• 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version

While German Volkswagen enthusiasts have been enjoying the sixth generation hot hatch Golf GTI for almost a year now, the Mk VI GTI has just become available to consumers here in the U.S. as both a three and five door hatchback starting at at $23,664 and climbs up to $24,269 for the one with more openings. The 2010 the GTI comes with a more aggressive face highlighted by a new set of swept back teardrop shape headlamps and black honeycomb grill with the signature GTI red outline and bespoke badging. Out back the new GTI wears a pair of redesigned taillights and rides on a set of 17 inch alloys that accentuate the car’s sporty character.

The 2010 GTI U.S. version is powered by 2.0 Liter 16 Valve dual overhead cam (DOHC) turbocharged and intercooled four cylinder that produces 200 HP and 207 lb-ft of torque mated to a six speed manual transmission as standard fare with a quick shifting DSG available as an option. Thanks to its agile nature and the potent TFSI power plant under the hood, the GTI can sprint from 0 to 60 MPH in only 6.8 seconds and keeps going all the way up to an electronically limited tops speed of 130 MPH, while European owners get to have a bit more fun at 140 MPH.

Press release after the jump.

Press release

For nearly three decades, the Volkswagen GTI has represented a potent combination of sports car-like finesse and tuned driving excitement in a versatile hatchback design. The all-new 2010 GTI ushers in the sixth generation of Volkswagen’s “hot hatch” lineage, and continues the evolution of an award-winning formula that has impressed driving
enthusiasts across the globe.

2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version
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With its fully redesigned exterior, including a more aggressive front end, cleaner side profile, and sleeker hatch area, the GTI upholds its sporty nature. New interior enhancements help set the GTI apart not only from the competition, but also previous generations, and allow both the driver and passengers to enjoy total control and comfort. Starting at $23,290, the 2010 GTI stays true to its heritage by providing a dynamic driving experience at an affordable price, and is ready to reward its owners with every start of the ignition.


As an icon heading into the next decade, the 2010 GTI two and four-door models take a number of styling cues from the original Mk I, as well as the more recent past, and revitalizes them. In true GTI style, the more aggressive front end starts with the hallmark black honeycomb grille with the GTI badge on the passenger side, and the distinct red stripe outline, which flows into the new angled teardrop headlight housings (High Intensity Gas-discharged Xenon headlamps with AFS are optional). Sitting between two halogen fog lamps, the lower front fascia’s cooling duct is blacked out.

2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version
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A more streamlined profile continues heading toward the rear, with a more subtle pair of black side skirts that only run partially along the GTI’s lower edge, and the absence of any side moldings. In the rear, newly-shaped taillights integrated into the quarter panels and hatch include smoked red brake lenses that are underlined by clear reverse and turn signal lenses. Blended into the updated rear bumper are red running lamp lenses, along with a blacked out diffuser with special cutouts for the chrome-tipped, split dual-exhaust.

Low-profile all-season performance tires are standard. Summer performance tires are an available option. Atop the rear hatch is a body color duckbill spoiler, which houses the third brake light.

The GTI comes standard with 17 x 7-inch alloy wheels wrapped in allseason performance tires, and can be upgraded to larger 18 x 7.5-inch versions with either all-season or summer performance tires to match. A full-power tinted glass sunroof is also available as an option.

Engine and Transmission

4-cylinder engine, in-line, turbocharged with intercooled and direct fuel injection; 200hp @ 5,100-6,000; 207 lbs-ft @ 1,800-5,000

Under the hood, the latest version of the GTI utilizes the acclaimed 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder gasoline engine, with FSI direct fuel injection and maintenance-free hydraulic lifters. Bred for smooth, top-notch performance, the engine features an advanced, fully-electronic management system that combines drive-by-wire throttle control and FSI direct fuel injection to cut back on emissions while increasing overall fuel efficiency and power.

2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version
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Producing 200 horsepower at 5,100 rpm, and 207 lbs.-ft. of torque from 1,800 all the way up to 5,000 rpm, the GTI’s 2.0-liter engine is prepared to take to the road with force. With the standard six-speed manual transmission, the GTI can go from a zero to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, and on to an electronically limited 130 mph top speed. Power delivery remains smooth and direct across the rpm range, allowing for a swift, 7.5 second run from 37 to 62 mph in fifth gear, and finishes with a redline of 6,500 rpm. In terms of fuel economy, the 2.0T engine and six-speed manual transmission deliver an EPA-estimated 31 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg in city driving. For drivers who want the performance of a traditional manual transmission with the precision and ease of use of an automatic gearbox, the GTI is available with an optional automatic Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG®) transmission.

