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.