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Retro-inspired touches add to the appeal of this sporty hatch that’s a blast to drive

  • An exceptional value with a starting MSRP of just $25,095
  • Two final-year special trims; Wolfsburg Edition and Driver’s Edition
  • Ranked most appealing Compact Sports Car for the segment by JD Power and Associates

Herndon, VA  –  Nearly 30 years after it first appeared in America, the Volkswagen GTI continues to set the standard in 'hot hatch' driving excitement. The award-winning formula is thrilling enthusiasts today as it was in the early 1980s; an exciting, dynamic driving experience coupled with multi-purpose hatchback versatility at an affordable price.

gti1cIt's no doubt the reason why Car and Driver included the GTI as one of its 2013 “10 Best” saying it “upends the underachiever's excuse that you can't please all of the ­people all of the time.”

It's hard to imagine then that the original Golf GTI was planned as a limited series of just 5000 cars. Fast forward 35 years and five generations of GTI later, about two million have been sold worldwide.

Culminating the final year of production for this sixth-generation GTI, the 2014 model is offered in two trims, the well-equipped Wolfsburg Edition and fully loaded Driver’s Edition. The cars are offered only in four-door form, powered by an advanced 2.0-liter 16-valve turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® four-cylinder engine.


For three decades, the GTI has defined the mold for the classic shape of the sporting hatchback. Clean, minimalist lines mixed with sharp, intricate detailing produce a style that always remains sleek and contemporary. See an early GTI on the street today and it still looks fresh and modern.

And the design formula continues with the 2014 GTI—a long wheelbase with short overhangs and a wide track to give that 'planted', road-hugging look. With this sixth-generation GTI, the aggressive front-end features a striking black honeycomb grille with a simple GTI badge on the passenger side to reinforce the model's identity. Distinctive red stripes outline the grille which flows into the dramatic, angled teardrop headlight housings.

The GTI Driver’s Edition features Bi-Xenon headlights with bright-white LED daytime running lights and the Adaptive Front-lighting System. Defining the GTI's front-end design is a large, full-width honeycomb fascia with twin air intakes below the bumper, flanked by twin, vertical halogen fog lights.

The car's streamlined profile continues toward the rear, with a subtle pair of black side skirts running partially along the GTI's lower edge. To heighten the GTI's hunkered-down stance, both 2014 trims feature flared wheel arches covering distinctive, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels shod with low-profile, all-season performance tires.

At the rear, horizontal taillights are integrated into the quarter panels and hatch. In addition, smoked red brake lenses are underlined by clear reverse and turn signal lenses. Blended into the bumper is a blacked-out diffuser with cut-outs for the chrome-tipped, split dual-exhaust. At the top of the rear hatch is a body-color spoiler which houses the third brake light.


It takes just a few seconds sitting behind the GTI's three-spoke, leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel to sense the exceptional quality and remarkable craftsmanship that goes into its cabin. High-quality, soft-touch plastics are integrated with tasteful aluminum and chrome highlights. Panel gaps are tightly controlled.

As you'd expect from a sporting hatchback, the GTI's front seats are heavily bolstered to help keep driver and front passenger supported during enthusiastic cornering as well as heatable for cold weather driving. And they come standard with eight-way manual adjustment as well as power recline for both the driver and passenger sides, adjustable lumbar support, and height-adjustable head restraints. Characteristic GTI cues run throughout the cabin: the Wolfsburg Edition receives the famous plaid cloth upholstery panels in the seats. Bold red stitching that's also featured on the headrests, center armrest, shift lever boot, and leather-wrapped steering wheel is a GTI cue, too. The Driver’s Edition takes it a step further with Titan black leather seating surfaces front and rear.

A performance car demands performance instrumentation and the GTI delivers, with its oversized tachometer and matching speedometer that has an integrated engine temperature and fuel gauge. Positioned between the black analog gauges is a multi-function onboard computer display that provides the driver with key information regarding fuel mileage, odometer, outside temperature and more.

Another sporting element is the GTI's race-inspired, brushed metal-finish pedals that include rubber inserts for extra grip. And on the left side of the footwall, there's an over-sized footrest for added support and comfort.

Practicality and versatility are also key attributes of the latest GTI. Its high-lifting tailgate provides easy ingress and egress to a load area that offers up to15 cubic feet of space. And with the folding rear seat back split 60/40—and featuring a pass-through—there's real flexibility for load carrying.

Engine and Transmissions

Under-hood, the 2014 GTI features the award-winning double-overhead-cam, 16-valve, 2.0-liter turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder gasoline engine, with direct fuel injection.

