Automobile Mag Chooses GTI Car of the Year...Nice Choice

Posted by: David Kiley on January 1, 2007

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To drive the current version of the Volkswagen GTI is to raise daily driving from drudge to delight. Automobile Magazine just named the pocket rocket from Wolfsburg it’s car of the year. There are other strong contenders, but I endorse the GTI choice with gusto.

The GTI is powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine called the 2.0T that’s capable of 200 hp. A six-speed manual transmission is standard. A sequentially shifting six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission is optional, but the version I would get if I was plunking my own dollars down. The suspension and handling is as taut as you would expect from VW. I love the plaid “anthracite” interior upholstery. Best seats in the business to keep my tush firmly planted while I engage the twisty roads. If there’s a knock, it’s that VW needs to figure out how to take some weight out of its vehicles. The GTI, like the new Rabbit/Golf, is heavier than it ought to be. Gas mileage is 23/32.

Reader Comments

Edward S.

January 5, 2007 1:52 PM

I just wish I could trust VW quality again. I had a '00 GTI a few years ago. Great fun to drive, but one maintenance headache after another. I think I'd lean more toward the Mazdaspeed 3, personally.

John S.

January 23, 2007 12:54 PM

My problem with the choice is that the new GTI does not excel at any performance/economic parameter and simply improves upon a medicore '99-06 car. I bought a 2001 Jetta GLX with the "Sport" suspension and it was the worst handling car I'd ever owned and a quality nightmare.

As for the engine, the Audi/VW 2.0T has been around for over a decade (first in 1.8T form) and is peaky and thrashy near redline. As for longevity, stay away from VW turbos.

In my opinion, the Saturn Aura and Sky, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Jaguar XK, and even the Honda Fit are more deserving choices. I'm an Acura TL Type-S owner, but to me the Saturn Sky Redline is above the rest of the pack. Porsche Boxster S performance for half the price - in an arguably more attractive package. Score one for GM design and engineering.

With this GTI choice and Motor Trend's COTY choice being the, ahem, Camry, when did "of the year" choices become so boring?

Brian

January 30, 2007 3:26 PM

I have a new GTI and I love the way the car drives, but its been in the shop 6 times already in 5 monthes. It wouldnt start when I first bought it. It had a loose fuel line and a broken or defective seat frame. This is still a current issue with the car because the dealer broke more parts then they fixed.

randy b.

February 28, 2007 5:01 PM

I own a new GTI and i'm very happy with it. I've owned it for about 5 months now and haven't had any problems with it. It runs effortlessly, shifts very nice, and handles like a sports car that it is. I don't know what some people here are doing to their GTI's that is causing them to need repairs. Maybe its just bad luck.I've owned a 2002 bmw 330ci before and this new GTI feels solid, has a great interior, and packs a lot of technology for the bucks! It almost comes close to the level of my bmw.

Dave

May 27, 2007 12:17 PM

"My problem with the choice is that the new GTI does not excel at any performance/economic parameter"

With a $600 chip the GTI puts out 250HP and 300 ft/lbs of Torq.

http://www.goapr.com/VW/products/ecu_upgrade_mkvgti.html

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