by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on October 23, 2015
We've discussed my commute before. It's not pretty. Start, stop, honk, floor it, honk, stop, repeat for nine-ish miles.
But, I like where I live and I like where I work, so I deal with it. I could not deal with it if I had to drive our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI every day.
by Travis Langness, Social Media Editor on October 15, 2015
Our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI isn't perfectly suited to the daily grind. If you spend most of your time in stop-and-go traffic, or if you do a lot of road trips, the GTI isn't the best car. The suspension is stiff and the sidewalls are thin, which means the ride is almost always a bit bumpy.
Its twin brother, the standard Golf, is better at these tedious daily tasks. Luckily for the GTI, this is where the plot thickens.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Road Test Editor on October 5, 2015
Our former Intern Extraordinaire, Reese Counts, now turned full-time Vehicle Testing Assistant (applause), lauded our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI as harder, better, faster, and stronger than the generations of GTI that came before. While I don't disagree with his overall sentiment, there are elements in the older vintage that I prefer to the newest iteration out of Wolfsburg — or should I say Puebla, Mexico?
by Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor on September 16, 2015
I have to admit that when I saw our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI was available for the evening, I hesitated. I remembered the last time I drove our 2010 GTI long-termer and how the driver seat was angled in such a way that it was difficult for short-legged folks (read: me at 5'5") to reach the pedals.
The rear of the seat hung so much lower than the front that I had to scooch the chair until I was basically half an arm's length away from the steering wheel, even with the column collapsed as far as its telescoping ability allowed.
I was never able to find a comfortable seating position in that car, and assuming our new long-termer shared a similar seat angle, I was not looking forward to driving it in rush-hour traffic.
July 19, 2015
My plan for the 4th of July weekend was simple: Pick a destination about 500 miles from home, drive there, stay the night and come home. My holiday celebration would be a road trip rather than watching the same fireworks show I'd seen 100 times. So I asked Edmunds car-czar Mike Schmidt what vehicles in our fleet needed miles and he swiftly pointed me towards our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI.
I hadn't spent much quality time with the little red Volkswagen and this would be a perfect opportunity for some one-on-one time. I flipped a coin to decide between Northern California and the Grand Canyon and the coin came up tails. So I packed my bags and headed for the big crack in the desert.
March 26, 2015
Stereotypes have a basis in reality, and certainly L.A. traffic is not an exaggerated thing. Every once in a while (or for about 19 seconds at a time), there's a moment of free-flowing traffic on the notoriously choppy 405 freeway that enables a quick hand-held video from behind the wheel. Click through to see how our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI fared on the thoroughfare.
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.
March 2, 2015
Before my daughter was born, a Volkswagen GTI (Mk VI) was going to be our family car. Because she arrived quite a few weeks earlier than we expected, we hadn't yet installed her infant car seat in it to assess the fit. Of course, the car seat fit fine. But due to its shape and our respective heights, my husband and I did not. We said a hasty goodbye to the VW and bought a Mazda 5.
That doesn't mean we don't miss the GTI, nor does it mean we won't buy another one someday. So it was with some excitement that I approached the task of installing our rear-facing convertible car seats in the long-term Mk VII 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI
February 19, 2015
Our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI has good seats. Really good seats. Possibly you remember the wildly over-bolstered seats in our 2013 Ford Focus ST? They were polarizing. Some people loved the support they offered, but many, like me, thought it possible to offer similar support without such aggressive bolsters.
January 29, 2015
Our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI is equipped with the DSG dual-clutch automated-manual transmission. While it's not as clever as Porsche's similar PDK transmission (still the benchmark), VW's DSG does a very good job with smooth, nearly seamless shifts in typical driving and rapid shifts when things get going. The one scenario where it exhibits some less-than-optimal behavior is bumper-to-bumper traffic. When in Drive, the car sometimes starts from a standstill in second gear, often short-shifts (to the next, higher gear) at a very low rpm just as I go to the brake and once there and is loath to downshift when I squeeze either the brake or the throttle.
January 28, 2015
I've been the designated reporter to cover the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas for the past three years. I took a plane the first time, caught a ride the second time and this year I drove.
I didn't get a good first impression of our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI the first time I drove it, so I figured I'd take it on this trip to give it a second chance.
The last GTI I drove was a former long-term car and I remember really liking it. But it was a manual and that was about four years ago. I should note that I may be biased toward that sixth generation Golf, since I have a TDI of the same vintage. So maybe it's me looking back with rose-colored goggles on the last GTI, or maybe it's me being so familiar with that Golf that I regard any change as bad.
January 16, 2015
Our 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI doesn't have the plaid seats it should. Instead, VW cruelly makes GTI buyers choose between the awesome throwback and cloth-lined buckets and leather-clad ones which feature back-soothing heating elements.
Plaid or heat. Plaid or heat. Plaid or heat.
We're old now...I mean, we spend lots of time at the gym being active now, so even in our warm SoCal climate, the heated seats are a nice treat for the back. Heat wins.
Except when it doesn't work. Like on the passenger seat of our GTI.
November 21, 2014
November 17, 2014
Recently, our 2015 Volkswagen GTI passed its engine break-in period and was then ready for its first instrumented track test. As part of our pre-test protocol, we check and set tire pressures to the manufacturer's recommended values printed on the vehicle's doorpost sticker. When we first put the gauge on the GTI's cold tires, however, each one read 33 psi, or 4 psi lower than what the doorpost recommends.
Read on to see what we did...
November 14, 2014
With such a large, glass roof on our 2015 Volkswagen GTI, I was a little surprised by a couple of interesting details. First, is that it slides back at all. As we've seen from other cars with enormous glass-panel roofs (like the Audi A5), they usually just tilt and don't slide open. Our GTI's roof pops up and slides quite a distance, in fact.
Also, it holds another nice surprise.