Producing 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque, the 2.0T offers up athletic performance. With all 207 lb-ft of torque delivered in a flat line from just 1700 rpm to 5000 rpm, the turbo engine is extremely flexible and responsive, making for rapid passing and fast, back-road progress. It's remarkably efficient too. The 2.0 TSI engine and six-speed manual transmission deliver an EPA estimated 31 mpg highway and 21 mpg in city driving.

For drivers who want the performance of a traditional manual transmission with the precision of an automatic, the GTI is available with an optional DSG® six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission on both models. The transmission's advanced dual-clutch system features one clutch that controls the “odd” gears plus reverse, while the other operates the 'even' gears. So, if the GTI is being driven in third gear, fourth is already selected but not yet activated. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages—all in the space of four-hundredths of a second.

The result is crisp, rapid-fire shifts without the loss of power that is typical with a traditional manual gearbox. This shaves a couple of tenths off the manual transmission car's 0 to 60 mph acceleration time and helps improves fuel economy: EPA estimates show 32 mpg on the highway and 24 in the city. 

Buyers who opt for the DSG transmission can switch between fully automatic and automated manual operation, which enables the driver to control every gearshift. The DSG transmission lets the driver shift up and down using either the finger-operated paddles mounted on the GTI's steering wheel, or by tapping the gearshift selector up or down when pushed to the right in manual mode.

As an added performance bonus with DSG, a Launch Control program can be engaged which, when the car is stopped, allows the engine to build revs before the first clutch is engaged, creating perfect acceleration with controlled wheel spin.


To deliver the kind of responsive, precise handling enthusiasts expect from a GTI, fully-independent, European-tuned suspension is employed at all four corners. At the front, damper struts with lower control arms and a stiff, tubular anti-roll bar help keep the front tires planted during hard cornering, reducing body roll and heightening steering feedback.

Keeping the car settled at the rear without sacrificing passenger comfort, a compact multilink independent layout features coil springs, telescopic dampers, and an anti-roll bar. The four-link layout features three lateral control arms—the spring mounting, the track rod and upper control arm, and a trailing link at each wheel. Suspension assemblies are attached by way of a rear-axle sub frame and, as at the front, rubber and metal mountings that are soft in torsion but stiff radially are used to help ensure the anti-roll bar responds immediately and suppresses body roll effectively.

On each side of the car at the rear, the spring and damper units are located separately, with the coil spring bearing directly on the trailing link and the damper attached to the wheel hub assembly. This enables the suspension geometry on the compression stroke to generate a toe steering effect that maintains neutral behavior, or some slight understeer, in all driving and load-carrying situations. It also helps ensure excellent driving stability on rough, uneven road surfaces.

To help ensure that power is applied properly in challenging conditions, the GTI features the XDS® cross differential (limited slip) system that electronically monitors input from various wheel sensors and, in the event of slippage, transfers extra torque to the front wheel with the most traction.

Steering and Brakes

The GTI's highly-praised electro-mechanical power steering system is able to vary the level of steering assist to suit the speed and driving situation. It is firm and direct when driving at highway speeds, requiring less effort at parking speeds. Other advantages of the system include its mild self-centering action, and its ability to help compensate for driving hazards like crosswinds and steep road cambers.

Bringing the GTI to a halt are 12.3-inch-diameter vented front discs and 10.7-inch-diameter solid rear disc brakes. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) are standard, along with electronic brake pressure distribution (EBS) and hydraulic brake assist (HBA).

Safety and Security

The 2014 GTI comes with an array of safety features, both active and passive. For driving security, enhancements include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), and Engine Braking Assist (EBA).

To help protect those inside, there are driver and passenger front and side thorax airbags together with Side Curtain Protection® head airbags in front and rear. The GTI also includes Volkswagen's advanced Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and even switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collision.

Scheduled Maintenance

Like all 2014 Volkswagen models, the GTI is covered under the no-charge Carefree Maintenance® Program. Scheduled maintenance is covered for two years or 24,000 miles, whichever occurs first.

Model Line-up

The hallmark of every GTI model is its exceptional level of standard equipment and attractive pricing.

GTI Wolfsburg Edition

Even the entry $25,095 GTI Wolfsburg Edition comes equipped with a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel; air conditioning; cruise control; a cooled, lockable glove box and 60/40-split folding rear seat with pass through; and Bluetooth® technology. The eight-speaker sound system has a single CD changer, AM/FM/SiriusXM® Satellite Radio, and an auxiliary input jack along with an iPod® Media Device Interface (MDI) adapter. The trim features Jacky Plaid cloth seats with red accent stitching.

GTI Driver’s Edition

With a starting MSRP of $29,695, the GTI Driver’s Edition model includes the Wolfsburg Edition features plus: Titan black leather seating surfaces front and rear; a power sunroof; and the RNS315 navigation system with a five-inch high-resolution display. The exterior is upgraded with Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights.


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