Flash Drive: 2010 Volkswagen GTI
This 2010 review is representative of model years 2010 to 2013.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The GTI has always been a fun car to drive, and while the sporty hatch has been redesigned for 2010, the formula remains the same. The shape also remains the same, but the grille, headlights and taillights are updated. The interior is refreshed, and the seats are among the most comfortable I've ever experienced. The rear seat is usable, but access is not easy with the 2-door — luckily VW makes a 4-door as well. While not super powerful, the GTI does have enough oomph for spirited driving. The exhaust sounds good, too, and the tight steering and firm ride make for great handling. Unfortunately, the traction control is overly intrusive, cutting the power at inopportune times, and when traction is turned off, a warning light flashes continuously, which is also intrusive. With highway fuel economy rated at 31 mpg and a price starting around $24,000, the GTI is definitely worthy of consideration. –Perry Stern
The 2010 Volkswagen GTI is a true enthusiast's car wrapped in a practical and economical package. The original "hot hatch," the GTI has inspired a series of imitators with some boasting 300 horsepower, all-wheel drive and high-tech features. But it's hard to argue that any of the competitors can touch the bang for the buck offered by the GTI. Powered by Volkswagen's 200-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo engine, one of the best engines available at any price, the GTI is quick when you want it to be, economical when you need it to be and a lot of fun to drive all the time. The suspension is taut, the chassis is balanced and the steering is precise for a great driving experience. Exterior updates include a new grille and taillights, and inside, the plaid cloth seat material harks back to the original GTI. –Mike Meredith
The Volkswagen GTI is a sophisticated and refined compact coupe. By employing Volkswagen's turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, the GTI does suffer from the same flaws as all other similarly equipped VWs; the low-pressure turbo power grows smoothly across the rev range once past a slight lag at low revs. The single-minded focus on sophistication makes the GTI a little less versatile than some of its competition; if the mood for excitement takes you, the GTI will likely be a little disappointing. Perhaps against such tough competition, Volkswagen has made the right decision: Focus on a key strength to win the minds of certain customers. If sophistication sounds like your cup of tea, take a drive in the Volkswagen GTI to find out if it is perfect for you. –Paul Hagger