Months in Fleet: Four
This month seems to have kicked off the unofficial road trip season at Automobile Magazine, and our Volkswagen GTI logged several highway treks.
Deputy editor Joe DeMatio was first out of the gate, taking the GTI and a friend on a 300-mile round trip to West Branch, MI:
"All the basics, including ride, steering feel and ergonomics are very well done. I was surprised to see that this touch screen doesn't include navigation, but I found it to a very nice interface, nonetheless. I was very pleased with the long-haul comfort of the seats, as was my friend Charley, a big guy who sometimes finds heavily bolstered sport seats constraining."
Web producer Evan McCausland was the next to borrow the keys for a weekend full of driving. He returned with praise for the GTI's ability to be comfortable during long quiet stretches and engaging when the roads get curvy, concluding, "It is quite a balanced car." He might have been even more enthusiastic had he been able to use the GTI's included iPod adapter, but was chagrined to discover it didn't recognize his player. He then tried three different iPods and two connectors, but still had no luck. "The touch screen simply reads 'Device not recognized,'" he reports.
Senior Web editor Phil Floraday had similar issues with the adapter on his road trip later in the month, but he was inclined to be forgiving toward the GTI as he traveled to Cincinnati to inspect what would soon be his very own Volkswagen, a 1987 Quantum Synchro wagon.
"I love the immediate thrust the 2.0T provides. It's especially satisfying to match revs on downshifts since the engine is so responsive, the clutch so intuitive, and the shifter so precise. There's a nice whoosh from the turbo and a healthy exhaust note to remind you Volkswagen hasn't abandoned the fans of its hot hatches even as its cars have matured. Fuel economy was impressive as well, at 29 mpg for the trip.
"The current owner of the Quantum Synchro wagon was beyond excited to see a six-generation GTI. He owns a tuning shop and immediately asked if we wanted to chip our car. I politely declined, though I would be interested to see what the GTI is capable of with an ECU tune and different exhaust."
The three road trips pushed the GTI over the 10,000-mile mark, requiring a visit to the dealer for a complimentary oil change and routine inspection. No mechanical problems to report. The car will be heading back to the dealer for a quick radio scan to figure out what's up with the iPod adapter. With summer around the corner, it's safe to say we'll continue to pile on the mileage. We'll keep you updated on the GTI's travels.
2010 Volkswagen GTI
Base price (with dest.): $23,990
Price as tested: $27,255
Body Style: 3-door hatchback
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
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
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)
Leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel
Touchscreen AM/FM radio with in-dash 6 CD changer
Sirius satellite radio
Power Sunroof -- $1000
18-inch wheels -- $890
Bi-Xenon headlamps -- $700
Dynaudio advanced sound -- $476
Bluetooth connectivity -- $199