2010 Volkswagen GTI Consumer Review: Spent half my $50K car budget

2010 Volkswagen GTI - Consumer Review

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful
Spent half my $50K car budget
By milleman on


2010 Volkswagen GTI PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)


I had spent a year test driving 20 cars over 1000mi to decide on the car that would last me the 20yrs my last car did, a VW Corrado.
Life's too short to keep driving VWs, but the final shootouts for months were between the '10 GTI and different flavors of 1 and 3 series BMW coupes.
I was not cross-shopping any of the Japanese "hot hatches".

Best Features

>Short gearing+revvy engine=lots of shifting=driver involvement >Even PZEV engines underrated at 210+hp at wheels =~240 crank hp&flat torque >Huge back seat+hatch space when folded >Fabulous stereo head unit+Dynaudio=best audio well above its class >XDS works really well, steering nearly as direct as the better RWD cars, easily best for FWD >Better ride-handling balance than 3-series sport pkg (no run-flats helps) >Amazing amount of std equip for the base price for a euro car >Smart styling walks fine line between aggressive&chill >Great ergos for my build, but BMW sport pkg seats still best >Clutch& gearbox action sublime >Good summer tires really raise chassis performance

Worst Features

>HVAC controls are garbage in an otherwise quality interior, and it doesn't hold the interior temp very well >There were a lot of cost-cutting measures to the MkV, and more to come between 2010 & 2011. Bringing back the body-colored side mouldings for parking lot protection would be a good start >A center channel speaker for the Dynaudio stereo upgrade >ESP to allow more aggressive slip angles when the TCS is manually switched off >Leave the 12V outlets on when ignition is off >Dealer programming needed to disable DRLs, honk when locking >Better brake pads, calipers & air ducting >Less road noise thru chassis >140mph speedo, 180mph is stupid >oil temp display >accurate mpg display
Recommend (9) (0)

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By milleman
on 03/14/11 18:19 PM (PDT)

I wrote the above review and the 'value' category was labeled 'fuel economy'. I may have given it 5* for overall value (wrt to my priorities vs BMWs), but for actual gas mileage it would have to be 3*, maybe even 2*. Short trips around town in cold weather for a tank is <=20mpg w/o a lot of traffic snarls, and have barely broke 30mpg on a very easy interstate trip. I know to stay out of the boost or the mpg plummets. Dashboard mpg indicator consistently 2mpg optimistic -- why? Do they think I'm too dumb to check its accuracy? Also, I had meant to say "there are a lot of cost-cutting measures in the oddest places compared to the MkV (06-09)series on the 2010, and even more to the 2011". I'd pay another grand on the base price to have a more-completely 'finished' car. Seems VWAG plans to continue dumbing down their cars to a price point against the falling $, so 2010 may be the sweet spot between finish and functionality.

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