The Golf has been manufactured since 1974. Since then, Volkswagen has built over 25 million copies, and is ranked the world’s third best selling car in history. What an achievement! Of the 25 million sold, over 1.7 million were Golf GTIs. So, what makes the Golf such a winner?
The Golf’s success lies in several areas. It is a compact, fuel efficient, affordable car. It also uses a hatchback design, which increases the interior volume. This makes a compact car feel less compact. Finally, Volkswagen has improved the Golf in all of its’ six generations. Instead of starting fresh on each generation, Volkswagen improved on what already existed. This is something that other auto manufactures should learn to do.
This also holds true for the sixth generation Golf GTI.
The 2010 Golf GTI is similar to the last generation GTI, just more refined. Most of the changes are found in the appearances. The front and rear lights differ, giving it a wider looking stance. The front fascias is new, and the rear hatch offers a bigger opening. Also new on the GTI is the dual exhaust which adds to the wide stance look.
It uses the same motor as its’ predecessor, which produces 200 hp and 207 lb-ft. Now, 200 hp and 207 lb-ft. might not sound like a lot, but it’s a very smooth motor. Its’ torque is available from 1800-5000 rpm, and the horsepower peaks from 5100-6000 rpm. When you step on the gas, you go, no matter what the rpm. To top it off, this might be the nicest sounding four cylinder I’ve ever heard.
The big news is an electronic differential called “XDS”. This applies the inside brake lightly during cornering to limit understeer. It also minimizes torque steer when accelerating quickly. This makes the new GTI really dance on twisty roads. You can really mash the throttle before the apex of a corner, and let the “XDS” take care of the understeer.
Initially, I thought the handling dynamics were the best asset on the GTI, then I spent time driving it. These dynamics were trumped by the interior. It is by far the nicest in its’ class. You would swear the interior came from the $140 000 Audi R8. Seriously! The seats are supportive and comfortable, the instruments are easy to use and read, and the flat bottomed steering wheel fit your hands perfectly.
While other manufactures worry about having the most horsepower, and quickest 0-60 times, Volkswagen focuses on the car-driver connection. All in all, the exterior is chiseled, and looks good from every angle. The interior is a great place to spend time, and the driving dynamics are at the head of its’ class.
The whole package offered with the GTI makes it an easy choice if you want a car that does everything well. No wonder it won the AJAC best new sport/performance car under $50000!
Filed Under: The Car Guide from CarConsult
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