The newest iteration of Volkswagen’s hot hatch has garnered many positive words from an assortment of publications. This time, though, it has snatched a first place finish being awarded Yahoo Autos Car of the Year. Being called “car of the year” is quite a feat. So how did the turbocharged FWD hatch manage this?
Vehicles were evaluated on five categories: Performance, efficiency, value, design and engineering. Yahoo Autos also took into account how well these five categories meshed together to crown their top dog. The new 2015 Golf GTI is built on Volkswagen’s new MQB chassis, and this time around the Golf GTI has grown longer, although lower and lighter. This generation sheds 80-pounds overall. Yahoo Autos points out the Golf GTI also benefits from the extra inches of room inside, offering more cargo space than another favorite compact hatch, the Mazda 3.
Taking things outside, the Y! Autos staff calls the 2015 Golf GTI the sleekest looking VW sold on this side of the Atlantic, and praises its Audi level of refinement on the inside. Power is derived from the traditional 2-liter turbocharged four banger, boosted up to 210-horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and may be paired to either a six-speed manual or a dual clutch automatic with launch control.
But, Y! Autos wasn’t delivered a basic 2015 Golf GTI. They were graced with the Volkswagen Performance Pack. The Performance Pack bumps the horsepower figure up ten ponies, and adds in an extremely slick limited-slip differential, titled VAQ. In the right moment, VAQ can send the engine’s entire grunt to one wheel, and add power when coming out of a turn to nearly eliminate understeer.
The VAQ allowed the Golf GTI to run bumper-to-bumper with the all new 2015 Ford Mustang, and just barely trailed the BMW M235i. Y! Autos also proclaimed it more comfy than the handful of midsize sedans invited to the competition, and touts its ability to leave a Subaru WRX staring at the GTI’s taillights.
The Golf GTI takes the cake with the value factor too. Anyone can step into the hot hatch at just $24,000, with the performance pack only upping the grand total $1,495.
Yahoo Autos sums it up best, crowing Germany’s sporty hot hatch the winner saying: “The GTI might seem like a dachshund winning Best in Show. The previous generations of the 40-year-old hot hatchback brand have built a fervent but limited fan base in the United States. A lot of people who were attracted to the GTI over the years would walk away because it was too small, too expensive or too European for them, this 2015 edition should make them reconsider.”