2008 Volkswagen GTI Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
June 21, 2007

(2007 model shown)


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Volkswagen’s hot GTI hatch returns for the 2008 model year — and the tuner influence deepens as VW drops the ride height about two-thirds of an inch on the two-door and four-door models.


The GTI’s 2.0 liter, 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine works through either a standard six-speed manual transmission or a Direct Shift six-speed gearbox, a type of manual where the driver controls gear changes but the clutchwork is handled automatically.


All GTIs 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. The standard safety equipment package includes anti-whiplash head restraints, a tire pressure monitoring system, front-side and curtain airbags, as well as electronic stability control.


Other changes for 2008 include standard Sirius satellite radio, the deletion of automatic climate control, and new trim level names: GTI and GTI Autobahn.


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