Volkswagen recently hosted a test-drive event featuring the all-new Golf and Golf GTI. This publication functions on short articles. Meaning? While this seventh generation Golf is worthy, the difference between driving it and the Golf GTI is like kissing Sandra Bullock today—absolutely a seminal moment with a major personality who’s had excellent work done—and kissing Sandra Bullock 20 years ago.
In short, we’ll focus on the GTI.
With competition heating up from Mazda and MINI, Volkswagen needed to up its game to remain at the forefront of the hot hatch segment, which it’s led from birth in the ‘70s. Ours was a short drive but proved VW did so with aplomb. The GTI’s a ball to drive.
Almost completely overhauled, the new GTI sports an even more aggressive look. Its low stance and short overhang work together with those big wheels, now closer to the corners of the car, to lap up the road—even in the sharpest bends. Plus the 2015 GTI is actually slightly longer and wider than the previous generation, maintaining that close-to-the-ground pose. So both comfort and agility are increased.
Yet, despite adding features and space, VW cut weight from the GTI and dropped its price!
With that lower weight, the engine can deliver better efficiency. Warning: you may not realize that efficiency at the pump because you’ll be tempted to grind this oversized go-cart hard on every trip.
The new engine is turbocharged and emits 258lb-ft of torque and 210hp. That’s 10hp more than the revelatory Wolfsburg Edition GTI I tested last year. Loved by GTI geeks the world over, the 2014 Wolfsburg was the last GTI to be built in Germany.
Segue: the 2015s are made in Mexico.
Should that be a big deal? Almost no cars are completely made in one spot these days. Moreover, that drop in price and increase in bling has to come from somewhere. Besides, the brief ride I did in the 2015 was on a short and flat (though pleasingly angular) course in a suburban parking lot and lasted just over a half hour. The quality seemed excellent—though it’d take more time and varied conditions to truly decide.
2015 VW Golf Base Price: $18,995
2015 VW Golf GTI Base Price: $27,995
Though a co-owner and former editor of DailyXY, Steven Bochenek is actually an advertising writer who does some journalism on the side. In 2011 he was accepted into the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. His other interests include playing music, long-distance running, skiing and writing in the third person.
Photo courtesy of the author.