2015 Volkswagen GTI

S FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4 man trans

2015 volkswagen gti Reviews and News

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Front Three Quarter In Motion

Patience is a virtue

San Francisco--We’ve been very, very patient, waiting for this 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI. The seventh-generation GTI debuted as a concept, tantalizingly close to production, in September 2012 at the Paris Motor Show. Volkswagen followed up with the production version the following March, at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, and our European editor, Georg Kacher, drove it in France that same month. A couple of months later, also in France, west coast editor Michael Jordan had a turn behind the wheel. Both gentlemen enjoyed themselves tremendously, but the rest of us at Automobile Magazine had to bide our time, just like you.
Now, mere weeks before the 2015 Golf GTI finally reaches U.S. showrooms, we’re getting our first opportunity, albeit a brief one, to drive the car on American soil. Across the bay from San Francisco, in Richmond, Volkswagen has a fleet of Golfs and Golf GTIs at Craneway Pavilion, a dramatic, Albert Kahn-designed, prewar complex that was once a Ford Motor Company assembly factory, of all things.

Is this a new car?

At first glance, you’ll barely know that the 2015 VW GTI is a new car. Look more carefully, though, and you’ll realize that this Mk7 edition is indeed different from its predecessor. See the crisper body lines; the geometrically shaped five-spoke wheels; the new front fender badges; and the new front-end design with LED fog lights set into prominent horizontal strakes surrounding a mesh lower grille. The horizontal, body-color line that used to stretch between the headlights now goes all the way through the headlights, separating them from the turn signals. Still, while the 2015 GTI has lots of different details compared with the outgoing 2014 GTI, they’re all pretty subtle to the casual observer.

More power now, even more later

I’m handed the key to a Tornado Red 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S with manual transmission and the Performance Pack. I open the door to see a familiar but freshened interior with the famous plaid cloth seats. (Leather is optional.) They are comfortable and supportive, but not aggressively bolstered. Once you settle in, you grasp the flat-bottomed steering wheel, which has a rim that’s just the right thickness. Left foot to the floor, right foot on the brake, right index finger hits the start button that’s located near the gearshifter, and I hear the steady thrum of the EA288 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine. With 210 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, it’s bringing 10 more hp and an additional 51 lb-ft to the party as compared with the Mk6’s engine. [The Performance Pack, a $1495 stand-alone option available on all trim levels and with both transmissions, adds an additional 10 hp, for 220 hp total, plus bigger brakes and, most notably, an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated, torque-sensing, limited-slip front differential. The only bummer is that you’ll have to wait until December to get it.]
A silky clutch take-up segues perfectly to the linear movement of the gas pedal, and I’m effortlessly moving the gearshifter through the first few gears as I head to the 580 freeway. I hit the “mode” button and select sport settings for the steering and engine. Before long, I’m up on San Pablo Dam Road, a great, fast, hilly stretch that follows the San Pablo Reservoir. The razor-sharp steering, the torquey engine, and the great visibility all come into play here.

Feels like an old friend

I have lots of miles in the GTI Mk5 and Mk6, and this Mk7 feels like an old friend. The sensations of smoothness, refinement, precision, and accessible power that characterized those last two generations are even more finely concentrated in the 2015 GTI. The net effect is that the GTI is simply really easy to drive fast and to drive well. Your palms don’t get sweaty.

Cops, bicyclists, and turkeys

San Pablo Dam Road leads me to Wildcat Canyon Road, which winds through Tilton Park, above Berkeley. This is one of those tight, twisty, hilly, narrow roads dappled with California sunshine peeking through the tree canopy, that we Midwesterners fantasize about. Time to roll down the windows, the better to hear the exhaust and the optional, eighteen-inch summer rubber on the pavement. The GTI’s steering is pretty much perfect here. I’m rowing between second and third gears. I don’t have this road to myself, though, so I’m accelerating hard and then braking quickly, for obstacles as varied as a police car that’s running a speed trap; bicyclists; and, believe it or not, a wild turkey that crosses the road in front of me.
The GTI is unfazed. A little dab of the brake pedal, very little pitch or dive, and the car rotates fluidly through another corner. The ride remains supple, even in some bumpy, off-camber turns. As you toss the GTI into corners, you readily feel the additional torque that’s being directed to the outside wheels by the limited-slip diff.

