The Mark VI Volkswagen GTI was released in 2010, and the car upped the ante for Volkswagen’s entry into the hot hatchback class. Sure, cars like the Subaru WRX and the Mazdaspeed 3 were “faster,” but the GTI brought a level of sophistication with it that the others lacked. If going fast is your only concern, then either the Subie or the Mazda are better choices; if you live in the real world, where occasional track days are punctuated with daily commuting, then the GTI really starts to shine.
Sure, I’m biased because I now own one, but it was the car’s refinement that really made me pay attention. The interior, even on base models, feels more Audi than VW, and even bone stock the car’s performance is better than what you may expect. Sure, there are weak points, like the craptastic all-season tires or heavier-than-the-center-of-the-earth stock Detroit wheels, but there are plenty of aftermarket suppliers who can solve those problems.
With an APR Stage 1 tune, my car now puts out around 254 horsepower and just over 300 lb-ft of torque. The biggest problem I have is traction, especially in first and second gear. On wet roads, you’ll get wheelspin in third gear, too, but better tires will solve that issue. I could be more relaxed on the throttle, too, but that’s just crazy talk.
Matt was impressed with the GTI, and you will be, too, if you drive one. As for that “Mazdaspeed3 is faster” argument, Matt turned a slightly better lap time (2/10 of a second) in the GTI than in the Mazdaspeed. I wouldn’t call the GTI faster, but I would say it’s more of a horse race than specs on paper would lead you to believe.
Source: You Tube