• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    Review: 2015 Volkswagen GTI SE 2-Door


    • The Father of the Hot Hatch Learns Some New Tricks


    All of the hot hatches and sport compact cars owe their existence to one car - the Volkswagen Golf GTI. The engineers who worked on the first model during the mid-seventies didn’t know their little project would make massive waves in the industry. For six-generations, the GTI was the benchmark that many competitors were measured against. But with fresh blood arriving in the form of the Ford Focus ST and Subaru WRX, Volkswagen knew it was time to ready a new GTI. Thus last year, the seventh-generation Golf GTI was introduced to the market. Has the father of hot hatch lost its way or can it still show newcomers a few tricks? I spent a week in a GTI SE 2-Door to find out.

     

    The Golf GTI has never used any design gimmicks to stand out from a standard Golf, only minor trim changes. The seventh-generation model continues this tradition. Starting with a standard Golf with smooth body panels and large window space, Volkswagen added small touches such as a mesh grille in the front, 18-inch wheels and little GTI emblems on the side; and rear diffuser with dual exhaust ports. It may not be the flashiest hot hatch, but the understated look fits the vehicle.

     

    The interior sticks with a simple design and materials. Soft-touch materials, carbon fiber around the center stack, and faux aluminum trim line the interior and gives the feeling of quality. SE models get leather seats with red stitching and piping. The seats I found to provide both excellent comfort and support when cruising or tackling the twisties. A set of manual adjustments help dial in the right seat placement I wished the leather was an option on the SE, so you could get the iconic tartan cloth as standard. But alas, I am nitpicking here. The back seat in the two-door is quite easy to get into thanks to the front seats sliding forward. Headroom is quite good, while legroom is almost non-existent for taller passengers.

     


    2015 Volkswagen GTI 11


    Each Golf GTI comes equipped with a 5.8-inch touchscreen boasting Volkswagen’s new infotainment system. Compared to the system used in the rest of Volkswagen’s lineup, this new system is a breath of fresh air. The graphics look very modern and is easy to read at a glance. Also, the touchpoints are much larger which means the system is easier to use than before. Aside from the screen itself, you have buttons on either side to take you to various parts of the system such as the radio, USB and Bluetooth, trip Computer, and settings. If I do have a complaint with the GTI’s infotainment system, its that you can’t get navigation as an option on the SE. If you want navigation, you’re going to have to make the leap to the Autobahn trim where it comes standard.

     

    Thoughts on the Powertrain and Ride are on the next page


     

    Power for the Golf GTI is provided by Volkswagen’s turbocharged 2.0L with 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Those who want a little bit more power should look at the performance pack which increases horsepower to 220 and adds such goodies as limited-slip differential and larger brakes. A six-speed manual comes standard, while my tester had the optional DSG dual-clutch gearbox.

     

    While the numbers put the GTI in the mid-pack of sport compacts, it quickly becomes an afterthought when you step on the accelerator. The turbo 2.0L spools up quickly and gets you moving at a rapid pace. Making a pass or merging onto freeway reveals that wherever you are on the rev range, the engine has power ready to go. The six-speed DSG is lightning fast when it comes to upshifts, but is clumsy when it comes to downshifts. A few times, I found the DSG took a few seconds to realize that it would a be a good idea to downshift since my foot is a little bit further down trying to pass a truck. After this, I began to downshift manually by pulling the paddle behind the steering wheel. I like the DSG, but it still needs a bit work. Fuel economy is rated by the EPA at 25 City/33 Highway/28 Combined for the DSG. For the week, I averaged around 29 MPG.

     


    2015 Volkswagen GTI 9


     

    Where the GTI truly shines is in the ride and handling department. Lets start out on a stretch of a curvy road. The GTI is very much at home where it playfully bounds from corner to corner with excellent stability and no sign of body roll. Steering is quick and provides a decent amount of weight and feel, inspiring confidence to the driver. Take it off the curvy road and put it into a commuting setting and GTI is excellent. The suspension provides enough damping on some of the worst roads Michigan had to offer. Wind and road noise were kept to decent levels, making this a fine companion for a long trip.

     


    2015 Volkswagen GTI 4


     

    The seventh-generation Golf GTI shows that it hasn’t lost anything when compared to other models in the segment. Volkswagen has polished and improved many items to make the new GTI a worthy successor to the previous-generation. But the best part about the Golf GTI is how it can balance being a sporty hatch and daily driver with no sweat. That’s an achievement no other car in the class can match. There’s a reason the Golf GTI is considered the godfather of hot hatch, and the new model shows that it plans on keeping that title.