At home on campus…

Down toward Berkeley I go, and suddenly I’m on Stadium Rim Way, looking into the vast bowl of the Cal Berkeley football stadium. I pull over to the curb for a minute, and a couple of students walking by eye the GTI. I almost roll down the window to say, “Guys, when you graduate, you should buy this car.”

…And on the freeway

Soon I’m on the 580 west heading back to Richmond. The GTI is quiet at 60 mph in sixth gear. Suddenly the freeway gets crowded, but it’s not a problem. Shift down to third gear, and there’s all sorts of power to slip into holes in traffic. In fourth gear, at 75 mph, the turbo four is running at 3500 rpm, well short of the 6000-rpm redline. There’s a little wind noise over the A pillars but, still, this is a quiet and refined pocket rocket, as well suited for a freeway road trip as for a romp on Wildcat Canyon Road.

Longtime love affair

How much do we love the Volkswagen GTI here at Automobile Magazine? In 2007, we named the fifth-generation car our Automobile of the Year, celebrating its blend of athleticism, practicality, and performance, which we felt was the closest thing to the spirit of the original, 1983 GTI. We followed that up in 2010 with yet another Automobile of the Year award for the sixth-generation model, which honestly wasn’t that different but was still able to capture our hearts.

An evolution, but one worth waiting for

The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI is yet another evolution of the GTI formula, but that’s certainly no bad thing. It’s lighter, bigger, and more powerful and efficient than its predecessor but hardly more expensive, and Volkswagen of America secured all the goodies from Germany that American enthusiasts want and deserve, including optional adaptive damping, a premium Fender stereo, and the Performance Pack. VW has made sure there’s a GTI for every buyer, with some ten iterations spread across three trim levels: GTI S, GTI SE, and GTI Autobahn. Two-door and four-door models return, and you still have your choice of six-speed manual gearbox or VW’s superb six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic. The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI was worth the wait.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S 4 Door

Base Price: $25,815
Price As Tested: $28,305
Engine: 2.0-liter turbo I-4
Power: 220 hp
Torque: 258 lb-ft
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Drive: Front-wheel
Cargo Capacity (seats up/down): 22.8/52.7 cubic feet
Fuel Economy: 25/34 mpg (city/highway)
2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Front Three Quarter In Motion 02
From daily urban runabout to twisty-road attacker, the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S we’ve been hustling around our SoCal headquarters and points beyond is one of the rare cars in the under $30,000 realm that excels in just about any driving situation.
Volkswagen Golf Gtd Estate 1
Car writers spend a lot of time and server space pining and whining about cars (read: wagons) we can’t have here in the grand ol’ U.S. of A. Like the Honda Civic Type R. Or the BMW M135i hatchback. Or the Mazda6 wagon. But sometimes all of our complaining eventually wears down the powers that be, and they bring us shiny nice things like the recently confirmed Ford Focus RS. So if you plan to fight the good fight, add another one to the list of cars we can't have--this Volkswagen Golf GTD Estate bound for the Geneva auto show.
The Asphalt Jungle Feb 2015
I may be an auto-industry insider, but I hate buying a new car just as much as you do. Sure, at first the process is all unicorns and moonbeams: the giddy anticipation of what the new sweetheart will be, the breathless reading and re-reading of AUTOMOBILE reviews, the gleeful hours poring over stats and photos on websites and glossy sales brochures (an audio system with only 12 speakers and 1,500 watts? Pass!), the endless pie-in-the-sky debates (Ferrari or Porsche … or maybe a Lambo this time!), the mental images of driving home from the showroom at last with the brand-new jewel—at 12 mph, with the hazards on, fearfully ducking away from every fender-banging motorist within 20 yards. Ah, but then reality sets in, the evil twins Bank Balance and Practicality shoulder their way into the debate, and soon you’re seated in the dealership, once again shopping for a “realistic” car. And it’s then that the dreaded ritual begins in earnest: the outraged haggling, the childlike pouting, the pigheaded silent staring, the laughable threats of “we just can’t do that.” (At this point, I must apologize to all the fine salespeople I’ve encountered for my boorish behavior.)

