Volkswagen GTI Review
The 2013 Volkswagen GTI ranks 1 out of 11 Upscale Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 24 published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen GTI, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
According to test drivers, the 2013 Volkswagen GTI’s strong engine and sharp handling make it fun to drive, but they also say its spacious seats and good cargo room make it one of the most practical models in the class.
Reviewers say the 2013 VW GTI’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine isn’t the most powerful in the class, but they say it still provides the GTI with plenty of energy. Paired with this engine is a standard manual transmission that reviewers like for its smooth shifts. There’s also an optional dual-clutch automatic transmission. Though reviewers prefer the manual because it spices up the GTI’s performance, the automatic delivers the highest EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 24/33 mpg city/highway. Test drivers enjoy driving the GTI because its steering is accurate and responsive. They also appreciate that the GTI’s suspension isn’t too stiff, which translates into a comfortable ride. Reviewer assessments of the GTI’s brakes are mixed, with one test driver calling them strong and another expecting a German vehicle to have stronger brakes. While the 2013 GTI has some of the best performance evaluations in the class, it does lag behind other upscale small cars with poor reliability.
Some test drivers have a few issues with the five-seat 2013 VW GTI’s interior, but most are impressed with its well-made cabin and utility. Some reviewers think the GTI’s climate controls are hard to adjust and that the touch-screen stereo operates slowly, but the majority don’t have any problems with those features. In particular, test drivers rave about the spacious front and rear seats, which offer plenty of room for adults. Reviewers add that the GTI has plenty of cargo space, though they wish there were a few more storage compartments in the seating area.
- "The … Volkswagen GTI might not make top performance numbers, but overall, it's one of our top picks for a sporty hatchback." -- Edmunds (2012)
- "As far as hot hatches are concerned, none of the competition offers the same mix of refinement sophistication and driving good times that the GTI does." -- Autoblog (2010)
- "What the GTI might lack in horsepower compared to others in the class, it more than makes up for in terms of sprightly handling, surprisingly practicality, and an amazingly high level of refinement." -- Consumer Guide
Other Cars to Consider
If you value top-notch performance, test drive the BMW 1-Series. This coupe costs significantly more than the GTI, has lower fuel economy ratings and a tight second row, but if a powerful six-cylinder engine, smooth transmission, precise cornering and confident braking are at the top of your list of must haves, you won’t feel like you’re wasting money.
Like the GTI, the Audi A3 offers a good balance of practicality and performance. Though reviewers say the A3’s back seat is cramped, it has more cargo space than the GTI. It’s also available with turbocharged diesel engine, which offers some of the highest fuel economy ratings in the class, making the A3 even more practical. If you’re interested in the Audi A3, keep in mind that it is more expensive than the GTI.
Details: 2013 Volkswagen GTI
The 2013 VW GTI is available in two- and four-door models, which all have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a standard manual transmission. There is only one engine available, but there is an optional dual-clutch automatic transmission. Features such as a navigation system and touch-screen stereo are available with feature and package upgrades. The GTI hasn’t changed much since the 2010 model year, so this overview uses research and reviews from 2010 to 2013.
Next Steps: Volkswagen GTI
Get the U.S. News Best Price for the Volkswagen GTI
To get local pricing, enter your zip code: Get Best Price Cancel
- Search used Volkswagen GTI for sale (1,423 listings)
- Find low financing rates for the Volkswagen GTI
- See what others paid for the 2013 Volkswagen GTI
- View Volkswagen GTI Photos
- See Upscale Small Cars rankings