2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI – Four Seasons Introduction

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Long-Term 2015 Volkswagen GTI Update:
Winter 2015 Array
Miles to date: 0

Loyal AUTOMOBILE readers know there are precious few cars in the 29-some-odd year history of this brand that have been more lauded, awarded, celebrated, and venerated than the Volkswagen GTI. On the Monroney window sticker, VW bills the car as the “Original German Hot Hatch,” and no one would dispute that claim. While much has changed since it first arrived on U.S. shores, so far we’ve found the 2015 Volkswagen GTI remains true to its core attributes: engaging, versatile, affordable, fun.

Call us homers if you want, but after flogging the all-new Mk7 GTI on the road and at the track, we once again dubbed it an AUTOMOBILE All-Star for 2015. Like LeBron James, this car has become a perennial all-star, its greatness cemented through seven generations of refinement.

But there is always much more to be learned about any car during a year’s worth of daily use and playful abuse, and we are now armed and ready with a four-door GTI that will allow us to log a significant amount of wheel time and report back to you what we find out.

The car that has rolled into our Four Seasons garage is officially called a 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S w/ Performance Package. Looking tight in Pure White with trick and tasteful red accents, this particular GTI has a couple of unique attributes that will make any hardcore enthusiast stand up and slow-clap. Six-speed manual. Limited-slip front differential lock. Bigger, vented discs (13.4 inches front, 12.2 inches rear) than the standard car with calipers in red, stamped GTI. Ten more horsepower (220 in all) from its 2.0-liter turbo-four. Bridgestone Potenza S001 summer performance rubber wrapped around 18-inch rims. All of this for just $1,495 more than the price of a base GTI, an amount we’d call a bargain.

Additionally, all GTIs now come with a driving mode selection feature with Normal, Sport, and Individual settings that allow you to adjust steering heft and throttle response. (Higher spec trims get VW’s DCC adaptive damping suspension setup with an additional Comfort setting.)

So this is a focused version of the 2015 Volkswagen GTI — our kind of focused. No navigation, no backup camera, no fancy driver aids, no sunroof. No problem. But it’s far from devoid of creature comforts, with more than enough accoutrements, connectivity options, and safety features to satiate prospective customers in the GTI’s price range. There’s also the spiffy Clark cloth plaid interior we’d rock as a suit (Memo to VW marketing: Get on that) wrapped around supportive and comfortable seats, a unique golf-ball shifter, and the right-sized, flat-bottom steering wheel.

Base price for the four-door, performance pack-equipped 2015 Volkswagen GTI S is $26,880. Our only option for the car was the $995 lighting package that adds bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lamps, and adaptive front-lighting that swivels the headlights up to 15 percent when turning. Tack on $820 for destination, and the register rings out at $28,695.

We’ve spent the last couple of weeks trundling around town, pining for the 1,000-mile break-in period to end. That day is almost here. (Hallelujah.) Next stop, stomping down on the gas and hitting the open road, and we’ll be sure to keep you squarely in the Titan Black cloth seat along with us every step of the way.

Overview

  • Body style 4-door hatchback
  • Accommodation 4-passenger
  • Construction Steel unibody
  • Base price (with dest.) $27,700
  • As tested $28,895

Powertrain

  • Engine
  • 16-valve DOHC turbocharged I-4
  • Displacement 2.0 liters (91 cu in)
  • Power 220 hp @ 4500 rpm
  • Torque 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
  • Transmission 6-speed manual
  • Drive Front-wheel
  • EPA Fuel Economy 19/28 mpg city/highway

Chassis

  • Steering Electrically assisted
  • Lock-to-lock 2.1 turns
  • Turning circle 35.8 ft
  • Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
  • Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
  • Brakes F/R Vented discs
  • Wheels 18-inch aluminum
  • Tires Bridgestone Potenza S001
  • Tire size 225/40R-18

Measurements

  • Headroom F/R 38.4/38.1 in
  • Legroom F/R 41.2/35.6 in
  • Shoulder room F/R 55.9/53.9 in
  • Wheelbase 103.6 in
  • Track F/R 60.6/59.7 in
  • L x W x H 168 x 70.5 x 56.8 in
  • Passenger Capactity 93.5 cu ft
  • Cargo capacity(rear seats up/down) 22.8/52.7 cu ft
  • Weight 3031 lb
  • Weight dist. F/R 60.7/39.3%
  • Fuel capacity 13.2 gal
  • Est. fuel range 370 miles
  • Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)

Equipment

  • standard equipment

    • 18-inch aluminum wheels
    • Front and rear independent sport suspension
    • Electronic limited-slip front differential lock
    • Front and rear vented disc brakes
    • Alloy pedals
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Leather-wrapped brake handle and shift knob
    • Plaid-pattern cloth seats
    • Heated front seats
    • Tilt-and-telescopic steering column
    • 5.8-inch touchscreen display
    • Bluetooth
    • Satellite radio connectivity
    • USB/iPod interface
    • 8-speaker audio system
    • Cruise control
    • Front daytime running lights
    • Air conditioning
    • Heated, power-folding exterior mirrors
    • 60/40-split folding rear seats

Options

  • options for this vehicle:

    • Lighting package – $995
    • 18-inch summer performance tires – $0
    • Six-speed manual transmission – $0


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source: Automobile Magazine

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