This technologically advanced six-speed transmission incorporates an automatic dualclutch system that instantly engages and disengages gears without the need for a clutch pedal. With a special computer controlling the process, one clutch is engaged on the next gear needed while the clutch from the previous gear is released. The results are crisp, quick shifts without the loss of power that is experienced with a traditional manual gearbox, and the ability for the GTI to reach 60 mph in 6.7 seconds from a standstill. The 2010 GTI’s fuel economy is improved when equipped with the DSG transmission, which attains an EPAestimated 32 mpg in highway driving, and 24 mpg in city driving.

2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version
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Those owners who opt for the DSG transmission can switch between full automatic operation, which requires no additional action beyond moving the gear shift lever to the “D” position, and automated manual operation, which enables the driver to control every gear change. Volkswagen Tiptronic® lets the driver shift up and down as he prefers, using either the finger-operated paddles mounted to the GTI’s steering wheel, or by tapping the gearshift selector up or down. As an added performance bonus with the DSG transmission, a Launch Control program can be enabled, which, when the car is stopped, allows the engine to build revs before the first clutch is engaged, and creates a more perfect launch with controlled wheel-spin.

Chassis and Suspension

To ensure all of the GTI’s power makes its way to the road, a fully independent, European-tuned suspension is employed at all four corners to provide drivers with the confidence they demand on even the most challenging roads and conditions. At the front, McPherson struts with lower control arms are complemented by a tubular anti-roll bar to keep the front tires planted, especially in the corners, and connect to an all-aluminum sub-frame to reduce unsprung mass. The track-stabilization steering roll radius cuts back on body roll in tight turning situations, and has a more direct steering ratio for improved driver feedback.

2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version
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Keeping the car settled at the rear without sacrificing passenger comfort, a four-link independent setup with the springs and shock absorbers positioned apart from each other are matched with a separate sub-frame and another tubular anti-roll bar. The sport-tuned arrangement comes with an added benefit – increased cargo space – by allowing for a larger rear hatch opening. Helping the GTI to head into the corners with ease is an electro-mechanical power rack-and-pinion steering system. With good on-center feel, confidenceinspiring responsiveness to driver input at all positions, active-return steering, and straight-ahead driving correction assistance, the system seamlessly unites the GTI and its driver.

Bringing the GTI to a halt are vented 312mm x 25mm disc brakes at the front, and solid 286mm x 12mm disc brakes at the rear, all with red-painted calipers that can be seen through the new 17 x 7-inch alloy wheels.

Active and Passive Safety

The 2010 GTI comes with standard with a collection of safety features and enhancements, including a three channel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Anti-slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Engine Braking Assist (EBA), Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP®). Like all 2009 model year Volkswagens ESP comes standard on all 2010 model year vehicles, ahead of the U.S. government’s mandate that by 2012, all vehicles produced will need to have some form of Electronic Stability Control (ESC).

2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version
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New for the sixth generation GTI is a standard Electronic Limited Slip system that Volkswagen has named XDS. The system electronically monitors input from various wheel sensors and, in the event of slippage, transfers extra torque to the wheel or wheels with the most traction.

0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds; 130 mph

Like all Volkswagens, the GTI also includes the Prevent and Preserve Safety System, consisting of 40 standard safety features. As standard equipment, the GTI includes, but is not limited to: Six airbags (dual front, dual front side thorax, and side curtains), optimized head restraints, front seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters, and three-point safety belts in all five seating positions (two front and three rear). In the four-door GTI, rear side airbags are available as an option, as are rear outboard safety belts with pretensioners and load limiters.


The 2010 GTI continues its performance showcase inside the cabin, with accommodations that will delight both driver and passengers. Heavily bolstered front seats are wrapped in patterned sport fabric with red and white doublestitching throughout, come standard with eight-way manual adjustment, adjustable lumbar support and head restraints, and are heated. On two-door models, both front seats incorporate the Easy Entry System for improved access to the rear seating area. The three-spoke flat bottom steering wheel has been upgraded with an embossed center section, aluminum trim on the spokes, red stitching, and perforated leather along the top and bottom sections for better grip.

2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version
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The instrument panel has also been redesigned, with chrome trim surrounding the large tachometer on the left, which incorporates a smaller, integrated engine temperature gauge as well as the matching speedometer on the right, which features an integrated fuel gauge. Standing between the black analog gauges is a multi-function onboard computer display that provides the driver with key information regarding the fuel mileage, odometer, and more. Metallic highlights continue throughout the interior, gracing the gearshift knob, the trim inserts and the pedal cluster, and brushed-metal accents add a sense of sophistication to the HVAC controls and stereo unit.

