in 2011 Upscale Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $15,979 - $18,593
Original MSRP: $23,695 - $30,925
MPG: 21 City / 31 Hwy
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Used Car: 2011 Volkswagen GTI Review

Review Last Updated: 7/24/12

With delightful driving dynamics, a well-constructed interior and excellent safety scores, the 2011 Volkswagen GTI zooms past many of its competitors.

With the 2011 Volkswagen GTI, you can have a small car that’s fun to drive, well-equipped and practical. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine delivers good performance. “Output from the 2.0-liter turbo engine is smooth and linear, and that power is more manageable in the real world than that of more feisty rivals," said Edmunds. Test drivers also praised the GTI’s handling, saying its precision and agility will please driving enthusiasts. The GTI gets up to 24/33 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class.

Paired with the GTI’s likeable driving character is a spacious interior. When it was new, reviewers applauded the GTI for its comfortable front and rear seats and good cargo space. Some also said the cabin is so well-made that it wouldn’t be out of place in a car that was more expensive than the GTI. Standard interior features on the GTI include an eight-speaker stereo, USB port, Bluetooth and satellite radio. Higher trims and option packages add things like a power sunroof, leather seats, navigation and an upgraded stereo.

While the GTI offers performance and interior quality that are tough to beat, its reliability score is a bit below-average. Still, the GTI gets excellent safety scores, and makes a great choice if you need a fast, refined hatchback.

See the full 2011 Volkswagen GTI specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you want even better performance, the 2011 BMW 1-Series delivers. The 1-Series offers the choice of two engines, which are powerful, and reviewers enjoyed its composed and athletic driving dynamics. Because it’s only available as a coupe or convertible, the 1-Series doesn’t have as much passenger room or cargo space as the GTI, but it has a high-quality interior and comfortable front seats.

The 2011 Audi A3 has a well-crafted interior, as well as fun driving dynamics and an available diesel engine that gets great fuel economy. The A3 doesn’t have the most space in the back seat, but its hatchback design offers good cargo space.

Compare the GTI to the 1-Series and A3 »

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