• Sign in
  • |
  • Sign up

Car Review

2014 vs. 2015 Volkswagen GTI: What's the Difference?

RELATED READING
See all Volkswagen GTI articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs Infiniti cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION
2014 Volkswagen GTI

author photo by Doug DeMuro July 2014

You might have to look twice, but the Volkswagen GTI has been redesigned for the latest model year. Now entering its impressive seventh generation, the 2015 Volkswagen GTI offers a lot of changes over last year's model, both under the skin and on the surface. But what exactly are the updates? We've outlined revisions to the latest GTI to help you understand everything new about one of the most popular hot hatches on the market.

Exterior

On the outside, the 2015 GTI's styling is very similar to the 2014 GTI's look, so much so that you'll be forgiven if you don't notice any differences. But they're there: The headlights are a little sharper, for instance, which makes for a more aggressive front end. The grille is a little narrower, and the bumper is more aggressive. The taillights offer a more modern look, and the rear bumper is also updated with a new style and two wide, thin new reflectors.

Interior

The GTI's interior is updated more significantly than the hatchback's exterior, though changes are still fairly minor. The center stack is redesigned and turned toward the driver, while the steering wheel looks a lot more like a sports car's. The air vents and climate controls show off a more modern look, while the all-important iPod and iPhone connections have been moved from the glove box to the center stack. The center-mounted touchscreen is also newly standard for 2015, while the GTI's gauge cluster now includes a multicolor display.

Mechanicals

Under the hood, the GTI is subtly updated with a few changes designed to appeal to hot-hatch lovers. Yes, the hatchback retains last year's 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, but it's updated to offer 210 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, gaining 10 hp and 51 lb-ft compared to last year.

Once again, drivers can choose from a standard 6-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Regardless of which you choose, fuel economy is improved: The manual now returns 25 miles per gallon in the city and 34 mpg on the highway compared to last year's 21 mpg city/31 mpg hwy, while the dual-clutch automatic is now rated at 25 mpg city/33 mpg hwy (versus 24 mpg city/32 mpg hwy before).

Another interesting new mechanical feature is a newly optional Performance package, which costs $1,495 extra. Not only does it offer larger brakes and a limited-slip differential for better cornering, it also includes a 10-hp boost up to 220 horses.

Features

For most GTI buyers, the hot-hatch experience is more about performance than equipment, but that hasn't stopped Volkswagen from offering a long list of standard features in the new GTI. Three trims are available: the base-level S, the mid-level SE and the upscale Autobahn, which is only offered as a 5-door.

For S models, Volkswagen is adding a standard 5.8-inch touchscreen, which replaces last year's nontouchscreen base-level stereo unit. While other base-model features are roughly the same as last year, mid-level SE models boast a new backup camera, which is a feature that wasn't offered on the 2014 GTI. Autobahn models get the most equipment, including a new dual-zone automatic climate control system and a 12-way power driver's seat. Other new features include the newly available forward-collision alert and rear parking sensors.

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2016 Volkswagen GTI 4-Door
New 2016 Volkswagen GTI
MSRP $32,440
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2016 Volkswagen GTI S
New 2016 Volkswagen GTI
MSRP $26,215
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2015 Volkswagen GTI S
New 2015 Volkswagen GTI
MSRP $27,705
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2015 Volkswagen GTI SE
New 2015 Volkswagen GTI
MSRP $31,215

Technology

Although the GTI has never been known for cutting-edge technology, the new model takes the hatchback further toward high-tech than it's ever been before. A touchscreen is newly standard, for example. While it's only 5.8 in, it's better than the previous model's archaic nontouchscreen system, which used unlabeled buttons and an ancient-looking display screen. Other new tech features include a Fender audio system and dual-zone automatic climate control, both items that would be considered fairly typical in most cars but represent big developments for the traditionally simple GTI.

Safety

For the 2015 model year, Volkswagen has added a few important new safety features to the GTI. No, it still doesn't include cutting-edge items such as lane-departure warning or a blind spot monitoring system, though Volkswagen would likely argue that its performance-obsessed GTI buyers wouldn't need those features anyway.

Instead, the GTI includes new features such as available rear parking sensors, which weren't offered before. Other new safety features include a backup camera in the mid-level GTI SE model and a forward-collision-alert feature in the high-end Autobahn version, though the system doesn't automatically brake if you fail to stop. Of course, just like last year, the 2015 Volkswagen GTI includes a host of other safety features such as curtain-side airbags, stability control, traction control, and optional adaptive headlights that swivel to illuminate corners as you turn the wheel.

Conclusions

The latest Volkswagen GTI is a little larger than the outgoing model. It's also a little more powerful, a little more expensive, a little more economical, and a little more enticing when it comes to technology, standard features and options. We also happen to think that it drives a little better than the outgoing model, too. In other words, the 2015 GTI is an evolution of last year's design, which is something that we think will suit most GTI owners just fine.

Find a VW GTI for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Close 
2014 vs. 2015 Volkswagen GTI: What's the Difference? - Autotrader