New Car Reviews

2010 Volkswagen GTI – Four Seasons Update – March 2010

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

Miles: 9826
Months in Fleet: Three

The GTI, being a front-wheel-drive car, is an able winter weather performer for its size and sporty disposition. And yet there’s no doubt that as the snow has melted and the sun has shown its face over southeast Michigan, some of our editors have started to warm even more to our resident hot hatch.

The first of the GTI’s fair-weather friends is associate editor Eric Tingwall. Back in January, he had a few complaints with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder’s power delivery along with some unkind words about the car’s highway ride. But now he’s feeling a bit different:

“I’ve driven the GTI a handful of times since first getting behind the wheel in January, and a few of its idiosyncrasies no longer irritate me. The nonlinear throttle and corresponding lag issues fade away as you adjust your driving style to fit the car’s personality – you just need to be more aggressive when leaving from a stop. I also haven’t noticed the perfect sine-wave oscillations from the suspension that really turned me off to the GTI on my first drive. It seems the suspension has settled down – either that, or I have yet to haven’t yet encountered the same array of highway expansion joints.”

Production editor Jennifer Misaros, meanwhile, seems to be having something of a spring fling with the VeeDub, as she’s requested the keys four times in the past month: “Those who pick cars after me probably don’t get much seat time in the GTI because I sign it out so often,” she writes. “The car is just so damned easy to enjoy, whether you’re in the mood for an aggressive performer or a laid back commuter.”

Not everyone was going to let the sunnier skies get in the way of their complaints, though. Senior Web editor Phil Floraday, for one, isn’t a fan of our model’s surprisingly long, heavy doors. “They’re so long that the seatbelt, mounted on the B-pillar, ends up way behind my seat,” he notes. Of course, the GTI is also available as a four-door hatchback, where this particular problem wouldn’t be an issue.

More concerning are a few slight, yet persistent, interior noises. Several editors have commented on a rattle coming from the driver’s door, and Misaros and this writer have complained of hearing a more substantial clunk from the dash when driving over large bumps and potholes. We’ll be sure to keep our eyes and ears open as the year proceeds.

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
Weight Dist. F/R: xx / xx%
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