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Based on 4 reviews
2012 Volkswagen GTI Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 4 reviews
The 2012 Volkswagen GTI – the high-performance version of the Volkswagen Golf – remains virtually unchanged from the previous model year. Only minor cosmetic feature upgrades, such as the new Convenience and Sunroof Package and LED running lights, have been added for the 2012 model year.
The Volkswagen GTI is available in four different trim levels: 2.0T, 2.0T Autobahn, 2.0T w/Convenience and Sunroof, and 2.0T w/Sunroof and Navigation. Each of those trims can be configured four separate ways, as follows: the 2.0T is a sedan, the 2.0T 2dr is a coupe, the 2.0T PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) is a sedan with emissions clean enough for California and other strict states, and the 2.0T PZEV 2dr is a coupe with clean emissions. All GTI trims are front-wheel drive and come standard with a 2.0-liter Turbocharged Stratified Injection (TSI), 16-valve, DOHC, 4-cylinder engine (with intercooler) that produces 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. All trims run on premium gasoline, are equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission and achieve an EPA-estimated 21 mpg city/31 highway. Trims upgraded with the optional DSG dual-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission get 24/33.
Standard equipment for all trims includes air conditioning, heated power-adjustable exterior mirrors (with turn signal), power door locks, power windows, speed-sensing power steering, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob and emergency brake handle, keyless entry, rear-window wiper, rear-window defogger, AM/FM radio, 8 speakers, single-CD player, Sirius XM radio (with complementary 6-month subscription), Bluetooth HandsFree technology, media device interface (with iPod cable), auxiliary input jack, rear spoiler, halogen headlights, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, Interlagos cloth seats and 18-inch Detroit alloy wheels (with all-season tires). The Convenience and Sunroof trims add a power tilting/sliding sunroof, Touchscreen Premium VIII sound system, in-dash 6-CD changer and a leather-wrapped, multifunction sport steering wheel as standard equipment.
Choosing the Sunroof and Navigation trim also includes as standard equipment a navigation system (with touchscreen), bi-xenon high-intensity headlights, LED daytime running lights and an adaptive front-lighting system. For those selecting the Autobahn trims, 18-inch Serron alloy wheels (with antitheft locks), a 300-watt Dynaudio premium sound system, keyless entry (with push-button start) and leather seats come as standard equipment. PZEV trims (vehicles that are designed to have zero evaporative emissions from their fuel systems) have the same equipment setup as their non-PZEV counterparts.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 2012 Volkswagen GTI very high marks for safety, rating it a Top Safety Pick. This is due in part to the number of quality standard safety features found on the GTI, including driver and passenger front airbags, front-side airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, collapsible steering column, daytime running lights, fog lights, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes (with hydraulic brake assist and electronic brake pressure distribution), electronic traction control, electronic stability control (with antislip regulation), crash-optimized front end and an intelligent crash response system.
Interior color options are either Titan Black Cloth or Titan Black Leather (available in the Autobahn trims only). Exterior color choices are Candy White, Tornado Red, Deep Black Pearl Metallic, Shadow Blue Metallic, Carbon Steel Gray Metallic and United Gray Metallic.
Most owners are enamored with the 2012 Volkswagen GTI, describing the car as spunky and fun to drive with a comfortable and technologically savvy cabin. Others note how quiet the ride is, stating that it has the same ambient sound level as many higher-priced luxury cars. Handling and pickup also receive high marks.
The 5-passenger 2012 Volkswagen GTI compares favorably among its competition, such as the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Acura TSX, in the upscale small car class. It doesn’t rate at the top of the list as being the fastest, best handling or most comfortable car in the class, but overall does well enough in most categories, especially when affordability is take into consideration, to make it a very solid choice.
by Mark S. Baker
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