Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2016 Volkswagen GTI OVERVIEW
Over the course of its quarter-century existence, the GTI has managed the impressive feat of being both a joy to drive and incredibly practical. For the practical, the GTI offers the roomy versatility of a Golf hatchback paired with a fuel-efficient engine -- an engine that also happens to be turbocharged, and able to deliver a sporty, dynamic ride that keeps fun-loving drivers coming back for more.
What's New for 2016
After a ground-up redesign for 2015, changes to the GTI in 2016 are minor. Updates include the addition of a rearview camera standard on all models and the new MIB II infotainment system. The Driver Assistant package has also been updated with a number of new technologies.
Choosing Your Volkswagen GTI
All GTIs come with the same engine, making that choice very easy. Where you get to start making decisions is in choosing manual vs. automatic, two-door vs. four-door, and whether you want to add the Performance Package or not.
The sole engine is a 2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged affair that produces 210 horsepower. It is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, which delivers an estimated 25 mpg city/34 mpg highway. Optional is a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that delivers the same mileage estimates.
Selecting the Performance Package bumps you to 220-horsepower while also adding larger front and rear brakes, and a limited-slip differential.
Upgrading to the Performance Package makes for a tighter, peppier driving experience, and at an additional $1,500 is well worth the cost of admission. In fact, all of the available optional packages are reasonably priced for the features they include.
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