2010 Automobile of the Year: 2010 Volkswagen GTI

Regis Lefebure

Pocket rockets like the GTI have a reputation of being cars for callow young men, and indeed we have a few of those on our staff. But what's cool about the 2010 VW GTI is its universal appeal. From our editors who were not yet born when the GTI debuted in 1983, to those of us in our forties, to septuagenarian design editor Robert Cumberford, who calls the GTI "a perpetual good-value proposition for performance and practicality," we all like and admire the GTI and would happily have one in our own garages.

At a time when the world's economy is in shambles and fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are on everyone's minds, there remains only one car that ticks all the enthusiast boxes without setting off a single wretched-excess alarm. That's the Volkswagen GTI, and that's why it is, once again, Automobile Magazine's Automobile of the Year.

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Superfast pms
@primeautobug LOL - The GTI would DESTROY the Cobalt on the track. The fact that you have the balls to compare a crappy American car to a proven winner is a joke! The GTI wins in every category and I laugh profusely at your insanely ridiculous statistics! See you on the track as my GTI leaves you eating dust!
Jeff P
AUTOMOBILE goofed on this one. The GTI doesn't deserve this because there's another in it's class that is better in almost every way and over $4,000 cheaper. Namely, the CHEVROLET COBALT SS, especially the coupe. It looks better, in my opinion, for starters. It's turbo 4 puts out 60 more horses pushing a car that's 200 pounds lighter. The SS smokes the GTI to 60 mph by more than a half-second and easily beats it in the quater-mile. The SS chassis is better, consistently posting over .9g on the skidpads and way faster numbers in the slalom tests. The brakes are better and the steering seems to be about the same. The SS gets better gas mileage as well. In addition, it set the front-wheel-drive production car record at the Nurburgring. What more can you ask for? Sure, the interior materials are rather cheap-but don't forget that you're getting all of this class-leading performance for a savings of $4,000 over the GTI. The COBALT SS needs to get the respect it richly deserves.
Edward A. Sanchez
I definitely vote for a long-term test on this one, as I still have doubts about the longer-term reliability and durability of VWs.
Speed_3
Well, at least automobile of the year didn't go to a Kia, then I would have really lost faith. Yeah the GTI is great and I get it, but I honestly wasn't rooting for it and would have liked to see a differant car take the honor, one that really is ground breaking.
bobfromguam
I just drove one of these and must say it was pure brilliance on the road, I could not believe how much fun it was.
GopherSZS
The GTI was a four-seasons vehicle; it's cycle ended around June 2008. Automobile opted for the DSG transmission. If I remember correctly, service and reliability were not a problem.
grant74
I really like the GTI, but was burned by VW reliability and service one too many times and bought a WRX a few years ago. I second the request for a Four Seasons test of the new GTI--I want to see if it might be worth the heartbreak to own another VW!
SpeedyF1
I'm begging you guys for a Four Seasons long-term test of the GTI. Pleeeeseeee :)

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