The GTI comes standard with an 8-speaker sound system with an AM/FM/Sirius™ satellite radio, touch-screen in-dash six-disc CD changer with MP3 format readability, theft deterrence, auxiliary input jack along with an iPod® adapter, and Bluetooth™ connectivity for hands-free calling with a paired mobile phone.. For increased audio fidelity and enjoyment, the 300W Dynaudio Lite premium sound system can be ordered.

2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version
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The GTI’s Autobahn options package for both the two and four-door models adds top sport front seats, leather seating surfaces front and rear, and a power sunroof. Owners can also order their 2010 GTI with a touch-screen navigation system that includes a 6.5” high resolution display, integrated 30GB hard drive (10GB for navigation, 20GB for audio), WMA / MP3 audio CD playback, DVD playback, an SD memory card slot, a 3.5mm auxiliary input jack in the center console. The system provides both visual and audible commands through the center console display, as well as the digital display located in the instrument



  • Type 4-cylinder, in-line, turbocharged with intercooled and direct fuel injection
  • Bore 3.20 in (82.5 mm)
  • Stroke 3.70 in (92.8 mm)
  • Displacement 121.0 in3 (1,984 cm3)
  • Compression Ratio 9.6:1
  • Horsepower (SAE) @ rpm 200 @ 5,100-6,000 (147 kW @ 5,100-6,000)
  • Maximum torque, lbs - ft @ rpm 207 @ 1,800-5,000 (280 Nm @ 1,800-5,000)
  • Fuel requirement Premium unleaded recommended for maximum performance
  • Firing order 1-3-4-2
  • Fuel / Air Supply Fully electronic engine management with drive-by-wire throttle control, FSI direct fuel injection
  • Ignition Digital electronoic with knock sensor
2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version High Resolution Exterior
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  • 0-60 mph (Manual/Automatic) 6.8 seconds / 6.7 seconds
  • Top Speed* (Manual/Automatic) 130 mph (estimated) / 130 mph (estimated)
  • Maximum speed electronically limited in U.S. Obey all speed and traffic laws.

Engine Design

  • Arrangement Front mounted, transverse
  • Cylinder Block Cast iron
  • Crank Shaft Forged steel
  • Cylinder Head Aluminum alloy
  • Valve Train Dual overhead camshaft, chain driven, four valves per cylinder, maintenance free hydraulic lifters
  • Cooling System Water cooled, thermostatically controlled electric radiator fan
  • Lubrication Sump mounted oil pump, chain-driven by crankshaft
  • Fuel / Air Supply Fully electronic engine management with drive-by-wire throttle control, (FSI®) direct fuel injection.
  • Emissions Underhood ceramic precatalyst with catalyst heating function via homogenous split dual injection

Electrical System

  • Alternator - V/A 14 volts (120 A)
  • Battery - V/Ah 12 volts (60 Ah)
2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version High Resolution Exterior
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  • Type Rack and pinion, electro-mechanical power steering
  • Turns (lock to lock) 3.01
  • Turning Circle (curb to curb) 35.8 ft (10.9 m)
  • Ratio 15.6:1

Body, Chassis and Suspension

  • Type Unitized construction, bolt-on front fenders
  • Front Suspension MacPherson strut with lower wishbones, aluminum subframe, tubular anti-roll bar, track-stabilization steering roll radius
  • Rear Suspension Four-link rear suspension with separate spring/shock absorber arrangement, subframe, tubular anti-roll bar
  • Service Brakes Power assisted, dual circuit, vented 312 x 25mm front discs and 286 x 12 mm rear discs
  • Anti Lock Braking System Standard, all four wheels, 3-channel with electronic brake pressure distribution, Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR) and Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), Electronic Stabilization Program, XDS
  • Parking Brake Mechanical, effective on rear wheels
  • Wheels/Tires 7J X 17’’ alloy wheels/ 225/45 R17 H, all-season tires
2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version High Resolution Interior
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Interior Volume - SAE

  • EPA Class Compact
  • Seating Capacity Five
  • Passenger Volume 93.5 ft3 (2.7 m3)
  • Cargo Volume 15.1 ft3 (0.4 m3) 14.7 ft3 (0.4 m3)
  • Volume (Front / Rear) 51.1 ft3 (1.5 m3) / 42.4 ft3 (1.2 m3)
  • Head Room (Front / Rear) 39.3 in (998 mm) / 38.5 in (979 mm)
  • Shoulder Room (Front / Rear) 54.7 in (1,390 mm) / 54.6 in (1,362 mm)
  • Leg Room (Front / Rear) 41.2 in (1,046 mm) / 35.5 in (901 mm)

