2013 Volkswagen GTI Consumer Review: A Near Perfect Compromise

2013 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback - Consumer Review

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful
A Near Perfect Compromise
By basel1120 on


2013 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)


Time came to replace a much loved Mazda RX8 with a vehicle my wife could be induced to drive in place of our SUV.
The RX8 was a delightful sports car but 17-19mpg around town and 20-22 mpg on the highway was no better than the SUV. And though "do-able" for two adults, an eight year old kid and big dog, it was hardly convenient. And for traffic a six speed manual could be torture (my wife says.)

Considered a MINI and a TSX SportWagon but the MINI was too small (with 2 doors) and the TSX too long for the garage space.

The GTI is perfect. Fun to drive. The DSG can match a very good MT. Solid, quiet, fast (and quick). For all but ski trips, it nearly equals the convenience of our Sorento.

Best Features

DSG transmission is a true "automatic manual." Just retrain the brain or stomp on the dead pedal when you shift. In traffic, let the AT do its thing. Seats are simply fantastic. Well bolstered, perfectly soft yet firm. Felt immediately that they were designed for me. If I could get one to use as an office chair, I'd buy it. True backseat for adults. No need to apologize to guests. Excellent Dynaudio sound system. Supplemented by beautiful engine sounds. Corners on rails. The MK7 is supposed to be better. If so, I'll very very impressed. Looks and acts like a vehicle designed by and for adults.

Worst Features

The NAV system is at least a generation behind offerings from competitors. Fine for basic stuff but an update is definitely in order. VW could take some lessons from KIA in designing a user-friendly interface for the techy stuff, especially voice controls which are unduly limited. The MK7 supposedly offers more power and better mpg. That sort of magic is always welcome.
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