The 2010 Volkswagen GTI ups its game and is now on par with the tech-friendly competition, in terms of standard and optional features.
All 2010 GTI hatchbacks come equipped with 17-inch wheels and performance tires, high-capacity brakes, sport suspension, metal-trimmed pedals, and monochromatic exterior paint schemes-in addition to air conditioning, cruise control, and a rear defroster. Also standard are an eight-speaker, AM/FM/Sirius audio system with touchscreen controls, a six-disc in-dash changer, and USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
Some reviewers given an advance drive in Europe bemoan the GTI's lack of some standard features in Euro models: Motor Trend calls the omission of "adjustable electronic damper control, park assist, passenger airbag deactivation, rear fog lamps, automatic climate control, a self-dimming mirror, storage drawers under the front seats, headlamp washers or manually adjusted headlamps" as "telling," wondering why Americans "can't be trusted" to leave the European GTI's built-in bottle open "to pop open Miller High Lifes." They do offer that the "standard Tartan plaid interior" and its sport seats are a "perfectly bolstered and good-humored choice over the optional heated leather" versions. MSN Autos wants VW to change its mind on the Euro-only Dynamic Chassis Control, "which lets the driver choose among three modes (comfort, normal and sport) that change the shock absorbers' damping characteristics and add a bit of effort to the steering. The cars we drove at the launch had this system, and it works impeccably."
Among the options, Kelley Blue Book gives the nod to the GTI's available dual-clutch transmission and "rear seat side-impact airbags." For 2010, the GTI also offers a new 18-inch alloy wheel package, available with summer performance tires, and a navigation system with an SD slot, a 30GB hard drive for storage, and DVD playback. A premium 300-watt audio system is an option. An Autobahn option package adds sport seats, leather trim, and a power sunroof. Xenon headlamps are now optional, too. "Most of the Autobahn's features are also offered as stand-alone options," reports Edmunds.
Finally, shoppers will definitely want to keep an eye on the bottom-line price. While LeftLane News recommends you take the navigation system and Dynaudio sound packages along with Sirius Satellite Radio-"you're all set for a tuneage-equipped, ‘bahn-burning good time"-ConsumerGuide warns, "options can lift sticker prices to the top of the class." Even at the higher as-tested price, Automobile thinks you're still getting a relative bargain; with the 2010 VW GTI, "the newfound interior refinement and better looks are worth it, because this is undoubtedly the best GTI yet."