2012 Volkswagen GTI

The 2012 Volkswagen GTI is a top ranked high-performance, luxury compact offered as a 2-door or 4-door hatchback. The GTI receives attention because of its overall fun demeanor, conservative styling, and attention to detail.

This hatchback is now available with an optional Autobahn package, focusing on interior upgrades.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Hatchback 2Dr Base Price: $23,995.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 gallons (55l) MPG: 21 city / 31 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 165.9 in. (421.3 cm) Wheel Base: 101.5 in. (257.8 cm)
Height: 57.8 in. (146.8 cm) Width: 70 in. (177.8 cm)
Curb Weight: 3034 lbs (1376 kg) Ground Clearance: 5.0 in. (12.7 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 15.2 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 2.0L Inline-4 Turbo DOHC Compression Ratio: 9.6: 1
Horsepower: 200 HP Max RPM: 5100 RPM
Torque: 207 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Manual
Available Trims & Engine
Option:2DR w/ Conv & Sunroof MSRP: $26,375; MPG: 21 city / 31 hwy
Option:2DR w/ Sunroof & Nav MSRP: $27,945; MPG: 21 city / 31 hwy
Option:2DR Autobahn MSRP: $29,995; MPG: 21 city / 31 hwy
Option:4DR MSRP: $24,595; MPG: 21 city / 31 hwy
Option:4DR w/ Conv & Sunroof MSRP: $26,975; MPG: 21 city / 31 hwy
Option:4DR w/ Sunroof & Nav MSRP: $28,545; MPG: 21 city / 31 hwy
Option:4DR Autobahn MSRP: $30,595; MPG: 21 city / 31 hwy

Engine & Performance

Although the 2012 VW GTI is not considered as the most nimble or fastest car in its class, it offers good handling, power, and smooth on-road performance; making it a great option for regular commuter usage.

The GTI is fitted with a 2.0L turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine that makes 200 hp and 207 lbs-ft of torque. This engine comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox or with the optional 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual (DSG) with manual shifter. A DSG- GTI gets 24/33 mpg city/highway, while the manual gets 21/31 mpg city/highway. This car's handling receives a lot of praise for being responsive and precise.

Drivers will appreciate the electronic limited slip control-system that helps in control wheel spin at sharp turns.

Exterior

The GTI is based on the Golf and comes with well executed styling that makes it sleek and angular. The VW GTI is available in 2 main trim levels: the base and the Autobahn. The base models come with standard features that include: rear roof spoiler, heated outside mirrors, sport suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels and fog lights.

Optional features for this trim are: sunroof, LED running lights and adaptive xenon headlamps. Stepping to the top-of the-range Autobahn, you will get all optional features in the base model, different 18-inch wheels as well as keyless entry.

Interior

The 2012 GTI clearly shows Volkswagen's priority for comfort and style by offering a well thought out cabin. Driver and front passenger seats are among the best in its class, with fabric featuring a plaid pattern that pays tribute to VW fabric design from previous years.

All seats offer enough leg and head-room even for tall people regardless whether the car has the optional sunroof. Base trim comes with heated front seats, while higher trims get a power driver-seat. Standard interior features include: satellite radio, iPod connectivity, 8-speaker stereo, Bluetooth and auxiliary input jack.

Optional features include Dynaudio premium sound system, navigation system, touch-screen Premium VIII sound system and push-start button. Both 2-door and 4-door models come with a cargo space of 15.2 cubic ft, which can be increased by to 46 cubic ft by folding the rear sears.

Safety & Reliability

The safety of the occupants has not been compromised in the 2012 GTI, especially due to the inclusion of many standard safety features. These features include Driver and front passenger airbags, front seat side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags, rear head airbags, brake assist, electronic stability control, child safety locks, integrated turn signal mirrors, emergency trunk release, 4-wheel ABS and traction control.

All new GTIs are backed with a limited warranty lasting for 3 years or 36,000 miles, as well as an engine warranty for the first 5 years or 60,000 miles. Rust damages are covered by a warranty lasting for 12 years. Owners will also enjoy a free scheduled maintenance and 24-hour road assistance during the first 3 years or 36,000 miles.

Pros

  • Upscale cabin and comfortable seats
  • Good balance of sport and everyday drivability
  • Top-notch fuel economy
  • Hatchback versatility

Cons

  • Stereo is low when connected to an iPod
  • Confusing climate control
  • Slower than competition

If you are shopping for an upscale small car, you better not look any further. The 2012 Volkswagen GTI is the car that will not only provide you with serious driving-enthusiast appeal, but also spacious interior and premium compact build quality.

The 5-seater will face competition from Subaru Impreza WRX (MSRP $25,795; 19 city / 25 hwy), the Mini Cooper S (MSRP $24,600; 27 city / 35 hwy), the Honda Civic Coupe (MSRP $22,355; 22 city / 31 hwy), and the Mazdaspeed3 (MSRP $24,200; 18 city / 25 hwy).

Overall Rating
76 out of 100

What others say:

“Unique styling; powerful and efficient turbo engine; high-class interior; capable handling and comfortable ride; well-equipped; more space than kitschy competitors…Inefficient and unrefined base engine; less space than more sensible competitors.” Edmunds

“It isn't the fastest or flashiest sporty hatchback around, but the 2012 Volkswagen GTI may well be the most balanced, carrying forward its legacy into the 21st century.”Car Connection

“GTI is among the best-handling front-wheel-drive cars. It has outstanding grip in fast turns with quick, precise steering. The brakes deliver worry-free stops, though one test example suffered from a touchy pedal.”Consumer Guide

“The GTI is one of the best performing and most practical choices among affordable sporty cars. It is agile and quick, with a gutsy, turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that sounds good.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“…VW's GTI receives a new variant - GTI with Convenience and Sunroof - which groups together some of the most popular stand-alone options.”KBB