San Francisco--We"ve been very, really patient, wait for this 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI. The seventh-generation GTI debuted together a concept, tantalizingly close to production, in September 2012 in ~ the Paris motor Show. Volkswagen complied with up with the manufacturing version the adhering to March, at the 2013 Geneva engine Show, and our european editor, Georg Kacher, drove the in France that exact same month. A pair of month later, likewise in France, west shore editor Michael Jordan had actually a revolve behind the wheel. Both gentlemen appreciated themselves tremendously, however the rest of united state at Automobile Magazine had to bide ours time, as with you.

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Now, only weeks prior to the 2015 Golf GTI ultimately reaches U.S. Showrooms, we"re acquiring our very first opportunity, albeit a short one, to drive the auto on American soil. Across the bay from mountain Francisco, in Richmond, Volkswagen has actually a fleet of Golfs and Golf GTIs in ~ Craneway Pavilion, a dramatic, Albert Kahn-designed, prewar complicated that was as soon as a Ford Motor agency assembly factory, of all things.


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At first glance, you"ll barely understand that the 2015 VW GTI is a brand-new car. Look an ext carefully, though, and also you"ll realize that this Mk7 edition is indeed various from its predecessor. Check out the crisper human body lines; the geometrically shame five-spoke wheels; the new front fender badges; and the new front-end style with LED fog lights collection into prominent horizontal strakes bordering a mesh reduced grille. The horizontal, body-color line that offered to stretch between the headlights currently goes all the means through the headlights, separating them native the revolve signals. Still, when the 2015 GTI has actually lots of various details compared with the outgoing 2014 GTI, they"re all pretty subtle to the casual observer.


I"m handed the crucial to a Tornado Red 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S with hands-on transmission and the power Pack. I open the door to check out a familiar but freshened inner with the famous plaid towel seats. (Leather is optional.) They space comfortable and supportive, yet not aggressively bolstered. As soon as you resolve in, you master the flat-bottomed steering wheel, which has a pickled in salt that"s just the appropriate thickness. Left foot to the floor, ideal foot top top the brake, ideal index finger access time the start switch that"s located near the gearshifter, and I hear the secure thrum that the EA288 2.0-liter turbocharged and also direct-injected four-cylinder engine. With 210 hp and also 258 lb-ft of torque, it"s happen 10 more hp and secondary 51 lb-ft come the party as contrasted with the Mk6"s engine.


A soft clutch take-up segues perfectly to the direct movement of the gas pedal, and I"m effortlessly relocating the gearshifter through the first couple of gears as I head come the 580 freeway. I hit the "mode" button and also select sport setups for the steering and also engine. Before long, I"m increase on san Pablo Dam Road, a great, fast, hilly big that complies with the mountain Pablo Reservoir. The razor-sharp steering, the torquey engine, and also the an excellent visibility all come into play here.


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I have lots of miles in the GTI Mk5 and Mk6, and this Mk7 feels choose an old friend. The sensations of smoothness, refinement, precision, and obtainable power that defined those last 2 generations are also more carefully concentrated in the 2015 GTI. The net effect is the the GTI is merely really easy to drive fast and also to drive well. Her palms don"t gain sweaty.


San Pablo Dam roadway leads me to Wildcat Canyon Road, i beg your pardon winds v Tilton Park, over Berkeley. This is among those tight, twisty, hilly, narrow roads dappled v California sunshine peeking with the tree canopy, that us Midwesterners fantasize about. Time to roll down the windows, the better to listen the exhaust and the optional, eighteen-inch summer rubber on the pavement. The GTI"s steering is pretty much perfect here. I"m rowing between 2nd and third gears. Ns don"t have actually this road to myself, though, for this reason I"m accelerating hard and also then braking quickly, for obstacles as varied as a police vehicle that"s to run a rate trap; bicyclists; and, think it or not, a wild turkey that crosses the road in prior of me.


The GTI is unfazed. A little dab that the brake pedal, very little pitch or dive, and the auto rotates fluidly through an additional corner. The ride remains supple, even in part bumpy, off-camber turns. Together you toss the GTI into corners, you conveniently feel the extr torque that"s gift directed come the external wheels by the limited-slip diff.


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Down toward Berkeley ns go, and also suddenly I"m on stadium Rim Way, looking right into the vast bowl of the Cal Berkeley football stadium. Ns pull end to the curb because that a minute, and a couple of students walking by eye the GTI. I nearly roll down the window to say, "Guys, once you graduate, you should buy this car."


Soon I"m on the 580 west heading back to Richmond. The GTI is quiet in ~ 60 mph in sixth gear. All of sudden the freeway gets crowded, but it"s no a problem. Transition down to 3rd gear, and there"s every sorts of strength to slip into holes in traffic. In 4th gear, in ~ 75 mph, the turbo 4 is running at 3500 rpm, well brief of the 6000-rpm redline. There"s a little wind noise end the A pillars but, still, this is a quiet and refined bag rocket, also suited because that a freeway road pilgrimage as because that a romp ~ above Wildcat Canyon Road.


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How much do we love the Volkswagen GTI here at Automobile Magazine? In 2007, we named the fifth-generation auto our automobile of the Year, celebrating its mix of athleticism, practicality, and performance, which we felt was the closest thing to the soul of the original, 1983 GTI. We complied with that up in 2010 with yet one more Automobile that the Year award for the sixth-generation model, i m sorry honestly wasn"t that different but was still able to record our hearts.

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The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI is yet one more evolution that the GTI formula, but that"s absolutely no bad thing. It"s lighter, bigger, and much more powerful and efficient 보다 its predecessor yet hardly an ext expensive, and also Volkswagen that America secured all the goodies indigenous Germany that American enthusiasm want and deserve, including optional adaptive damping, a premium Fender stereo, and the performance Pack. VW has made sure there"s a GTI because that every buyer, with some ten iterations spread throughout three trim levels: GTI S, GTI SE, and GTI Autobahn. Two-door and also four-door models return, and you still have actually your selection of six-speed manual gearbox or VW"s superb six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic. The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI to be worth the wait.


Base Price: $25,815Price together Tested: $28,305Engine: 2.0-liter turbo I-4Power: 220 hpTorque: 258 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manualDrive: Front-wheelCargo volume (seats up/down): 22.8/52.7 cubic feetFuel Economy: 25/34 mpg (city/highway)