2015 Volkswagen GTI Review

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2015 Volkswagen GTI Overview

2015 Volkswagen GTI

Want to add a little spice to your commute? Take a look at Volkswagen’s tweaked-out 2015 Golf GTI hatchback. Boasting 10 extra horsepower and a hefty infusion of extra torque over last year, along with new slope to the hood, reworked headlights and some subtle upgrades to an already impressive cabin, this compact 5-seater can again be delivered in either 2-door or 4-door configuration. Additionally, trim designations have been revamped into the base S, the midlevel SE and the flagship Autobahn, with the latter available only in 4-door style.

Riding on the brand new MQB platform, this latest Mk VII GTI incarnation is looking a little leaner, a tad longer and a bit higher than 2014 versions, with a total of 52.7 cubic feet of cargo area complementing a couple more inches of additional overall legroom. And shaving 130-odd pounds off the 2015 GTI’s curb weight is expected to gain a few extra miles per gallon out of the reworked turbocharged inline 4-cylinder (I4) powerplant.

A few other improvements to the 2015 GTI stable include a 5.8-inch touchscreen multimedia display that’s now standard across the lineup and a newly available Performance Package that adds a further 10 ponies, as well as a sportier suspension with an auto-damping feature and larger brakes. Perhaps best of all, this optional package boasts a limited-slip differential that, combined with the stiffer MQB suspension, brings traction and cornering to a whole new level.  

Power-wise, as mentioned, the 2015 GTI still packs the ubiquitous turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 engine mated with either the standard 6-speed manual transmission or the capable 6-speed dual-clutch DSG auto-manual transmission, each of which fits this blown I4 to the proverbial tee. This next-gen edition, however, flaunts 210 hp and a whopping 258 lb-ft of torque, putting last year’s 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque to shame, and with the Performance Package added, total horsepower climbs to 220. Finally, though official numbers aren’t available yet, look for the lighter Mk VII GTI variants to at least equal and maybe surpass 2014 mileage averages.

The new profile in the base S trim is still expected to be bolstered by 18-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler, with cloth upholstery (now in a new plaid design), heated sport front seats, a sport steering wheel, a 2-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and full power accessories adorning the cabin. Cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering return for 2015, as does manual air conditioning, while the new-for-2015 5.8-inch display now modulates a single-CD player with 8 speakers and satellite radio, as well as standard Bluetooth hands-free communications.

Move up to the new GTI SE and look for a standard power sunroof, a rear-view camera, leather upholstery and 9 premium Fender speakers, while the top-shelf Autobahn adds standard navigation, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and dual-zone auto climate control.

Options, meantime, should include, besides the much-ballyhooed Performance Package, new adaptive xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, rear parking sensors and adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning.

Expect the 2015 GTI to return with such standard safety features as 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Also expected back are turn-signal-integrated outside mirrors, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm.

According to the folks at Vee Dub, the next-gen GTI will grace dealer showrooms in June of 2014, with a somewhat higher MSRP reflecting this compact hatchback’s added features.

Updated

Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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