Volkswagen GTI Review
The 2014 Volkswagen GTI ranks 2 out of 14 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.
With athletic handling and a spacious, high-quality interior, test drivers say the 2014 Volkswagen GTI continues to provide great driving dynamics in a practical package. Because it has the best combination of positive reviews, price and long-term ownership costs in its class, we named the 2014 Volkswagen GTI the Best Upscale Small Car for the Money.
The 2014 Volkswagen GTI has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that reviewers say provides plenty of power. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and critics say it shifts easily, quickly and precisely, making it a fun choice for sporty driving. A six-speed automated manual transmission is optional, and automotive journalists write that it shifts quickly and combines the convenience of an automatic with the fun of manual shifting. The 2014 GTI gets up to an EPA-estimated 24/32 mpg city/highway, which is good for an upscale small car. Test drivers say the 2014 VW GTI has agile handling, a comfortable ride and accurate, communicative steering, all of which make it loads of fun to drive on twisty roads. Some automotive journalists say the GTI is one of the best-driving cars in the class, although a few mention that some of its rivals, like the Ford Focus ST and the Mini Cooper S, offer better overall performance.
Automotive journalists agree that the 2014 Volkswagen GTI has a well-built interior that features premium materials. They add that the front seats are extremely supportive and comfortable and that there’s plenty of head- and legroom in both rows. The cargo area is large for an upscale small car, but some reviewers wish that the rear seats folded flat and that there were more storage spaces around the cabin for small items. Some critics complain that the available navigation system has a small touch screen, and that it can be slow to respond to user inputs at times. The 2014 Volkswagen GTI comes standard with heated seats, an eight-speaker sound system, Bluetooth phone and music streaming, satellite radio, an auxiliary input jack and an iPod interface. Available features include a sunroof, leather seats and a touch-screen navigation system.
- "Based on its total package of performance, comfort and everyday convenience, the 2014 Volkswagen GTI remains one of our top picks for a sporty hatchback." -- Edmunds
- "If you love to drive, but you can't afford the price or cramped environment afforded by most performance cars, check out the 2014 VW Golf and GTI." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "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 (2013)
- "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)
Other Cars to Consider
The Ford Focus ST is the high-performance version of the Ford Focus, and test drivers say it has exceptional handling and a powerful turbocharged engine. The Focus ST is much more powerful than the GTI, and it has a lower starting price.
The Acura TSX has a higher starting price than the GTI, but reviewers love its balanced handling and powerful V6 engine option. Additionally, the TSX comes with more standard features than most cars in the class.
Details: 2014 Volkswagen GTI
The 2014 Volkswagen GTI is a four-door, front-wheel drive hatchback that seats five. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a manual transmission are standard and an automated manual transmission is optional. The GTI is available in Wolfsburg Edition (base) and Driver’s Edition trims, and hasn’t been fully redesigned since the 2010 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2010 through 2014 model years.
Next Steps: Volkswagen GTI
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