The seventh-generation Golf GTI is bigger, lighter, faster and more fuel efficient than previous generations. Horsepower has increased, but price has decreased by $700, and fuel economy has seen improved mpg.
The all-new Golf GTI features a 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injection TSI engine that has 210 horsepower and a powerful 258 lb.-ft. of torque. The new engine is eight pounds lighter, and gets an estimated fuel economy of 24/34/37 mpg, using manual transmission.
There is a performance package ($1495) which increases the horsepower to 220, upgrades the brakes, and adds a mechanical limited-slip differential (LSD).
The Golf was introduced over 40 years ago with over 30 million sold. There are five models to choose from: Golf, Golf GTI, Golf R, eGolf, and Sportwagon. The focus for this column will be the Golf GTI which has been selected for Car and Driver’s 10-Best, seven years in a row.
The new Golf has a shorter front overhang and longer hood. There is now 93.5 cubic feet passenger volume, plus 22.8 cubic feet of trunk space. There is more shoulder and elbow room. The interior is an upscale one comprising plastic and chrome, aluminum and piano black trim finishes.
Safety is a key component to the overall strategy for introducing the new Golf to the American public. In addition to six airbags and crash-optimized front end, VW also included Intelligent Crash Response System, Anti-Slip Regulation, and Automatic Post Collision Braking System in the standard features. The last one may sound counter-intuitive, but it helps to prevent chain reaction collisions by activating the brakes after an initial hit.
Park Distance Control and Forward Collision Warning are available along with Bi-Xenon head lights with advance front light system.
The all-new Golf body shell has 28 percent of parts in ultra-high strength hot-formed steel, yet it is 51 pounds lighter than Golf MK 6.
The Golf GTI has variable-ratio electric power steering, strut-type front suspension, and the suspension is lowered by 0.6 inches compared with regular Golf models.
The chassis and suspension are powered by a two-stage stability control system that enriches the driving experience by providing better steering control and command of the road.
Standard features and equipment include items like: 18-inch aluminum wheels, plaid seating surfaces, driving mode selection, Bluetooth connectivity, Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod connectivity, and heated front seats.
The available premium features include: Navigation, tilt and slide moonroof, rear view camera, power driver seat, and Fender Premium Audio System.
The base price for the 4-door GTI is $26,095. The 2-door manual Golf launch-edition is only $17, 995. Not a bad price because it has items like satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity.
The all-new Golf should compete quite nicely against the Mazda 3, Ford Focus, and Subaru Impreza. The 2015 Golf should be in showrooms by midsummer.
3-year/36,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty
5-year/60,000 mile powertrain limited warranty
3-year/36,000 mile roadside assistance program
1-year/10,000 mile carefree maintenance program that covers all scheduled maintenance cost
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or email@example.com.