2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen has unveiled all of the juicy bits for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI . Suffice to say, the MK VII Golf GTI has the refined power we all look for in a sports hatchback . The 2015 model not only has that in spades, thanks to a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, I-4 engine that packs 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but it also has a lot of standard and optional features to choose from.

Even better, Volkswagen is set to offer a Performance Package for the Golf GTI later in the year. This package is expected to include larger brakes, a torque-sensing electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, and a 10 horsepower boost over the regular GTI, all for just $1,495. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive damping system will also be available later in the 2015 model year on the SE and Autobahn models with the Performance Package.

Needless to say, there’s a lot to be giddy about with the 2015 Golf GTI and we won’t blame you for feeling the same way.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Exterior

Volkswagen Golf GTI

You're not likely to see it, but the 2015 model is 2.2 inches longer and 0.5 inches wider than the current model.

Here’s another case of a car whose changes are so subtle it’s going to take some detective work to notice what they are. In the case of the 2015 Golf GTI, the most useful change on the exterior of the car lies in its dimensions. You’re not likely to see it, but the 2015 model is 2.2 inches longer and 0.5 inches wider than the current model. It’s also closer to the ground by 1.1 inches and even with just a small drop in ground clearance, that already signifies improvements in the hot hatch’s aerodynamic performance.

Other than being a shade bigger than the current model, the 2015 Golf GTI retains most of its looks. Little splashes of change are there, but that’s depending on the trim. The Golf GTI S, for example, has a Lighting Package is available that adds bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and the Adaptive Front-lighting System.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI - Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (in)101.5
Length (in)168.1
Width (in)70.5
Height (in)56.7

Interior

Volkswagen Golf GTI

A leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel is one of the biggest additions to the interior of the 2015 Golf GTI

Volkswagen’s visual and tactile performance on dressing up the interior of the Golf GTI has always been something the company can be proud of. Though changes to the 2015 model aren’t that significant, you can still tell that VW designers and engineers used equal doses of style and function on the GTI’s interior.

A leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel is one of the biggest additions to the interior of the 2015 Golf GTI but it’s far from the only new thing in the cabin. Ambient and footwell lighting with LED reading lights have also been installed while the model’s already impressive tech features received new digs in the form of a new touchscreen radio, VW’s Car-Net connected services, and a new Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod integration.

You also stand to get a host of new standard features depending on the Golf GTI trim. The base S model has heatable front seats; cloth sport seats with heritage GTI design; and a new driving mode selection feature. Move on up to the GTI SE and the features will also increase to include a power tilt and slide sunroof; Keyless access with push-button start; a rearview camera; automatic headlights; rain-sensing windshield wipers; the Fender® Premium Audio System; and leather seating surfaces.

And finally, the GTI Autobahn will net you all the standard features from the GTI SE model to go with navigation, a 12-way power driver’s seat, and automatic air conditioning.

Drivetrain

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Those numbers represent a 10-horsepower and 51-pound-feet of torque improvement from the 2014 model.

All versions of the 2015 Golf GTI will carry a Volkswagen’s EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers represent a 10-horsepower and 51-pound-feet of torque improvement from the 2014 model.

With that improvement also comes better performance numbers, which translates to a 0-60 mph time of about 6.3 seconds with the DSG transmission to go with a top speed of 155 mph. Standard for all models is a six-speed manual transmission, although you can upgrade to a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox if you wish.

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI - Drivetrain Specifications

Engine2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
Power210 horsepower from 4,700 to 6,200 rpm
Torque258 pound-feet from 1,500 to 4,600 rpm
0 to 60 mph6.3 seconds, Est. (DSG)
Top speed155 mph

Prices

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Three different trim levels are being offered for the Volkswagen Golf. The cheapest of the three is the Golf S, which retails for $24,395. That’s followed by the Golf GTI SE and its $27,395 price tag. Finally, the top-of-the-line Golf GTI Autobahn will set you back $29,595.

ModelPrice
Golf Golf GTI S 2-Door (manual)$24,395
Golf Golf GTI S 4-Door (manual)$24,995
Golf Golf GTI S 2-Door (automatic)$25,495
Golf Golf GTI S 4-Door (automatic)$26,095
Golf Golf GTI SE 2-Door (manual)$27,395
Golf Golf GTI SE 4-Door (manual)$27,995
Golf Golf GTI SE 2-Door (automatic)$28,495
Golf Golf GTI SE 4-Door (automatic)$29,095
Golf Golf GTI Autobahn 4-Door (manual)$29,595
Golf Golf GTI Autobahn 4-Door (automatic)$30,695

Packages

Performance Package$1,495
Driver Assistance Package$695
Lighting Package$995
DCC$800

Competition

Ford Focus ST

Ford Focus ST

Hot hatches have become popular cars in the U.S. these days and there are no shortage of models vying to be the best of the bunch. The Golf GTI is a notable contender to that title, but so is the Ford Focus ST, which in itself is a pint-sized terror on the road.

The current Focus ST hasn’t caught on with the new styling of the 2015 Focus, but we’re not going to hold that against it. After all, you’re buying the ST largely because of its 252-horsepower and 270-pound-feet of torque output, not because it still doesn’t have that Aston Martin-like front grille. Besides, it’s hard to complain when you have a certified pocket rocket in your hands, one that’s capable of outpacing the Golf GTI, thanks to its 0-to-60 mph time of just 5.9 seconds and its 154-mph top speed.

