2013 Volkswagen GTI Review

Pros & Cons

  • Lively engine
  • hatchback versatility
  • upscale interior
  • compliant ride
  • good fuel economy
  • Competitors are quicker and handle better
  • lacks adequate interior storage
List Price Range
$8,000 - $13,750

Used GTI for Sale
Select your model:
See all for sale

Get More For Your Trade-In

Get More For Your Trade-In

Edmunds shoppers get on average $235 more for their trade-in.
Find out what your car is really worth in minutes.
See your car's value

Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2013 Volkswagen GTI doesn't boast scorching specifications, but as a whole package -- comfort, drivability and performance -- it's one of our top picks for a sporty hatchback.

Vehicle overview

Putting the 2013 Volkswagen GTI up on a spreadsheet against its competitors makes the venerable German hot hatch a tough sell. After all, it gets bested by its rivals in acceleration, braking and handling tests. Even its cargo volume is just midpack. All of which cause some hesitation when you consider that a well-loaded VW GTI crests the $30,000 mark.

But there's more to the GTI than numbers. Its compliant suspension soaks up bumpy city roads without sacrificing a tight, sporty character. The interior is uncommonly upscale with premium materials, classy and restrained design, supportive front seats, roomy rear quarters and a quiet, well-damped cabin with the ambience of an entry-level luxury car.

Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 200 horsepower. That's as much as 60 hp less than the hot-hatch competition. Yet the GTI's mill still makes for a spirited drive, delivering useful power down low for swift passing maneuvers and quick bursts of acceleration. It also sounds cool, with a pleasant exhaust rumble. The turbo inline-4 pairs with a six-speed manual transmission for purists or a dual-clutch automated manual transmission to ease the pain of congested commutes.

However, there are better choices if speed and handling are your main priorities. The Mazdaspeed 3 and Subaru WRX both outgun the GTI in a straight line, while the Mini Cooper S bends more nimbly around corners. We also highly suggest considering the new Ford Focus ST as it combines impressive power with GTI-levels of refinement. But overall, the 2013 VW GTI is still more than the sum of its numbers, as it can dutifully carry you through the work week, then put a grin on your face as you find the quicker, curvier roads out of town for the weekend.

2013 Volkswagen GTI models

The 2013 Volkswagen GTI is a high-performance version of the Golf hatchback available in both two- and four-door body styles. An even higher-performance Golf -- the Golf R -- is also offered. It's reviewed separately.

There are two main trim levels: base and Autobahn. The base GTI's standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear roof spoiler, foglights, heated outside mirrors, heated washer nozzles, full power accessories, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, a trip computer, air-conditioning, heated front sport seats, plaid cloth upholstery, split-folding rear seats with a center pass-through, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary audio jack and iPod integration.

The base GTI can be fitted with the Convenience and Sunroof package, which adds different 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, multifunction steering wheel controls, a touchscreen interface for the stereo and an in-dash CD changer. The GTI with Sunroof and Navigation adds adaptive xenon headlights, LED running lights and a touchscreen navigation system.

The range-topping GTI Autobahn includes the preceding features, plus unique 18-inch wheels, partial-leather seating, keyless ignition/entry and a premium sound system.

2013 Highlights

For 2013, the GTI outfitted with the Convenience and Sunroof package gets different wheels, but otherwise the lineup carries over unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive 2013 Volkswagen GTI is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque. In California-emissions states, a cleaner partial-zero-emissions-vehicle (PZEV) variant of this engine is also available.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual (called DSG) is optional. The DSG operates like a standard automatic but it can be shifted manually via the shift lever on the center console or the shift paddles on the steering wheel.

In Edmunds testing, a GTI with a manual transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. Competitors are at least a half-second faster. According to EPA estimates, the GTI returns 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined when equipped with the DSG. The manual transmission achieves slightly less at 21/31/25 mpg.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the 2013 Volkswagen GTI includes antilock brakes, stability control and traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the GTI earned a top rating of "Good" in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In Edmunds performance testing, braking from 60 to zero mph required 129 feet. That's longer than average for a small car with all-season tires and a full car length longer than the summer-tire-equipped Mazdaspeed 3's impressively short 115-foot halt.

Driving

The 2013 Volkswagen GTI won't give you the quickest quarter-mile or lap time compared to rival hatchbacks. But the GTI delivers one of the best overall driving experiences in the class. The turbocharged engine is lively and unloads plenty of useful low-end torque. The cabin is quiet, and the compliant suspension neutralizes broken pavement.

Around corners, the GTI is fun up to a point. But there's no question that cars like the Focus ST, Mazdaspeed 3 and Cooper S are livelier, more nimble and possessive of higher handling limits. Still, most drivers will find the GTI strikes an impressive balance between performance, comfort and daily thrills.

Interior

Among sporty hatchbacks, the 2013 GTI ranks at the top for interior quality. The retro-style plaid seat fabric on the base trim won't suit everyone, but the cabin reflects a cool and sophisticated design, featuring upscale Audi-esque trim and switchgear throughout. The Ford Focus might come close, but otherwise you won't find better materials in the segment. There are a couple downsides, including a lack of useful interior storage and the small screen of the navigation system that hampers displayed information and overall usefulness.

