VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35,138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Nothing really earth-shattering here, but I just thought it was cool that the GTI was featured. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
Link to story
Quote, originally posted by NWCN »

German performance at a nice price
01:17 PM PDT on Friday, April 21, 2006
By TOM VOELK / Special contributor to NWCN.com


There are many things to love about German performance cars. The sounds, power, and handling sure play a part. There’s also that “German feel” that’s hard to quantify but easy to like. But price? Ouch! That can hurt. Entering Club Deutsch through BMW doors will cost a minimum of $31,500. Now, for 9 grand less, you can enjoy automotive Oktoberfest all year long. Volkswagen's GTI is fat fun for enthusiasts whose wallets are on the thinner side.
Realistically, most will compare this fifth-generation GTI to the Honda Civic Si, not the BMW 3 Series. The GTI feels more substantial than the Si (and is by over 400 pounds). The Vee Dub has more torque on tap in the low revs which may explain why its seven second 0-60 time is slightly quicker than the 197 horsepower Honda. Finally, while the Civic is fun and flingable, the VW feels more mature in its maneuverings. Maybe mature is a poor choice of words considering you’ll drive like a juvenile delinquent when nobody’s watching.
The Golf that this Mk V GTI is based on has been available in the Mother Country for awhile now. It’s been worth the wait. Often times European performance cars get tweaked and softened as they make their way across the pond. Fortunately, the GTI keeps its German accent. While the US version rides half an inch higher for various US regulations, I still say danke to the chassis engineers who are obvious serious about having fun in corners. The GTI is a kick in the lederhosen. The ride may be firm but it's comfortable and quiet.
Go power comes from a 2.0-liter 200 horse turbocharged four cylinder. Featuring direct injection, there’s little to no turbo lag when the aluminum pedal is punched. There’s no torque steer in this front driver either. In short, the set up is wunderbar. I saw 25 MPG driving it hard and using premium fuel that’s recommended.
My tester has the optional DSG transmission which is an automatic manual. Huh? It looks like an automatic with its PNDR markings and in D it acts like a 6-speed auto tranny. Move the lever down to S (sport mode) and the computer moves the shift points up 500 RPMs to get more performance (and less fuel economy) out of the engine. Finally, shove the shifter right and you enter manual mode. Steering wheel mounted paddle controllers give you direct control over the twin clutches and their unusually fast and crisp shifts. On a budget? Save the $1075 and go with the standard six-speed manual which I understand has a great feel.
The tagline for the original GTI was “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” While there’s nothing that screams out “autobahn burner” here, the exterior design is hardly sheepish. The lines are simple and elegant, not unlike the pervious generation Civic Si. It’s the best looking GTI yet.
A quick glance at the grille will remind older drivers of the red trim on the first GTI. It’s a sly crimson grin that also appears on the Fast mascot popular in those “Make friends with your Fast” ads. FYI, buy the car and VW throws in a plastic Fast with changeable tales (including one that looks suspiciously like the golf ball shaped shift ball from the first GTI). The only other way is to snag one on eBay. Word has it the baseball-sized and vaguely rabbit-shaped Fasts are going for hundreds of dollars there.
Moving inside you’ll find the same clean design, quality materials and handsome blue and red lighting installed in Jettas and the forth coming Rabbit that replaces the Golf nameplate in America. This interior says guten tag to those who enjoy driving. A three-spoke wheel tilts, telescopes and fits perfectly to hand. Standard seat upholstery is a retro plaid pattern call back to the first GTI . My tester’s deeply bolstered seats have the optional leather.
Being a two door it's not exactly easy to get in. Once a standard-sized adult sits down though, they'll be fine. Two grown-ups will be comfortable back there while they contemplate how lucky they are that the third belt isn’t being used.
Continuing on to the trunk I have to wonder why hatchbacks have gotten such a bad rap in the US. Many journalists write about the 70's and how the horrible little boxes Americans were exposed to damaged us for life. Time to see a therapist if that’s true. Hatches are very flexible and practical. And let’s not forget SUVs are in many ways just big hatchbacks. A GTI cargo hold will easily swallow five packs of warehouse sized packs of toilet paper. As expected the back seats split and fold.
GTI gripes? Tradition aside, I’m not so keen on the plaid seats. The nav system is average and ordering it means the CD changer moves to the center console. That eliminates storage there. Along the same vein, adding options can quickly escalate the bargain price of $22,600 up to nearly 30 large.
Fortunately you don't need any options. This car comes surprisingly well equipped since full airbag protection and climate control is standard. Frankly, all you need for a good time is an empty road and a base GTI. Practical performance lovers will want to wait until summer when the 4-door version shows up. Until then, know that an affordable German performance machine is now obtainable to the masses. Say auf Wiedersehen to dull driving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
971 Posts
"It’s the best looking GTI yet"
"Tradition aside, I’m not so keen on the plaid seats"
"Frankly, all you need for a good time is an empty road and a base GTI"

. . and here come the pretzels . . .
Nice review overall however . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,695 Posts
Re: NWCN review of the new GTI.... (Arsigi)

performance wise its prolly the best gti yet. but not the exterior look. its not square enough for me. and the rear really is an eye sore. but other than that its one hot ride. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top