Volkswagen GTI Review
The 2013 Volkswagen GTI ranks 1 out of 12 Upscale Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Volkswagen GTI, as well as reliability and safety data.
According to auto reviewers, the 2013 Volkswagen GTI’s sharp handling and strong engine make it fun to drive. They also say its spacious seats and good cargo room make it one of the most practical models in the class.
The 2013 VW GTI has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Paired with this engine is a standard manual transmission that critics like for its smooth shifts. There’s also an optional dual-clutch automatic transmission. Though auto writers 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. Critics enjoy driving the GTI because its steering is accurate and responsive. They also appreciate that the GTI’s suspension isn’t too stiff. 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 small-item 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. 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.
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.
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