The front seats are sporty and supportive, whether cruising or driving hard. If you regularly carry passengers, the four-door GTI is a safe bet, but accessing the surprisingly roomy rear seats is also pretty painless even in the two-door. Behind the rear seats, the cargo area holds up to 15.2 cubic feet -- nearly three times that of the Mini Cooper S, but less than a Focus or Mazda 3 hatchback. Once the rear seat is folded down, 46 cubic feet of cargo capacity is at your disposal.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2013 Volkswagen GTI.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Thunder Bunny
judge67,11/02/2012
Simply amazing car... the 2.0 Turbo is quick. It is strong all through the rev range, very little turbo lag. I drive a considerable distance on the interstate, and it revs high at 75-80 mph (turning over 3000 rpm). As such, I have to work to get 30 mpg out of it, although at 60 it gets mid-30's easy. It has an Audi-grade interior and fit/finish, love the plaid seats and they are very comfortable (and heated!). The gauges light up white/grey/red and match the upholstory well. This is the only car on the planet that I prefer the automatic over a stick; the DSG is brilliant! My car also has the Pirelli tires as opposed to the Dunlops. The GTI is a ball to drive, but civilized, too.
Great design, suprisingly not as well made
jcfarnham,07/14/2014
I've had my 2013 GTI for nearly one year. Love driving the car, performance, economy, styling, are all excellent. My car went in for a 10K Service at the Dealership and came away with a clean bill of health. Then 6 weeks later, the coolant light came on. Dealership diagnosed as a fault with a new water pump part on 2013 models. Significant work removing and reinstalling engine bay parts to repair. While it was at dealership, they identified an additional fault - apparently through engine diagnostics - and it required a replacement intake manifold. More engine bay parts removed and reinstalled. I am now very concerned about the long-term reliability proposition for this vehicle.
Only car I've bought two of back/back
b211,02/03/2013
With over 2 dozen cars in my personal history, the 4-door GTI is the only one I've bought two of in a row. I usually like to "try the field", but found my level of perfection with GTI. Bought a CPO 07' in 10', and had no hesitation with replacing it with a top-of-the-line Autobahn model in 2013. $30k does put you in a different altitude for car choices, but a 4-door GTI is unique and perfect. Fits 4 adults, fun, useful, and respected by those who are higher up the food chain. I get several compliments from BMW and Porsche owners on mine. The DSG transmission really "makes the car". Sure, manual is probably best for the purist. But the DSG is simply fantastic.
(Was... Not so) Happy, Happy, Happy - update
c_j_l,12/14/2013
Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM)
Final update on this car: I have had almost three trouble free (well, after the initial "out of the box" problem) years of driving this car, and put just over 48K miles on it. Replaced the original Pirelli PZero tires at 46K miles. All other maintenance has been per the book - the only exception is that I changed the oil at 5K mile intervals vs the factory recommended 10K interval. This has been a great car to drive both in town and on extended road trips. Gas mileage has always been excellent - low to mid 20s in town (with spirited driving) and low to mid 30s on the highway. Handles very well / feels very stable on the road in all conditions. No significant rattles or squeaks yet. All finishes inside and out look factory new. Great performance, great value.

More about the 2013 Volkswagen GTI

Used 2013 Volkswagen GTI Overview

The Used 2013 Volkswagen GTI is offered in the following submodels: GTI Hatchback. Available styles include PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), PZEV 4dr Hatchback w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), PZEV 4dr Hatchback w/Convenience, Sunroof (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), PZEV 4dr Hatchback w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), PZEV 2dr Hatchback w/Convenience, Sunroof (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), PZEV 2dr Hatchback w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), PZEV 2dr Hatchback w/Convenience, Sunroof (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 4dr Hatchback w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), PZEV 4dr Hatchback w/Convenience, Sunroof (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 4dr Hatchback w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 4dr Hatchback w/Convenience, Sunroof (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 4dr Hatchback w/Convenience, Sunroof (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), PZEV 2dr Hatchback w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Driver's Edition PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), Driver's Edition 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Wolfsburg Edition PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), Driver's Edition 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), Driver's Edition PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 2dr Hatchback w/Convenience, Sunroof (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Wolfsburg Edition 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 2dr Hatchback w/Convenience, Sunroof (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Autobahn 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Autobahn PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), 2dr Hatchback w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), Autobahn PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), 2dr Hatchback w/Sunroof, Navigation (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Wolfsburg Edition PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Autobahn 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), Autobahn 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), Autobahn PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M), Autobahn PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6AM), and Autobahn 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Volkswagen GTI?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Volkswagen GTI trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Volkswagen GTI PZEV is priced between $10,488 and$12,988 with odometer readings between 63646 and101543 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Volkswagen GTI Autobahn PZEV is priced between $8,000 and$10,000 with odometer readings between 79570 and136508 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Volkswagen GTI Driver's Edition is priced between $13,750 and$13,750 with odometer readings between 52565 and52565 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Volkswagen GTI Driver's Edition PZEV is priced between $13,495 and$13,495 with odometer readings between 85376 and85376 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Volkswagen GTI Wolfsburg Edition PZEV is priced between $11,995 and$11,995 with odometer readings between 95473 and95473 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2013 Volkswagen GTIS are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Volkswagen GTI for sale near. There are currently 10 used and CPO 2013 GTIS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,000 and mileage as low as 52565 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Volkswagen GTI.

Can't find a used 2013 Volkswagen GTIs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Volkswagen GTI for sale - 12 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $18,405.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 1 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $19,869.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen GTI for sale - 3 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $12,710.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen for sale - 7 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $12,135.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 Volkswagen GTI?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen GTI lease specials