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The Swiss Army knife of sporty cars

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/26/2016 GTIdriver

I'm a 50 something male who has owned just about every make of car over the last 35 years. While I've always liked VW cars, this is the first one I've owned. I was considering a Passat, but passed because found it to be too dull. I wanted car that had enough room to haul two teenagers, but was also small enough to be convenient in the city. It had to be comfortable enough for 200 mile round trips which I do periodically. I looked at the a diverse crop of vehicles including a standard Golf, a Kia Soul, a Jeep Renegade, a slightly used Audi A3 and a GTI. After driving all of them the GTI was of course the most fun and my 14 year old son begged me to buy it. So when VW started deeply discounting the GTI in December, I decided to buy one. If you are buying a car for simple transportation to work, the regular Golf is a better choice. It's rides softer and is cheaper. That being said, in its category of powerful sporty cars the GTI is probably the most livable, practical of the bunch. The interior is quiet on the highway, yet still has a bit of a growl when you hit the pedal. I prefer a softer ride, but that was the tradeoff I was willing to make for the the excellent handling, power and 18 inch wheels. The interior quality and functionality are remarkable for this price point. I'm a big fan of the clean, crisp, sporty styling both inside and out. It's distinctive without being garish or cartoonish. At 50 I don't feel silly driving the GTI like I might in some other sporty cars that seem geared toward teenagers. It's just about the perfect combination of fun and practicality. It is the Swiss Army knife of cars. In 6000 miles I have not had one thing go wrong or need to be addressed by the dealer. The only part of the car that I'm not 100% keen on is the DSG transmission. It can be a bit jerky with some low speed drivetrain bucking if you're not smooth with the pedal, similar to a manual transmission. The regular Golf with torque converter transmission smooths out these sensations, but also dulls the responsiveness.

Average Rating : 5

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