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2016 Volkswagen GTI Overview

Andre Query
Automotive Editor - September 28, 2015

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.


The entry-level trim comes with 18-inch wheels, driving mode selection, touchscreen sound system, Bluetooth and USB compatibility, rearview camera, heated front seats, multi-function steering wheel, VW CarNet, LED foglights, and Clark Plaid cloth seating surfaces. Optional is a Lighting package, which adds Bi-Xenon headlights and the Adaptive Front-lighting System.


Selecting the SE adds to the S with a panoramic sunroof, leather seats, Fender premium audio system, keyless entry with push-button start, rain-sensing wipers, and ambient lighting. Options include the same Lighting package available on the S, and a Driver Assistance package that includes forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, park assist, parking pilot, and adaptive cruise control.


Autobahn is the top-trim and only available as a four-door. It builds on the SE with touchscreen navigation, dual-zone climate control, and 12-way power driver’s seat. Options mirror the SE.

CarsDirect Tip

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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