Exterior Dimensions

  • Wheelbase 101.5 in (2,578 mm)
  • Front Track 60.4 in (1,534 mm)
  • Rear Track 59.7 in (1,516 mm)
  • Length 165.8 in (4,213 mm)
  • Width 70.0 in (1,779 mm)
  • Height 57.8 in (1,469 mm)
  • Ground Clearance 5.0 in (128 mm)
2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version High Resolution Exterior
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  • Curb Weight (manual) 3,034 lbs (1,376 kg)
  • Payload (manual) 1,076 lbs (488 kg)


Prices and Options

Trim Price
GTI 2-door $23,664
GTI 4-door $24,269
2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version High Resolution Exterior
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Autobabn Package
  • Partial Leather seats covering

  • Power sunroof

  • Front sports seats w/Lumbar


Six speed Automatic DSG w/Tiptronic $1,100
18" Topas Sport Alloy Package $1,596
18" Karthoum Black Sport Alloy Package $2,148
18" Detroit Sport Alloy Package $750
Bi-xenon Headlights $700
Power Sunroof $1000
Sunroof air deflector $90
Kayak Holder $150
Snowboard holder $160
Ski/Snowboard Rack Deluxe $265
Fork mount bike holder $175
Barracuda bike holder $140
Aluminium Luggage Platform $325
Base Carrier Bars $305
DVD Navigation System $1,750
Dynaudio 300W Amp and speaker system $476
Mat kit $225
Protection Kit $425
Carpeted mat Kit $225
Cargo organizer with VW Logo $95
2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version High Resolution Exterior
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Competitors and press reviews

"At first, we were disappointed to learn that our test-vehicle was equipped with the DSG 6-speed automatic, but once our evaluation was under way, we were quite impressed with the crisp and fast shifting that we experienced, and without the loss of power one would normally experience with ana automatic transmission. The Launch Control feature is also an attractive one, as it provides for a perfect launch with controlled wheel-spin. The fully-independent, European-tuned suspension enhances performance on the GTI dramatically and the front-end McPherson struts with lower control arms and tubular anti-roll bar keep the tires planted to the ground on those sharp, tight, and fast turns. If that isn’t enough, then be impressed with the track-stabilization steering roll radius that cuts back on body roll in very tight turning situations." (EgmCartech)

2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version
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"Even when we would downshift into a turn and blast our way out, the car was still using its brakes, which provided an unwelcome surprise when suddenly we got on the brakes and the pedal (*gulp*) sunk almost to the floor. Be advised that we were really pushing the car, so much so that we arrived at our destination 40 minutes ahead of the next GTI. Could you fit better pads? Sure. Stouter brakes? Maybe, but doing so might foul up the XDS and then where would you be? Just think of the new GTI as a part-time performance ride instead of a track toy and you’ll do just fine." (Autoblog)


Mazdaspeed 3

The 2010 Mazdaspeed3 is powered by a 2.3 Liter four cylinder MZR DISI Turbo engine that produces a total output of 263 HP and 280 lb-ft of torque shifted via a six speed manual transmission capable of reaching a top speed limited to 155 MPH. The car is priced at $23,195.

Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart

The Ralliart is the top version of the Mitsubishi Lancer. It is powered by a turbocharged and intercooled 2.0 Liter four cylinder boosted to 237 HP and 253 lb-ft of torque. Prices for the Ralliart version start at $27,190.

2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI U.S. version High Resolution Exterior
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Subaru Impreza WRX 5-door

The Impreza WRX is powered by a turbocharged intercooled Boxer engine that delivers 265 hp at 6,000 rpm and 244 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. The Impreza WRX makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 4,7 seconds and can hit a top speed limited to 142 mph. Sales will begin at a price of $25,690.


We are talking about a Volkswagen in here. This is an advantage, no? but is it better than its competitors? No doubt the Mazdaspeed3 is better looking and is faster than it, and the Subaru Impreza WRX comes with AWD system, and this are quite some advantages in front of the GTI.

So what does Volkswagen did about that? It offered electronic limited slip that allows you to attack a corner in exactly the same way as in a all-wheel drive car. And besides that the GTI is a mix of power, handling, and practicality. And if you add the fuel efficiency and the car’s price, then yes, the GTI is a car that worth to be bought.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (511) posted on 02.11.2010

Well, compared to Subaru’s Focus, this might not have that much chance to a regular customer in the US unless he is a GTI fan. The Focus is more powerful and cheaper in some ways. But, Golf is still a great car so I guess it will still be popular, specially to the younger market. It is pretty sporty.

  (701) posted on 02.11.2010

well VW GTI was one of the best hatch it really comes up with aggressiveness and what i like the most is its honeycomb front grille, nothing much change in interior and exterior of the Euro and Us Version except for the 7hp on it’s engine.

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