Review: 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE

Thursday August 13th, 2015 at 1:88 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE

By David Colman

Hypes: Luscious Power Curve, Impeccable Handling, Killer Seats
Gripes: None

Recently, MOTOR TREND conducted a comparison test of 2 seat sports cars, pitting the new Mazda Miata against Subaru’s BRZ. As an afterthought, they brought along VW’s GTI as a stalking horse to compare to the “real” sports cars. In the end, the GTI blew away both the Miata and the BRZ by posting the fastest acceleration times and lap times on the road course at Willow Springs Raceway. Of course, the experts at the magazine then had some explaining to do about how a modest $27,000 four seat sedan could possibly have beaten those certified sports cars in every verifiable test. Oh, they went on about how the GTI lacked the ride and steering perfection of the Mazda and the Subaru, but in the end, they couldn’t dispute the fact that VW’s long lived little hot rod, now in its 30th year, had managed to kick the stuffing out of the vaunted competition. In order to perpetrate the sports car superiority myth, MOTOR TREND should have left the GTI home.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE

Golf for 2015 is completely new, with new power sources, revamped styling, better safety features, and upgraded connectivity. The Golf range starts with the Launch Edition price leader at $17,995 and works through several gas (TSI) and diesel (TDI) powered variants. Most expensive Golf is the all-electric e-Golf at $35,445. The GTI we drove is the performance king in the model range, with a base price of just $27,395. Since there were no extras at all, our test car retailed for $28,215 after the addition of $820 for Destination Charge. In today’s market, an option free model like our test GTI is unheard of. Similarly unlikely is the fact that the base GTI wants for absolutely nothing because it is so well equipped in standard form. Start with the turbocharged, direct injected 4 cylinder 2.0 liter engine, the most powerful GTI motor in 30 years, at 210hp and 258lb.-ft. of torque. The surge this fuel miser is capable of generating will knock your lederhosen off. MOTOR TREND clocked it at 99.7mph @14.6 seconds in the quarter mile, with a 0-60mph time of 6.1 seconds. Yet despite the supercar punch, the GTI still returns 28MPG in overall driving.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE

Although you can option your GTI with a DSG semi-automatic gearbox, it will cost you $1,100 extra and you will be eliminating one of the best 6-speed manuals in the automotive world. I found the dimpled golf ball shift knob atop the GTI’s short stalk manual to be such a pleasure to shift that I made up excuses to run through the gears just for the pleasure of snicking that stick from gate to gate. The GTI’s electro-mechanical power steering is as precise as the weighted dial on a pricey FM tuner. The standard issue Bridgestone Potenza S001 tires (225/40R18) mounted on Cuisine Art bladed alloys, plant the GTI so firmly that side slip is never an issue, no matter how hard you press through turns. The stellar front seats, with copious side and lower back support, are miles ahead of the seats you’ll find in competitive vehicles like the Ford Fiesta ST. While the GTI’s seats may not look as racy as those in the ST, they are much more comfortable over the long haul. We spent five hours in them on a single day roundtrip from the Bay Area to the Sierra foothills without experiencing a moment of discomfort or tedium. Also, the standard Fender audio system proved easier than ever to use. Its new visual display shows pre-selected stations on the XMSirius radio in a bar format on the 5.8 inch touchscreen. This revised layout is easier to read than VW’s former telephone dial tuning system. Also easier to use is the simple overhead control for the standard tilt and slide panoramic sunroof. Instead of the twist dial VW used for so long, a slider button now gets the job done faster.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE

In the sub-$30,000 market, it doesn’t get any better that the GTI, the original German hot hatch. And if 210 hp are insufficient to your neck snapping needs, the GTI Performance Package is about to be released. This one, which will retail for $29,280 with manual gearbox, is rated at 220hp. There’s even an R Golf in the works with 290hp on tap and all-wheel-drive. But for those on a mission AND on a budget, the base model GTI just has to be the best Golf of them all for the money.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI SE

  • Engine: 2.0 liter in line 4, TSI, turbocharged with direct injection
  • Horsepower: 210hp
  • Torque: 258lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 25MPG City/34 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $28,215
  • Star Rating: 10 out of 10 Stars

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Volkswagen Golf R Arriving on American Shores in 2012

Thursday December 9th, 2010 at 8:1212 PM
Posted by: Derek

VW Golf RVW announced Thursday that the diminutive and powerful Golf R is coming to the United States in 2012. Tuned by the in-house R team at Volkswagen, the Golf R should prove more exciting than the current Clark Kent-version sold in the US.

While details like price and launch date remain unknown, Volkswagen did talk about what will separate the R model from the run-o-the-mill Golf. The Golf R gets a tuned up version of the GTI’s 2.0-liter turbo four, though Volkswagen stopped short of indicating how many horses the R will have over the GTI’s 200. In addition to more power, the Golf R gets a sport-tuned ESP, Haldex 4Motion AWD, uprated sport-tuned suspension and bigger brakes. It will only come with a manual.

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Best Hybrid and Green Cars of 2010

Monday November 1st, 2010 at 8:1111 AM
Posted by: AKramer

CarReview_Best_Green_Car_2010By Alex Kramer

What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago gas was cheap, the SUV was king, and fuel efficiency was one of the last things car buyers were concerned about. Surprisingly, it was also ten years ago that Honda and Toyota introduced a seemingly radical technology that involved strapping batteries and an electric motor to a gas engined car, creating the first hybrids.

