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0912 2010 Volkswagen Gti Introduction
four seasons long-term tests

Four Seasons Introduction: 2010 Volkswagen GTI

2010 Volkswagen GTI reviews to date

Close readers of our magazine will be forgiven for experiencing a bit of déjà vu. For the second time in three years, the Volkswagen GTI is our Automobile of the Year, and for the second time in three years, one is joining our Four Seasons fleet.

For this go around, we've selected a rather basic, two-door model, which starts at a very reasonable $23,995. We couldn't help but add Bluetooth, a premium audio system, a sunroof, xenon headlights, and a set of gorgeous 18-inch wheels (VW calls them "Detroit" wheels).

We did not opt for Volkswagen's excellent dual-clutch gearbox, much as we love its quickness on the track. We'll see if the old-fashioned six-speed manual can extract as much performance and fun on a day-to-day basis.

All our goodies bumped the price up to $27,255, about $500 more than our four-door, DSG-equipped 2007 model (so much for no inflation).

The interior, a strong point in the last-generation car, is even more of a standout here, with a standard touch-screen radio interface, heated seats in an eye-catching plaid cloth, and an in-dash six-CD changer.

So far, no one's complaining about GTI overexposure. The fact is, everything we loved about the last-generation car, from its overall value to its usable performance is even more readily apparent than before. We'll see if enough is new and different about the GTI to keep us infatuated for another four seasons.

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

I have a 2010, purchased 11/09... it has 4,400 miles and the dash has been rattling like a Dodge Neon since 800 miles. Been to the dealer twice, each time stops for about 100 miles... I'm not impressed. Beyond that it seems to be jinxed. Two flat tires, and a cracked windshield. This wouldn't seem odd if I lived in a city, but in a lightly populated central California suburb with generally well paved roads, it's surprising. Too bad, because otherwise it's a fun little car.
Is it June yet? Boy, I can't wait to get myself in this baby. I was also considering the Honda Civic Si because it costs significantly less than the GTI, and because of Honda's reputation for reliability and engineering. But the VW just looks and feels so special. It's bascially the least expensive German performance car you can buy in the States. Oh well, what's a couple of hundred more in monthly payments..
My only option would be the gorgeous 18" Detroit wheels, as they complete the look of the car. I have the 17" Denver ones on my '07, and they look dated on the '10. The only thing that I don't like about my Mk5 is the interior rattles that started only around 3K miles. I live in the NYC area, which probably has some of the worst maintained streets and highways in the country. However, I didn't expect something screwed together in Germany to rattle like an old Plymouth Sundance. Especially because the car feels bank-vault solid when you get in and shut that heavy door. Other than that, I don't think anything will stop me from getting the new one when my lease is over.
Looks like we have identically equipped cars except for the color. A blast so far; should be interesting to follow your experience vs. mine
Looks like we have identically equipped cars except for the color. A blast so far; should be interesting to follow your experience vs. mine
very much looking forward to this

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