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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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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Posted in Expert Reviews, Volkswagen |Tags:, , , || 1 Comment »

Volkswagen GTI R-Series Headed to U.S.

Tuesday February 10th, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

2008 VW GTI MK V

Can it get any better than a Volkswagen GTI? They’re a hoot to drive, they’re practical, they get great mileage and are reliable. Really, can it get better than that? Yes, yes it can. Say hello to the Volkswagen GTI R- Series.

Car and Driver says that VW will bring the R-Series to America, along with a rumored name change to R20, that will feature the mill from the Audi S3. Said engine should crank out around 270 horsepower from the 2.0L turbo engine, which is a 70-horsepower improvement over the standard GTI — something we like. You get to choose from either a standard 6-speed stick or dual clutch DSG transmission that sends power to the front wheels. As you would expect, we’re really big fans of the DSG box and would go that route. The GTI R-Series also features an electronic differential that will try and cope with the inevitable torque steer.

So, we have a nice choice of gear boxes, and going with a turbo four cylinder versus putting something bigger in means that the balance will be better, the overall car will be lighter (which will help with the MPGs) and it will probably be more rev-happy.

Let’s hope this rumor turns out to be true.

Source: AutoBlog

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2008 Volkswagen R32 Review – The Mature Hot Hatch

Wednesday March 26th, 2008 at 7:33 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

VW R32 Overview Volkswagen R32 Specs
Consumer Reviews of VW R32
VW R32 Photo Gallery VW R32 Video Review

By Kurt Gensheimer

2008 Volkswagen R32


  • Polished 4Motion Haldex system
  • Scalpel-sharp handling
  • Heavenly VR6 exhaust note
  • Luxurious interior


  • DSG only
  • Rear styling is hard to love
  • Bullish understeer in wet conditions
  • Tough to justify next to the new GTI

Ruling: If you want the most refined, mature and well-mannered hot hatch on the market, this is the one.

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Volkswagen |Tags:, , || 4 Comments »

Volkswagen R32 and GTI Video Review

Wednesday March 26th, 2008 at 7:33 AM
Posted by: Derek

Volkswagen R32 Overview Volkswagen R32 Full Review
Consumer Reviews of the VW R32 VW R32 Photo Gallery VW R32 Specs

The Volkswagen R32 is a great addition to the hot-hatch category. But is it a great value when compared with the VW GTI? Watch our video review and tell us how you think the R32 rates in your book.

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