Review: Volkswagen GTI

By Winding Road Staff

February 27, 2013

This is the Master Landing Page for the Volkswagen GTI. From now on, as we further review this car, we will be updating this page with whatever fresh content we create. Future drive reviews, updated specifications, videos, and other relevant information will all be found right here, in one convenient spot.
First Look: 2014 Volkswagen GTI
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the seventh-generation of the hot hatch that started it all: the Volkswagen GTI. Based on the seventh-generation Golf, the GTI has trimmed weight and upped the power for 2014.
The GTI will now offer a base 220-horsepower version and a slightly brawnier 230-horsepower iteration. Regardless of horsepower level, the GTI will offer 258 pound-feet of torque. The transmission choices are carryovers from the sixth-gen GTI, with standard six-speed manual transmission and an optional six-speed DSG.
The manual-trans GTI will hit 62 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds and will top out at 153 mph. Upgrading to the 230-horse GTI will shave a tenth from the run to 62 and increases the top speed to 155. The previous GTI struggled to get to 60 in 6.8 seconds. Part of this performance improvement is down to power, but Volkswagen’s engineers have also managed to trim the weight from 3034 pounds to 2978 pounds. That’s not a huge improvement, but it is nice to see a car lose weight instead of gaining it.
Regardless of how you sort your powertrains, the GTI will feature stop-start technology as standard. Along with other upgrades, this GTI offers an 18-percent improvement in overall fuel economy. Cars with the 6MT will return 39.2 miles per gallon (European cycle), while the DSG returns 36.8 mpg at the base power level, and 36.2 with the 230-horsepower model.
Besides added power, opting for the 230-horsepower Performance Pack GTI will net you a not-insignificant brake upgrade. Front rotors increase from 12.3 to 13.4 inches in diameter, and from an inch to 1.2 inches in width, while the 11.8-by-0.5-inch solid rear rotors are replaced by vented discs that jump to 12.2 inches in diameter and 0.9 inches in width.
The 2014 Volkswagen GTI will go on sale in Europe in May, and will start at €28,350. There’s no mention of when North American deliveries will begin, or how much the GTI will cost when it arrives.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Volkswagen.
- Available with two levels of power for the first time: standard 220 horsepower or 230 hp with performance pack (European model)
- Offers 18 per cent improvement in fuel economy compared to previous GTI
- On sale in Europe starting in May, 2013
Wolfsburg, Germany -  Following tradition, Volkswagen will introduce the latest version of the Golf GTI at the Geneva International Motor Show. For the first time, the iconic hot hatch is available at launch with two power levels: 220 horsepower; or 230 hp with the optional performance pack.
The new GTI is powered by a turbocharged direct-injection gasoline engine (TSI®) that makes 220 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque in standard form. Volkswagen is offering a factory-installed performance pack for the first time, which boosts power to 230 hp and adds bigger brakes and a torque-sensing limited-slip differential. Both versions are equipped with a Stop-Start system, fulfill the EU-6 emissions standard that takes effect in 2014, and attain the same excellent DIN gas mileage figure of 39.2 mpg—which equates to 139 g/km of CO2—when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission. This means that the new GTI offers an 18 percent improvement in fuel economy compared to the previous model. With the optional six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 220- and 230-hp GTIs return 36.8 and 36.2 mpg respectively (equivalent to 148 and 150 g/km CO2).
The sporty nature of the Golf GTI is reflected in its red-painted brake calipers, twin chrome tailpipes, and a lowered sport suspension. The exterior of the compact hatchback also scores with 17-inch “Brooklyn” GTI wheels and 225/45 tires, special side skirts, a rear diffuser, and smoked LED taillights with LED license-plate illumination.
Visually, the interior is highlighted by sport seats with the “Clark” tartan pattern, a black headliner, and red ambient lighting. The car also offers classic GTI features such as a sport steering wheel, GTI shifter knob grip and instrument cluster, special trim inserts, and stainless-steel pedals and foot support.
Standard features include the progressive steering system; “Climatronic” automatic climate control; park assist; Volkswagen’s latest touchscreen infotainment system; and a winter pack that includes heatable front seats. Customers can choose from three body colors: “Tornado Red”, “Black” and “Pure White”. In Germany, the car goes on sale in May with prices starting at 28,350 euros.
Market launch in Europe: May 2013.
Debut of first-generation Golf GTI: 1976.
Engine: Four-cylinder TSI (turbocharged direct-injection).
Layout: front, transverse.
Displacement: 1984 cc.
Bore and stroke: 82.5 x 92.8 mm.
Compression ratio: 9.8:1.
Power: 220 hp (162 kW) @ 4500 rpm; Performance Pack: 230 hp (169 kW).
Torque: 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) @ 1500 rpm.
Transmission/drive type: Manual six-speed; DSG six-speed dual-clutch; front-wheel drive.
Brakes (GTI): 12.3 x 1.0-in vented front discs, 11.8 x 0.5-in solid rear discs.
Brakes (Performance Pack): 13.4 x 1.2-in vented front and 12.2 x 0.9-in vented rear discs.
Fuel consumption/CO2 emissions (manual): 39.2 mpg; 139 g/km CO2.
Performance (manual): 0-62 mph in 6.5 sec: Max speed; 153 mph (230 hp: 6.4 sec; 155 mph).
Unladen weight: 2978 lb (base version)
(*preliminary data)
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, Golf R, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers.
“Climatronic”, “DSG,” “TSI”, “VW”, “Volkswagen”, all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG.
2014 Volkswagen GTI
Engine: Turbocharged inline-4, 2.0 liters, 16v
Output: 220 hp/258 lb-ft
Weight: 2978 lb
0-60 MPH: 6.5 sec (est)
Top Speed: 153 mph
Base Price: $25,000 (est)
On Sale: TBD