New Car Reviews

2010 Volkswagen GTI – Four Seasons Update – June 2010

Long-Term 2010 Volkswagen GTI Update: Summer 2010 Array Miles to date: 0

Midway through its Four Seasons test, our two-door GTI has quietly piled on a ton of miles: more than 18,000. That total is all the more impressive for the fact that most of the GTI’s usage has been in daily commuting and weekend drives-weekends like the one associate web producer Evan McCausland recently recounted:

“I’m fairly certain this is the only car that can put a smile on my face days before I even slide behind the wheel. I somehow managed to snag it for the weekend on Thursday, and spent all of Thursday afternoon and Friday waiting to run out to the garage, jump behind the wheel, and be on my way.

“This car just fires on all cylinders. Space? You’ve got it. Power? Absolutely. (Although another 10 or 20 ponies would be appreciated.) Dynamics? Superb, especially for a nose-heavy, front-driver. Maturity? In spades. It’s comfortable, quiet, and the materials inside are first-rate. Fun? You bet-and the sound of this 2.0T revving through 3000-4000 rpm will make you want to keep your right foot planted to the floor.”

He forgot to mention practicality. Production editor Jen Misaros landed the much sought after keys for a weekend and had no trouble sending a family member into the two-door hatch’s rear seat.

“My five-foot six-inch back seat passenger had no trouble climbing in and had plenty of leg-, hip-, and headroom,” Misaros reported. “The rear seat has side bolsters and a slightly curved seat bottom and is almost as comfortable as the front buckets; it kept her butt planted when I demonstrated what the little GTI can do. Plus, the relatively big rear-quarter window alleviates the claustrophobia that often afflicts rear passengers in coupes and hatchbacks.”

Misaros and others are less enthusiastic about the ride quality, which has improved since we reinstalled the summer tires, but is still, in Misaros’s words, “too busy, even on what appears to be smooth-as-glass pavement.”

Despite the heavy use, the GTI has only briefly seen the service bay of our local VW dealer, visiting once for routine maintenance at the 10,000-mile mark. That’s a wonderful contrast to our Four Seasons 2007 GTI, which required three warranty repairs before its odometer hit 18,000 miles. At our next scheduled maintenance, we’ll ask the dealer to check out a finicky iPod connector and the small, but noticeable dash squeak that surfaced early on in our test, but has never grown worrisome enough to require a separate trip to the dealer.

2010 Volkswagen GTI

Base price (with dest.): $23,990
Price as tested: $27,255

Body Style: 3-door hatchback
Accommodation: 5-passenger
Construction: Unitized construction, bolt-on front fenders

Engine: Turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder intercooled with direct injection
Displacement: 2.0 liters
Power: 200 hp @ 5100-6000 rpm
Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1800-5000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Drive: Front-wheel
Fuel economy: 21/31/25 mpg (city/hwy/combined)

Steering: Rack-and-pinion, electro-mechanical power steering
Turns lock-to-lock: 3.0
Turning Circle: 35.8 ft
Suspension, Front: MacPherson strut with lower wishbones
Suspension, Rear: Four-link with separate spring/shock absorber arrangement
Brakes F/R: Power-assisted ventilated disc; ABS
Wheels: 18 x 7.5-inch alloy
Tires: Continental ContactSport 2
Tire Size: 225/40R18
Winter Tires: Bridgestone Blizzak LM-22
Tire Size: 215/45R18

Headroom F/R: 39.3 / 38.5 in
Legroom F/R: 41.2 / 35.5 in
Shoulder Room F/R: 54.7 / 54.6 in
Wheelbase: 101.5 in
Track F/R: 60.4 / 59.7 in
L x W x H: 165.8 x 70.0 x 57.8 in
Cargo Capacity: 42.4 / 54.8 cu ft (rear/with seats folded)
Weight: 3034 lb
Fuel Capacity: 14.5 gal
Est. Range: 363 miles
Fuel Grade: 93 octane

Standard Equipment
2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
6-speed manual transmission
Electronic stabilizer program (ESP)
Anti-slip regulation (ASR)
Cross differential system (XDS)
Electronic differential lock (EDL)
Electronic brake force distribution (EBD)
Anti-lock brake system (ABS)
Cruise control
Leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel
Touchscreen AM/FM radio with in-dash 6 CD changer
iPod adapter
Sirius satellite radio

Power Sunroof — $1000
18-inch wheels — $890
Bi-Xenon headlamps — $700
Dynaudio advanced sound — $476
Bluetooth connectivity — $199