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in Upscale Small Cars

MSRP: $24,395 - $30,695
Invoice: $23,419 - $29,467
MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy
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Volkswagen GTI Interior

Reviewers say the redesigned 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI’s cabin surpasses rivals’ with its sleek, quiet interior, high-quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. However, a few critics recommend springing for the available sunroof, saying the cabin can feel dark inside. Some reviewers are impressed with the amount of space in the cabin, saying that there’s enough head- and legroom to accommodate four tall adults, while others say the rear seats could use more legroom. Test drivers find that the graphics on the standard infotainment system are lackluster, but say it’s easy to use, as are most of the major dashboard controls.

  • "The interior is similarly restrained, with upright and simple square forms and sensible ergonomics. It gets the expected GTI telltales, including standard plaid seats and the dimpled shift knob, here presented as a golf trophy with the ball resting atop some sort of split tee. The mix and fit of the materials are exemplary." -- Car and Driver
  • "The cabin is quiet, comfortable, and better finished than even some more-expensive German offerings." -- Motor Trend
  • "We'd stop just short of calling the cabin ‘luxurious’ or even ‘premium,’ but it still has hints of the finer things, including a plethora of soft-touch plastics and a high level of sound dampening which contributes to a surprisingly quiet ride." -- Autoblog
  • "The GTI's interior, from a quality perspective, isn't much higher than that of the Golf. That's no bad thing, since it shames plenty of cars costing thousands more. The design is clean, the materials are solid, and everything falls to hand right where you'd expect. It's so not an economy car." -- Jalopnik
  • “Things are also somewhat dark and severe inside, especially in cars without the plaid upholstery, although oversized windows do provide a bit of a respite from the darkness within. All in all, those are relatively minor complaints for an interior that noticeably eclipse rivals like the Ford Focus ST and Subaru WRX in terms of material quality and ergonomics." -- Left Lane News

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Seating

The GTI seats five and comes with cloth sport seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats. Available features include leather seats and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The front seats are supportive, reviewers say, with more shoulder room than what the outgoing model has. Some critics write that the 2015 GTI has a roomy cabin and they are amazed at the amount of back-seat space for tall passengers. Others, however, wish for a bit more rear-seat legroom.

  • "We were astounded by the 4-door Mk6's ability to accommodate four 6-footers in its compact cabin, and the Mk7 can do the same." -- AutoTrader
  • "This GTI seems bigger inside with a lot more shoulder space for front passengers and maybe a class higher than its predecessor in overall finish. Its seats are lower (perhaps sportier) and most drivers will see less of the hood." -- AutoWeek
  • "The new seats are the best to ever grace a Golf -- I am including Golf Rs, Anniversary editions, and even Trophies for you old-schoolers out there." -- Motor Trend
  • "Legroom in the back still isn't great, especially if the front seats are pushed rearwards a bit. Fitting five adults inside is a stretch, but it's not out of the question, particularly for shorter runs, and especially if the car in question is the five-door model." -- Autoblog

Interior Features

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI comes standard with Bluetooth, a touch-screen infotainment system, satellite radio and an iPod adapter. Available features include a sunroof, proximity key, push-button start, a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a Fender audio system, navigation, forward collision warning and rear parking sensors. 

Some reviewers think the GTI’s standard infotainment system features unimpressive graphics and has an extremely basic layout compared to the systems found in rival cars. However, they’re impressed that it’s relatively simple to operate, and they like that the system senses when your finger approaches the touch screen and reconfigures the display for ease of use.

See 2015 Volkswagen GTI specs »                                       

  • "The display also has a proximity sensor function that senses when a hand is nearby and automatically switches its display to what VW describes as ‘a more finger-friendly layout.’ How cool is that?" -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The GTI includes a new 5.8-inch touchscreen, which houses its new infotainment system. In terms of its look and feel, it's among the least-remarkable systems we've tested, employing plain graphics and a thoroughly uninspired black background. But the system does as it's asked, and it does so with minimal lag and frustration. Considering the bulk of maddeningly sophisticated systems we've tested in the recent past, we don't actually mind this sort of functional simplicity." -- Autoblog
  • "Though understated, the dashboard is furnished in upscale materials, and all the important controls fall readily at hand." -- Left Lane News

Cargo

The 2015 Volkswagen GTI has 22.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down, which is an excellent amount for a hatchback. The all-new GTI also has more cargo space than the 2014 model, and test drivers say its cargo opening is broad and set low for easy loading of items.

  • "The trunk opening is wide and low cut, meaning it will be easy to fill the giant hatch with all the stuff, which is why you wanted a hatch to begin with, right?" -- Motor Trend
  • "A welcome surprise, given the weight loss, is that cargo capacity has actually expanded due to incrementally increased exterior dimensions and better packaging." -- Left Lane News
Review Last Updated: 7/15/14

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