The 2015 Volkswagen GTI is in its seventh generation now, and it's tempting to say that it's better than ever. But is that really true? The sixth-generation GTI was so good that we honestly wondered whether the new one could live up to the legend. Now that we've driven it, though, we can assure you that there's more going for Volkswagen's latest pocket rocket than ever. Here are five reasons to believe that you're looking at the best GTI yet.
There's a difference between quick and fast, and the new GTI makes it clear. Thanks to a fresh turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 210 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque -- 220 hp with the optional Performance pack -- the GTI shows off its acceleration like never before. When the turbo hits, this is a genuinely thrilling car.
The GTI continues to offer one of the most space-efficient cabins in the business. Though it's definitely a compact car, the GTI can easily accommodate a pair of 6-footers in its roomy back seat. And when it comes to hauling cargo, there's an amazing 52.7 cu ft. of space with the rear seatbacks folded down. It's like having a compact SUV in your garage, except the GTI's a whole lot sportier than one of those.
Rich Equipment Roster
When you buy a GTI, you know it's going to come well equipped right out of the box. The list of standard equipment is long, including a sport-tuned suspension, a 5.8-inch touchscreen, and Bluetooth phone and audio. You can even specify adaptive dampers and xenon headlights if you're so inclined, not to mention the Performance pack with its extra power, larger brakes and limited-slip differential.
Red accent stitching livens up various cabin panels, while the sport front seats deliver superb lateral and long-distance support. As ever, the GTI leads its class in interior quality thanks to tasteful finishes and supple surfaces everywhere you touch. It's kind of like getting an Audi at a discount. Although the GTI is best known as a hot hatch, it can do double duty as something approaching a luxury car.
Exceptionally Fun to Drive
From the driver's seat, the GTI seems almost too good to be true. The engine note is glorious, and corners are generally a cinch -- more so if the limited-slip differential's on board. It may not be superfast by the numbers, but the GTI has all the swiftness that most drivers could ever want, especially with all of the available 220 horses at full gallop. It's one of those cars that makes practically every maneuver seem fun, even when you're just zipping around town.
Are you looking for the ultimate all-in-one performance car at a bargain price? At around $25,000 to start, we think that the 2015 Volkswagen GTI is one of the strongest candidates on the market. Go drive one, and see if you agree.