Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI unleashes the demon inside you

Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI

Simply amazing. Those are the two words we would pick to best describe the 2010 Volkswagen GTI; it deserves nothing less. The Mark 6, though only a slight progression over the Mark 5, leaves little to be desired in a compact car; it is stonkingly fast, fuel-efficient, practical, and affordable.

Read on as we recollect one of the best 5-day periods we’ve had here at egmCarTech, save of course, for the time we spent with the 2010 Camaro SS and the 911 Carrera S.

Click through to read more and to view the high-res image gallery (at the bottom of the post).

Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI:

Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI

2010 Volkswagen GTI Specifications:

Base Price: $23,290.
Price as Tested: $31,670.
Engine: 2.0L 16-valve DOHC turbocharged 4-cylinder – 200-hp / 207 lb-ft.
Transmission: 6-speed manual, DSG 6-speed automatic.
Curb Weight: 3,034 lbs (3-door) / 3,113 lbs (5-door).
0 to 60 mph: 6.7 seconds.
Fuel-Economy: 24/32 mpg (city/highway).

All Photos Copyright © 2009 Omar Rana ““ egmCarTech.

Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI - Exterior


Available in either a 3-door or 5-door variant, the Mark 6 sees a total exterior redesign that takes heavy cue from the 6th generation Golf, introducing a more aggressive front-end, cleaner side profile, and sleeker looking rear-end.

The hallmark black honeycomb grille with passenger side GTI badging and red-stripe outline flows smoothly into the angled teardrop headlight housings that now adorn the GTI. Right below the grille sits the front fascia, with its blacked out cooling duct nestled between the two halogen fog lamps.

The streamlined, molding-less profile, draws the eye towards the rear via the subtle pair of black side skirts that run only partially along the vehicle’s lower edge. The side of the vehicle merges seamlessly at the back with the reshaped headlights that beautifully integrate the rear quarter panels and hatch, and include smoked red brake lenses, underlined by clear reverse/turn signal lamps. The chrome-tipped, split dual-exhaust gently peaks out through the bottom of the updated rear bumper, which sports red running lamp lenses on either end of the blacked-out diffuser. A third brake light sits over the rear hatch, housed by a body-color duckbill spoiler.

Standard on the 2010 GTI are 17 x 7-inch alloy wheels that come wrapped in all-season performance tires. Upgrade options offered by Volkswagen for the GTI include; 18 x 7.5-inch alloys wrapped in either low-profile all-seasons or summer performance tires, a full-power tinted glass sunroof, and high-intensity, gas-discharged Xenon headlamps with AFS.

Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI - Interior


The enhancements to the interior really set the ’10 GTI apart from from not only the competition, but also from its predecessors. The build quality of this uncompromisingly sporty interior is easily the best in class, as every detail is impeccable. According to Volkswagen, sitting down is as simple as jumping in, moving “the seat forward once then back, and that is it. Sit down. Done. A perfect fit.” We didn’t find that to be quite the case however, as the lack of power seating made a chore out of finding a comfortable seat position.

Our test vehicle came fully equipped with the $2,795 Autobahn package, $1,750 DVD Satellite Navigation System and advanced Dynaudio sound system. The Autobahn package gave us heated leather sports seating and a sunroof, that went beautifully with the red-stitch trim. Audi’s signature-shaped, multifunctional steering wheel sits in the front of the cabin, and comes equipped with paddle-shifters for those who opt for the 6-speed automatic DSG transmission. Standard features include; basic climate control (with no Auto function), Interlagos plaid pattern cloth seats, height adjustable steering column, a touchscreen sound system with 8 speakers, 6-CD changer, MP3/iPod connectivity, SIRIUS satellite radio (w/ 6-month paid subscription) and a trip computer.

Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI - Performance


0-60 mph on the DSG 6-speed automatic equipped model comes in 6.7 seconds and gets an EPA estimate of 24/32 mpg. Power for this demon comes courtesy of Volkswagen’s 2.0L 16-valve DOHC turbocharged, intercooled 4-cylinder unit with FSI direct fuel injection and maintenance free hydraulic lifters. The result is a total of 200-hp at 5,100 rpm and 207 lb-ft of torque available between 1,800 and 5,000 rpm. Standard on the GTI, is a 6-speed manual transmission that brings the car from 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds and provides a top speed that is electronically limited to 130 mph. In fifth gear, the car can make it from 37 to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds. Though the standard transmission is the 6-speed manual, an optional automatic with with paddle shifters is available.

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.

Braking on the GTI comes from vented 312mm x 25mm disc brakes at the front, and solid 286mm x 12mm disc brakes at the rear; and the red-painted calipers make just looking at the GTI an amazing experience.

Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI - Overall


The best part of the overall 2010 GTI experience is that the car keeps its mix of power, handling, and practicality while being fuel-efficient and affordable. Pricing for the 2010 Volkswagen GTI 3-door model starts at $23,489 and increases to $24,089 for the 5-door. That price tag will get you all of the impressive standard interior features and the 200-hp 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder mated to a 6-speed manual. While we highly-recommend giving the DSG 6-speed automatic transmission a chance, this option will add $1,100 to your base price.

Yes, we know you have other options including the Chevrolet Cobalt SS, Honda Civic SI, Mazdaspeed3, Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart and the Subaru Impreza WRX – but the GTI sets itself apart from all of its competitors – really far apart.

Review: 2010 Volkswagen GTI:

– By: Omar Rana

All Photos Copyright © 2009 Omar Rana ““ egmCarTech.