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New 2015 Volkswagen GTI Pricing

Fair Market Price what is this?
$23,109
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price
$24,785
Estimated Monthly Payment to Own
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2015 Volkswagen GTI
2015 Volkswagen GTI
S FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4
25 MPG City | 34 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
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2015 Volkswagen GTI
2015 Volkswagen GTI
S FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4
$24,785
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
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2015 Volkswagen GTI
2015 Volkswagen GTI
S FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4
210hp
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower
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3
2015 Volkswagen GTI
2015 Volkswagen GTI
S FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I4
210hp

2015 Volkswagen GTI Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
2.0L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
25 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
34 MPG
Horsepower:
210 hp @ 4500rpm
Torque:
258 ft lb of torque @ 1500rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
36,000 miles / 36 months
Powertrain
60,000 miles / 60 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 144 months
Roadside
36,000 miles / 36 months
Maintenance
10,000 miles / 12 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:40
Component
STEERING
Summary
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2015 Golf and GTI vehicles manufactured January 27, 2014, to May 12, 2014. In the affected vehicles, the stabilizer link fasteners may come loose and possibly interfere with the steering of the vehicle.
Consequences
A loose stabilizer link may interfere with the vehicle's steering, requiring additional effort to control the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front stabilizer links, free of charge. The recall began in July 2014. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-822-8987. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 40K9/1W.
Potential Units Affected
2,001
Notes
Volkswagen of America, Inc.


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:50
Component
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:DELIVERY:FUEL PUMP
Summary
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2015 Volkswagen Golf, and GTI manufactured on February 17, 2014, to May 22, 2014, and Audi A3 manufactured on February 16, 2013, to April 23, 2014. Improper nickel plating of components within the fuel pump may result in the fuel pump failing.
Consequences
If the fuel pump fails, the vehicle will not start, or if the engine is running, it will stop and the vehicle will stall, increasing the risk of a crash.
Remedy
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the vehicles and replace any affected fuel pumps, free of charge. The recall began on June 16, 2015. Owners may contact Volkswagen at 1-800-893-5298 or Audi at 1-800-253-2834.
Potential Units Affected
6,205
Notes
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:50
Component
FUEL SYSTEM, GASOLINE:FUEL INJECTION SYSTEM:FUEL RAIL
Summary
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (Volkswagen) is recalling certain model year 2014-2015 Jetta vehicles manufactured March 28, 2014, to November 24, 2014, 2014-2015 Passat vehicles manufactured April 7, 2014, to November 18, 2014, 2015 Golf and GTI vehicles manufactured July 1, 2014, to November 20, 2014, and 2014-2015 Beetle and Beetle Convertible vehicles manufactured March 31, 2014, to November 27, 2014. A sealing cap at the fuel rail may fail, allowing fuel to leak into the engine compartment.
Consequences
A fuel leak, in the presence of an ignition source, can result in a vehicle fire.
Remedy
Volkswagen will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel rails with new parts, free of charge. The recall began February 6, 2015. Owners may contact Volkswagen customer service at 1-800-822-8987. Volkswagen's number for this recall is 24BL. Note: This recall expands and supersedes recall 14V-809 (Volkswagen recall number 24Bi) and only affects vehicles not previously repaired under that campaign.
Potential Units Affected
44,658
Notes
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.


IIHS Front Small Overlap
Good
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
IIHS Best Pick
1
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
IIHS Roof Strength
Good

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2015 Volkswagen GTI

Depreciation
33.5%
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own
Depreciation
$11,303
33.5%
Insurance
$7,245
21.5%
Fuel Cost
$9,131
27.1%
Financing
$2,496
7.4%
Maintenance
$2,388
7.1%
Repair Costs
$745
2.2%
State Fees
$400
1.2%
Five Year Cost of Ownership: $33,708 What's This?
Value Rating: Excellent