     

    Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the GTI, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

     

    Year: 2015
    Make: Volkswagen
    Model: GTI
    Trim: SE
    Engine: 2.0L 16-Valve TSI Turbocharged Inline-Four
    Driveline: Six-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 210 @ 4500
    Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1500
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/33/28
    Curb Weight: 3,027 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico
    Base Price: $28,885
    As Tested Price: $31,395 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge)

     

    Options:
    Lighting Package - $995.00
    Driver Assistance Package - $695.00

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    Great write up, Love the Interior on the car as a commuter car or fun run about it would serve the purpose well. The exterior I know is now Iconic and most people know what it is, but I still have to say that this car is just a bland jelly bean design to me. Not sure why but over all the years the GTI is a sleeper car. Just wish it had more spunk in the design language.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    at that money I go Focus ST......or say fk it and get a 2016 Camaro and a winter beater.  I don't care how German it is or how nice to drive it is, it's not a flashy looking rig and its still a VW.....

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    at that money I go Focus ST......or say fk it and get a 2016 Camaro and a winter beater.  I don't care how German it is or how nice to drive it is, it's not a flashy looking rig and its still a VW.....

     

    Not everyone wants a flashy hot hatch i.e. Focus ST.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I drove a new GTI because of the all the rave reviews.  I did not care for the car because of the DSG transmission, and neither mode made the car pleasing to drive.  The stick is probably the way to go.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    at that money I go Focus ST......or say fk it and get a 2016 Camaro and a winter beater.  I don't care how German it is or how nice to drive it is, it's not a flashy looking rig and its still a VW.....

     

    The Focus ST is more frenetic, less comfortable and is at its best when driven like a maniac. VW's GTI may be slightly more 'polite' but that makes it a far more pleasant drive and a better fit for most people who need/want just one car. Not everyone wants a 'boy racer' appearance package and VW's one of the few companies preferring to 'un-pimp' their pocket rocket to satisfy that market. 

     

    I'd bet that if you're hitting the highway, the ST's seats will guarantee that you'll be making rest stops at chiropractic offices. The VW is suited for around town and the long-haul.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

      Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. 94commo
      94commo
      (50 years old)
    2. Aerodynamic
      Aerodynamic
      (30 years old)
    3. LPE427Fbird
      LPE427Fbird
      (42 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      When I last reviewed the Acura MDX back in 2014, I mentioned that it and the RDX crossover made up a majority of the brand’s sales. That’s still true in 2017 as both models currently make up 63.8 percent of Acura’s sales through the end of March. In closing my review, I said Acura focused on fixing the issues that hurt the MDX before and left other things well alone, creating a balanced luxury crossover. But does that still hold up in a field that has become very competitive in the past couple of years? It seemed a revisit was in order.
      Acura did a significant refresh for the 2017 MDX with the biggest change being the design. Up front, Acura has swapped the shield grille for a larger pentagonal grille from the 2016 Precision Concept. While the shield was considered by many to a bit polarizing and a turn-off, I find the new grille to be a bit cartoonish. It doesn’t really work with the rest of the MDX’s design. At least certain traits such as the ‘Jewel Eye’ headlights and sloping roofline are still here and still work. The interior hasn’t changed much since our last test and that’s both a good and bad thing. The good is the MDX’s material quality is towards the top of the class with a fair amount of leather and wood trim used throughout. Although considering the price tag of just over $59,000, it would have been nice if Acura added some more luxury touches. Those sitting up front or in the second-row will find plenty of room and a set of supportive seats. The MDX is one of the few models in the class that offers a third-row as standard, but it is best reserved for small kids or being folded into the floor to increase cargo space. The bad mostly deals with the AcuraLink infotainment system. This dual screen setup brings more headaches than any other system I have used. A perfect example is when you want to switch from music to a podcast on your USB device. You need to use the top screen and a control knob to go through the various menus to find the show you want to listen to. Not only is this pain, but it also creates a distraction when driving as your eyes are taken off from the road. I wish Acura would scrap this system and start back from square one. Power still comes from a 3.5L V6 offering 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic routes power to either the front-wheels or all four-wheels via Acura’s super-handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD). Advanced models like ours come standard with a stop-start system.  The V6 in the MDX is such an impressive motor. Power delivery is quite strong throughout the rev band and the engine doesn’t make much noise during acceleration. However, the stop-start is a bit of a mess. It takes a few seconds for the system to realize that you took your foot off the brake before it restarts the engine. The system can be turned off which we recommend doing. The nine-speed automatic needs a bit work as well as we found shifts to be somewhat clunky at low speeds. Also, the transmission is slow to downshift when you need to make a pass. At least paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel solves this issue somewhat as you can do it yourself. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/26 Highway/22 Combined when the MDX is equipped with SH-AWD. I got none too shabby 23 MPG average for the week. One area we’re glad to see Acura not messing with the MDX refresh is the suspension tuning. The MDX has stuck the right balance of comfort and handling. Some of this is credited to the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) that alters various settings for the suspension, steering, and a few other items. This means the MDX can be tailored to deliver a sporty ride when driving down a curvy road and ironing out road imperfections when commuting. There is one big issue for the MDX, price. Our MDX Advance & Entertainment tester came with an as-tested price of $59,475 with destination. Considering what you get for the price and compare against other models, the MDX is a bit of a poor value. Stick with one of the lower trims. The Acura MDX stands in a bit of an odd middle ground, where it is above the mainstream, but below luxury competitors. It remains a very competent crossover that seems to do most things right. But we can’t help but wonder if Acura was given a bit more time to mess with the stop-start system and automatic transmission, along with making it slightly more luxurious, it could take it a bit further from the middle ground the MDX currently sits in. Disclaimer: Acura Provided the MDX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Acura
      Model: MDX
      Trim: Advanced Entertainment SH-AWD
      Engine: 3.5L 24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,200
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22
      Curb Weight: 4,292 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, AL
      Base Price: $58,500
      As Tested Price: $59,475 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When I last reviewed the Acura MDX back in 2014, I mentioned that it and the RDX crossover made up a majority of the brand’s sales. That’s still true in 2017 as both models currently make up 63.8 percent of Acura’s sales through the end of March. In closing my review, I said Acura focused on fixing the issues that hurt the MDX before and left other things well alone, creating a balanced luxury crossover. But does that still hold up in a field that has become very competitive in the past couple of years? It seemed a revisit was in order.
      Acura did a significant refresh for the 2017 MDX with the biggest change being the design. Up front, Acura has swapped the shield grille for a larger pentagonal grille from the 2016 Precision Concept. While the shield was considered by many to a bit polarizing and a turn-off, I find the new grille to be a bit cartoonish. It doesn’t really work with the rest of the MDX’s design. At least certain traits such as the ‘Jewel Eye’ headlights and sloping roofline are still here and still work. The interior hasn’t changed much since our last test and that’s both a good and bad thing. The good is the MDX’s material quality is towards the top of the class with a fair amount of leather and wood trim used throughout. Although considering the price tag of just over $59,000, it would have been nice if Acura added some more luxury touches. Those sitting up front or in the second-row will find plenty of room and a set of supportive seats. The MDX is one of the few models in the class that offers a third-row as standard, but it is best reserved for small kids or being folded into the floor to increase cargo space. The bad mostly deals with the AcuraLink infotainment system. This dual screen setup brings more headaches than any other system I have used. A perfect example is when you want to switch from music to a podcast on your USB device. You need to use the top screen and a control knob to go through the various menus to find the show you want to listen to. Not only is this pain, but it also creates a distraction when driving as your eyes are taken off from the road. I wish Acura would scrap this system and start back from square one. Power still comes from a 3.5L V6 offering 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic routes power to either the front-wheels or all four-wheels via Acura’s super-handling all-wheel drive (SH-AWD). Advanced models like ours come standard with a stop-start system.  