Fast forward ten years and the traditional SUV has all but died out, gas is $3 per gallon, and hybrids are as common as apple pie. More importantly, awareness of global warming and our dependence on foreign oil, along with a depressed economy, has made fuel efficiency a far more important criteria for car buyers. This, in turn,  has spurred the automotive industry to pursue smaller, cleaner and more efficient designs. The result is a plethora of choices for buyers seeking a more fuel efficient, greener set of wheels.

Although hybrid cars are perhaps the most effective way to significantly increase fuel efficiency, with 9 out of the top ten most fuel efficient cars featuring a gas electric drivetrain, not everyone will be happy with the increased cost and performance sacrifice that often comes with hybrid ownership. Luckily we now also have a new generation of clean diesels that are nothing like the noisy, smoke belching diesels of the past, instead providing excellent performance along with hybrid worthy fuel efficiency. And for those who are wary of all of this alternative technology, there are finally plenty of efficient, well made small cars available in America.

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2010 Volkswagen GTI Review

Thursday July 8th, 2010 at 3:77 PM
Posted by: Francois

By Francis Cebedo


  • Balance and poise are delivered in this package
  • Interior design and quality are top notch
  • Value. while it is not cheap, it delivers a lot of the money
  • Mileage is impressive when driven conservatively
  • Terrific DSG transmission. It is fuel efficient and responsive
  • Styling is thoroughly refined and modern yet it carries on the Golf lineage
  • Dynaudio stereo system is A+
  • Driveability and fun factor is sky high


  • Can be outgunned in a horsepower fight
  • Heavy, unattractive and dated wheels
  • Bluetooth needs voice dial
  • iPod integration needs to be quicker, especially when there is a big song library

Balance and harmony are coveted words in automobiles. The 2010 Volkswagen GTI achieves both with authority. This car makes no attempt to entice you with high performance specs or flashy spoilers and hood scoops. Rather, it will capture your driving soul with a unit that drives extremely well. It will take you to work and invite you to take the scenic mountain route on occasion. The GTI will give you great mileage, yet push you to the back of the seat when called upon. It will deliver great value for your dollar, yet spoil you with an interior that defies its price category.

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2010 Volkswagen Golf Review – Utility and performance fitted into an economical package

Tuesday February 16th, 2010 at 10:22 AM
Posted by: Francois

2010 VW Golf
By Francis Cebedo


  • The base model is very satisfying
  • Exterior design is clean and attractive
  • Interior is excellent
  • Comes in 3-door and 5-door
  • Model selection is very broad with Diesel, GTI and high performance models coming
  • Fun to drive rating is off the charts for a base model aka practical car
  • Construction and feel is very solid
  • 5-cylinder engine is quite powerful with a very usable torque curve
  • Chassis handles nicely and feels like it can handle a lot more


  • Could use a center arm rest with storage
  • No interior options like leather are available
  • Radio has mediocre sound, poor FM reception and no steering wheel controls
  • Can’t get it as cheap as the competition

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New BlueMotion Golf Is Most Economical Ever

Thursday October 15th, 2009 at 8:1010 AM
Posted by: tonyb

VW BlueMotion Golf

61.9 miles per gallon. That’s the number to keep in mind. The upcoming Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion (i.e. the diesel) will get you 61.9 miles to the gallon on the highway. Given that the latest Golf isn’t exactly light (it is a German car after all), and it’s loaded with all sorts of weight increasing safety features like air bags and door beams, that’s a really impressive figure.

Sure, it would be wonderful if carmakers could get off the dime and start rolling out series hybrid Volts and cars like that, let alone full-blown electric vehicles that are practical. But even if they do a NASA moon shot level of commitment, those are going to be a few years off. So for the foreseeable future, cars like the Golf BlueMotion looks to be a buyers best bet, economy-wise.

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VW Brings 4MOTION To Mark VI Golf

Tuesday December 23rd, 2008 at 6:1212 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Volkswagen GolfWell hallelujah and it’s about frickin’ time. VW, in their infinite wisdom, has finally put their 4Motion all wheel drive setup into their current gen Golf (that would be the sixth generation).

The 4Motion, essentially a VW’s equivalent to (parent? sister?, geez, it can be like Chinatown when it comes to VW, Porsche & Audi, huh?) Audi’s Quattro system, delivering power, as needed, to all four wheels. Makes for great driving when things get slippery, muddy, gravelly, and/or borderline rally stage-like. You know, sort of like it is now for 80% of the Northern Hemisphere (i.e. winter).

This is the third iteration of the 4mo system, so you’d think that all the kinks would be worked out (good for the repair budget), and really, it’s about time the latest Golf had this available. I’ve got nothing against Subaru’s & Mistubishi’s fine AWD systems, but the more the merrier. Besides, having it in a hatchback platform plays to my Group B desires.

The downside?
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VW Golf Plus Debuts In Bologna

Thursday December 4th, 2008 at 3:1212 PM
Posted by: tonyb

Volkswagen Golf PlusThis is a Euro only deal, but, when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense for the European market.

Since most European cities are clogged with hatchbacks of some sort, and there are no small-sized sedans, finding a practical car can be somewhat of a challenge. On occasion, you can find a small SUV here or there, but those don’t make much sense … ergo, Volkswagen has decided to churn out this thing: VW Golf Plus.

Essentially it is a Gen 6 four-door Golf with a higher roofline and minivan proportions – sort of a mini-minivan. Or, another way to look at it, it’s sort of like Volkswagen’s ’08 take on the Mazda MPV, only smaller.

Also, there’s this interesting bit of kit that’s included:

VW’s ParkAssist system which displays a real-time image of what’s directly behind the car and can take control of the steering wheel to guide the car into a parking spot. Y’know, for people who cannot parallel park to save their own lives.

Source: AutoBlog

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