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

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Now, mere weeks prior to the 2015 Golf GTI finally reaches U.S. Showrooms, we"re acquiring our very first opportunity, albeit a short one, to journey the automobile on American soil. Throughout the just from san Francisco, in Richmond, Volkswagen has a fleet of Golfs and Golf GTIs in ~ Craneway Pavilion, a dramatic, Albert Kahn-designed, prewar facility that was once a Ford Motor firm assembly factory, of all things.


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At first glance, you"ll barely recognize 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 that predecessor. View the crisper body lines; the geometrically shame five-spoke wheels; the new front fender badges; and the brand-new front-end design with LED fog lights set into influential horizontal strakes neighboring a mesh lower grille. The horizontal, body-color line that supplied to stretch in between the headlights now goes all the way through the headlights, separating them from the revolve signals. Still, when the 2015 GTI has actually lots of different details compared with the outgoing 2014 GTI, they"re all pretty ethereal to the casual observer.


I"m handed the crucial to a Tornado Red 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S with hands-on transmission and also the power Pack. I open the door to see a familiar yet freshened inner with the famed plaid towel seats. (Leather is optional.) They room comfortable and supportive, however not aggressively bolstered. When you resolve in, you grasp the flat-bottomed steering wheel, which has a pickled in salt that"s simply the right thickness. Left foot come the floor, right foot on the brake, ideal index finger access time the start button that"s located near the gearshifter, and also I hear the stable thrum that the EA288 2.0-liter turbocharged and also direct-injected four-cylinder engine. V 210 hp and 258 lb-ft that torque, it"s pass 10 more hp and an additional 51 lb-ft come the party as contrasted with the Mk6"s engine.


A soft clutch take-up segues perfect to the straight movement the the gas pedal, and I"m effortlessly moving the gearshifter with the first couple of gears together I head come the 580 freeway. Ns hit the "mode" button and also select sport setups for the steering and engine. Prior to long, I"m up on san Pablo Dam Road, a great, fast, hilly big that adheres to the mountain Pablo Reservoir. The razor-sharp steering, the torquey engine, and also the good visibility all come right into play here.


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I have lots of miles in the GTI Mk5 and Mk6, and also this Mk7 feels choose an old friend. The sensations of smoothness, refinement, precision, and easily accessible power that characterized those last two generations are even more finely concentrated in the 2015 GTI. The net impact is that the GTI is merely really simple to journey fast and also to drive well. Her palms don"t obtain sweaty.


San Pablo Dam roadway leads me to Wildcat Canyon Road, i beg your pardon winds v Tilton Park, above Berkeley. This is one of those tight, twisty, hilly, narrow roadways dappled through California sunshine peeking with the tree canopy, that us Midwesterners fantasize about. Time come roll down the windows, the better to hear the exhaust and the optional, eighteen-inch summer rubber ~ above the pavement. The GTI"s steering is pretty lot perfect here. I"m rowing between second and 3rd gears. Ns don"t have actually this road to myself, though, therefore I"m increasing hard and also then braking quickly, because that obstacles as varied as a police vehicle that"s to run a rate trap; bicyclists; and, believe it or not, a wild turkey that crosses the roadway in former of me.


The GTI is unfazed. A little dab that the brake pedal, very tiny pitch or dive, and the vehicle rotates fluidly through one more corner. The ride continues to be supple, even in some bumpy, off-camber turns. Together you toss the GTI into corners, you readily feel the additional torque that"s being directed come the exterior wheels through the limited-slip diff.


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Down towards Berkeley i go, and also suddenly I"m on stadium Rim Way, looking into the substantial bowl the the Cal Berkeley football stadium. I pull over to the curb because that a minute, and a couple of students wade by eye the GTI. I practically roll down the home window to say, "Guys, as soon as you graduate, you need to buy this car."


Soon I"m top top the 580 west heading ago to Richmond. The GTI is quiet at 60 mph in 6th gear. Suddenly the freeway gets crowded, however it"s no a problem. Shift down to 3rd gear, and there"s all sorts of power to slip right into holes in traffic. In 4th gear, in ~ 75 mph, the turbo four is running at 3500 rpm, well brief of the 6000-rpm redline. There"s a tiny wind noise end the A pillars but, still, this is a quiet and refined pocket rocket, as well suited because that a freeway road trip as for a romp top top Wildcat Canyon Road.


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How much do us love the Volkswagen GTI here at Automobile Magazine? In 2007, we named the fifth-generation vehicle our car of the Year, celebrating its blend of athleticism, practicality, and also performance, which we felt to be the closest thing to the spirit of the original, 1983 GTI. We complied with that increase in 2010 with yet one more Automobile the the Year award for the sixth-generation model, which honestly wasn"t the different however was still able to capture our hearts.

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The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI is yet one more evolution the the GTI formula, but that"s definitely no bad thing. It"s lighter, bigger, and an ext powerful and efficient 보다 its predecessor yet hardly more expensive, and also Volkswagen that America secured all the goodies indigenous Germany that American enthusiasts want and also deserve, including optional adaptive damping, a premium Fender stereo, and the power Pack. VW has actually made certain there"s a GTI for every buyer, v some ten iterations spread across three trim levels: GTI S, GTI SE, and GTI Autobahn. Two-door and four-door models return, and you still have actually your selection of six-speed hand-operated 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 as Tested: $28,305Engine: 2.0-liter turbo I-4Power: 220 hpTorque: 258 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manualDrive: Front-wheelCargo capacity (seats up/down): 22.8/52.7 cubic feetFuel Economy: 25/34 mpg (city/highway)


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