The V6 in the MDX is such an impressive motor. Power delivery is quite strong throughout the rev band and the engine doesn’t make much noise during acceleration. However, the stop-start is a bit of a mess. It takes a few seconds for the system to realize that you took your foot off the brake before it restarts the engine. The system can be turned off which we recommend doing. The nine-speed automatic needs a bit work as well as we found shifts to be somewhat clunky at low speeds. Also, the transmission is slow to downshift when you need to make a pass. At least paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel solves this issue somewhat as you can do it yourself. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 19 City/26 Highway/22 Combined when the MDX is equipped with SH-AWD. I got none too shabby 23 MPG average for the week. One area we’re glad to see Acura not messing with the MDX refresh is the suspension tuning. The MDX has stuck the right balance of comfort and handling. Some of this is credited to the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS) that alters various settings for the suspension, steering, and a few other items. This means the MDX can be tailored to deliver a sporty ride when driving down a curvy road and ironing out road imperfections when commuting. There is one big issue for the MDX, price. Our MDX Advance & Entertainment tester came with an as-tested price of $59,475 with destination. Considering what you get for the price and compare against other models, the MDX is a bit of a poor value. Stick with one of the lower trims. The Acura MDX stands in a bit of an odd middle ground, where it is above the mainstream, but below luxury competitors. It remains a very competent crossover that seems to do most things right. But we can’t help but wonder if Acura was given a bit more time to mess with the stop-start system and automatic transmission, along with making it slightly more luxurious, it could take it a bit further from the middle ground the MDX currently sits in. Disclaimer: Acura Provided the MDX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Acura
      Model: MDX
      Trim: Advanced Entertainment SH-AWD
      Engine: 3.5L 24-Valve SOHC i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 290 @ 6,200
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/26/22
      Curb Weight: 4,292 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, AL
      Base Price: $58,500
      As Tested Price: $59,475 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      One question that we have found ourselves wondering is who blew the whistle on the software cheat Volkswagen was using on their TDI models. A new book says it was someone at Volkswagen of America.
      Automotive News got their hands on Faster, Higher, Farther: The Volkswagen Scandal by New York Times reporter Jack Ewing. In the book, Ewing reveals that the head of VW’s Engineering and Environmental Office in the U.S., Stuart Johnson revealed the existence of the cheat to federal authorities. Johnson was the primary contact for the various regulation agencies in the U.S. and would be one of the people on the front lines when the scandal unfolded.
      In the book, CARB deputy executive director Alberto Ayala named Johnson as the person who revealed the existence of Volkswagen's illegal software. This revelation took place prior to a key meeting between CARB and Volkswagen on August 19, 2015. By revealing this information, Johnson was violating orders given by VW's higher ups. This meeting is mentioned in the federal indictment of Oliver Schmidt, a former VW executive who is facing 11 federal charges dealing with the scandal. Johnson is mentioned in the indictment as “Cooperating Witness 1.”
      The indictment also states the witness “has agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation in exchange for an agreement that the government will not prosecute CW1 in the United States.”
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      One question that we have found ourselves wondering is who blew the whistle on the software cheat Volkswagen was using on their TDI models. A new book says it was someone at Volkswagen of America.
      Automotive News got their hands on Faster, Higher, Farther: The Volkswagen Scandal by New York Times reporter Jack Ewing. In the book, Ewing reveals that the head of VW’s Engineering and Environmental Office in the U.S., Stuart Johnson revealed the existence of the cheat to federal authorities. Johnson was the primary contact for the various regulation agencies in the U.S. and would be one of the people on the front lines when the scandal unfolded.
      In the book, CARB deputy executive director Alberto Ayala named Johnson as the person who revealed the existence of Volkswagen's illegal software. This revelation took place prior to a key meeting between CARB and Volkswagen on August 19, 2015. By revealing this information, Johnson was violating orders given by VW's higher ups. This meeting is mentioned in the federal indictment of Oliver Schmidt, a former VW executive who is facing 11 federal charges dealing with the scandal. Johnson is mentioned in the indictment as “Cooperating Witness 1.”
      The indictment also states the witness “has agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation in exchange for an agreement that the government will not prosecute CW1 in the United States.”
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      If the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal hasn't swayed you from wanting one, then you'll be happy to hear Volkswagen will once again be able to sell brand-new 2015 model year TDI models. Green Car Reports says near 11,000 TDI models will soon be back up for sale once they are updated with new software, making them legal.
      Volkswagen does caution those interested in picking up a new TDI to call their nearest dealership to see if they have any in stock.
      But that's not all. Volkswagen is offering some massive discounts on these models. CarsDirect reports that Volkswagen is offering 0% APR for up to 72 months and $5,000 cash bonus if you decide to buy. Interested in leasing one? Volkswagen will offer a cash bonus of $8,500. 
      There are a couple of caveats to this offer. First, you need to have an excellent credit history to qualify for either offer. Second is that Volkswagen isn't advertising this offer.
      "We will not be advertising the available incentives from our financing arm as they [sic] vehicle availability will vary per dealership," said Volkswagen spokeswoman Jeannine Ginivan.
      Source: Green Car Reports, CarsDirect

      View full article
  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)