back to what it always intended to be, equal parts sport and practicality. The car had gotten fat and, while not necessarily slow, lagged behind the competition in performance. The sixth and seventh generations built on what the MKV reestablished.

The GTI delivers most everything I want in a car. It's reasonably quick, reasonably cheap to maintain, and it could fit everything important to me inside when I decided to move to across the country to Santa Monica when I landed an internship at Edmunds.  Most of all, it's never boring.

The GTI isn't the fastest front-drive car on the market. The turbocharged four-cylinder isn't the most powerful or the loudest. There are less expensive cars, there are faster cars and there are more practical cars available. It's the way the GTI combines all of these attributes that makes it special. Other cars can do any one of these things better, but few do the whole package better.

Reese Counts, Editorial Intern

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