2015 Volkswagen GTI – Refining the Icon [First Impression]

2015 volkswagen gti vw review mk7

How do you improve the car that started the “hot hatch” segment more than 30 years ago?  This was the task of the all-new seventh generation 2015 Volkswagen GTI.  The answer is to improve every facet of the car, while also retaining the heart and soul of the GTI.

Mk7 GTI ushers the new modular MQB chassis architecture to the United States.  This makes the car a little larger and also more affordable.  Volkswagen’s new factory in Mexico produces the GTI and all other seventh generation Golf variants for the North American market.  This brings the starting price of the 2015 Volkswagen GTI two-door S trim model with the 6-speed manual transmission to $24,395 (without the $820 destination charge).  It’s not a stripper model either.  It includes a very long list of standard features: 18-inch alloy wheels, ESC Sport, LED fog lights, touch-screen infotainment system, and on, and on.  The four-door starts at $24,995 before the destination charge.

Der neue Volkswagen Golf GTI

The latest generation of VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder now kicks out 210 horsepower @ 4,500 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm.  The motor revs quickly under acceleration and torque steer is virtually eliminated.  The throws of the 6-speed manual are quick and precise and the steering has good weight and road feel.  There are two modes: Normal and Sport.  You can sense the increased weight of the steering in the Sport mode.  Plainly, the Mk7 lets you attack the corners and provides as much fun as ever before.  The heart and soul of the icon are preserved.

If the base car is not quiet enough, the $1,495 Performance Package with torque-sensing limited-slip differential, larger brakes with GTI logo on front calipers, and 10 extra horses.  The $800 DCC adaptive damping system is another affordable item that goes together with the Performance Pack line peanut butter and jelly.

My first impression of the Mk7 GTI is very positive and I cannot wait for more seat time.

The new first drive video of the US-spec 2015 Mk7 GTI is coming very soon.  In the meantime, enjoy this fun and informative TFLcar video of the Euro-spec car.