There’s also that issue of price, something the Focus ST is proud to wave its (slightly) cheaper base price of $24,115 compared to the Golf GTI.

Mazdaspeed3

Mazdaspeed3

While we’re admittedly big fans of the Mazdaspeed3, we also acknowledge that aesthetic changes are long overdue. Granted, the rest of the Mazda3 line has adopted its new design language, making the car look less like a smiling child on a sugar high and more of the menacing monster it was meant to be.

So we’re expecting Mazda to give the new Mazdaspeed3 a similar design change down the road. For now, we can at least take comfort knowing that the car still possesses one of the most powerful engines in its segment: a 2.3-liter four-cylinder MZR DISI Turbo engine that produces a total output of 263 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.

That alone gives the Mazdaspeed3 credibility, although it would look even better for the Japanese hot hatch if it had a new face to go along with it.

Conclusion

Volkswagen Golf GTI

We love the Volkswagen Golf GTI. It’s styled appropriately to fit its image as powerful hot hatch. The interior, while a little too cramped to our liking, is as impressively designed as any hatch in its market. Most importantly, it’s got a powerful engine with impressive output numbers. It’s not the most powerful in its class, but impressive enough to check off our requirements for a hot hatch.

LOVE IT
  • It’s a Golf GTI; introductions really aren’t necessary
  • Impressive fuel efficiency given that its performance
  • Plenty of optional features
LEAVE IT
  • The Golf GTI is performance-oriented so tread carefully if you can’t handle the power
  • It’s priced as a German hot hatch should: more expensive than the competition
  • Some cheaper, more powerful options out there

Press Release

Today, Volkswagen of America, Inc., announced pricing of the 2015 Golf GTI models. The entry-level S trim starts at $24,395 (plus destination and handling) in two-door form with a six-speed manual transmission, an increase of just $195 over the base price of the previous-generation two-door GTI. Compared with the previous GTI, the all-new 2015 Golf GTI adds the following features as standard equipment:

Volkswagen Golf GTI
  • Latest EA888 turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine offering 210 horsepower (up 10 hp) and 258 pound-feet of torque (an increase of 51 lb-ft)
  • Driving mode selection feature
  • VW Car-Net® connected services
  • Touchscreen radio
  • Leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel
  • Ambient and footwell lighting with LED reading lights
  • LED foglights

The 2015 Golf GTI will be offered in two other trim levels: SE and Autobahn. The SE model starts at $27,395 for the two-door model equipped with a manual transmission. The Autobahn model is available only in four-door form, starting at $29,595 when equipped with the manual transmission. A six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic is available as an $1100 option on all Golf GTI models.

Later in the year, Volkswagen will be offering the Performance Package, which includes larger brakes, a torque-sensing electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, and a 10 horsepower boost over the regular GTI, all for just $1495. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive damping system will also be available later in the 2015 model year on the SE and Autobahn models with the Performance Package.

Volkswagen Golf GTI

The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI manages to do the seemingly impossible. While it’s bigger and more spacious than the car that it will replace, it’s also lighter and more fuel- efficient. Volkswagen is predicting that the EPA estimated highway fuel economy rating will improve by three miles per gallon, to 34 mpg, for the model equipped with the manual transmission. Based on the new MQB (modular transverse matrix) architecture, the 2015 Golf GTI ends the cycle whereby new versions of a car end up heavier than the models they replace.

The 2015 Golf GTI is 2.2 inches longer and 0.5 inches wider than the current car. It is also 1.1 inches lower, which benefits both aerodynamic performance and the car’s proportions. The interior package has been optimized to give 0.6 inches more rear-seat legroom and 1.2 inches of additional shoulder room in the back. The trunk is approximately 10 percent larger than in the car it replaces.

The seventh-generation Golf GTI will go on sale as a 2015 model in June. It will be built at Volkswagen’s Puebla, Mexico factory.

GOLF GTI S

Volkswagen Golf GTI

The Golf GTI S features the following standard equipment: 210-hp 2.0-liter TSI engine; 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; Bluetooth® connectivity; a touchscreen radio; Sirius XM® Satellite radio; a Media Device Interface (MDI) with iPod® integration; a leather- wrapped multifunction steering wheel, handbrake, and shifter knob; VW Car-Net® connected services; ambient and footwell lighting with LED reading lights; cloth sport seats with heritage GTI design; LED foglights; heatable front seats; and a new driving mode selection feature. The two-door GTI S with a manual transmission is priced from $24,395.

The Performance Package becomes available later in the model year on all trims, and includes: larger front and rear brakes, a torque-sensing electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, and a 10 horsepower boost over the regular GTI, for $1495.

A Lighting Package is available for $995 and adds Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights and the Adaptive Front-lighting System. The $695 Driver Assistance Package adds a front collision warning system and front and rear Park Distance Control. The six-speed DSG transmission is available as an $1100 option.

GTI SE

Volkswagen Golf GTI

The SE starts at $27,395 for the two-door manual transmission model. It adds the following standard equipment: a power tilt and slide sunroof; Keyless access with push-button start; a rearview camera; automatic headlights; rain-sensing windshield wipers; the Fender® Premium Audio System; and leather seating surfaces. The Performance Package will be available later in the model year with the Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive damping system for an additional $800 at this trim level.

GTI Autobahn

The Autobahn is only available as a four-door model, priced from $29,595 with the manual transmission. This adds navigation, a 12-way power driver’s seat, and automatic air conditioning to the list of standard equipment on the SE.


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