Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, 210 HP, 258 lb-ft.
Transmission: Six-speed manual.
Fuel Economy: 25 MPG City, 33 MPG Highway.
Price: $30,910 after destination charges.
The Volkswagen GTI has a cult following of drivers who have the “hots” for German hatches and justifiably so.
It offers responsive handling, a powerful turbocharged engine and practical cargo storage. For the 2015 model year, Volkswagen is launching its new GTI in North America and it really is a spectacular product.
Officially the GTI makes 210 hp, but it feels considerably more potent than that from behind the steering wheel. Equipped with a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, it snaps off shifts with admirable.
The biggest news for the new GTI isn’t that it’s a blast to drive – you already knew that – but how much better it is to sit in. The new platform it shares with Audi’s A3 makes it lighter, better composed on the road and especially roomy.
It’s easy to see out of, spacious to sit in and compact enough to be perfectly city friendly.
Capping it all off, the GTI has almost Audi-like levels of interior quality. Most of the surfaces feel like they would be at home in something from Volkswagen’s classier sister brand, save one glaring exception.
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The navigation screen is painfully small and offers disappointingly low resolution. It is practically useless as a navigation device with a display that isn’t much larger than some of the latest cell phones in stores today.
Nevertheless, the GTI offers handling crisper than the crust of a freshly fried schnitzel and a driving experience as satisfying as biting into one. It could be our 2015 car of the year, but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
GALLERY: 2015 Volkswagen GTI