This Volkswagen Golf GTI video review includes information about the two-door and four-door hatchbacks. We discuss fuel economy, performance, handling, pricing, safety and how it compares with other sporty compact cars. For more information, read the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Review.
Available in two- or four-doors, the VW GTI is the performance version of the Golf, with a turbocharged four-cylinder good for 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. There is also a Performance Package that bumps the engine up to 220 hp.
If you want a more dedicated driver's car, most competitors would be better choices in terms of acceleration and handling. However, if you're looking for a daily driver that delivers the right amount of excitement without beating you up, the GTI is a very happy medium. It's still able to carve up a fun road and put a smile on your face, but you'll be far happier on a road trip or on your daily commute.
Most GTIs will probably go home with the DSG automatic. Shifts are quick and smooth, and you can change gears with paddle shifters. Still, there are few manual transmissions as easy to drive as the GTI's, and if you're looking for a more involved driving experience, the three-pedal car is better.
With either transmission, the EPA estimates 28 mpg combined. That's more efficient that most sporty compact cars.
The VW GTI is sensible in other ways as well. It's received the best possible crash scores from the IIHS and its hatchback body style makes it more versatile for carrying bulky items or putting things up on the roof.
The interior is also generously sized, making this a viable choice as a family car. Two adults should have abundant headroom and sufficient legroom in back, although a rear-facing child seat may be a tight fit. The supportive front seats do a good job of keeping you in place, without feeling confining like the Recaro buckets in the Focus ST.
Materials quality and design have only gotten better and really, nothing in its price range comes close to its high-end interior. Never mind the Ford Focus ST and Subaru WRX, this cabin stacks up against compact luxury cars like the Mercedes CLA and Audi A3.
In fact, everything about the VW Golf GTI -- its performance, fuel economy, comfort, quality, feature content and price -- puts it in between those two compact car segments. It scores high in all those areas and we highly recommend it.