Sporty/performance car; Built in Germany
  • 2-door hatchback
  • 4-door hatchback
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $9,500 – $24,600*

2010 Volkswagen GTI

2010 Volkswagen GTI

2010 Volkswagen GTI interior

  • Acceleration
  • Cargo room
  • Instruments/controls
  • Steering/handling
  • Automated-manual transmission operation
  • Rear-seat entry/exit
  • Rear-seat room
  • Ride w/18-inch tires

GTI is a practical hatchback that offers near premium-compact build quality and serious driving-enthusiast appeal. The 2.0T engine is plenty powerful, but Volkswagen’s automated-manual transmission isn’t so enticing. Still, even with somewhat lofty prices–whether new or used–you get what you pay for in a GTI.


Volkswagen’s sporty GTI was redesigned for 2010, with freshened exterior and interior styling. This was the sixth generation of the GTI, which had been around for nearly three decades. This sporty hatchback continued to be available with front-wheel drive and either two or four doors. The redesigned front end featured a black honeycomb grille and new angled teardrop headlight housings. Both body styles retained the previous model’s turbocharged and intercooled 200-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Transmissions also carried over and included a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual–called the Direct Shift Gearbox–that behaved much like a conventional automatic. Standard safety features included all-disc antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain-side airbags, and front-side airbags. Rear-side airbags could be installed on four-doors at extra cost. Alloy wheels held standard 17-inch tires, but 18-inch rubber was optional. An available Autobahn Package included leather upholstery and a sunroof. Heated front seats were standard. Xenon high-intensity gas-charge headlights and a tinted glass sunroof were optional. GTI rivals included the Mini Cooper and Clubman, Scion tC, Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis coupe, and Mazda RX-8.

Yearly Updates

2011 GTI
The GTI’s model lineup was revised for 2011. The optional rear-side airbags were discontinued. A sunroof and navigation system were available, and versions so equipped were now priced as separate models. Formerly offered as an option package, the GTI Autobahn was now offered as a separate model. Autobahn versions had equipment similar to cars with the sunroof and navigation system, but leather upholstery, keyless access/engine start, and an upgraded sound system were added.
2012 GTI
There were no changes of note to the 2012 Volkswagen GTI.
2013 GTI
Fog lights were made standard across the board for 2013. Some versions featured new wheel designs and a retro-inspired golf-ball shift knob too. In February 2013, Volkswagen announced two new limited-edition models, the GTI Wolfsburg Edition and GTI Driver’s Edition. They were only available as 4-door models in a choice of three exterior colors. The Wolfsburg started as a Base model and additions included “Laguna” 18-inch wheels and tweaked interior trim. The Driver’s Edition was based on the Sunroof and Navigation model and added partial leather interior trim and other tweaks.
2014 GTI
The 2014 GTI saw a shortened model year because of the impending release of the all-new 2015 version. All 2-door models and most trim levels were dropped, leaving only the Wolfsburg Edition and Driver’s Edition 4-doors.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

All GTI models used the same engine: a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that generated 200 horsepower. Two transmissions were offered: a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic-manual unit.

Turbocharged dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/121
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 207
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
6-speed automated manual

Road Test

Despite having “just” 200 horsepower, Volkswagen’s GTI is still plenty quick by any measure. Not much turbo lag is evident. The automated-manual transmission in our four-door test car behaved somewhat erratically, with jerky upshifts and downshifts. It also would occasionally clunk as the car came to a stop. No manual-transmission cars have been made available for testing.

In Consumer Guide testing, our automatic-transmission car averaged 25.8 mpg. That’s a decent result given that some testing was done in snowy conditions. VW recommends premium-grade gas.

Firm suspension tuning irons out small imperfections well enough, but we’ve noticed thumping over sharp bumps. Scalloped surfaces can trigger abrupt vertical body motions.

GTI is among the best-handling front-wheel-drive cars. This hatchback has outstanding grip in fast turns with quick, precise steering. Brakes deliver worry-free stops.

Engine noise is only moderate under full-throttle acceleration. Wind and road ruckus are about what you would expect from a sporty car; they’re present but not overly intrusive. Coarse pavement generates marked tire hum.

Gauges are unobstructed and clearly marked. Most switchgear is handy and intuitive. The touchscreen interface for audio controls generally works well, but it can be slow to react to user input when an iPod or other digital-music player is connected. Interior decor is especially impressive, with quality fabrics, nicely textured plastics, and many soft-touch surfaces.

Front-seat occupants get great legroom from ultra-long seat tracks. Headroom is generous even below the sunroof housing. The driving position is aided by a standard tilt and telescopic steering wheel. GTI’s sport buckets help snug passengers during aggressive cornering. Wide roof pillars slightly hinder aft visibility.

Rear-seat headroom is good, complemented by adult-size legroom if front seats aren’t pushed all the way back. Availability of a four-door body style adds to the GTI’s appeal. Entry and exit are easy on those models.

Hatchback versatility is enhanced by lots of useful cargo room and a low load floor. Folding split rear seatbacks have been standard, but they don’t lie flat.


Model Tested: 2011 Volkswagen GTI 4-door w/auto-manual

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 7
Fuel Economy - 7
Ride Quality - 4
Steering/Handling - 8
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 7


Value - 10

Total: 66


2-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
101.5 165.8 70.0 57.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.3 14.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 38.5 41.2 35.5
4-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
101.5 165.8 70.0 57.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.1 14.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2010 GTI 4-door hatchback


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Front Passenger Injury - 4

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Description: The passenger air bag may have a loose or unfastened connector causing the airbag warning lamp in the instrument panel to illuminate. (2010-2013)
Blower motor
Description: The blower may quit working or work only on high because ice can form and block its rotation which blows the fuse unless an improved blower motor has been installed. (2010)
Keyless entry
Description: The remote keyless entry may quit working, but if removing the battery momentarily does not restore it function, they key must be replaced. (2010-12)
Audio system
Description: The Bluetooth system may exhibit one or more problems in including failure to pair phone, occasional failure to pair or pairing if the ignition key is cycled, or dropped calls which may be due to a problem with the vehicle’s Bluetooth module. (2009-10)
Water pump
Description: Coolant pump may develop a leak and require replacement (2011-14)

Recall History

Description: On certain cars manufactured between September 2008 and August 2009, wiring harness of a temperature sensor in the direct shift gearbox may have connector wires that were insufficiently crimped. This has the potential to falsely detect a high gearbox oil temperature, causing transmission to abruptly shift to Neutral.
2011-14 GTI
Description: Debris may contaminate the air bag’s clock spring, a flat cable that maintains power to the air bag when the steering wheel is being turned. The contamination may cause the cable to tear, which prevents the air bag from deploying in a crash.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.